Implementing Change in Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Settings

Barnardos. (2023). Implementing Change in Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Settings.
Change is inevitable in the operation of any early learning and care (ELC) or school age childcare (SAC) setting. Change may be necessary due to requirements imposed from outside a setting, such as regulatory or legislative requirements, or due to decisions made within the setting. It may be necessary to improve or enhance the quality of service provision or it may be due to financial or other reasons such as a move to a new premises. The types of change are many and varied. Some change processes will have minimal impact on those who work in the setting and on the children and families who use its services, while others may have a more significant impact. Whichever the case, for the change to be introduced positively and successfully, it is important to focus on how to bring it about in a way that is not overly disruptive and that achieves the desired goals efficiently and effectively. It is essential also that everyone involved has a clear understanding of both the rationale for the change and what it is hoped it will achieve. What is most important is that the process is well managed, with the needs and rights of children kept at the centre of any change being made. This resource aims to support anyone taking an active role in the implementation of change in an ELC or SAC setting at any stage of the process. It will also be useful for anyone whose role is to support those who are implementing change, such as development workers or mentors, and for students of management and leadership in children’s services. This resource outlines how to plan for and drive change effectively, how to consult and communicate positively with key stakeholders, how to ensure the change is implemented as planned, and how to review and evaluate the process to ensure the change is meeting the needs of all concerned and is sustained.