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Marissa Schneggenburger

Succession Planning in Early Childhood Education

  • November 29, 2023

In early childhood education, it’s not uncommon to experience turnover and changing roles. Having a plan for these scenarios can ensure a smooth transition, less stress, and continued quality of care. Whether someone unexpectedly quits, or a team member is planning their retirement, having a succession plan is crucial. In this article, we will outline different turnover scenarios and how to prepare for them. If you’re experiencing changes in staffing in early childhood education, this article is for you. Keep reading to learn more. 

Three Types of Turnover 

Emergency: This type of departure can involve someone quitting unexpectedly, a medical or family emergency, etc. This is unplanned and comes as a surprise to your organization.  

Departure: This is a planned retirement or permanent departure that your center is prepared for. 

Strategic leadership development: This is an ongoing process that results in changing roles due to promoting ongoing leadership development and organizational growth. 

Succession Planning and Preparing for Turnover 

It’s important to have a plan for each type of turnover to make the transition as smooth as possible. When experiencing a staff change, it’s important that each staff member is on board to support this change. Everyone should be aware of internal and external communications, steps taken during the transition, and the importance of keeping current programs and services running.  

Before experiencing turnover: 

  1. Identify potential leaders and expanded roles within your organization. 
  1. Create a plan for knowledge transfer and training. 
  1. Keep records of important information (passwords, instructions, etc.). 
  1. Promote a culture of continuous learning within the organization. 

After experiencing turnover: 

  1. Back up staff member’s data. 
  1. Change passwords, deactivate emails, gather keys and hardware.  
  1. Notify necessary team members. 
  1. Determine who will temporarily cover responsibilities.  
  1. Determine who will permanently take the empty position. (ie. Hiring out, promoting internally, dissolving position) 
  1. Send out internal and external communications. 
  1. If hiring, update the job description.  
  1. Begin the hiring process for the available position. 

Preparing for succession and turnover is crucial in early childhood education. By following these guidelines, you can expect successful personnel changes. 

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