?Leading your Early Childhood Program, written by Mary Wardlow, is an excellent resource for any early childhood professional in a leadership position.
In this book, the author describes ways from setting goals for the school to training and motivating the staff team to building the program and marketing techniques.
I like the advice she gives in the chapter on setting goals. She says to?think big.?Set out to achieve big goals, big accomplishments, big achievements. We must believe we can do it. When we believe in ourselves and believe we can do it, then we will work towards those goals, big goals.?The key to accomplishing big things is to break them down into steps that you can work on every day until they are achieved.?
I like to use the phrase: Slow and steady wins the race. One step at a time to reach our achievements, always looking forward with the next step in focus.
I like the next chapter where the author talks about not managing the team but motivating the team. Teachers in the classroom give praise to young students when they see actions and behaviors they expect and want repeated. Early childhood leaders must give similar praise to their staff teams as well. Let them know they are noticed.?
The author says:?When you believe in people, it can change their lives. The key is to believe in them before they are successful in their task.?Leaders must give their staff team the power and freedom to work and succeed and make decisions. Encourage them to think on their own.
I love how the author references Jim Collins’ book Good to Great. In this book, he talks about?getting the right people on the bus, the wrong off the bus, and the right people in the right seats on the bus.?It is vitally important to have the entire staff on the team and on the same page to work toward the goals set by the school. With the right people on the team and doing the right position and responsibilities on the team, those big goals will work much easier.
In her final chapter of the book, the author gives tips for marketing the school. In the early childhood field, the best form of marketing is often word of mouth. In this age of technology, online marketing takes a big role. When families are searching for childcare programs, they may likely turn to the Internet. Early childhood professionals want their school or center to pop up high on the list.
This is a short book and an easy read. All early childhood leaders and professionals should get a copy of this book. Even if the information in this book seems simple and common sense, it is a great reminder and refresher. A must read.