Clear and consistent daycare center employee scheduling is the key to every successful childcare business.

As an owner, you want to make sure that you follow the required child-to-teacher ratios but avoid over-staffing (especially if you’re not full). At the same time you have to juggle employee satisfaction and provide your employees with reasonably consistent shifts, a minimal amount of last-minute scheduling and clear communication at all times.

This can seem daunting but don’t worry – we’re here to help you not make the same mistakes.

Learn how to avoid daycare center employee scheduling mistakes in our video:

Attention to Detail

Daycare center employee scheduling requires attention to detail.

This is especially important if you’re running a large childcare center. Some mistakes tend to crop up when the size of your business leads to more revenue but also, more chaos and lack of accountability.

This can be avoided with an ongoing attention to detail. Learn employees’ names well and get to know them. Make sure they know that you care and that you are paying attention. That’s a great start to avoiding the following pitfalls:

Scheduling Mistake #1 – Inconsistency

Staff have busy lives outside work and they need hours they can depend on. At the very least, employees require a certain minimum amount of advance notice when a shift opens up or becomes unavailable due to low attendance. If you are a provider at a childcare center with flexible hours, you should work hard to ensure that basic scheduling standards are maintained. Using a tool like Hopping In to fill any gaps in daycare attendance will go a long way towards providing consistent hours and reducing employee turnover, which is a big issue in the childcare industry.

A helpful method for getting a good idea of what hours you will likely need staff is to check out past attendance trends.

Asking employees to come in at the last-minute or giving them last-minute schedule changes can lead to confusion and chaos. Improving daycare center employee scheduling is key to getting your daycare to perform at a top level.Scheduling Mistake #2 – Last-minute shift changes

Sometimes last-minute shift changes come up or become unavailable due to high or low attendance. That’s just a part of the business of flexible, part-time childcare. However, providers need a system that cuts through any miscommunication and last-minute scrambles. That’s where a web-based app like Hopping In can make a big difference. Hopping In benefits both parents and providers (and kids) by making it easier to drop or add spots. For employees, that means that their shifts are more easily predictable, and they can rely on your daycare.

Making more money from part-time customers at your daycare is an awesome business strategy to grow from mediocre to amazing. It also means you can offer staff more hours and often more consistent hours, due to peak attendance. Daycare center employee scheduling gets easier when demand for staff is high and consistent.

Scheduling Mistake #3 – Lack of communication

Communication is a key way to boost employee morale, and it’s vital to ensuring staff show up on time and ready to work. The rules can get tricky when it comes to an employees’ rights in terms of their family obligations outside work. These can conflict with work schedules, particularly when scheduling is set up part-time and may change occasionally due to attendance dips or highs. Make sure to communicate well as a provider. This will lead to good daycare center employee scheduling, not to mention a pleasant work environment.

Daycare center employee scheduling gets easier when everyone agrees to a clear, centralized system.When in doubt, pencil it in

Childcare gets busy! Maintaining a staff attendance sheet online, for example, in Google Docs, can be a big help. Centralizing everything helps staff be very clear on where their hours are listed. It also helps for them to know where and when any changes will be listed. Make sure there’s a minimum expected period of advance notice. Everyone loves being well-informed and getting the right information and the right time, and staff are no different.

Give your employees clear schedules and try to keep them as consistent as possible. Set clear rules for cancelling a shift and stick to them.

Daycare center employee scheduling doesn’t have to be an unsolvable puzzle. And it may take time to set the right foundations, but it’ll pay off in the long run.

So here’s wishing you, your employees and your kiddos a successful and fulfilling journey in childcare!

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

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