Inspiring leaders are important in any area of life. From politics to families, we look to leaders to show us the best way forward. Chances are many of us are leaders in one area or another. In early childhood education, great leaders are vital. They make a huge difference to how a centre is run, how parents and families feel. They also make a huge difference to children’s outcomes and development.
If you’re a leader in early childhood education, you might sometimes wonder if you are approaching it the right way. There’s not really a right or wrong way to be a leader, as there are many approaches to leadership. However, there are key qualities that contribute to effective and inspiring leadership in early childhood.
Becoming a great leader or gaining great leadership within your centre has a direct impact on how your team can thrive. Assessing the leadership in your centre regularly is a must. Let’s look at the top four areas you can focus on to be the best leader you can be:
1.Create a happy work environment: Being happy and feeling positive in the workplace is a must. As a leader, you can create this environment. Make the work environment inviting and comfortable, both physically and mentally. This means things like ensuring there is somewhere nice to enjoy lunch or a break and encouraging conversation and fun among the staff.
2.Delegate and empower: Being a leader is not always about doing things yourself, but knowing when to delegate, what to delegate and who the best person to delegate to might be. If someone is doing a great job in a certain area, empower and encourage them by playing to their strengths and offering them more opportunities there.
3.Be clear with your vision and goals: Being clear about what expectations are, what the ultimate goals are and who is responsible for what are crucial features of an effective leader. When everyone knows what they need to do, it makes it far easier for things to actually get done (and done well).
4.Make yourself available: Communicating with teams is so important to make people feel seen, valued and respected. Create a means for your team members to get in touch with you, whether it’s email or a chat. Prioritise your team and they will make sure they are doing their best work within the team.
Whether you’re looking to become a leader or you are one already, being mindful about your actions and behaviour and how they impact those around you is important.
If you would like to grow your leadership skills and improve the way your centre is run, join us for our Next Webinar in August HERE.
At the end of the day, in early childhood education we are role modelling for young children and showing them how truly great leadership works is a great lesson in life.