As you and your team return from a well-earned holiday, everyone’s thoughts will be on the challenges ahead in 2021.
While they’re (hopefully!) unlikely to match those of last year, we all face ongoing issues, and Centre Managers will undoubtedly face new hurdles as the brave new world of work continues to evolve.
Strong ties with parents Have
you taken the lessons we learned around remote and flexible working?
The COVID-19 lockdowns brought home the critical importance of
maintaining quality contact and supporting our parents while we're all
at home. No-one can rule out the possibility of another lockdown this
year, and we all need to have a communication strategy for parents in
place, so we can support them through a challenging situation, keep
learning going and maintain relationships with children and be confident
about welcoming them back to the centre when it re-opens.
people are our most important asset, and many staff were unnerved by
the growing impact of COVID-19, and uncertainty about personal safety
and their employment.
communication strategy should be regular, clear and up front about
these issues when communicating with your team, even when the messages
from government lack that clarity.
Remote working Having
been through 2020, we now know the possibilities of working from home -
what can be done very effectively and where the gaps are.What will a
remote working plan look like for your centre in the event of another
lockdown? Developing and agreeing that plan now is critical to give
staff and parents certainty, it's easier to do this pre-work
face-to-face than over Zoom!
The short-term methods you put in place in crisis last year will have to be remodelled into long-term initiatives that work for any future lockdowns.
Teams will also have to deal with the practical issues of rostering and enabling workers to remain COVID-19 safe while in the Centre, if you’re required to open for essential workers’ children.
Prioritising mental healthThe
other trend we hope will continue is the push towards better mental
health support for employees through the Ministry of Education. After
the Christchurch earthquakes, Mosque attack and COVID-19 lockdowns,
we've seen lots of activity around mental health first aid and a growing
awareness of what that looks like, including funded access to
the question of how do we create psychological safety as a concept so
that people feel really safe coming to work, from COVID-19, mental
health or inclusion perspectives? This is likely to be a major challenge
for the our sector and the parents and children we serve as this COVID
Coping together It’s natural to feel a bit beaten up after last year! And while there are plenty of challenges ahead, we should try and build on the lessons of 2020 and feel free to flush the dunny on what didn’t work.