Case Study: Sophie's World
Connecting staff and parents at Sophie’s World
As a small childcare business, Sophie’s World prides itself on being family-orientated and encourages a good rapport between teachers and parents. But the early childhood education centre needed help to address staffing language and literacy problems.
The West Auckland centre’s Manager Anjum Syeda turned to Aspire2 Business for help, and she couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
“As a family-orientated centre we operate an open-door policy for our parents, so they can pop in to see their young children when they have some free time,” Anjum says.
“We like to involve our parents, get their feedback and really make sure they feel part of the centre, so it's very important that we have open and clear communication between our staff and parents.”
A language barrier between parents and the centre’s staff, who came from a range of ethnic groups, started to become a problem. The same issue would occasionally cause issues between staff members too.
Anjum says that the centre had to address these barriers, and says Aspire2 Business helped with literacy and numeracy, which meant everyone could be on the same page – so important when talking and working with young children.
“Sometimes the accents of staff could make it difficult to understand what they were trying to communicate too. Aspire2 Business made all our team feel comfortable and confident with each other, as well as with the parents.”
After assessing all the teachers and getting to know them and their teaching levels, Aspire2 Business focused on helping staff deal with various situations through role-play – something that the staff loved.
“No one wanted to miss out on any lessons, they really enjoyed spending two hours each week learning new skills,” Anjum explains.
“Often staff will get bored if they’re just being lectured to, but learning through role play made the professional development refreshing. Aspire2 Business made learning fun!”
As Anjum points out literacy and numeracy is used everywhere in the centre, as it is in life - from playing and interacting with the children, to teaching cooking or colours to making sure the notice-boards were informative and easily understood by parents.
“Literacy and numeracy runs through our daily life. So it’s very important that we get it right, that there are no misunderstandings.”
By running regular tests, Aspire2 Business were able to track staff progress throughout the programme.
After initially observing sessions, Anjum quickly knew her staff were in good hands and stepped back from attending the training, instead getting regular updates from her team about their newfound skills.
Anjum says Aspire2 Business were always there if she needed them. She’d often be in contact with her account manager to identify where her staff needed extra support, so the training could be targeted.
“We’ve seen immediate results, especially in the staffs’ self-esteem. They’re setting goals and what’s been really pleasing is the way they now interact with the parents.”
Anjum says in the past some staff had struggled to communicate with parents and didn’t know out to correctly phrasing words for particular situations.
“When you’re looking after young children it’s really important that there is no miscommunication,” she says.
“You want parents to understand what you mean, but also to be able to understand how they may react when they hear what you have to say and be prepared for these reactions.”
Anjum credits Aspire2 Business training for helping to “bring staff back to life”.
“The training has given our team energy and inspired them. This is great for the centre, our staff and of course our children.”