Being a manager in an English nursery

Preston, Diane (2013). Being a manager in an English nursery. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 21(3) pp. 326–338.



This article draws on interviews with 29 managers and deputy managers within 15 nurseries in the private sector in England. The author argues that, whilst there is a growing literature on management and professionalism within the Early Years (EY) sector, there is less known about the actual experiences of being a manager in this context. Many of the individuals who are promoted into a management role did not, until recently, have the training to support them. Whilst individuals are being encouraged to participate in the managerial roles now demanded by the professionalisation agenda, it could be argued that the traditional EY workforce are primarily motivated by a strong desire to work with children. Even if their own employer provides in-house management training or the opportunity to participate in national schemes such as EYPS, these young women, like many professionals becoming managers, move away from what they like doing best – working with the client/children. The research outlined in this paper explores these issues by relaying individuals’ stories of what it is like to be a manager in the EY context.

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