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Effective leadership is crucial for running a quality Early Years setting.

Often the role of leader and manager are consider one and the same, but the two are very different.

Management is more based around office duties, creating policies and procedures and putting in place best practice.

Leadership entails other responsibilities - focusing on driving direction and exercising influence, having a problem-solving approach to difficulties, being committed to partnership working and having excellent interpersonal skills.

While leadership in the Early Years is varied, with individuals taking their own approach, there are key qualities that are essential.

These include being able to:

  • Lead by example to Inspire and motivate a team and share a vision
  • Influence best practice through sharing experience and knowledge
  • Bridge the gap between management and practitioners
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of practitioners
  • Steer the team to be as functional and effective as possible
  • Communicate effectively with practitioners, management and parents

Don't forget Ofsted rates leadership as well as management skills during an inspection, so ensuring those in leadership roles are the very best is vital.

In the current economic climate, nursery owners and managers are sometimes reluctant to pay for courses to enhance their staff's leadership skills.

However, our CPD short course First Time Leadership costs just £25 - a small price to pay to ensure a staff member taking on a leadership role is equipped with the necessary skills.

Becoming a leader for the first time means a number of changes, and this course offers advice and guidance on how attitudes and behaviours may need to be altered in order to be an effective, efficient leader.

It introduces the problems of leading a group you were previously part of, the need to learn negotiation and time management skills, and how to deal with stress.

As a first time leader it is also important to reflect on relationships and how they will alter as well as how personal values and beliefs will appear to others.

Specifically, learners will explore the difference between leading and managing.

They will consider the ways in which they can adapt from being a friend to a line manager.

They will gain an understanding of the art of negotiation and look at their values and beliefs and how this affects their actions.

Finally they will explore their ability to manage time effectively.

Learners do not need to be working in a managerial role to complete this course but should be working as a member of a childcare setting team.

The four key learning outcomes on completion of the short course are:

  • Understanding the differences between leading and managing
  • Gaining the skills to negotiate with the team to achieve a win-win situation
  • Learning key skills associated with time management and having an opportunity to reflect on performance in this area
  • Understanding how a good leader can keep a sense of balance and evaluate the reasons for challenging circumstance

Additional activities encourage the learner to reflect on the learning. There is also suggested extra reading that gives both practical information and links to websites to expand their knowledge.