In the middle of a busy day, you need a system for teachers to talk to each other.
In a busy daycare center with multiple staff and classrooms, staff need to be constantly present on their shift. However, in working with kids, something always pops up.
An employee might need to step briefly outside, a kid might have had an allergic reaction, or it’s just a case of a leaky faucet. No matter what happens, daycare center communication needs to flow smoothly. Lives (and nerves) depend on it.
Learn how to simplify communication at your daycare center:
Here are a few ideas that can help caregivers get in touch with each other easily:
1. Intercom system
Make sure each classroom has a phone installed with an intercom system. This will work well to notify teachers and staff in other rooms if situations requiring help or extra staffing come up.
One way to rock the intercom system is to have color-codes for different situations. Code Blue could mean you are out of supplies, Code Black could means a shift has ended but the next staff member hasn’t shown up, Code Green could stand for a problem in the kitchen. Code Orange could stand for an allergic reaction or bug bite in the classroom.This simplifies the procedure of dealing with an issue, and helps tone down the panic in case a kid overhears the description of the situation.
Good old-fashioned walkie-talkies are still a possibility. Have a charging station set up and get staff to grab one at the start of their shift. They can then drop it back off at the end. Or, if they’re battery-powered, keep a basket of fresh batteries by the front reception. As long as walkie-talkies don’t make too much loud static noise in between talking, they can be a good way to improve daycare center communication.
3. Meetings and regular contact
There’s nothing like everyone gathering to celebrate and/or commiserate without having to do it on the go.
That’s why having a staff meeting weekly (or even bi-monthly) can be a great way to improve daycare center communication. Meetings are a place for questions to be asked, concerns to be raised and praise to be given.
As a provider you can bring up any new topics or concerns that need discussing, whether it’s changing the daycare’s hours of operation or talking about improving staff-parent relationships. In addition to staff meetings, consider creating a parent-staff advisory group that can meet to resolve and improve any issues related to running the daycare center, upcoming events, or topics of interest to both parents and staff. If something is getting staff down, discuss it.
As well as meetings, keep staff (and parents) on an e-mail list and send out consistent updates. E-mail can be a great way to share information, requests and reminders – as long as they are not urgent.
As you navigate busy days, it’s necessary to have a system for daycare center communication in place so you can get in touch quickly and without interrupting the flow of the day.
Each provider and staff team should decide what works best for them. No two kids are the same, and neither are daycare centers. That’s why communication greatly depends on the team you have. What works for mine might not work for yours – but something will.
Just give it a try and encourage idea-sharing. Nothing is impossible if you’ve got the will to work on it.
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