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5 Top Tips for a New Nursery Manager

May 28, 2021
4 minute read

You may have been dreaming about this moment for a while, working hard to prove you are ready for this next step as nursery manager extraordinaire. You have attended training, you’ve read copious amounts on leadership and you have finally landed that dream role. You are now a nursery manager! EEEK!
There will no doubt be so much whirling around in your mind, where to start, what to do first, what if my team don’t like me, can I do this, yes, I got this! Sound familiar?
There is nothing quite like starting your new journey in early years leadership, so we have put together 5 top tips to get you started on your way!!

1. Chest out, chin up, have confidence

When you start your journey as a new nursery manager, its so easy to find imposter syndrome creeping in, especially after a particularly challenging day. But remember, you were offered this position because you have the skills and knowledge to do a great job. Have confidence in yourself. Practice using positive affirmations, remind yourself of your wonderful achievements and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Remember, our thoughts create our actions and our actions create our results, so if you want positive results, you need positive thoughts!

2. Don’t get caught up in a nitty gritty

When you are new to managing people, it is super tempting to micromanage your team. You may find yourself wanting to ensure every little detail of their role is perfect, but this is a slippery slope! Take a step back and remember that your role is strategic. Think about the bigger picture, what is your setting trying to achieve, what ifs the vision and identify how you can manage the more strategic element, allowing and guiding your team to do what they do best.

3. We all make mistakes!

Even the most experienced nursery manager will make mistakes, we are all human, so don’t beat yourself up when something goes wrong. What is important is that you own the mistake and make it right. No one has all of the right answers, so demonstrating to your team that we all drop the ball sometimes, but we own it, learn from it and put it right is a is a wonderful lesson to share.

4. Lead the people and manage the processes

When is comes to being a new nursery manager, it is key to understand the difference between leading and managing. If you remember to lead people and manage processes, you won’t go far wrong. Your leadership is something that will evolve as you gain more experience in certain situations, but always keep in mind that the more you involve your team, work alongside them and listen to their needs, the better leader you will become.

5. Look after you!

Nursery managers all over the world will no doubt nod in agreement when I say that we are terrible at looking after ourselves. We dedicate so much time into looking after our children, families and staff teams but often neglect our own needs. As a new nursery manager, start as you mean to go on and prioritise your own wellbeing as much as everyone else’s. Make sure you take time off, don’t take work home, keep weekends for family / rest / hobbies and remember that you are only human!
As a new nursery manager, there will be up and downs along the ways. Why not check out our other leadership blogs for more support and guidance. Heres one we think you will love.... Leading and Managing Your Nursery - 7 Effective Ways to Improve Your Early Years Leadership Skills (

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