16 DecCould your service benefit from Human Resources expertise combined with early years experience?
For this e-news we caught up with Kathy Townley (Director and Principal at Ideas2Outcomes) one of ELAA’s preferred consultancy partners providing specialist advisory services to our members.
Can you tell us how you became a consultant in the Early Childhood Education and Care Sector (ECEC)?
While taking a corporate career break to raise children I ended up also taking on Vice President and President roles at my children’s local community kindergarten.
As part of those roles, I then attended the Kindergarten Parents Victoria (KPV) (now ELAA) Annual General Meeting (in 2003) and after asking a few Human Resources (HR) focussed questions, the CEO and I had a few follow-on conversations, and I was then invited to join the KPV Industrial Relations Reference Group. A couple years later this led me to also join the KPV- ELAA Board.
I met some inspiring people along the way who encouraged me to stay in the early years sector and use my skills and experience, especially my Human Resources knowledge.
What are the key skills you bring when engaging with an early years service in a consultancy?
My experience in understanding people, the situation and knowledge of the various governance models and challenges. This supports my ability to offer practical solutions and strategies that can make a difference for families, staff and management.
What are some of the advantages of working with a consultant?
A consultant, especially one that specialises in the early childhood sector, can ensure that any support, recommendations and approach is tailored for the early years service. The consultant will have the knowledge to provide independent advice and undertake work where the service has limited time, resources, skills or knowledge. The knowledge I have gained over many years is valuable as I have seen both some unique and often similar challenges across many different types of services. A balance of empathy together with a practical solutions focus is required.
What are some of the common challenges that early childhood services experience when dealing with Human Resources issues?
I often see a scenario where the recommended solution might seem straight forward but often there are multiple layers of complexity to the situation that needs to be further considered.
Key challenges I observe and assist with are:
- effective, efficient and clear communication
- genuinely consulting with employees and having clarity around roles and responsibilities
- having processes and procedures well documented and understood
- focussing equally on the “how” and “when” actions should be taken as much as “what”.
To find out more about how an Ideas2Outcomes consultancy can help your early years service and about the other consultancy services available through ELAA go to elaa.org.au/resources/consultancy-services