New sign goes up
The new sign goes up.

As one of the owners of the nursery, I (Sharon) review the nursery Action Plan every month with Jo (the manager.) We’ve just completed this exercise for another month, and it occurred to us what an amazing journey we’ve all travelled over the last six months.

We vividly remember sitting down at the end of our very first day last October, completely daunted by the task in front of us. Where on earth would we begin?

Our minds lurched from ideas of refurbishing and evaluating resources, to talking to staff, recruiting for senior positions, risk assessing, training, advertising, introducing ourselves to parents and ordering uniform.

As we wrote list after list, we quickly realised that this was just the tip of the iceberg. When would we find time to organise a Parents’ Evening or set up Facebook? How would we mentor staff? And most importantly of all, when were we going to meet the children? Would our own families ever see us again?

And so the Action Plan was born.

Building the play bridge
Building the play bridge

We divided up the year into months, and each month into areas of Action such as ‘Maintenance,’ ‘Computers’ and ‘Staff.’ The urgent stuff went onto October’s list and we forced ourselves to spread the other tasks over the remaining months.

Scott fixing curtain
Scott putting up curtain poles in the sleep room.

By and large, the system has worked and it’s certainly preserved our sanity. And now, looking back at the tasks for the last five months, it has given us both a huge sense of achievement.

As manager, Jo has undertaken the lion’s share of the work and she has been wonderfully supported by the staff in helping to raise standards. And Scott, my partner and co-owner, has worked round the clock on the refurbishment and the IT systems.

There is more to do and I know that our Action Plan will never actually be completed. But it’s been so effective that I’m seriously thinking our home life could do with one!

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