In a recent webinar on time-saving strategies, we were joined by Blair Spence, director of Candy Factory Daycare, and Tirusha Dave, owner and director of Ellie’s Academy. Blair and Tirusha discussed their experience as leaders in the early childhood field and how they went from chaos to organization with a few simple strategies. Their advice comes just in time: Fall is a busy season and you want to be able to focus on what matters most – supporting young children and their families.
Blair shared four key tips that have made his busy Fall season much more manageable:
- Make use of spreadsheets to track enrollment
Create a spreadsheet with the number of spaces for your entire center with each child’s name and birthday. Refresh it in 6-month increments. Each full-time occupied space can be labeled red and then when a child gives notice that they are leaving, you can update it to green. When a child graduates or any vacancies you have to be filled can be labeled white. This helps to visualize your enrollment and when new spaces will become available for new families.
- Keep separate classroom email lists
If you do not have a classroom management app, be sure to keep all parent email addresses in separate contact lists for each specific class. If you have a management app, you can likely send individual, group, or even full-center messages directly from your device!
- Have a dedicated classroom email address
Make each room a dedicated center email address that all educators and the director have access to. You can send important documents to this email address so that educators can respond to some requests from parents. They can also contact parents directly, which saves the director from having to respond to small, simple asks.
- Do not let small tasks piles up
Doing 20 small tasks often takes more time than 2 or 3 large tasks. As small things come up, ensure you deal with them promptly. If it will take less than five minutes, do it as soon as you think of it! Things like small parent requests, diaper changes, and classroom set-up can cause distractions and take time away from the day that you were relying on for larger projects. Getting small tasks out of the way ensures they do not pile up.
Tirusha shared three tips for saving time at her centers:
Tirusha confessed that running three childcare centers simultaneously can burn her out when it comes to creating content, planning center events, family engagement activities, etc. That’s why she tries to delegate certain tasks, such as creating the yearly calendar, to staff members for when there’s downtime. She also started a Parent Association to help oversee certain activities and events, and receive extra support with planning and execution.
“Staff are more willing to try new things when they have a voice that’s heard and they know they can try things.”Blair
- Calendar planning and notifications
Tirusha has certain key people who she adds to her calendar notifications so they also receive them and can call her to remind her! For example, if she has a tour at a center for 6:15 pm, she will put a notification in her calendar and add her office administrator for 4:30 pm so that they can call her and remind her to leave!
- Use a center management app
As an owner, operator, or director of a childcare center, you have a lot on your plate. Managing a team of educators, keeping parents and caregivers satisfied, ensuring your classrooms are organized and bills are paid, and, most importantly, ensuring your children are growing, learning, and thriving!
Each day goes by in a blink of an eye and you need all the support you can get.
This is where a childcare center management app comes in to save the day! Childcare management platforms can save you hours and hours of admin time and provide you with more flexibility and freedom to be present in the classroom and support your team.
Tirusha joined the HiMama family and has never looked back!