As a preschool director, one of the biggest challenges you face is a high rate of staff turnover. If your childcare center offers a variety of half-day, full-day, before and after school programs, it can be difficult to find skilled yet flexible caregivers who are comfortable working within the hectic schedules of your facility.
High turnover can have a huge impact on you as a leader as well as on your staff. When other members of your team witness staff come and go, it sends a negative message to them. As a preschool director, every time a staff member departs you need to use time and resources to hire a replacement. Once the replacement arrives, you must invest time in training them to bring them up to speed. If turnover is a frequent problem, you’re likely spending countless hours each week simply ensuring you have the employees you need to operate your center.
Most importantly, a high rate of preschool educator turnover affects the children who attend your center. Children can become attached to caregivers, and a sudden departure of a staff member and the frequent appearance of new faces can take their toll. When a staff member leaves their position, this can trigger behavior changes in children, causing sadness and a feeling of loss.
How can you reduce turnover and its effects on your center?
- Work hard to make sure your educators feel and see success in their careers. Are they being reasonably paid? Do they receive adequate breaks? What is the educator to child ratio? If you have any doubts about these areas, take steps to fix the issues you see or consult with larger centers that may have put some of these systems in place already.
- Provide a positive working environment. Try to avoid a dictatorial style of management, allowing employees as much freedom as you can when it comes to scheduling activities. Offer feedback and support when needed, and make sure that your staff understand that you are available if a problem arises. Working in childcare can be stressful, so take time to thank your team members personally and ensure that they feel they are valuable members of the center.
- Offer new opportunities for your staff. If possible, make available additional training opportunities, courses, and conferences so they can advance their careers and develop skills to help them become a better educator. This benefits both you and your staff.
- If an educator does depart, encourage children to acknowledge that it is sad when someone leaves, but focus on the positives, such as getting to know a new friend. As the director, let children and parents know you are here to support them as they transition to a new caregiver.
- Give your preschool educators the tools they need to be more efficient and effective at their job. A child care app such as HiMama reduces the amount of paperwork, documentation, and other mundane tasks to free up educators to spend more time with children.
Part of reducing preschool educator turnover is equipping them with the tools they need to perform their job well and make their lives easier. To learn more about HiMama’s childcare software for streamlining your operations, get in touch with us today. We’d love to show you how our tools can help retain your staff and help you complete day-to-day tasks more efficiently!
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