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by Dennis Vicars
March/April 2010
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/s.c.o.p.e./5019224/

My grandfather once told me that when you have more priorities than the fingers on one hand, you really don’t have any priorities. I have always attempted to adhere to my grandfather’s sage advice, especially when it comes to goals within the operation of a quality early care and educational environment.

If you look at the true quality priorities that we all strive for in creating a great place for young children, it can be spelled out in the acronym S.C.O.P.E. (Safe, Clean, Organized, Professional, and ­Educational). These five priorities (which, by the way, are the same priorities in order of importance that are repeated on parent surveys and focus groups) can be the central theme which all staff can rally around and keep as their central focus. Whenever one of my directors seemed oversaturated with conflicting priorities and demands, I only had to say one word: “SCOPE.” That one word allows everyone to refocus on what’s really important. If SCOPE becomes the central focus of your operation, your strategic plan, training, recruiting, time management, and daily activities will automatically fall in line. No one should ever have to ask, “What are my priorities today?”

Safe is not always so obvious. A ...

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