Leadership in the early years is about using your knowledge, skills, personality and experience to positively influence practice. Every practitioner has the capacity to lead, and in doing so, improve opportunities for children and their families. Examining the various roles of early years practitioners, and the everyday challenges and opportunities they face, this book promotes leadership of early childhood practice by considering the following; • Who the leaders are, and what skills they require • The variety of ways a practitioner can lead within a setting • Key roles including the team leader and the key person • How to develop a culture of leadership • The importance of working with families and other professionals • Improving leading through reflective practice. Whether you are a room leader in an early childhood setting needing support in your leadership skills, a manager of an early childhood business, a leader of a nursery, a leader of practice or studying to become an early years practitioner this book is ideal for helping you improve your leadership skills.

Learning to Lead

Learning to Lead

Chapter Objectives

  • Discuss the meaning of leadership in the early childhood sector.
  • Consider leadership of early childhood practice and the knowledge, skills and confidence required.
  • Outline theories of leadership and their relevance to early childhood settings.


What does the word ‘leadership’ conjure up for you? For many people the term is associated with individual job roles, with a job description which includes leading a team or an organisation. Thus, ‘leadership’ can be seen as the role of the ‘big boss’, the person who has the authority to hire and fire. In this chapter we aim to convince you otherwise, that leadership in early childhood settings is not the exclusive role of those who have ‘leader’ in their job ...

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