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Thoughts from other managers please.


zigzag
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We are a pre-school setting and work with children from two and a half. I currently have four staff members. I have said it before but if anything is done in the setting, it is because I do it. I try so hard to get everybody on board with all aspects of our work, but it is like flogging a dead horse. They just seem to want to do the bare minimum and that's it. I have now taken on all the admin as my amazing administrator has gone back to her "proper job". So I know find myself as:

Manager, key person to 11 children, SENCO, admin and all the other paperwork such as:policies, SEF, supervisions/appraisals etc etc. As well as all the day to day communications and being in session every morning.

I feel like I am achieving some of these tasks as they should be done but losing the battle with the others. I really want to be doing everything 100%. We have only been back today and already I can feel my anxiety over this situation increasing.

How do other managers manage? Are you all in ratio as well or are you supernumerary? Feel completely on my own. The committee is great at fundraising, but would run a mile if they were asked to do anything else (and rightly so in my opinion)

I am thinking of asking if we can take on someone to work in place of me and take on my key children and then I can just do paperwork and support and manage the staff correctly. Not sure that I can go on like this. I would love to hear how others work and any advice and comments. :o

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Sorry can't really answer.... But I want you to know you are not alone :(

 

Today I went back to work - and it is now taking me all the will in the world not to hand in my resignation via email.

 

Slightly different to you, as we are privately owned. We are due an inspection any day now and I know full well we will get a RI.

 

I feel unless I do all my work at home 'free of charge' then nothing actually gets done. I know longer feel I can go on giving my time. The owner has no really interest in the setting and at Christmas we go no thanks whatsoever!!

 

Things are slipping and I no longer feel in control of anything.

 

The staff are good, but as you say - really they just want to do their job and go home, and to be honest at just over MW (we are talking pennies above here not pounds!) who can actually blame them.

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Sorry can't really answer.... But I want you to know you are not alone :(

 

Today I went back to work - and it is now taking me all the will in the world not to hand in my resignation via email.

 

Slightly different to you, as we are privately owned. We are due an inspection any day now and I know full well we will get a RI.

 

I feel unless I do all my work at home 'free of charge' then nothing actually gets done. I know longer feel I can go on giving my time. The owner has no really interest in the setting and at Christmas we go no thanks whatsoever!!

 

Things are slipping and I no longer feel in control of anything.

 

The staff are good, but as you say - really they just want to do their job and go home, and to be honest at just over MW (we are talking pennies above here not pounds!) who can actually blame them.

Feel your pain Louby loo and it is slightly reassuring to know that its not just me!! Hope things improve for you.

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I'm in the same situation as you Zigzag but have never had admin support. My treasurer does wages and accounts. How many children at your setting? I am officially 'in ratio' but we do run over ratio since we started taking children from 2 years old rather than 2 1/2 years old. I used to allocate key children equally amongst all staff (including me) but since Sept I have not given myself anymore. I only have 4 but struggle even with those! I have been deliberately trying to not do loads at home. I feel like I have such a backlog of admin that a term in the office would help to get rid of the guilt and stress of not being on top of everything.

 

We do not have the support from committee or parents at the moment. Everything and everyone is so flat. We had ofsted 2014 but I am very conscious that the merry-go-round starts again in only 9 months time???? (Is that right?)

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Actually pleased I am not alone in all these feelings too. We are due Ofsted this year sometime and to be honest with the hall the way it is I don't know if we will get through or not. We are currently satisfactory and mostly it is due to the hall and things beyond our control, noone seems to bothered about what we actually do with the children and the fact they are making good progress and are confident and happy. All around us we have outstanding settings (all with their own buildings) however informal feedback suggests the children prefer coming to us! however satisfactory no longer exists I hope we get good as the staff and myself have worked so hard but I do fear it is in vain.

 

Anyway sorry back to the point. I am out of ratio and it is the only way I can manage, however this may change as with the minimum wage going up I am not sure we are financially viable. I do all admin, supervisions, peer obs, progress analysis, I am deputy SEN ( as I used to be SEN but offloaded this to my deputy) I am the designated person and positive behaviour coordinator and all the other stuff you might expect. I have recently offloaded the newsletter and updating the website but no surprise these are now just not done. The new committee I am hoping will fix this they have only been in place since October so to be fair it still might happen. I get hardly any time with the children which seen as I am the most qualified and experienced is bonkers but there just was no other way in the end. I do however make time to 'manage' staff properly which involves working alongside them sometimes on the floor. However all that being said I am not happy, although to be fair I am not sure being in ratio with the children would help with that, I think like everyone else I am just tired of the pressure, no thanks, constantly moving goal posts, staffing issues, petty politics of working for committee and hall committee and just worn out!!!!!

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Sorry can't really answer.... But I want you to know you are not alone :(

 

Today I went back to work - and it is now taking me all the will in the world not to hand in my resignation via email.

 

Slightly different to you, as we are privately owned. We are due an inspection any day now and I know full well we will get a RI.

 

I feel unless I do all my work at home 'free of charge' then nothing actually gets done. I know longer feel I can go on giving my time. The owner has no really interest in the setting and at Christmas we go no thanks whatsoever!!

 

Things are slipping and I no longer feel in control of anything.

 

The staff are good, but as you say - really they just want to do their job and go home, and to be honest at just over MW (we are talking pennies above here not pounds!) who can actually blame them.

Louby Loo I so empathise and am right there with you. I know it doesn't fix things or really help, but if knowing that you are not alone offers any support then I am right there with you and struggling not to do the same.

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Wouldn't it be better to take on someone to do the admin and you work with the children if money allows.

I think it needs to be me who continues with administration and everything as I am in the know about all aspects which someone else wouldn't be. Someone qualified and with experience can take over working with the children easily.

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Actually pleased I am not alone in all these feelings too. We are due Ofsted this year sometime and to be honest with the hall the way it is I don't know if we will get through or not. We are currently satisfactory and mostly it is due to the hall and things beyond our control, noone seems to bothered about what we actually do with the children and the fact they are making good progress and are confident and happy. All around us we have outstanding settings (all with their own buildings) however informal feedback suggests the children prefer coming to us! however satisfactory no longer exists I hope we get good as the staff and myself have worked so hard but I do fear it is in vain.

 

Anyway sorry back to the point. I am out of ratio and it is the only way I can manage, however this may change as with the minimum wage going up I am not sure we are financially viable. I do all admin, supervisions, peer obs, progress analysis, I am deputy SEN ( as I used to be SEN but offloaded this to my deputy) I am the designated person and positive behaviour coordinator and all the other stuff you might expect. I have recently offloaded the newsletter and updating the website but no surprise these are now just not done. The new committee I am hoping will fix this they have only been in place since October so to be fair it still might happen. I get hardly any time with the children which seen as I am the most qualified and experienced is bonkers but there just was no other way in the end. I do however make time to 'manage' staff properly which involves working alongside them sometimes on the floor. However all that being said I am not happy, although to be fair I am not sure being in ratio with the children would help with that, I think like everyone else I am just tired of the pressure, no thanks, constantly moving goal posts, staffing issues, petty politics of working for committee and hall committee and just worn out!!!!!

 

I know I shouldn't say it, but it does make me feel better that I am not the only one feeling like this. As I packed away the nativity costumes (by myself) I actually said out loud I wonder if I I will be here next year when they come out again!! Unless some major changes happen I don't think I will be. Watch this space...

If you need to vent I think this may be a good place to do it. Good luck for the rest of the term.

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I think it needs to be me who continues with administration and everything as I am in the know about all aspects which someone else wouldn't be. Someone qualified and with experience can take over working with the children easily.

This was my thought ZigZag when you think about it, it is the same decision that head teachers make. Not maybe what you sign up for but it doesn't seem to work for me any other way.

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Not sure head teachers do the admin, they all have lots of office staff and a bursar.

 

My admin lady is off long term sick. I advertised before Xmas, interviewed, trained (3 hours) and have the most wonderful lady that in one week before Xmas got everything sorted, (payroll, registers, paying bills) so much so that I didn't need to do anything over the holidays. She was back again today, and sorted out the bills, new online grant system, sept admissions offers letters. I wrote the newsletter this afternoon as only 8 children and 4 staff.

 

They are out there, it just seems such a waste, employing childcare trained staff to do admin.

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It is so sad to hear this on the first day back of the new year - I am lucky to have an admin lady who does my registers and any other admin jobs i need which takes a lot of pressure off of me - I don't have any key children (my ey advisor said this was a priority) but am in ratio a lot of the time due to a staff member leaving and not being replaced (apparently not needed!!!)

I am cplo (which at present is a very big job), senco (shortly to give to my deputy now trained) as well as all the other officers - behaviour etc., - i just don't have the time to do all the jobs properly that i need to do - staff mentoring, development etc., - there is just too much expected of leads / managers for the wage - i think all settings should be run by their local council so that wages are decent and enough staff for the setting so lead/manager to do their job properly and without the stress we currently have.

(rant over - apologies to those that work in council run settings but i have visited/seen them and feel short changed)

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I am in a similar position. I manage the setting, and do most of the admin but wages and payment of invoices are handled by the Treasurer. I have 11 key children every year and struggle to do the right thing by them. I have a SENCO but don't always feel she is on top of things.

 

I have been thinking about employing another person to take on my key children as there are so many management things that I could be doing that would improve the setting as a whole but not sure the committee would go for it. Paper work load is always worse at start and end o term so will just push on through for now!

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In a similar position but I don't have any key children . We have four members of staff but only only 14 children on register so easier not to be a keyperson. I'm not sure how long we'll be open unless our numbers improve . Even with out key children I'm finding it hard to keep on top of things. I try to be supernumerary some days but that doesn't always work out but this year I'm determined that I will two days a week when we have 7 children and three stuff I'm going to take time out.

 

If you can afford too I'd suggest taking someone on to take over your key children to leave you to do the rest.

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It is reassuring to know others are in the same boat, but goodness what to do?! I thought I would use the two week holiday to clear the backlog but it wasn't enough. There is a folder full of filing, and a full to do folder. I still have pages of observations to review (and add) to Tapestry I can't even admit to myself how many, which means I'm behind on my analysis. I manage and own, payroll, admin, SENCo, key person to 12. I'm planning to advertise for a part time member of staff to ease the load. I've written the add and person spec etc but I haven't even got around to doing anything with it! Add to that staff with a 'good enough' mentality and the complications of being a pack-away and having to constantly search for things in cupboards, my garage, my study etc, having to wait until to get home until I can even print a letter. Oh I hate to moan, so much for a positive new start it's only been two days!

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I feel your pain. I am supernumerary for 5 of the 6 sessions we are open. We also have an administrator that is in for each session.

With nearly 70 children on role it is impossible to keep up with the workload otherwise.

I see my role as a manager/supervisor as a support for children and families which can take much of my time, a support or guiding tool for the staff, as well as on occasions, the cleaner, maintenance worker, shopper,and the list goes on.

I have been in childcare for over 30 years now and I have to say it's getting tougher. With a constant concern about finance, with introductions of living wage, pensions it's becoming in my humble opinion ridiculous now.

Oh for the good old days when you came to work in this wonderful profession and just had wonderful fun with the children without all the bureaucracy. :(:(:(

Edited by Fredbear
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Last term I opted out of ratios but am always on hand , I do have a admin person who takes responsibility for registers, wages, insurances etc but she took this role on before she became a member of staff undertook her level 3 and works 3 sessions per week, she is super organised unlike me !

It is difficult as a leader, supervisor , manager to always be able to manage the day to day running as well as being involved with all the other jobs.

 

We have a staff rota which assigns everyone their daily jobs and we make it clear that staff will be expected to work extra hours for other jobs, some are more willing than others , each staff member has a responsibility for a different area too , is art trolley, books, cupboard etc for the term.

I just keep on and on if they don't do it but it is difficult balancing things , maybe review your job descriptions , super vision meetings are helpful in talking over work load etc and just be open and honest with your staff , tell them how it is and what your expectations are.

Sometimes you just have to be brutal .

Try and get another admin if possible but also try and show others some of the other things you do , if you are the only one who knows how and you leave or are off sick , you need to know someone else can do it .

 

Big hug X

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I know I shouldn't say it, but it does make me feel better that I am not the only one feeling like this. As I packed away the nativity costumes (by myself) I actually said out loud I wonder if I I will be here next year when they come out again!! Unless some major changes happen I don't think I will be. Watch this space...

If you need to vent I think this may be a good place to do it. Good luck for the rest of the term.

I am with you too, sat on the stage packing away the christmas trees after the session ( by myself and in my own time!) it just gets harder and harder. Had a lovely couple of weeks off with the family visiting over Christmas ( trying to get paperwork done inbetween which didnt always happen), by the time I'd been back to work I felt I'd never left the setting.

I have parents fretting about the school being oversubscribed for reception September and I cant even promise them all their children will get in. So what do they do? pull out and go to a different setting in the hope they can get their second school choice. Honestly it just makes me wonder.....

Off to find some solace in the large box of chocs leftover from xmas.....

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It is reassuring to know others are in the same boat, but goodness what to do?! I thought I would use the two week holiday to clear the backlog but it wasn't enough. There is a folder full of filing, and a full to do folder. I still have pages of observations to review (and add) to Tapestry I can't even admit to myself how many, which means I'm behind on my analysis. I manage and own, payroll, admin, SENCo, key person to 12. I'm planning to advertise for a part time member of staff to ease the load. I've written the add and person spec etc but I haven't even got around to doing anything with it! Add to that staff with a 'good enough' mentality and the complications of being a pack-away and having to constantly search for things in cupboards, my garage, my study etc, having to wait until to get home until I can even print a letter. Oh I hate to moan, so much for a positive new start it's only been two days!

 

Gosh you really are me! :lol:

 

Sometimes its the simple things like printing/copying that seem to cause the most grief and make a two minute job literally into a two day job. :( . This is one of the reason I am now trying to do nothing unpaid. (ha ha that's a joke). You can get a pretty decent basic printer copier for £30-40...........however why pay that when you have someone that will do it free using their own ink/paper and time.

 

Moan over, actually after a bad start the new tern hasn't been to bad really - although my husband says I seem to have taken on a manic hysterical attitude to work for the last few days :unsure: :lol: :lol:

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Gosh you really are me! :lol:

 

Sometimes its the simple things like printing/copying that seem to cause the most grief and make a two minute job literally into a two day job. :( . This is one of the reason I am now trying to do nothing unpaid. (ha ha that's a joke). You can get a pretty decent basic printer copier for £30-40...........however why pay that when you have someone that will do it free using their own ink/paper and time.

 

Moan over, actually after a bad start the new tern hasn't been to bad really - although my husband says I seem to have taken on a manic hysterical attitude to work for the last few days :unsure: :lol: :lol:

I'd gladly buy a printer if I was allowed to put anything anywhere. I actually got told this year that I wasn't allowed to have grow bags in the garden and should pack them away on a daily basis too!

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I'd gladly buy a printer if I was allowed to put anything anywhere. I actually got told this year that I wasn't allowed to have grow bags in the garden and should pack them away on a daily basis too!

We are in exactly the same situation - inspector didn't want to hear it though :(

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Same here too.. packaway setting.. just two of us...I am safeguarding (CAF and meetings), senco (meetings), behaviour, do finances, admissions, have 10 key children etc etc.....when the lea ask me who my language lead is and ask why they dont come to network meetings, I just about hold it tog to say that I really cant take on anymore responsibility!!! I'm also expected to know the children inside out (a high number of them only come one day per week so we madly try and do obs....and get info from the other settings which never send us anything!!). One of us does singing/story at the end of the session whilst the other packs everything away (time constraints to hall).

 

I get frustrated as I haven't got enough time ( only 3 hr session) or staff to do funky fingers sessions, dough disco, letters and sounds (properly), and actually spend more than 2 mins with a group as one of us is trying to cover the one objective led planning, one of us is outside, one of us is inside, preparing snack with a child, one of us is helping that child with SEN get around the setting (who we only get 1 hr funding for per session), toilet training the 3, 3 yr olds still in nappies, sorting the spills out at the paint table, generally just taking care of the children. I have to remind myself that the children are happy, they love coming (prefer to come to us than local nursery)....what with the big O now saying its all about teaching and learning I'm not convinced I'm doing any of it??

 

What does O think teaching and learning is in a pre-school these days? I'm going for the independence skills of children, talking with them, giving them a love of stories...

 

Doesn't help as I am menopausal too :o:P :rolleyes: :blink: :blink: :blink: :blink: :blink: :blink: ...keep having hot flushes and forgetting things :wacko: :wacko:....... who are you again? what am I doing...??? what was the question?!!

Edited by marley
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Marsha D and Thumper rabbit , appeal to the committee or whoever of your building , explain in a way that makes them listen and why being a child and having experiences they deserve is so important , it really infuriates me when landlords take the money but don't support the setting who in fairness are their regular income and without they would be at a loss.

 

It's why I am now chair of our village hall yet I still get ridiculous moaning from the bowls group who have been there forever and act like they own it ! Grrr

Edited by lashes2508
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Hi lashes2508

 

Believe me I have tried. I could write a book but will try to keep it short. The priest is very set in his ways and just wants to get on with it, but the secretary is the one with all the power. When I signed the contract she was 'retiring' and the lady covering her was fantastic. No problems whatsoever. She then returned upset the other lady so much that she left. Upset someone else working there so much that they left. Basically she upsets everyone she comes into contact with. The priest won't hear a word said against her. I even got a solicitor involved which I think backfired because she just got even more ridiculous sorry, stringent and that's where the 'you don't have permission to plant flowers / grow-bags they'll need to be packed away' came in. I'm looking for my own premises but to find somewhere nearby with outdoor space is just proving impossible. A church hall not too far away was for sale but the estate agent put me off saying it wouldn't be suitable as there was no outdoor space. I went to check it out from the outside and as it happens there was a preschool already there, when I got back in touch with the agent it was already under offer :angry: I am finding the pack-away / unreasonable landlord aspect really challenging and to cap it off I've done my shoulder in this week so have been doing everything one handed!

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Oh dear Marsha , sorry to hear of your experience and your injured shoulder ! Perhaps from carrying to much weight on it !

 

Have you thought about writing a letter to the diocese , I know that would probably be risky but emphasis that gods earth was to filled with living things. Beauty and the opportunity for the children to nurture and care for their world .

 

Hope your shoulder gets better real soon

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