Free Essay: Management in the Early Years
In early childhood context, administration and management turns out to be quite challenging. This Management in the Early Years paper will take a close look at the role of manager and how the setting of early years can be managed successfully. A good example of early year’s management is the Effective Provision of Pre-School Education Project based on the fact that it has strong connection on qualifications and excellence of service provided by a manager in early setting.
Variation in early childhood setting offers a complex field of management and leadership. Additionally, there is stern lack of leadership for the preparation of those who manage early years (Aubrey 2007). There is also a probability that many managers are under trained for the purpose. Studies on early childhood experts reveal that early setting headships are taken over by fortuitous leaders with minimal preparations for the position.
However, for the early settings to be successful there must be clear definition of lines and functions as well as accountability of the way in which headship and administration can be realized and conquered. Benevolence and affection are some of the attributes that are linked traditionally to successful early childhood leaders. Parents who leave caring and teaching of their children solely to the teachers consider them as benevolent and affectionate. This is a factor that adds up to the view that actual learning is involved in early years.
Teachers and other people also considered early years setting as a step with no academic rigor. This was also enhanced by the view that the community strongly believes that teaching of older children is academically tough and challenging compared to early settings.
Situations of service, high qualifications, skilled structure of the profession and attitude towards early years setting involving only games and fun might have generated a great deal to the split between early years setting and that of old age. As Bennis indicated (2004), educators at the primary level in the UK are traditionally prepared to handle children from age 3 to 12.
What’s more, the capacity of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) creates the challenges of taking children to early years setting or nursery school with qualified educators; the condition is however deteriorated with government projects that have unlocked the door to an idea of having part time educators as teachers and not those who work on full time basis.
Headship and management in early childhood is also an extensive part of modern day families and a growing sector making up pre-school education. Situations of early edification and childcare are quite diverse encompassing nursery classes, personal and charitable backgrounds as well as primary schools and nursery classes. They are very diverse entities characterized with different formations, philosophies and extensive guarantee models supervised by different bodies.
Critical and Analytical Discussion
Headship and management traditionally in early childhood setting had been closely linked to proficiencies and personal attributes in teachers. Even so, leadership and management in early education are presently not secluded activities that are bestowed on an individual. A group of individuals instead ensures successful leadership through continued collaboration and delegation of duties.
Training for leadership in this regard must surpass the management teaching of an individual because leadership ability needs to be extensively instilled in the tea. Therefore, in what way can administration and leadership in early childhood be built? The National College for School Leadership (NCSL) in the UK nowadays is encouraging opportunities for progress.
In the NCLS’ a national program, the Community Leadership Strategy handles the requirements of leaders in the surroundings of multi-agency early years (National College for School Leadership 2005). The National Professional Qualification, the present qualification in Integrated Center Leadership (NPQICL) identifies that headship and management in early backgrounds has a very unique focal point and more specifically when incorporated programs grow and when enrolment programs continue being the attribute of the efforts of early backgrounds.
The perception that headship and management are individual characteristics in early childhood setting is a concern to individual characteristics. Thus, it entails carrying individual leadership functions based on ideas of power, rivalry and it fails to adhere to joint advances by which headship and management in early year’s preparation is presented.
Early years services before school are also frequently non-hierarchical where majority of teachers and workers are females (Bloom & Bella 2005). The flat structure of early year’s administration also implies that distributive leadership strategies are often favored in early settings. Transformation of a child’s life opportunities is however achievable through quality visionary leadership.
A study by Osgood (2004) established that there are leadership variations in early childhood setting. For example, charitable institutions, primary schools and private institutions were known to have an authorized leader (head teacher, owner) as the only leader while wide ranging explanations were common in nursery classes. Teachers in early years also take management and leadership in a different way according to the setting they are anchored. For instance, Osgood (2004) reveals that it is likely for private sector providers to apply business standards when running their schools while those heading charitable institutions are not comfortable with a commercial program.
Private nursery school managers also have a tendency of less mutual and community based approach when it comes to management and leadership caused by fear of competition that endangers generation of profit. In research studies carried out in the UK on nursery teacher’s perceptions, many of the teachers consider themselves to bear strong leadership qualities and tasks that go unappreciated by their managers. In this relevance, they offer a very clear distinction between leadership and management.
The educators also identify areas of operations they undertake encompassing planning, educating, appraisal, supervising children and recognition of development requirements of teams, record keeping, operating with parents and giving them feedback and time setting. They also identify accountability of providing useful information to leaders of different institutions to ensure they are well versed with current undertakings (Cohen-Vogel & Herrington 2005).
Nursery schools educators also reported uncertainty based on the fact that they had to carry out different functions on daily basis as leaders in teams and members without prior information of their management and leadership tasks. Labor force in headship and management in early childhood setting encompass diverse personnel under different preparation, experience and aptitudes.
Studies also emphasize on the quantity of unskilled and youthful employees operating in early settings and confirm that the perspective of leadership is mainly feminine, multi-skilled, culturally and collectively diverse. In mid-2004, a research on early childhood labor force in the UK revealed that many employees in the sector had grown to 30,000 (Daly, Byers & Taylor 2004). The review aimed at analyzing and delineating employee functions in early year’s sections.
Additionally, the study sought to enhance labor force planning to ensure that there are enough employees in the sector. Thirdly, it aimed at modernizing and simplifying early childhood and care aptitudes scheme (Daly, Byers & Taylor 2004). Its fourth purpose is to ensure that there are better chances for employees in one labor force section to shift to another while its fifth aim is to ensure that potential connotations of the work situations and remuneration.
Critical examination of Current Theories and Theoretical Perspectives
Leadership theories including Shared Leadership (SL), Transformational Leadership (TL), Distributive Leadership (DL) and Contextual Leadership (CL), should be considered when assessing headship and management in early childhood settings. Transformational leaders believe that affective aspects inspire people more than cognitive aspects. DL and TL perceptions fit early childhood years and their advance is enhancing as they encourage people to be accountable and to make their own judgments.
On the contrary, CL and SL embed leadership in social setting network of early childhood backgrounds. In this relevance, groups and joint efforts exist as opposed to individuals because they are more suitable to headship and management in early backgrounds (Dunlop 2005).
There are however numerous elements and factors past early childhood that ensure successful educational leadership growth. There are also different management theories in early year’s settings. Teamwork, development, transformation, leadership and management successfully take place with relations between leaders and their subjects (Hard & O’Gorman 2007).
Headship and Management in early childhood setting is also clearly understood in respect to relations between managers and their subjects. It occurs in a social setting hence, not a personal value and managers set good examples and regulations for the others to follow. The current assertions surrounding headship and management in early childhood are also in line with concepts that managers in early years need proficiencies and attributes associated with inspiration, support, collaboration, delineation of functions and objective setting for successful leadership.
Additionally, developing affiliations, strengthening of the people and making of collective judgments are very crucial attributes of headship and management in early childhood setting. Some of the fields where early childhood managers must be proficient include child development and knowledge that encompass organizational theory, group dynamics and educating policies.
Other areas of proficiency include human, conceptual and practical attributes (for example budgeting) and having a mindset with moral intention (Harris 2004). These areas need to clearly demonstrate clear attributes including employing planning, assertiveness, objective oriented, self-belief and visualization (these aspects were not acknowledged in earlier research).
The other objectives that should also be demonstrated include having good working relations with staff members who take part in leadership and being receptive to parents requirements while interacting with them (Harris 2004). Even though the importance of management and leadership is extensively identified and clearly researched across the educational level, studies on headship and management in early childhood are very limited.
Additionally, headship and management in early childhood is informed narrowly by theories concerning qualities and frameworks as well as keeping a wide scope of research studies. There is no clear description of an early childhood manager even though management and leadership have been likened. Nonetheless, there is dire need for a clear description as the accountability of early leaders grows (Muijis & Harris 2006).
Early years experts also consider themselves as people and teachers entrusted with child development and have therefore taken a constricted view of their roles as practitioners without wholly recognizing that their duties have grown to encompass management and financial accountabilities.
People can also classify headship and management in early childhood into five categories through the interpretation of meaning of actions. The categories include caring, management, personal, realistic and edifying. There is also need to ensure a high caliber of leaders that can develop and retain in early childhood education. The Bronfenbrenner’s environmental network theory generates a notion that child development occurs through clear interrelations in their environment characterized by varying experiences and situations as well as people around them.
Research has also clearly demonstrated that many early childhood managers in the UK find their duties concentrating more on retention as opposed to development because of more emphasis on management compared to leadership. Muijis et al. (2004) states that in the UK, nursery school teachers take on leadership as a very critical component to their roles and admit that they have never held any management ranks. The lead practitioner’s perception as an individual who encourages culture and collective early year’s values is also expressed progressively in the United Kingdom.
Strengths and Weaknesses of the management and organization of early year’s settings
Everyday tasks of managers include organizing, coordinating, planning and controlling while that of leaders includes offering motivation, building collaboration, gaining recognition and giving direction. Management and leadership also have different concepts and the most significant part of early childhood background is harmonization of interest groups including family, school and the society (Woods 2004). The organization and management of early childhood education background also occurs through the cooperation of abilities of different stakeholders (parents, teachers and the community) who jointly work for successful endeavors.
Different stakeholders in early childhood setting are also required to enhance and monitor headship. Nupponen (2006) affirms that practitioners often view themselves to play great roles in ensuring strength and consistency in local communities and in adopting mutual management advances. As such there is more emphasis on teamwork with parents to ensure successful headship in early childhood settings.
Management and leadership studies in the UK nevertheless revealed downplaying of work value, a perception that the results of EPPE projects can disprove.
Effective methods of leadership and management
Successful management and leadership require an appropriate early childhood setting model with four components including actions, concepts, environment and learning in the material implication of early contexts (Spillane, Halverso & Diamond 2004). There are also assertions that there are different key players in early childhood backgrounds who share the relevance of the components and the better authenticity of management will perform.
However, the significance of early childhood management has failed to achieve the perceived status in masculine leadership constructs characterized with competitiveness, strength, autonomy and violence and in commercial managerial positions. Effective management and leadership methods however fit in a theory systems as well as incorporated services that conceive work across different fields and agencies (Pen Green 2005).
Multi agencies that operate in early childhood setting do so through coordination and need to have a capacity to efficiently handle any emerging conflict. The effectiveness of early childhood education management and programs including Sure Start (SS) entail successful multi-organization operation and headship. The settings of early childhood are also not complicated by their scope and diversity but community management factor.
Issues and Assumptions about Management of Change
It can be assumed that quality cannot be necessarily retained unless in an out of home setting managed by professionals with official documents or with management preparation. A critical variable that guarantees a culture, political dedication and quality is also necessary in early childhood because many contexts were managed by practitioners who lacked an opportunity to participate in headship training.
Moreover, the creation of improvement opportunities in excellence of early childhood backgrounds obligates leaders and managers who are newly prepared to guide by example in creating change (Rodd 2005). As Smith (2005) showcased in a case study of how management in early years backgrounds in relevance to job performance, EPPE reported a close connection between high confidence, empowerment feelings and influence of these factors on management tasks.
With regards to job performance, participants also stated enhance management proficiencies and were very thoughtful of their roles in management and also had useful resources to assist them. In regards to career choices, 86 percent of respondents stated working in early childhood background and appeared to support focus created by the management in addition to transformation potential (Smith 2005).
Subjective and practical evidence from participants offer a compelling affirmation that early childhood management can change early year’s career by replacing teachers in current settings (Sadek & Sadek 2004). The outcome of the study also highlights the need for an extensive, systematic and applicable training that is anchored in special requirements of its directors in early background settings.
This was a similar case to a research study carried out by researchers on the topic where it was established that the higher the ability of directors, the higher the quality of interaction course and the better the formation of program as well as connections involving parents, staff and managers.
When stating the way in which staff is influenced by the managers using their attitudes, Hard (2005) affirms that the standards can be employed by working hand in hand with parents and encouraging colleagues. Headship and management in early childhood setting could also shift to self-motivation in co-workers from control customs because it helps to enhance a positive view when it comes to learning.
The managers in schools that are performing poorly bear inharmonious and inflexible approach compared to managers in schools that are performing excellently and those who are liable to bear a flexible and harmonious approach. Motivation, response, commitment and formation create a foundation of change (Shin et al. 2004). For future manager to continue with their business, theoretical comprehension and proper training of leadership perceptions is vital.
The EPPE have the strongest relation to excellence of service provided in early year background and qualifications of the manager. Additionally, labor force variations create a very unique management and leadership complex field because there is lack of proper leadership preparation in the early years of managers. Traditionally, headship and management in early childhood setting background focused on proficiencies and personal attributes of managers.
Nonetheless, headship and management in early setting is not a currently secluded action endowed on an individual but a collaboration of individuals and responsibilities delegated. Triumphant techniques of management and leadership also need a suitable early year model context with four components including actions, learning in the material effect of early childhood, concepts and the environment.
In summary, motivation, commitment, response and formation shape up the basis for change and for future managers to continue with business, theoretical comprehension of leadership perception and leadership is imperative.
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