This spring, we held conversations with after school child care leaders and staff about what was on their minds going into the school year. In many different forms, the topic of supporting teams, and each other, resonated throughout the day.
Stemming from these conversations, we packaged three different ways child care leaders and teams can help one another this year.
1. Leverage Data to More Effectively Staff Programs
Incorporating attendance data analysis into your child care staffing strategies doesn't have to be daunting or time-consuming. Measuring when most children are dropped off, picked up, and other key trends in attendance can increase resource efficiency in your child care programs.
Here's a breakdown of what measuring your attendance data more closely could look like:
Maybe your data shows that few parents drop children off before 7:00 AM, and many children don't get picked up until after 5:00 PM. Leverage information to adjust the number of staff members working in these pick-up and drop-off windows. By changing a few of your staff members' schedules, you can increase your resource efficiency at certain times of day without adding pressure to individual staff members.
2. Explore Creative Solutions to Incentivize Staff and Build Teams
In today's ultra-competitive job market, it's important to shake longstanding habits with how you traditionally incentivize current team members and attract new hires. Child care leaders we recently spoke with emphasized the importance of creating unique ways to incentivize and motivate staff amid routine.
Traditional staffing incentives like raising pay are most likely out of your control. But don't let that stop you from finding creative ways to support your team! Here are a few out-of-the-box ideas to get you started:
These opportunities could be anything from sourcing free online webinars and in-person events in your area to creating a recommended reading list for your staff. Showing your staff you care about their personal and professional growth helps motivate them in their positions.
Focus on fostering your team culture.
Company culture is your organization's shared values, attitudes, and practices. By defining your team's culture and then communicating that to your staff, your team will feel more connected and motivated to contribute to that culture.
Consider bringing high school students to co-teach and co-lead child care programs with qualified adults.
Bringing students to co-teach in your programs is a creative way to energize your team through community collaboration. Reach out to a high school or college nearby to make those connections.
If you're looking to build your team, it might be time to experiment with a talent pool you haven't used in the past (local high school students, college students with education majors, etc.)
3. Showcase Community Appreciation
Your community cares about the great work you and your staff do to support their children. Let's tap into that. In our discussions with child care leaders, showcasing community appreciation was noted as one of the best ways to give back to your team.
It might sound simple and small, but showing your team how appreciative their friends and neighbors are for their dedication and hard work goes a long way. Showcase community appreciation by creating a Google Form for families to fill out and share how they are grateful for their child care staff. This Google Form can be emailed to families periodically or at the end of the school year.
All in all, take this summer to identify new ways you can support your team in the coming school year. Feel empowered to try any of the initiatives outlined to meet the needs of your unique team. Support comes in many shapes and forms, so focus on what works best for your child care leaders!