Early Childhood Program Directors have to wear many hats on any given day. Whether they're filling in for one of the toddler classrooms or they're having to do maintenance to repair something that has broken in the center, early childhood directors face a wide array of challenges. If you don’t have a clear handle on these, your day could be full of frustration.
In The Early Childhood Director’s Guide to Solving Everyday Challenges, author Thomasa Bond, EdD, seeks to alleviate these frustrations by sharing positive resolutions to real-world scenarios that have occurred at actual child care centers. Learn more about her new book below and how directors can avoid mistakes, oversights, and incidents by learning through others’ mistakes.
Hello, my name is Thomasa Bond and I am the author of The Early Childhood Director's Guide to Solving Everyday Challenges. This book is really comprised of scenarios that have actually happened in early childhood centers that program directors have actually had to encounter. The goal of the book is to have a resource for program directors, where they can learn from others' mistakes. They can see how they were handled, they can see the things that they can put in place to remedy them, and they can also see that if by some chance, this issue happens to them, how they can handle it. What are the steps that they could take in the beginning to prevent it as well as how they can address it in the end if it actually happens to them?
I talk about all types of scenarios. I go through things that can happen outside on the playground, things that can happen to the building structurally, things that can happen with staff, and things that can happen in relation to discipline in the classroom. What are some of the things that we can look at that can resolve discipline issues? What are the things that we can look at that can resolve staff conflict issues or issues that parents may have with staff at the center?
One of the things that I address that's a big issue is conflict between the parents and conflict with the staff. How can we resolve these things in a positive way, where everyone comes out a winner? One of the main things you can do is provide everyone with policies and procedures. Your parents understand your policies and procedures, your staff understand your policies and procedures, and you are consistent with them. There isn't a situation where one parent comes in and they're able to do something that another parent is not able to do, or a staff person is able to do something that another staff person is not. Consistency is key.
We look at different scenarios and I walk you through if something happens, how do you resolve it? How do you make everyone feel like they're important and you're listening to the issues that they have? If a parent comes in with a concern about a staff person, you don't tell that parent, oh I've never had that issue with the staff before. No one has ever said that the staff had an issue. It does not matter whether someone else has had an issue with the staff. It matters that the parent is bringing that concern to you. You validate their concern, and then you do your research to figure out if the concern is legitimate or not. The one thing that the parent wants to hear is that their concerns are of value to you.
They don't want to hear that you're being dismissive as it relates to their concerns. Those are the things that I talk about in the book. I also talk about the many hats that the program director has to wear. Whether they're the cook for the day or they're filling in for one of the toddler classrooms for the day, or whether they're having to do maintenance or find someone to do the maintenance because you have a leaky sink or you have a toilet that isn't working. These are the things that you want to have a clear handle on because that will reduce your frustration and that will reduce the number of challenges that you have throughout the day as a program director.
After reading the book and going through the scenarios, you will know that you are not alone.
A lot of times program directors feel like they're alone. They're the only ones experiencing these types of issues. That is not the case. You want to be the one that has less issues, but let's face it, things are going to happen. Those are the things that I talk about in my book. There are so many scenarios that are in the book and I hope you find it to be resourceful for yourself as you're going through eliminating those challenges one by one.