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Focus – A leading question
  • Justine Cope, who has both a theoretical and practical insight into the workings of a day nursery, considers the management and leadership roles in a smaller nursery business





Management – What makes a good nursery manager?
  • Sarah West takes a closer look at the Just Childcare winnerNMT asked Julie Rees, Nursery Manager of the Year in the NMT Nursery Awards 2017, what makes a good manager. Julie passes on what she has learnt




Training – Everyone’s a winner
  • Jennie Johnson, who was awarded an MBE for Services to Apprentices, outlines her award-winning approach to training apprentices



More than just managing

Sue Churchill, Editor

Sue Churchill, Editor

What makes a good manager? There’s a question that regularly comes to mind, particularly in these difficult times. But it is a question that begs to be answered whatever the economic climate. So, who better to ask than Julie Rees, Manager of the Year in the NMT Nursery Awards 2017 (don’t delay getting in your entries for this year’s awards)? Read what she has to say in our management column. We also had a word with Justine Cope, who, as both nursery director and early years academic, clearly has a lot on her plate. But she has a soft spot for NMT, and took time to discuss the parallel roles of manager and leader for us. If you’re running a small nursery business, then turn straight to the Focus column. Management, of course, includes financial management, and we asked our finance columnist, Shaz Nawaz, to give his perspective on this role. He came up trumps with his assertion that managing your business and financial planning have to be firmly grounded in what your business means to you. Only then, he says, can you plan ahead. Of course, we know that childcare means a lot to our readers. And your ‘passion’ (the most popular word in early years) spills over in the summertime when, outdoor play means pots of veggies and mini allotments. But it’s so hot now. Can anything grow in August apart from courgettes? Well, turn to Francis Smith’s Great Outdoors column for inspiration: he says it’s never too late for the children to sow crops they will enjoy picking and eating, and passes on his tips for success. Stuck for ideas on how to use your harvest and tempt the children to eat healthily? Sarah West, as always, comes up with some delicious ideas. Back to the more difficult aspects of business. Special Report looks at a major issue for nurseries: late payments and handling poor service. We all know how expensive it is to go to law, but Amanda Hamilton, a paralegal, guides you through the process of taking debtors through the small claims court. Finally, on an even more serious note, sector-wide, we are alert to the consequences of a poor diet. But have you ever considered those who fall victim to alcohol? Never has it been easier or cheaper to drink. Read what Dr Bunmi Aboaba, the founder of Sober Advantage, which helps professionals overcome drinking problems, tells us are the telltale signs are of the high-functioning alcoholic. No one says it’s easy working in early years, and, sadly, that can be one of the consequences of stress. But the sector is known for its compassion and welcoming culture. Nothing will stop you from enjoying the summer that is in front of you. Just slap on that sunscreen.

Sue Churchill
Editor, Nursery Management Today