KU PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AND LEARNING Quarterly KU Children’s Services OCTOBER 2018 October is National Safe Work Month. In this edition of Quarterly we highlight the importance of paying attention to the health and safety of staff working with young children. Social and emotional wellbeing is imperative to the health and safety of anyone working in an early childhood service. Following are three articles that shine a light on the importance of staff wellbeing to the quality of the education and care being provided to children. INCLUSION AND WELLBEING – FOR ALL BY OLA DABBAGH-ROBERTS O ne thing I have learned over several years working and consulting in many self-described ‘unique’ industries, is that when it comes to staff having a feeling of wellbeing, satisfaction and achievement, the elements to create this are not unique. Simply put, it’s because we are all people, and share something in common, regardless of our background, profession, industry and level we have risen to in an organisation. We want to feel included and we want to feel we have some level of safety, and some control over our environment. When we don’t, we very quickly feel unhappy, excluded, frustrated. It impacts our ability to relate, engage and work well to achieve outcomes. We also want to feel valued, and successful in our own domains…whatever that specifically looks like. Often this is seen as the responsibility of the leader in the context, and to a large degree, leaders need to assume a fair load, although it is only when all ‘people’ own this, that a genuine sense of personal and organisational well-being is achieved. Sometimes, IN THIS ISSUE : it is considered that an organisational ‘initiative’ will create wellbeing and improve staff satisfaction. While this is also true, again, without relevant programs, and the engagement of all team members in such programs, people in pockets big and small will remain unhappy. An effective way of encouraging all team members to equally own and contribute to their own wellbeing, and that of the ‘team’, is to create a dialogue about this. Take the opportunity to have a conversation that asks some of these questions: Is there a real level of trust between the people in this team? If not, why not? Do individuals feel they know what they need to know to feel part of the team? Are people comfortable that they are being ‘heard’ as well as ‘seen’ by their manager and colleagues? Do they feel included? The last question is perhaps the most powerful and important to ask. EDUCATOR WELLBEING = QUALITY EARLY LEARNING. YOU DON’T GET ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER!