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I would love to hear some views on what my manager is planning to do at our setting in September:

My supervisor is leaving and my manager (works at another site) doesn't want to advertise or bring anyone new in to lead the nursery, she is suggesting that we (myself and three other collegues all level 3) run the setting on a duty manager basis?? She is saying that a key worker system will ensure that parents will have a contact with staff and a planning should be done together?!(She has not offered to pay us at any higher rate?)

I can see that it could work but I feel that we need a LEADER, don't you think?

The parents and children all look to the present leader and although some days she is not in, myself and my collegues are capable of running the show but we feel supported to have a leader , I am worried that the plans, records and required day-today running duties will fall on someone's shoulder's more than others, we have discussed as a group (without manager) and between us feel that it would have to be arranged so that everyone knew their roles etc, we are not all in on the same days and sometimes don't meet up with each other? We agreed weekly meetings would have to be held (we are a small provate nursery, 2-3yr olds, 25 maximum numbers)

Hope that is not too confusing, we are meeting with the manager on Thursday to discuss the future, incidently she has said that if we don't do it (take the lead) she will close! We think this is just a tactic to make us do it as our nursery feeds hers and if she were to close she wouldn't have any children!!

What do you think can it work?

Does anyone run like this?

Or do you need a leader?


Would love to know what you all think, thankyou very much.

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we run simailar to this,

with duty leader each day and deputy too.

In our case the pay rates for each day reflect this with a rate for leader and deputy and qualified staff and unqualified each day.. whoever does the role for the day gets the pay for it!! we share duties with specified roles for planning H&S etc which someone is responsible for and this is recorded in our contracts of employment.


HOWEVER we do have a manager (ME) who oversees the setting ensuring everyone does their roles and that paperwork is followed up etc. Is a point of contact for all outside agencies who often want a named contact BUT I only get the pay for the role I fulful for the day as i am hands on and counted in numbers every day, this is not always the lead role! and if I am not there any of the other staff can fulfill the role.

in addition do get paid for 6 hours each week to cover the work this entails.

it works for us , regular meetings or discussions are a must and someone to ensure everyone gets the same information as we do not with the same people every day.

if not all are available we use a wall chart to allow everyone input for meetings. Everyone is given a say or input wherever possible.


we ahve always worked this way and it only failed when no one took reponsibility for work to be done and everyone thought someone else was doing it!! hence the need for someone to check!! Once that was in place it all worked better, and as long as all have input works well.


In our case though wages are a nightmare some months and no one knows what they are earning each month as it constantly changes!!


we are a social bunch though and luckily all get on really well going out regularly together so it is slightly different for us as we have worked together so long we support each other through family crisis and needs as well as at work. ( we are not all of a similar age or background we age from 19 to 50 and family lives so extreme from eachother you would not believe.)


You need to agree roles, and responsibilities for planning etc.and really do need someone to check they are being done and to organise / oversee meetings etc. Not necessarily a leader as our parents all go to keyworkers or whoever is leading that day for advice, as do the children.

Parents see all staff as able to help them and willing to talk or spend time with them when needed and will often go to someone they feel able to relate best to. You all need the same values and standards to ensure continuity for parents, children and support staff etc. This may need a meeting to agree these.


Hope this makes sense.... It is a very differnt way to work and can cause problems if you are not working together but if you do it can be a rewarding experience for everyone.



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At the risk of sounding nasty, I suspect your Manager is trying for a cost-cutting exercise.


Of course you need a Leader! Someone has to have the final say, and if you're going to have any credibility with the parents there has to be a visible hierarchy!


Stick out for what you believe in, if you let them get away with this what's next?????


Shoot me down if you like!


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Oops! We appear to have crossed!


Your post looks interesting, shirel, will really examine it when I have a bit more time..... :o


Actually, I rather like the sound of it - everyone feeling responsible......!?? can't be bad xD



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Thanks for reply's so far..(anticipating some more views).

We do get on together great as a team and the more I think about it it is sounding a little more feasible, (thanks Inge). Will let you know what the manager has in mind for pay scales after our meeting on Thursday.

Thanks again.

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I like the sound of how Inge works, and if it works well...... :D but,

How does this fit in with the national standards?


The "Suitable person" checks for managers are more intense than other employees are are done by Ofsted, How would this work?


Maybe you need to look at the Standards and how this management model fits in with them.

I do think that everybody needs to know "who the buck stops with" on a daily basis in the absence of the 'registered person'. And as the registered person myself, I certainly want to have someone particular to reprimand / support if something should go wrong. I think the risk of errors are greater without clear leadership, but again I do like the phylosophy of Inge's model.


Be interesting to hear what happens.



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I think Inge's model could work. Although we have supervisors and deputies, and paid helpers in our setting, increasingly the roles are becoming less distinct. We are increasingly qualifed, experienced and expected to rise to the challenges of the job as a team.


Good luck, let us know how you get on.



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having had several ofsted inspections they ahve always beeen happy with the situation,


In our case registered person being commiittee , and I am a voice to communicate between everyone , hence the addtional pay but all other staff are named deputy leaders with ofsetd and they are very happy with the fact that all staff have reponsibility for the group. As deb says, everyone is becoming more qualifed, experienced and the roles are becoming less distinct.

As to who the buck stops with, in our case the person leading on the day or whoever took responsibility for it, with everyone pulling together in one direction we ensure we all have the same standards and foolow all the polocoes procedures etc.


Parent are happy as they can deal with anyone, usually choosing keyworkers first and then which ever staff they relate best to or who dealt with them in the past.


we have named people for most jobs but split amongst us all... H&S, SENco, behaviour management, child protection, equality etc etc.



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Well, we had our meeting yesterday and the upshot is that the manager wants to do more or less what I said, she will be the manager and the buck stops with her, the named suitable person will be a duty manager of the day, wether me or one of my two colleagues, was three colleagues but after yesterday I feel we will loose our current supervisor, our manager basically said that she wants it run with a little less paperwork, she thinks too much is done at the moment, (maybe she can't afford to pay for the extra time planning and keeping our very involved records up together).

However our current supervisor (which I understand) is feeling that the last two years that she has implemented her new ideas and ran the nursery has been a waste as the system is going to change.

(She doesn't want to lead anymore which is why this change has come about).

It is a very difficult situation where the three of us think we can do it and feel we must give it a go (with Inge's brain pickings!) yet our current supervisor is sceptical and left the meeting in tears!


Our manager owns the nursery so we have to run how she wants it ran but it's obvious she doesn't really rate all the work we have been doing, I guess we will have to find a happy medium, it will almost definetly mean bringing work home, but I feel I must feel some pride in what we are doing and don't think I personally can lower the standards too much, I think my manager wants us to run by 'just about' meeting the required standards and guidance but I don't feel any of us would feel comfortable with this.

(I think we can tweak what we have been doing)


Well we have to try it at least, by the way she didn't mention pay! But did say she would pay for the "odd' afternoon to plan. (I suppose we are on a good rate £8/hour is what I am on, is that ok? we get paid for three hours a day, even though we work 4+ setting up and clearing away).

The meeting has made me see it from the manager's eyes she has to keep a small private nursery going with probably very little profit, she has three qualified supervisor's who are cautious about leading so we all share the job, liaise and give it a go.

Probably better if our current supervisor does leave as she will always feel undervalued after this shake up and to be honest we may still turn to her, or she may feel that things are not being done right, she is a lovely lady but surely she can's stay to watch us all change the system she has worked so hard to implement, it's quite a horrible time at work at the moment, thank goodness for the children who always cheer me up!


Thankyou all for replying and adding you comments, it is so helpful to have your opinions, I also feel supported that in September when this happens I will have a friendly ear to shout, scream or politely ask questions and advice from, thanks again


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  • 6 months later...

Just thought I would update - I looked back to see how I was thinking before the change of my position from deputy to manager - to try to encourage my return to work tomorrow.


However 4 months into the system and I know some of you will of gathered I am not particularly enjoying this management structure, I just feel we need a Leader, some mornings I feel it runs smoothly and then it all goes horribly wrong. I dread returning to work, have spoken to my colleagues but they don't see a problem I am in a very awkward situation as I have previously mentioned they are best friends so I feel instantly ousted if I say anything negative. (maybe a bit of paranoa(?)).


Oh well tomorrow looms, I have planned for the first week back, made the playdough and feel a sense of doom.

Maybe it's all a bit too much with the degree and my family commitments, long for a non-managerial-less-responsibility-role, I am not fussy about the housework but it does get you down when you get so behind, I need to decide in the next couple of weeks what my future holds.


On a positive note I am loving the course and enjoy the work and feel more enthused than ever to work in early years - just need the job to support my passion.


SOrry but of a weird post, thinking aloud type of thing, hope you don't mind, no need for replies - maybe I should of done a blog, maybe I will, next time.


Have a nice week everyone.

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One term is quite a short time to embed changes, although it may seem a long time, especially a busy Autumn term, where the dynamics change because of children going off to school, the busy christmas period and your management style change, I can see that maybe exhaustion sets in. It is also hard work going back after a break, dark winter mornings, getting back into a routine etc. I suppose I am saying, can you give it a bit longer? especially as your colleagues feel ok with the changes.

even with a leader in place there are good and bad days.


Try and think and list what aspects of the changes you feel are not working, plus the ones that are, think about any adaptions, think about any future goals that you see the setting has begun to work towards but maybe have lost the clear vision to achieve etc and ask for a review of last term meeting, discuss negative and also positive evaluations of the new system.

Hopefully once you get into the swing of this trm you will feel a bit better.

Ask that your colleagues put aside your friendship relationships so that discussions remain purely on a professional basis ( difficult I know).


If you still feel that this is not working for you, then think about how best to manage a move, how will it affect your studies changing settings etc.


good luck, and keep us posted, I am sure many others are in similar situations.



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i manage 3 settings and when we where looking at opening the recent two was told that I would need to register a person who would be on site majority of the time as a manager and was told by Ofsted that as i was overseeing the 3 I would not ba bale to take on the managers role. for those people who take it in turns to manage the setting can i ask have you all undertaking suitable persons interviews and are you all registered as a manager or does one of you just register, if so how do you work it been responsible on paper as the registered person when other people are in charge?. Sorry to waffle but really intrigued to see how people make this work as we had the problems with Ofsted registration. :o

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This will all greatly depend on nature of setting, voluntary charity or business run.

Can only say as a voluntary charity but in this case it is the WHOLE committee who are registered as suitable persons with usually the Chair being the main contact and overseeing this (except in some cases as in ours where Ofsted have Ok'd me as main contact but the registered person in still the committee, and each year when they change they all have DC2s completed and CRB checks done by Ofsted not us as a setting


so in this case the registered person is rarely on site and only comes and goes with their children or in our case as we could not get a parent to do Chair this is in contact by phone and committee meetings if she can attend as she works full tie, Ofsted had no problem with this as they did appoint me as Manager an experienced practitioner to oversee and actually generally run the place. All decisions are discussed and major financial ones approved by committee but otherwise left to us as they are aware we do know more about the provision needed than they do!


However having said that I am not there everyday, other staff run it regularly taking decisions which are discussed amongst the staff and committee members seen regularly, a bit of a partnership going between all, When explained at last Ofsted in July they were very happy all staff able to answer on everything asked so it was quite clear it works for us. Even down to the newest member of staff who has taken on most roles in her year with us, having started as an apprentice is now confident in her abilities and deals well with everyone.


i am currently off sick at the moment and keep in touch to help if I can, able to do paperwork but little else, but all is going well and I do write up the planning etc they have done and email it to them!


and yes we are friends outside, see each other at evenings and weekends and find holidays too long a break and are constantly in touch with each other.


I can see there may be a need to have one person to liaise or work between staff and management and oversee to ensure it gets done but this can also be delegated and split among staff just as it could be in a committee and with regular meetings and updates it really can work..


It will take long time for changes to bed in and need everyone to be able to step back from time to time and let someone else get on with it. In the end I find it has reduced a lot of the workload and pressure as it is all shared and not just me to do it, gives me lots of hands on time with the children just enjoying them without thinking about running the session


Shirel wage seem very good for this sector although as always we work much longer than paid for,

we have been lucky in the fact that we get paid for most of the time we work, that is until we have a lean year anyway, we all recognise that it could all change tomorrow.



Edited by Inge
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First day back today and had a wonderful day so I will wait and see, thanks for your replies.


Inge, the rate pf pay is good, but today for instance I got to work at 8.50 and left at 1.45 pm this is quite normal yet I am paid for 3 hours only, whilst the children are there, so really the pay scale works out to be more like £6 ish/hour. I think that may be a factor that sometimes gets to me alongside other things, however I am going to remain positive and see what happens.

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agree this is always a problem, we used to do this but have had a sympathetic committee who realise the problem and pay us for a bit longer each day, not all of it though and we still work about 1 hour unpaid each day in setting up time and planning etc, but if they can afford it they do show appreciation by giving us bonus pay each year depending on amount that can be afforded, find that staff like this sign of appreciation !!


we do complete time sheets with accurate in and out times for them each week so they can see the hours we actually do and on this we say what we were doing if no children present, makes it clearer what we actually do need to do with our time and them more aware of the actual hours we do on top of the paid ones! Only takes a few seconds for everyone to fill this in each day.



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