Early Childhood Specialist

Bright Horizons
Watford, UK
Closing date
14 Oct 2020

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Bright Horizons are recruiting for an Early Childhood Specialist to provide dedicated support to a pool of nurseries covering region 20C!

The nurseries this position will support are BH Harpenden Central; Harpenden Luton Road; Beaufort Park; RAF Northolt; Hatch End; Haydon Hall Montessori; Kenton; Mount Vernon; The Park; Watford; Wembley; Golders Green; Hendon; Northwick Park; Leverstock Green; Potten End; Maidenhead; Windsor and Slough.

Please note - this is a field based position and travel will be required between all of the above nurseries.

Purpose of Role:

The Early Childhood Specialist is a key leadership role in Bright Horizons UK, with responsibility for the provision of hands-on pedagogical specialist support for nursery teams in a geographical area. This role comes with responsibility for conducting regular nursery visits, implementing a strategic approach, and contributing to the delivery of Early Childhood objectives through ensuring the provision of the highest quality care and education practices, which meet the needs of children and families.

The role works closely with the nursery managers, ECAD, Health & Safety, Safeguarding, HR and Operation teams, to develop best practice in teaching and learning and ensure high-quality nursery environments.

The Early Childhood Specialist (ECS) is directly responsible for effective monitoring of practice in nurseries and hands-on coaching and mentoring of EC practitioners in nursery rooms, to deliver service excellence for our current and prospective customers. This includes leading change internally across and within nursery settings; contributing to policy and practice across departments and teams to deliver pedagogical innovation and excellence and Keeping Everyone Safe.

In addition, this post-holder will work closely with the ECAD and nursery managers to implement a robust quality monitoring strategy, drive improvement across nursery teams, and secure regulatory compliance with better than National Average inspection outcomes in the UK. The new post-holder will be responsible for supporting the successful implementation and ongoing suitability of new ART Quality Assurance Framework, the new Bright Horizons Wellbeing Curriculum and the strategy for SEND and Emotional Wellbeing. The EC Specialist will support the design and delivery of Early Childhood training and development activities in the UK, and will collect evidence to inform data and monitoring systems, to ensure the delivery of a positive early childhood experience, securing Bright Horizons as the provider of choice for families and corporate clients.

Key Tasks and Responsibilities:

* Provide pedagogical and organisational leadership advice to nursery managers and teams - promote HEART culture, values, and behaviours, to drive quality improvement and pedagogical excellence across the Area, making a positive contribution to service excellence

* Support the successful implementation of EC strategy and action plans across all nursery settings in the Area, to ensure alignment with company strategic objectives and implement the vision for Bright Horizons UK pedagogy, through the successful implementation and ongoing development of the ART Pedagogical Excellence Framework, and Wellbeing Curriculum across settings in the Area

* Implement and provide evidence to inform the EC quality monitoring process to drive improvement and secure excellence in all aspects of EC pedagogy, training and nursery support and advice functions, contributing to the highest operational standards, first class nursery management, sustained regulatory compliance and innovative early childhood practice

* Deliver and manage agreed initiatives and Area proposals and projects for pedagogical innovations in collaboration with Area EC and Operations teams as appropriate, to secure cohesion and consistency

* Act as the 'advocate for children' within the Area, to ensure a 'Children First' approach to children's physical and emotional wellbeing, including Safeguarding, Child Protection and regulatory compliance, under the direction of the ECAD and liaising with nursery management teams, external agencies and professionals, as required

* Provide high quality advice, coaching and mentoring to nursery managers and their teams around EC pedagogy, safety and regulatory compliance, to drive a culture of ongoing improvement and secure high quality pedagogy across the are and work in collaboration with Operations and HR to contribute to succession planning for nursery managers

Responsible for:

* Providing excellent pedagogical and nursery management advice and support for nursery practitioners in the Area, with responsibility for working in collaboration with other ECSs, Operations, HR and Health and Safety colleagues and external partners in Local Authorities and regulatory bodies, to ensure cohesion and consistency across the UK early childhood provision

* Agree resource priorities in area nurseries up to £1000 and submit the procurement request to the budget holder

* Ensure high quality, evidence to inform statistical reporting of EC quality measures. Use agreed systems and tools to drive improvement and inform monitoring processes, demonstrating the impact and showing improvements in all aspects of EC pedagogy, leading to the highest quality provision and improved inspection ratings in the area

* Develop the required capability and efficiency of the Area nursery teams to enable the highest quality pedagogy, through innovative support and guidance to nursery managers and practitioners. Contribute to the development and delivery of suitable professional development activities and opportunities for nursery growth, to promote individual and team expertise in all aspects of EC development and learning, to secure a highly effective, motivated and innovative team.

* Support HR, Training and Operations teams in ensuring high quality recruitment of nursery managers and developing effective induction procedures for incoming talent in nurseries

* Provide relevant guidance and advice to colleagues in nurseries around EC regulation and inspection, where appropriate and in liaison with ECAD to secure positive environments and first class experiences for children, regulatory compliance and consistency

* Take responsibility for own personal and professional development, accessing 'high level' training and development activities that inform pedagogy based on national and international perspectives of 'best practice'

Essential Experience:

* Highly experienced Early Childhood specialist with proven, successful management experience within medium/large education providers and/or Local Authorities, with experience of delivering high quality early childhood provision, and securing 'good or better' regulatory inspection outcomes across multi-site businesses

* Demonstrable track record of driving quality improvement through the implementation of successful monitoring and impact measurements, in close partnership with operations and nursery management teams

* Confident decision-maker, with the proven ability to support change and inspire innovation; a secure understanding of the complex relationship between business/commerce and pedagogical excellence within a large nursery organisation, with the ability to follow guidelines and work with others to achieve success

* Experience of developing high performing nursery practitioners and leading nursery teams, with a successful track record of supporting effective regulatory compliance, quality improvement, innovation and pedagogical excellence.

* Significant experience (more than 10 years) within the Early Childhood arena, with secure understanding of relevant legislative frameworks, safeguarding and child-protection requirements, pedagogical and operational challenges and national and international perspectives on 'best practice'

* Ability to write clear, concise reports on pedagogy, to highlight salient points and drive improvement. Able to use IT to support all aspects of reporting and input of relevant quality monitoring data to drive quality and measure the impact of EC initiatives in nurseries

Experience Desirable:

* Previous experience of working as an Ofsted (or other regulatory body) inspector of EC or education settings or previous experience of working in Local Authority in an Early Childhood context, with experience of quality improvement, supporting early childhood pedagogy in settings and delivery of relevant training and development activities across a wide geographical area

* Previous experience of managing a nursery, with evidence of improving the quality and inspection outcomes over time, coaching and mentoring others to drive pedagogical excellence and compliance

* Experience of engagement with practitioner networks, to promote a shared community of practice that extends over a geographical Area and contributes effectively to quality improvement in early childhood settings

* Significant experience of teaching and designing training in Early Childhood related subjects for practitioners at all levels

* Expert knowledge and understanding of all regulatory requirements and inspection processes in the UK


Broad academic education

Relevant first degree in Early Childhood related subject (Desirable)

Post Graduate professional qualification - Qualified Teacher Status; Early Years Teacher Status or Early Years Professional Status (Desirable)

Evidence of continuous professional development and awareness of current pedagogical national initiatives

Leadership and Management accredited qualification (Desirable)

Adult/Further/Higher Education teaching certificate and/or experience - Early Childhood Studies or relevant subject

Full, clean driving licence

Personal attributes:

Excellent influencer, change-maker and effective communicator (oral and in writing)

Highly motivated and driven, achieving positive impact and meeting deadlines

Ability to build trust and develop cohesive teams - strong empathy, clear expectations and fair-minded

High energy and thrives in a fast-paced, dynamic environment - calm approach and 'can-do' attitude

Encourages colleagues to realise their potential and empowers high performers

Able to use data and numerical detail effectively to inform strategy, measure impact and drive quality

Ability to travel within the UK; flexibility to work at home or from a regional office as required, with overnight stays as necessary
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