Management, educators and staff work with mutual respect and collaboratively, and challenge and learn from each other, recognising each other’s strengths and skills.
Preparing for next year – establishing continuity of care with educators
If you want continuity of care you need teams that work together so they want to come to work and not go looking for other jobs. Below are some practices that assist in developing great teams that in turn create continuity of care.
- All the policies and procedures need to be followed so there is consistency in practice and nobody is ‘making stuff ups.’ Most importantly, by following the policies and procedures educators know what to do and this knowing relieves stress from the job. When there is no stress good educators stay
- All educators need to have input into their room, including the curriculum, displays, parent communication and room management. There would be nothing worse than going to work and always getting told what to do. When this happens educators leave
- Team meetings are a great way for educators to bond, build teamwork and create continuity. This may occur outside the service
- Mini meetings also encourage teamwork and continuity of care. Educators in rooms/ groups come together and have quick daily mini meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page. Mini meetings are a great way to clear the air quickly if there is a problem brewing among educators. We should always allow educators to work to their strengths
- Match educators and room leaders that work well together and let them use their strengths. If they don’t work out move them to another room.
Meet Cherie – leads by example to get results
Cherie is a great leader. Some of her wonderful skills have come from bad experiences with her Room Leader in the past and Cherie never wanted to be like that. Cherie says what makes a good Room Leader is allowing your educators to have freedom. For example Cherie says, “when I have Mondays off I often come back and the room is changed. I praise the educators and get them to explain why they changed it and ask what they want to achieve. I love hearing their ideas and get very excited for them. I’m always encouraging them to try new ideas, not just the room, but art experiences, new material, changing the playground. I feel that everyone needs to show their creativity at work.”
Case study – the way we introduce new educators and move educators into new rooms.
Last year a service had a complaint about the lack of communication when it came to moving educators into new rooms. The problem started when educators didn’t work well together, tensions where high and an educator needed to move rooms. This was not communicated to parents well and a complaint came in.
The service asked parents how they would like to be informed when staff move on. Nicky, the mum who had complained said, “we’re not stupid and we know that not all people are going to get along.”
Together the service worked out a better script to tell parents about what’s going on. These scripts are both spoken and placed on the closed Facebook pages for each room.
|What can’t be said||What we say to parents|
|Educators struggling to work together, and the environment has soured, so we need to move educators around into different groups.||We are re-grouping our teams to build on our educators’ strengths and ensure we provide the best for your child.|
Other ways to communicate to parents
When new educators start or are moved between groups, the service has a big campaign on the closed groups on Facebook and the open Facebook page. They introduce the educators to everyone and highlight their interest, strengths and passion when it comes to teaching. They invite the families to come up to the educators and introduce themselves.
Any positives comments about the educators from existing families or local community members are highlighted and boosted.
Below is a case study that demonstrates all the exceeding themes.
The blue text is directly linked to the NQS Guide, page 213-214, showing exactly how Exceeding theme 1 Embedded, 2 Critical Reflection and 3 Meaningful engagement with families and communities and how it links into practice.
Eleanor left our service in June 2018 and gave us 12 months’ notice before leaving. The Nominated Supervisor Mel worked with her to identify why she was leaving and what she wanted to achieve by leaving. Eleanor needed to leave to as her partner’s contract was ending in 12 months and he was to be moved to a new city in Queensland. However she also indicated she wanted to be placed in a leadership position. Eleanor reminded us nearly every month as a countdown that she was leaving on the set date. Discovering Eleanor’s ambitions led to her being placed in a shared room leaders’ role in the preschool room to assist with her CV and job prospects. She was also encouraged to start her ECT degree which she did as Queensland regulations requiring an extra ECT were coming in 2020 and this would improve her prospects of getting a job. Of course her ECT training also contributed to a high quality learning environment for children. When the time finally came to leave, the centre organised a week long celebration with a different event each day to celebrate her leaving. Please see the week of learning documentation and celebration for the leaving party. Eleanor used centre staff as referees and we were contacted by her new employer.