The problem with admin…

August 27, 2021

In this episode we tackle the most frustrating aspect of working in childcare today:  excessive administration and the incredibly high expectations when it comes to documentation.

At the outset of this episode, Dr. Wendy outlines the many reasons why the burden of administration is leading to burnout in our industry:

“One of the leading causes of burnout is a lack of support and incredibly high expectations when it comes to documentation standards.  In countries such as Ireland and the UK a preschool can be visited by up to  500 different standards…” – Dr. Wendy Oke

Dr. Wendy outlines an incredible statistic that should send shockwaves through the industry and a clear message to the powers that be:

“Over 30% of novice teachers end up leaving the profession in the first year due to burnout.” – Dr. Wendy Oke

Click on the image below to hear this episode on Spotify:

Edel Hyland of Footsteps Preschool in County Galway, tells of the passion that inspired her to work in childcare in the first place and how she places ‘love of the children’ above all other requirements.

“I tell my team that the most important thing is to treat the children like they were the most important thing that was ever made.” – Edel Hyland, Footsteps Preschool

Edel explains that she welcomes frequent inspection as it shows the importance of standards in the industry, however, she does not like ‘unsupportive inspection’ – which may not take into account the many trials that can crop up from day to day:

“One little child with special needs, or one little child that is tired, or sick, can throw your entire day.”  Edel Hyland, Footsteps Preschool

David Wright, from Paint Pots Nursery in Southampton, is in the industry now for over 18 years, working side by side with his wife.  They have 10 settings in Southampton and are overjoyed that they can make such a positive impression on the city:

“Making a difference in life is what inspires us.  Southampton is very diverse – there are affluent areas and poorer areas, so it means such a lot to us to be able to help these areas and these people.” – David Wright, Paint Pots, Southampton

Helen Vaughan discovered the joy of working in preschools after doing a community employment scheme that placed her in a preschool setting. She immediately started ‘from the bottom’ and then worked her way up to management and got a degree.  She now runs her own preschool (Sweet Pea Preschool) in Westport, Co. Mayo.

“I’d like to get on the floor and play with the children, but there are so many regulations in Ireland and there’s a huge amount of work with policies and procedures.”  – Helen Vaughan, Sweet Pea Preschool

Loretta McDonagh, is based in Lucan, Co. Dublin, and started a preschool from her house back in the 1990s after people had ‘knocked on my door to ask if you could take my child’.

From those humble beginnings she went on to open a preschool that now caters for many children around the area.  Loretta explained that she would prefer if the ‘powers that be’ would look at a setting in much more individual way – as every preschool has it’s own strengths.

“I welcome the regulations and guidelines – what I have a problem with is the wording around our industry – we need to be recognised for our professionalism.”  Loretta McDonagh, Sweet Pea Preschool

Listen to “The problem of EXCESSIVE ADMIN…” on Spreaker.

Wendy Oke.