Spring! What a glorious time of year! Trees are budding, flowers shooting to the sun, the smell of fresh cut grass and rain tickling its way through an open window. With spring on my mind, I am transported back to my days as a director in Lexington, and all the headaches that can come with it!
I am thinking of all the things daycare directors go through this time of year! Getting your summer calendars ready, collecting sunscreen application forms, having employees calling in a little more than normal, and so on! Believe me, I've been there!
I think though, the best foot to put forward as you crack yourselves out of the winter cocoon is to start with the basics… staff! Staffing is vital to a center’s success. Your center cannot run without an educated, compassionate staff. I have a few pointers to help in creating and nurturing the perfect staff!
Motivating staff starts with a no nonsense attitude when it comes to state policy! Make sure your staff is completely aware of all state regulations by providing them a copy of the licensing regulations upon hiring.
It can be difficult being an early educator at times. You, as their leader, need to rise to the occasion and comfort them! A really good way is to hold annual reviews in the spring. Ask each employee to review the center and what they would like to see change over the coming months. A group outing is always fun, or perhaps a spring pot luck with a recipe contest.
Training is, in my opinion, the most effective way to build a qualified and creative early education team. It is mandatory that all those who work in Kentucky day cares have 15 training hours per year. If your budget can allow it, host a professional development day. Close your center for a day and provide two training classes. Have one focus on Infant/Toddler and one on Preschool/School Age. After the trainers are gone, break staff into smaller groups. Ask them to plan a whole day’s curriculum and meals around your training topics. Finally, have them present their work to the rest of the staff. This inspires your staff to think outside the box, and gets them motivated to attend more training!
Julia @ Kids Matter