Most children today are enrolled in some kind of child care program outside of the home. Fewer than 30% of all kids today have at least one stay at home parent. At least 75% of all working mothers have their children enrolled in preschool, nurseries or other kinds of child care. Today there are about 32.7 million American kids enrolled in these programs. If you are looking to manage your own daycare center, it can be challenging. Luckily, there are ways to make the job easier. You can get, for example, software for daycare centers that makes running them easier and helps with some of the stress that comes with managing these kinds of businesses.
Tips for Managing a Daycare Facility:
Start with the right staff.
When you are hiring the people who will work at your day care or after school program, you have a lot of things to consider First of all, all of your workers need to have the proper licenses and certifications. What they need varies depending on the city and state where you will be operating your child care facility. When you place an ad for your openings, make sure you specify what licenses and certifications that you will need your staff to have.
When you are interviewing staff, it really is not enough to have the right training and paperwork to legally do the job. They need to be able to use your software for daycare package that you have selected. At the very least, they need to be open to learning it. You also need to know that their philosophy and yours are compatible. Child care is not like other jobs like selling propane. You have a brand and business identity to protect. The parents who trust you with their children expect a certain kind of care for their kids and your staff needs to understand that.
Pay attention to your staff once they have started working for you. You do not want to overwork child care workers. If your staff is unhappy, it will impact their work performance. You can run a happy child care center by making the work-life balance of your employees important to you. This has been shown to cut down on turnover in a number of industries and child care is no different.
Get the right materials and equipment.
No, the children will not be playing with your software for daycare systems but you will need age appropriate play equipment and materials. Kids need to be able to work off some of their energy outside so you should have a play ground set up there. For indoor activities, you should have games and educational materials. Picking out fun things for kids to do and ways for them to learn should be one of the more enjoyable parts of running a daycare program.
Get the most from naptime. As much energy as most young kids have, they also really need some downtime. Get the kids in your daycare program into a daily routine that will make naptime easier and more pleasant for everyone involved. This time also should give your staff a chance to take a break and/or work on the software for daycare programs to run whatever reports you need done. Your caregivers also need some downtime so make this time count for that. It takes a lot of energy to watch young children.
Keep safety in mind at all times.
All of your play equipment needs to be maintained properly. Keep an eye on everything the kids play with. If something is damaged and you cannot repair it, replace it. If something breaks into small pieces that can be ingested by the kids, throw it away. Make sure your first aid kits are all fully stocked and available to your staff. Make sure you have emergency numbers for all of the parents and have a list of any allergies or other medical conditions the children have.
Managing a daycare center can be very rewarding. Follow these tips and you should have a great experience with the kids in your care. Your child care management software can help with the logistics but your instincts will help with everything else.