You want the best experience for your staff, the children, and all families when it comes to your childcare center. But what does it mean to be a welcoming and effective childcare provider?
10 ways to elevate your center this year
1. Clear goals and mission statement
The first way to elevate your center this year is to be clear with your goals. What is your center there to do? What services will be provided? What type of impact will your center have on the children and families within your community? Be clear about this mission statement. Post it in visible places as it will help keep staff accountable and will remind families why they have made the right choice.
2. Friendly and invested educators
It is important that all staff working at your center believe in the above-mentioned mission statement, but they should also be committed to following through in making that statement a reality. Encourage staff to greet everyone that walks into the center and help create a welcoming environment by smiling and addressing people by name. This type of personability will immediately affect the environment of the center in a positive way.
3. Safe and clean center
You know how important this is, especially in a world that has been affected by COVID. You want to make sure all children and families know how important this is to your staff and center. Be clear about protocol and expectations for both those working in your classrooms and all those entering your center. Checking in and checking out, keeping areas sanitized, needing proper identification, and checking temperatures are all part of basic procedures. However, one way to elevate your center is to create an easily accessible checklist for those who need to know the components that can affect how safe and clean your center is. Safety and cleanliness have greater implications for a well-running center than ever before.
4. Professional development
One way to ensure your center has a positive and effective year is by providing opportunities for professional development. Educators need access to best practices and methods of collaboration with other professionals. There are many ways to ensure that teachers are doing their best work through appropriate and effective professional development. Having diverse resources will enable staff to be fully invested and more confident in their positions. There are many online options available, including HiMama Academy!
5. Time for teambuilding
Teambuilding should not be underestimated. Having built-in time for staff to connect is crucial in raising your center to the next level. Allowing time for authentic bonds, professional connections, and even casual conversation helps productivity. Teambuilding can look like a plethora of things. It may be a silly scavenger hunt on an in-service day, a schedule for staff to fill in times to have lunch with a coworker, a special theme night on a Friday evening at the center itself for staff to connect, or a simple outing. Teambuilding will help educators feel they belong to a community.
6. A focus on social-emotional learning for staff and children
Social-emotional learning is an important part of any educational experience. A focus on social-emotional development will help individuals evolve in the best ways. Children should be taught that self-care is important, and this should be emphasized for staff also. Self-awareness is crucial for a positive outlook on life and confidence. Taking steps to ensure that your center is bold in its commitment to SEL will assure staff and families that your center is focusing on empathy, community, and affirmation.
7. Clear communication with families
Communication is key. One way to ensure families are informed of general procedures and specific information pertaining to their child is by implementing an effective daily report. Of course, naptimes, meal information, and general mood should be included. However, moving to a digital daily report will enable you to advertise upcoming events at the center, include reminders, and allow parents to check an app throughout the day to see the current activities their child is engaging in. This type of clear communication will allow parents to feel more connected to their child and the center.
8. Daily pictures
Every parent LOVES to see pictures of their child while they are apart. A digital childcare center app will allow your staff to send photos of outside time, enjoying a meal, or even just listening to a story contently. A picture truly does say a thousand words. Even if an educator tries to explain how excited a child was during the day, it is more impactful when a parent can see this for themselves. The ability to share pictures and short videos is something that can separate your center from others who have not yet provided parents with this service.
9. Well-rounded experience for children
Children are the main focus of your childcare center. This means their experience is the priority. To truly elevate your center, provide children with activities that support them in different ways. Along with the consistency of routines, basic skills, and a dependable schedule, children should also be exposed to new skills and interactions. Field trips to your local library, literacy resources, and even the inclusion of physical education will all set your center apart. Your center will be known for its creativity and its acknowledgment of encouraging the whole child.
10. Online payments
Moving to a digital management app will allow you to transition to online payments. You will no longer have to send email reminders or try to catch a parent as they walk in or out. A quality app will help with automated payments, reminders, and accurate records for all parties involved. The stress that is relieved through online payments will enable your center to pour time into other important aspects of success.
Focused energy and strategies on the 10 items above will help your childcare center reach new heights of achievement and productivity. Staff, children, and families will benefit from a more purposeful approach and shared investment in the goals of your center.