Operational Systems in Early Years Essay
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Structure of the day is one operational system that needs to be in place within an early years setting. This is because, it allows the setting to run smoothly as everyone knows what they need to do and when.
Operational systems and financial systems are important elements of a business plan which enable a service to run efficiently. There are many operational systems and financial systems involved in a service.
Structure of the day:
There are many ways in which this operational system impact on early years or play works services.
It allows everyone to know their roles and what they need to do throughout the day. This will allow the service to run smoothly as people will not be wondering what needs to be done and things will then get done correctly instead of being left. Due to this, things like forms for the amount children eat and their behaviour will also be carried out correctly as there will be a designated member of staff who has to fill in the paper work for the room they are working in by the end of the day.
If the setting has structured the day well enough then the member of staff will have time to write up the information as it comes instead of doing it all at the end of the day.
This is because, if the practitioner leaves it until the end of the day, they may forget important bits of information and therefore will not be able to report back to parents correctly. This operational system also helps to keep the organised. However, there are a few problems with this operational system. If a member of staff rings in sick then it may be hard to find cover and therefore, the structure of the day will be jeopardised. Due to this, the day will not run smoothly as there will not be enough members of staff in the setting, meaning that everyone will be panicking and jobs and paperwork will not get done correctly.
Especially if the member of staff who has rang in sick is designated with important jobs for that day. It may also be the case that other people are unaware of how to carry out the member of staff jobs and therefore, they will not get done until that member of staff comes into work. If some job roles are linked together, i.e. paperwork then this could also mean that other jobs cannot get done. As a result, the structure of the day will be ruined and the setting will not run smoothly. For this operational system to work effectively there needs to be correct effective communication in place. However, if this does not happen then this operational system wills no work.
Health and safety:
This operational system has a huge impact on early years or play works services, and it is very important to keep a service running smoothly and effectively. However, there are many positive and negatives points to this operational system. It keeps staff, children, visitors and anyone who may enter or work in the service safe. This happens as the operational system will include task like carrying out a risk assessment daily to reduce the risk of hazards and anyone getting injured. Due to this, the system can be made suitable to the specific setting as each setting may have different hazards. Also, each setting has different health and safety requirements; this is why it is important to have an operation system to each individual service so it fits in correctly and will work appropriately.
This system will outline the procedures the staffs need to know and follow to abide to the healthy and safety rules. Due to the setting making them themselves, they will be able to make them simple enough for everybody to understand and follow. This will ensure that the healthy and safety within the setting will be followed correctly and there will be a reduced risk of people getting hurt. Members of staff will also be aware of what to do if a child falls poorly whilst attending the setting. Another positive is that it will give the staff, parents and children a sense of security as they will know they are safe and are able to relax. Therefore, there will not be any one getting stressed, worried or frustrated at the thought that someone might get hurt, as all hazards should have been removed to reduce the chance of this happening.
On the other hand, there are also negative points about health and safety as an operational system. This is because, it can be quite time consuming for the setting to create, therefore this may be taking up members of staff valuable time that needs to be spent else where. Due to this, another part of the setting may not run as it should, for example, lunch time. There may not be enough members of staff helping out at that time if some are busy creating and readjusting the operational system. Also, to add to the time of creating it, someone needs to take the time to review the system and add or take away things when it needs updating. This could be very costly to the service because they will have to pay for things like the system to be printed, staff training on the different systems, and health and safety is a big system for staff to become knowledgeable about.
Security of the building:
The main impact that security of the building has on early years or play work services, is that it keeps everyone safe. Settings will have equipment installed to ensure that only the correct people are entering the building, for example, they may have a bell or a password on the main entrance door, and other doors are only able to be opened from the inside. This also means that they are able to adapt the building however they need. Some nurseries may have to have walls, gates or fences built around their outdoor play area. However, some building may not have to do this as there is already a wall there. Due to this, the setting will also be able to install equipment that will be suitable to the children’s needs. Some settings may have high door handles that the children cannot reach so they can’t let themselves out or open the door and get their fingers trapped in it.
A sense of security will also be built up in the setting as everyone will be aware that it is secure and safe. This may also make parents feel better leaving their child at the setting. However, like any operational system, this one also has negatives aspects. Finding a good quality company to get the equipment off and for them to install it may become difficult. A setting will need a reliable company who is willing to come out at late notice when possible to install equipment.
The setting also needs to be able to find a company that has their equipment at a reasonable price or else it may become very expensive for the setting. If a good quality company cannot be found, then equipment could be faulty putting the staff, children and visitors safety at risks. It could also then take a long time for the setting to be able to get the equipment fixed, causing problems and unneeded stress. As some equipment might be seen as good, there are also some impractical equipment, for example, if the setting has a bell for people to get in, it may be too loud and then wake up the children who are trying to sleep.
Within an early years or play work setting there is an operation system for the management and ordering of supplies. One current operational system that I have witnessed was at my primary school. Each classroom teacher recorded the supplies that they might need throughout the term, including books, pencils, paint, games, and work sheets and so on. Once they had done this, they then had to send their list to the lady in the office who would record what supplies the teachers requested onto an ordering form. She would also keep a record of what each teacher asked for so everyone could have the correct stuff. When it came to ordering things like food for school dinners, this was the chef’s responsibility. Each morning, the classroom teacher would ask each child who was having hot dinners what they would like, and there would be a meat and a vegetarian option. From this the chef would then be able to cook the correct amount of food each day.
To order fresh food, the chef would do this once a week handing the order list to the office. However, with things like tin food, this would be brought in bulk at the beginning of each half term. For cleaning equipment, the head cleaner would create the ordering form to give to the office and this would include providing cleaning wipes for tables outside each classroom and soap for the toilets and so on. When it comes to the management of the operational system, this is down to the lady in the office as she is the one who rings through to the companies and places the orders and makes a time and date in which everything can be delivered. She keeps a record of past orders to make sure they are roughly ordering the same things each time an order is put in. This will help financial budgets as well.
I do believe that the schools ordering of supplies operational system works effectively. The operational system is working well because there is someone to monitor what is being ordered and manage the system. This helps so staffs are aware who to send their order form to, if there are any problems then there is also someone that they can approach to try and solve the issue. All staff is able to put in an ordering form so nothing gets missed and the person in charge is then able to check the orders to ensure that staff are not spending too much money and are being realistic so the school can afford it. The school order supplies at realistic times to ensure that they do not run out of things they need especially things like hot dinners for the children.
As a school, they have built up a good relationship with their suppliers and in time of need they can get a next delivery if something drastic happens. Another good point about this operational system is that the person, who manages it, also manages the financial records meaning that they will have a good understanding of what is coming in and going out. They will also be knowledgeable of how to make orders and will know appropriate times in which it can be delivered. however, the only problem is, if the member of staff who always puts the orders through is off work due to sickness, holiday or anything then it could mean that the school do not get there order through on time as know one else will know how to do. Therefore it would be a good idea for them to allow another member of staff knows how to do it so they can make an order if needs be.
Schools need financial resources to function. School finances should be carefully managed according to regulations. Financial summaries provide information about the flow of a school’s financial resources, both into the school (income or revenue) and out of the school (expenditure). Financial records within the school are kept within the management office together with all supporting documents, e.g. receipts, invoices, bills and payment records. Access to financial records is restricted to the head teacher and member of staff in charge of the finance. The school has to keep their financial records for a minimum of 5 years. Financial records are kept both on the computer and in filing cabinets. The school has a spreadsheet on the computer in which everything they have to pay for is listed and all the incoming money is also listed.
The financial records that are kept in the filing cabinet include things like receipts for orders, and things that they cannot put on the computer. Receipts allow the school to look back to ensure that the money going out is the same as the receipts for things that they have brought. The school has to record their financial income and expenditure. Income that the school records include: school fees, renting out facilities, donations, local community, government and expenditure that the school record includes: construction/repairs, equipment, and rental of premises, teacher salaries, school meals, electricity, telephone, water and maintenance. The school uses the financial summaries to monitor, verify and control the financial position of the school.
Gill Squire. (2007): BTEC National Diploma Children’s Care Learning & Development: Essex