3rd Edition

Essential Skills for Managers of Child-Centred Settings

By Shelly Newstead, Emma Isles-Buck Copyright 2019
    114 Pages
    by Routledge

    114 Pages
    by Routledge

    Managers in child-centred settings need to be able to draw on a wide range of personal and professional skills to ensure that they are providing the best possible service. Now in its third edition, Essential Skills for Managers of Child-Centred Settings looks at how you can develop the key leadership skills needed to manage people to achieve excellent settings for children.

    The authors outline ten ‘essential skills’ for leading and supporting those around you in your child-centred settings and offer sound advice so you can build your personal and professional skills and become a confident and assertive manager. With a balance of both accessible theory and practical application from a wide range of settings, this book explains management theory and will help you to develop the skills to:

    ● become a confident leader

    ● set clear aims and objectives for your setting

    ● manage your time effectively

    ● make decisions and implement change

    ● build and develop a team

    ● reflect on and develop practice

    ● deal with difficult situations and people.

    This book also contains case studies and ‘real-life’ scenarios from managers undertaking training with the authors which will ensure you provide an excellent service in your setting. No manager or leader should be without this user-friendly guide!


    1. Confidence

    2: Vision

    3: Reflective practice

    4: Decision-making

    5: Giving feedback

    6. Change management

    7. Inclusive practice

    8. Time management

    9. Building a team

    10. Evaluation processes

    Further reading


    Dr Shelly Newstead has worked in the playwork field for thirty years as a practitioner, trainer, author, editor and researcher. She has managed a wide range of child-centred settings and developed and delivered a series of management skills training courses specifically for this field through Common Threads (www.commonthreads.org.uk).

    Emma Isles-Buck at one time worked as a trainer and manager in childcare and playwork. In addition, she was an assessor and external verifier for playwork NVQs, helping to develop playwork qualifications for CACHE and developing management courses and workshops for many different client groups in the UK and in Europe.

    Sue Gascoigne, Early Years Consultant

    This is a very accessible readable book written in a very down to earth approachable style. I’m not sure that it would be sufficiently challenging for some managers, but for newly promoted managers it is a good potted introduction. It has a practical accessible feel but could, I feel be strengthened by some well-chosen practical reflection activities and greater analysis of and reflection upon the case studies.

    Heather Lowe, Children’s Centre Manager

    My overall assessment of the current edition of Essential Skills for Managers of Child Centred Settings is that it is a sound basic book for newly appointed managers. It is clear, easy to read with a good balance of theory and practice. The structure, format and design of the book could not be improved. Each chapter follows a clear and consistent pattern. I very much like the way that Essential Skills are explained first of all, and then there is a Why ... paragraph to set the rationale. Developing your own skills is excellent for personalising the experience and finally the bullets points of Putting it into Practice provide a good summary. The Case Studies and First Person boxes are a way of bringing the theory to life.


    Laura Smyth, Playwork Manager

    A clear, informative and useful guide to being a Manager in the ever-changing world of Childcare. It’s packed with ideas, advice and methods for examining your practice and helping you to make steps to meaningful change in your development as a Manager.


    Lesley Newman, Children’s Centre Manager

    My overall impression of the current edition of this book is that it is well organised and easy to follow. It covers key areas of the responsibilities every manager has and the case studies support the information by providing examples for the reader to consider. I would imagine that the book is most suitable for those taking on a management role for the first time in a child- centered setting as the information is more practical than theoretical. I do think that this new edition should be published.