Higher enrollment allows you to have the resources to provide a higher quality early care and education service. Read what guest author, Laura Henry, has to say about maintaining and enhancing the quality that impacts the outcome for children and supports families.
You want quality, well, quality costs!
‘Quality is the best business plan’ John Lassiter
I recently had the pleasure of having afternoon tea with a colleague at the five star Berkeley Hotel, in London. (Sister hotel to Claridges which was recently featured in a documentary on BBC1.) I am in awe at the high end service that one receives in these types of establishments. The attention to detail is second to none. After visiting the bathroom, I was welcomed back! I thought to myself ‘Gee whiz, I have only been to the bathroom!’
My visit to the Berkeley got me thinking about how they strive for this type of service and how it keeps them well ahead of their game. So, within our early years sector how we can make every effort to provide a high end service that does not need to have a financial impact on the business?
Equally, what we could do within the early years sector to maintain and enhance quality that has a positive impact on children’s outcomes and supports their families?
As a teenager of the early 80s, I remember one of the opening lines to the hit TV show ‘Fame’ was Debbie Allen’s character dance teacher, Lydia Grant’s one liner ‘You want fame? Well, fame costs!’ which Debbie stated to each new intake of students. For those of you too young or old, or indeed never watched the show, here is a clip:
The writers of this famous statement, ‘Fame costs!’ Too right it does!’ were not, I believe, referring to a financial cost but rather what it would cost the students in terms of their time, commitment, dedication and passion.
Within our early years sector, although financial costs plays a huge part in maintaining and enhancing quality, there are other elements that are key as well. In order to achieve quality as well as monitoring financial costs there are a few simple steps to think about.
- Staff having clarity around your values, ethos, vision and mission
- High adult to child ratio
- Leaders mirroring the principles in action
- Setting the scene for the holistic culture
- Leaders knowing what they want in terms of high end quality
- Having a ‘we are not settling for second best approach’
- Getting it right at recruitment
- Robust induction process
- Setting high standards
- Providing continuous professional and personal development
- Support staff to aim high
I could go on with this list but, as a reminder, to provide a high end service it does not need to be a financial cost but rather your own personal ‘cost’.
As a leader, what are you and your staff giving to the setting in terms of time, commitment, dedication and passion?
Laura Henry, is an early years consultant, she has worked within the sector for over 26 years. Laura is passionate about quality and shares her expertise with a range of providers across the world.
Her other and most important role is mother to two amazing teenaged boys.
“The Speaker Whose Message Means Business”
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