If you want to improve daycare center staff orientation here’s how!

Running a daycare center can get busy beyond belief, I know! However, in the middle of all that you also have to handle staff orientation. As a provider, it’s your responsibility to complete staff orientation with all new employees you take on board. This doesn’t have to take forever to do, but it should be done right and with some guidelines. For example, here is a staff orientation manual from the Arizona Childcare Association. Here’s a guide for Pennsylvania, along with notes of required training. Specific regulations for staff orientation vary by state, so check with your local authorities. In general, though, the basics hold true for every state and town. You should be going over safety, scheduling and responsibilities with your new hires. Here are three powerful tips I’ve learned as a daycare center owner about how to improve staff orientation.

If you want to improve daycare center staff orientation, try to adjust the new employee somewhat gradually instead of throwing them into a classroom immediately.1. Cover the most important information first

First, if possible smile! Creating a positive, welcoming atmosphere will build up your new employee’s morale from the get go. Give the new employee a tour and clearly and concisely outline the responsibilities of your staff. Tell them the most important things first: emergency exits, basic regulations, main classroom responsibilities, daycare center hours, parental interaction, keeping up with cleaning and protocol for calling in sick or dropping shifts. Also mention how staff are held accountable and how they are evaluated for feedback.

2. Use a checklist

This sounds overly official, but it helps to check off what you’ve told the new employee as you do a walk through. Using a checklist makes things clear and sequential. In addition to a checklist, you should be providing your new hire with a written copy of everything you say verbally to them. Get them to sign off on it and ask if they have any further questions before finishing the orientation. Again, this process of orientation shouldn’t take forever if it’s done right. The new employee should be familiar with childcare regulations already because of their degree or diploma. It’s mainly your job to go over the specifics and daily functions at your daycare center.

Try to give the new employee at least a little bit of time to adjust. Avoid immediately putting them into a classroom before going over the basics. You want your employees to get at least a basic handle on your schedules, guidelines and operational methods before throwing them into full responsibility.

3. Provide additional training as required

Following initial staff orientation, there will be more things that come up requiring training. For one thing, in-service training is required for childcare employees at regular intervals. In-service training updates and upgrades staff certifications, bolstering their early childhood education know-how and expertise. Working at a daycare center is an ongoing process of learning, so staff orientation is only the beginning step. While your staff will, of course, be expected to be knowledgeable and competent, there are always more details to learn as various very specific or detailed situations arise. This is what further training is for down the road.

Thanks for reading! I sincerely hope the Hopping In Blog is serving as a valuable resource for daycare providers. Remember to join our e-mail list for updates and feel free to get in touch with questions or comments. You can contact me at s.strick@daycareteam.com. Have a wonderful day.

 

Author: Hopping In Blog

Sholom Strick is an expert on the business of running daycare centers and founder of Hopping In, a tool that helps daycare centers earn more when children are absent.

To contact him or for media inquiries email s.strick@daycareteam.com

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