Quality of daycare is a complex phenomenon, and as a result, management of quality in daycare is equally complex. It is a phenomenon which basically can be questioned - it at all is manageable? This thesis examines how leaders work to enhance the quality of daycare. In order to examine this phenomenon we search for what leaders perceive as quality, how they work to strengthen it, and finally the impact of the organizational context for their work. The study is based on six qualitative interviews with three clusterleaders and of one each of their educational leaders (daily leader). In the design study two variables are incorporated, the organizational level between cluster and educational leader and between the clusters as one cluster has many linguistically challenged children where the other two clusters have few linguistically challenged children. The leaders in the survey strongly agree that quality of daycare is context dependent; it must be seen in relation to the specific institution or entity’s tasks which largely are determined by their children and parents groups’ composition. They also agree that it is important to focus on the core services that the organization exists to solve and not the interests of the employees. Daycare quality requires structure of the organization and use of specific teaching methods in working with the children. The users, which in the leaders optics only are the parents when they talk about day care quality, is a part of the quality where the important thing is that they experience dialogue, that they are satisfied consumers, and they perceive the daycare facility as safe and capable of taking care of their children. But even though the leaders agree on the above mentioned parts of quality there is quite a lot that separates them. The two variables inherent in the present study suggest that what’s separates in relation to the organizational level is that the educational leader have a great focus on their unit's outcome, what are the children learning in their daycare and they also considers the organization of the work as an essential part of daycare quality. In relation to the organizational context some interesting differences appear. In clusters with few linguistically challenged children, the development of the skills the pedagogic staff have are vital. The same goes for working on common goals and documentation of the educational work in the daycare. Especially clustermanagers in the cluster with few linguistically challenged children expresses that using the external changes positively is a part of daycare quality. In the cluster with 4 many linguistically challenged children they look much more on reflection on practice as an essential part of the quality of their daycare. The leaders generally behave in agreement with their perceptions of educational quality. But the study also found that leaders of daycare today are in a cross-pressure created by the transition from welfare state to a competition state. They and their daycare has become part of the overall education system. Particularly in the last years is the competitive state been prominent in the Danish daycare. The present study has found that managers in clusters with few linguistically challenged children find it easier to stand in the cross-pressures that have arisen between professionals and politicians as the competition state has made its way into their institutions. Conversely, it seems like a greater challenge for leaders in the cluster with many linguistically challenged children. This is not a conscious resistance, but a result of something in the nature of their work that makes it more a difficult task. This suggests that leaders are not only bound by their opinion of management, but much more by the institutional pressures they are subjected to. This pressure has a different impact on their organization depending on the organizational context of their daycare.
|Educations||Master of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||64|