Times change and so does child care. It’s important to invest in changes but despite the benefits, it’s not easy to decide whether you’ll invest in your child care staff or not.
To help you make the decision, we’ve assembled a list of pros and cons. And if you decide that investing in your staff is the best way to take your child care center forward, we’ve even got a few handy tips.
Cons of investing in your child care staff
The first things every owner thinks about are the costs and the high staff turnover rate.
Professional development and training aren’t cheap and if you can’t raise your tuition fee, it may seem like you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
When paired with the fact that child care industry has a steep staff turnover rate, you may decide not to invest in your staff. What’s the point if they are just going to leave?
However, things are not so black and white.
Why you should invest in your child care staff
Just because you can’t see a way to grow right now doesn’t mean that, with proper development, you won’t be able to retain staff and attract different clients.
Investing in your caregivers means better care – always. But it also means that you will be able to retain your staff, especially if parents (drawn in by a higher quality care in your center) decide to pay more.
Education in early childhood sets the right foundations for the future. Parents understand that and are happy to pay extra if that means getting more for their kids.
If you want to differentiate your daycare, one of the best things you can do is invest in your child care staff.
They will be better equipped to handle and educate children, as well as more satisfied with their job.
Once you’ve built a reputation of a daycare center that works hard to educate and satisfy not only their clients but their employees as well, even recruiting new staff will become a piece of cake.
To sum up, the main advantages of choosing to invest in your child care staff are:
- Providing better care (and attracting customers because of it)
- Increasing job satisfaction (happy caregivers are great caregivers)
- Differentiating your child care center
It’s a cycle, but not a vicious one. If you want to grow, invest in your child care staff.
However, do it wisely.
How to invest in your child care staff
There are a lot of programs out there. Trainings, courses, certifications for anything from nutrition to behavioral approach.
Before choosing one, take a good look at your daycare and customers. Which aspect needs improvement?
It’s also good to check current child care trends and stay up to date with changes. Do the parents want more flexible care or more creativity in the curriculum? Are there nutritional changes? What are the best ways of dealing with unruly children?
There are courses for every problem but if you want to invest in your child care staff, you should know what aspect the customers need you to invest in.
Once you’ve narrowed it down, it’s time to make a plan.
The main questions to consider are:
- What kind of investment do you need? A short training course or an extensive professional development course?
- Are you going to send all members of staff or only select caregivers?
- How is this course going to change the way your daycare works?
- How are you going to inform your customers of the change?
And more importantly: how are you going to fit the much needed investment into the budget?
Budgeting is never easy if you’re a daycare owner, especially if you’re struggling with summer enrollment drop or general abundance of vacant spots. Most of the time, the reasons are very simple: the parents don’t know about your daycare.
When you’re working on your marketing plans, don’t forget to make use of software like Hopping In, which displays your daycare’s availability to parents and lets them easily book extra time in your daycare.
It can also be a great source of attracting new customers who can “try out” your daycare for an hour or two.
By helping you get rid of your vacant spots, Hopping In allows you to earn extra revenue without spending money. It’s completely risk-free and there is no charge if you’re not using it to earn on selling your vacant spots.
And once you’ve gotten the extra funds you need, make sure you know exactly what course your staff needs to make your daycare shine even brighter.
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 childcare centers and family daycare providers fill unused spots.
To contact him or for media inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org