What child care administrators can do to strengthen staff attendance and retention

By Erika Rivera 23 March 2021

There are many reasons child care staff members would consider leaving their positions to pursue careers outside of the early childhood sector. Unfortunately, many child care owners face massive turnovers that wreak havoc and jeopardize the successful operation of their centers because of these types of circumstances.

Below are five methods you can implement at your facility to secure staff attendance and retention:

Properly compensate your hard-working staff.

Child care teachers have an overwhelming number of tasks they must fulfill, from monitoring and supervising children’s safety to preparing lessons that encourage their students' growth and development. Not to mention, prepare meals and snacks, and ensure children maintain proper hygiene by changing diapers and cleansing them after meal times and outdoor play. It’s a field that requires plenty of patience, dedication, and a love of children. For these reasons, child care teachers should be adequately compensated for their hard work. Most daycare owners know that filling these positions could be a pain in the neck, and hiring teachers who are passionate, dedicated, and hard-working is hard to find. Therefore, owners should value these traits by offering teachers a decent salary from the start. Doing so can create an atmosphere of teachers who are happy and willing to stay with your company, and you can avoid turnovers that can jeopardize your business's operation.

Make time to sit down and listen to your employees.

It's not uncommon to witness the absence of child care administrators/owners in their business setting. As they must attend to a multitude of responsibilities outside of their facility, including pick-up and drop-offs, fulfill the purchase of food for mealtimes, and many other tasks that require them to step away momentarily. After all, these are some of the duties that must occur to ensure the center is living up to its standards for quality services. But, just the way owners attend to these duties to keep their business flowing accordingly, there are other areas they must take charge of. And, this includes paying attention to their employees. Many situations occur in the classroom that teachers may want to express to the director—for example, a child who is showing signs of abuse from home or the lack of supplies and materials that may hold a teacher from fulfilling lessons that are vital to student learning. Communication between owners and staff is not always possible. Still, it's undoubtedly another reason why teachers choose to resign and navigate opportunities where they could work to their full potential and be heard and make a difference. Communicating is difficult when everyone is trying to fulfill their roles and responsibilities, but resources like Child Journal can facilitate the disclosure of communication between teachers and staff so that everyone can feel connected and noticed.

Make them feel appreciated

We all get tired and unmotivated from time to time, no matter if you're passionate about your job. It's just human nature to have moments where we feel disinterested. However, these emotions more commonly arise in settings where hard work isn't valued, and dedication and passion are taken for granted. Showing your teachers and staff that they're appreciated is not only essential but a powerful method that can help retain them. Believe it or not, some employees tend to work and do better when they feel that their hard work is being valued. Even words of praise on social media or a pat on the back could be enough to make an employee feel honored and encouraged to continue doing their best. An unwise supervisor would say that these types of implementations are unnecessary for the success of a business. The truth is that leaders are responsible for creating an atmosphere where employees can be their best, and that involves showing them appreciation.

Provide them with growth opportunities

Most employees aspire to reach a level of success where they could fulfill their passions and earn a decent living, which is why they work hard and take on opportunities to showcase their diligence and enthusiasm to work and reach their goals. Offering the right employees the chance to grow in your center can give teachers something to look forward to so that they aren't urged to look elsewhere for career advancement. Implementing this can also significantly reduce turnovers and build long-term teachers. Employees who are assets to a child care facility are valuable and should receive promotions for their work and dedication. Remember that an employee is more likely to remain at a job where he/she can progress, which decreases the desire to resign. Keep in mind that turnovers cause disorder at any child care center and affect the children in your care. And constant unfamiliar faces coming in to replace teachers can take a toll on their emotional development and learning.

Involve teachers in decision making

From time to time, daycare directors need to alter strategies and systems that may not be working at their childcare facility. These are great opportunities to involve your staff and take advantage of ideas and feedback other than your own. Involving the right teachers can positively impact your center. And this gives your teachers a sense of importance. Teachers who receive these types of opportunities feel noticed and valued. And most of them aspire to make a difference not only in their students' lives but within the organization as a whole. Therefore, it's always wise to offer them roles where they could share their opinions.