Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Over the last few days the early years sector has once again been thrown into turmoil as changes to Government funding rules have been announced. Early years leaders across the country have spent their weekend worrying about their businesses, their staff, their children. Many EY consultants have spent hours attempting to make sense of the legislation, which contradicts itself and remains utterly ambiguous, only to tie themselves up in further knots of frustration.
While leaders are working themselves into the ground trying to keep their settings open for critical workers, or attempting to work out how best to support employees at home, or both, the sector is once again seemingly punished for doing it’s best in a crisis.
But this post isn’t about the frustration, the anger and the utter contempt many of us feel right now – you can find lots of such posts all over the internet if you choose to look. This post is about you as leaders, as people, parents, friends, confidants, and carers. We talk so much about looking after our teams, the children and their families, but this is about you.
The going is tough right now. You may be experiencing all sorts of emotions, worrying about the affect all of this will have on your business, your finances, your health. Please know this.
You Are Not Alone.
Having worked in this sector for over 20 years, I have experienced many challenges, but nothing quite as scary as this. Nothing that makes you feel like you’re free-falling quite like this. But we are in this together. One thing that makes working in this sector so great is the inclusive, caring, loving, supportive nature of who we are. We are bold. We are strong. We are absolutely in this because we care about the children we serve every day, and no amount of scaremongering on social media or funding cuts will take that away.
Now is the time to take all of those skills, values and emotions and push forward to ensure our amazing sector and our brilliant settings survive this storm.
Tomorrow the online portal opens, allowing leaders to work out what they can claim and make their furlough claims for their staff. But please remember. You don’t have to do it tomorrow. The line will be open for the coming weeks, don’t give yourself the stress of getting it all done tomorrow. We know that a leaders behaviour has a trickle-down effect, just like a child learning from their parents behaviour, your staff team learn from you. What do you want to teach them? Do you want them to learn that if you are kind to yourself, set boundaries for yourself, respect yourself and lead with calmness, integrity and focus you will make progress? Or do you want to demonstrate that frustration, irritation, long hours, and reduced productivity is the way forward? Direct the focus away from fear to the task of turning around the business, caring for the children and doing what you do best.
If however, you feel like you need to do something today to prepare for tomorrow, I would absolutely suggest you do things which result in you feeling more in control, confident and ready to tackle the week ahead.
Give our continuity planning toolkit a read, or perhaps identify what support you can gather by using our crisis tool. Maybe listen to a leadership podcast (I can recommend this one by Brene Brown) or call another leader to talk through some solutions – not to whinge and moan!
However you spend the rest of today, do not let it cause you stress or anxiety about tomorrow. Tomorrow will work itself out, it always does.
And remember… you got this and we got you.
If you would like to discuss how we can support you further in your leadership journey, please do reach out.