Like many of you, I woke up today and could hardly believe it was the last day of January already. It seems unfeasible that Christmas is now a distant memory and we are at the end of the first month of 2012.
There may be a lot of talk of the Olympics this summer and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, but here at the Old Station Nursery it has been head down and a very busy start to the New Year – not that we won’t be looking forward to the momentous events of the summer in due course, but right now we seem to be pretty busy planning and recruiting new members to our team.
Whenever it is time for staff to leave, I feel sad, especially when some of them have either been with us a long time, or if they are really key to our work. However, every cloud really does have a silver lining and it is exciting to make changes and seek out new team members with new skills and a fresh outlook. The upside of this econonomic recession is the availability of high quality staff at the moment; having recently advertised a part-time administrative post, I had over 20 applicants, most of whom were more than qualified for the job.
This week we welcome a new Operations Manager to our team, so I will be spending the next few weeks taking her round all our sites and introducing her to all the staff. It will be a busy time but a great excuse to get out and about and really focus in on every nursery and club and discuss their issues and celebrate their successes.
As a sector we are well used to change, so I know that all our staff will take the changes in senior personalities well. We still have the revised Early Years Foundation Stage to look forward to, which is not due to be publised until the end of March, so we will have a busy few months over the summer making sure everyone is up to speed on that. The code of practice for the Early Years Funding is also being revised and Professor Cathy Nutbrown is carrying out a review of workforce qualifications right now, so it seems likely that yet more change will come our way.
However, there seems to be an air of acceptance and readiness for new challenges across our nurseries as we come to the end of January and this is a great time to look ahead at what else we hope to achieve this year. If you are part of our team or one of the parents whom we value so much, do let us know what you think we should be focussing on and help us to steer the ship in the right direction.
That leaves me to wish you all a Happy Year of the Dragon!