INDEPENDENT INDUSTRY ARTICLE

The Transition Plan

Guardian Childcare Alliance

Are you commencing a Director role or becoming a Licensee?

New centre Licensees and new centre Directors often underestimate the importance of a well prepared Transition Plan when taking on a new centre. What is a Transition Plan and why is it important in a child care service? I’ve attempted to capture a few of the important points that a new centre Director/Co-ordinator and new Licensee should consider when documenting a Transition Plan.

Change

If ever there was a word to strike fear into an early childhood worker this is it! We all have good intentions and

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Ironically will doesn”t.

most people will say “we embrace change” and are open to participating in the change process; however reality can be a quite different situation. When a centre has a change of ownership or management it can cause tremendous upset if it’s executed without a detailed plan. Your detailed plan needs to be broken down into manageable segments that address staff, parents, quality, compliance/policies/processes and administration.

Establishing credibility

Okay, you’ve got your detailed Transition Plan and you’re approaching your commencement date (in the case of a new centre Director) or settlement

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date (if you’re purchasing a centre). It should go without saying that there is a time for Check out our Health affordablehealth.info Marketplace Guide. listening (keeping your

eyes and ears open, writing your observations down and keeping your opinions to yourself!) and a time for action. Restraint and diplomacy are two words that spring to mind.

The service has been operating at some degree (good or bad) before your arrival and you will not “personalise” it in one day so it’s important that you take enough time to firstly modify and then execute your Transition Plan. You are the new face in the centre and it’s you who must establish your credibility with the existing team. The existing team will not see it as their role to take the first steps to demonstrate their commitment to you and listen to the refreshing ideas you wish to introduce.

Policies and processes

I’ve decided to specifically mention this point because this may be an exception to what I’ve just stated in the previous points.

From the time you set foot in the door you become responsible for the staff and children. It is your responsibility to ensure the centre is meeting compliance –as a minimum! Child safety and well being are paramount! It is your responsibility to ensure you provide a safe work place for staff. Address these areas very early in your Transition Pan as it may save you a lot of avoidable pain in the future and in the long run it will greatly assist in establishing your credibility with the team and families using the service.

Families

You should have already communicated with families using the service well before your first day. If not then you should have requested to take the opportunity to write to families to tell them a little about yourself and how you are looking forward to working with the existing team. If there are agreed or necessary changes that must take place then you should also advise families of the changes. If you haven’t factored communication with parents into your Transition Plan then you are leaving out a huge part of the transition.

If you didn’t communicate with families prior to your first day then you need to do it as soon as you possibly can after.

The transition phase is

a make or break period. If there is a breakdown during this period then the road to being a stable, happy and well respected centre within the community can be very rough and very long. Careful planning and thoughtful execution before you commence can save you an untold amount of heartache.

Guardian Childcare Alliance would be delighted to take your call if you would like some assistance with your Transition Plan (1300 025 007).

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