One of the issues I hear all the time from childcare business owners is that they’re tired of being treated like a babysitter. Not just by the kids but by the parents they serve in the community. It’s a tale as old as time.
But there’s a few things to consider here.
Why are they treating you like a babysitter? Is it your behavior or theirs that’s the issue? And how can we change things up to stop these behaviors?
After 15 years of being a childcare boss, I’ve got A LOT to say about this! Read on to find out what you can do!
Why is being treated like a babysitter a bad thing?
It’s not that being a babysitter is a bad thing, not at all! It’s more that it’s not seen as a profession in its own right. When you hear the word babysitter what do you picture? I have an image in my head of a teenage girl, school files under one arm and a neighbour’s child in the other. And I’d bet yours is similar!
Babysitters are generally older kids looking to earn some pocket money while watching your small kids so you can go on a date or head to a PTA meeting. On top of that it’s usually seen as a job that requires minimal effort – the kids are mostly asleep already. And as such it’s not deemed necessary to have a “qualified” person doing the job. This in itself means that these willing teens are often underpaid and taken for granted.
So when you’re made to feel like a teenage girl despite being a grown-up running an entire daycare center (or more!), it can hurt!
Working on your mindset is where the change is going to come from. Trust me. So here’s some tips!
Think about how you present yourself
Hard truth: If you look like a babysitter you’re probably going to get treated like one. Take a look at your current work attire. Do you just wear athleisure outfits or have you got a set of plain black pants and polo shirts you reserve for daycare hours? I know it’s not practical to go for silk blouses and high heels like you might as a bank clerk! Opt for outfits that communicate to parents, “I’m the boss” and “take me seriously”.
However, this isn’t just about clothes, it’s also about how you carry yourself too. Take pride in your appearance and show it in your posture. Read this blog about boss mindset to help you.
Don’t treat your childcare business like a hobby!
It should really go without saying, but if you want your clients to respect your work and what you do, then you ought to respect it yourself.
Answer these questions:
Are you opening up on time?
How do you greet your families?
How are payments set up?
Is everything up-to-date?
Is your space clean and tidy?
How are you dressing to go to work?
Do you expect parents to pick up on time?
And if your answers to these don’t sound professional you need to keep reading!
This might sound harsh, but…
If you don’t want your clients thinking of you as a babysitter who plays all day with their children then you shouldn’t run it like a babysitting service.
Run it in a professional way so your clients will treat you with the respect you deserve. It’s all about keeping your boundaries strong.
Lay down those boundaries!
Boundaries are so important. You need to be friendly and approachable but still hold a professional boundary.
Think about it. If you’re opening the gate a few minutes late, dishevelled, and high-fiving all the parents and chatting about personal stuff, what’s that saying about you? When you’re letting them hang around till your snack time starts then you’re allowing them to see you as a kind of babysitter.
Instead, show them that you can keep time by opening up accordingly. Demonstrate that their children’s education is important and has to start on time. Use a group activity to start the day and say, “Right everyone, it’s time for a story – say goodbye to the moms and dads”. Close the door/gate and crack on! If you don’t do that then they are going to treat you as the babysitter where they can bring their kids to you anytime, pick them up anytime.
Start the way you mean to go on
Don’t wait till you resent being treated like a babysitter to make a change. If you don’t do something about your behaviors, you will end up making you feel resentful of how the parents treat you. You might end up feeling upset and this could stop you from fully enjoying your work. Which in turn will trickle down to the children you serve. No one wants that!
Treating your daycare as a business is largely down to mindset. It’s about holding that boundary with yourself as much as the parents. If you don’t start now, your client may switch on you to go and find themselves someone they consider ‘professional’ as their perception of you has been that you just play with the kids and aren’t a proper business.
Don’t go into this thinking you will do it later, as one of the things you may find is when you go to make change or raise your prices your clients may get upset then leave. You deserve success and your business deserves to be treated properly!
To sum up, here’s some quick changes you can make right now!
Take a look at your wardrobe. Does it convey a professional image?
Show up to work like you mean business.
Have a parent guidebook! It’s a practical and simple way to set boundaries and show your professional side too. (BTW we’ve got one of these in The Childcare Flip offer!!)
Join my new course, The Childcare Flip! Learn how to get clients to choose your childcare business over the competition. Get clarity on what you want your childcare business to look like & stop feeling overwhelmed! Start spending less time in your childcare business and more time with your family. And finally get unstuck and start getting the results you need to grow your business to 6 figures and beyond!
So it’s time to stop allowing yourself to be treated like a babysitter and own who you are – a childcare boss!
STARTING JUNE 28TH!!!
Join the Childcare Flip and learn how to grow, manage, market and automate your childcare business WITHOUT massive startup dollars and oversized buildings so you can LIVE the LIFE of FREEDOM, FLEXIBILITY and FINANCIAL SUCCESS!
If you’re not ready for my course, why not get connected with other childcare owners instead? Get tips every week to move your childcare business forward by joining my FREE Facebook group! Hang out with like-minded and aspirational daycare owners as well as training every other week from me! Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too. We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup!
Do you sometimes feel like some sort of prison warden inside your childcare business? If you’re nodding, I’d imagine it’s because you are lacking in robust Staff Policies. Yikes!
So this week’s theme is all about how you can create policies that help your business but also ensure that your All Star team are supported.
What’s happening in your childcare business?
Instead of focusing on being the best leader you can, you’ve more often than not found yourself wagging your fingers or yelling orders at your team because you’re too busy.
And sometimes you’ve done the polar opposite – being such a “friend” that nobody on your team is listening to a word you say. Neither of these situations is sustainable, or practical and I very much doubt that they’ll produce the positive results you desire for your childcare business to thrive.
Where are you at on this scale? What policies do you have in place already and where are the gaps?
Think about the behaviours of your team
What are the behaviours you’re seeing in your daycare that you’d like to see less of? Have you got policies in place to deal with this? Have you discussed the issue? Make sure you officially address the behaviour you don’t want to see in the workplace. Be matter of fact. This is not about laying blame, it’s about looking for solutions. If this is an expectation that keeps falling behind, you probably need to have a proper policy in place. You might even need to do some training.
So when you’re starting to write your staff policies, think about which behaviours would you like to see. And when you publish your policy and hand it out to your team, ask for feedback about whether they feel they might need training on any of the points that come up. Do they want individual conversations or a whole team training?
Create staff policies that work for everyone
I know it might be controversial, but I don’t believe the staff policies you put in place should be about control. For me, it’s about developing policies that ensure my business can thrive. But it’s also about putting measures in place that help my team understand and feel understood.
Have you got really clear job descriptions for each of your team members? And have they all seen what their role requires (since their interview!)? Do they know what they should be doing when the children are having naps? Have they got all the info they need to perform to the best of their ability? Or are your policies all a bit muddled? Let’s make sure there’s clarity all round!
Do an environment audit
Is the daycare space impacting on your staff behaviour? Take a look around the whole space. Are there particular places where the behaviours you’re not a fan of are happening? Is there anything you can do to change the room around that might help improve behaviour?
It sounds silly but sometimes it can be something as simple as creating a more open space so that your team know you can see them. Or perhaps they don’t feel they can leave their belongings anywhere safe. Meaning they carry their phones in their pockets as it makes them feel more secure. Could you invest in staff lockers?
Why you need to hold space for your staff
It’s the goal of most childcare business owners to grow an all star team and we want to build teams who follow our policies so we don’t have to be a warden in our centers. Sometimes we have to also consider the emotional aspect of working with others and use that to help our staff feel and be their best.
Imagine one of your team members keeps checking their phone a lot. This goes against your policy but behind the scenes they’ve got a challenging situation going on at home. By getting to know your staff and knowing a bit about them and their interests outside of the workplace will help you have a better understanding of what’s happening.
This means you’ll be able to treat them as a whole human not just as an employee. We do tend to bring our home life to work – it’s the nature of the game! So by creating an environment where your team feels supported is the best strategy. That way, they can talk to you about what’s going on in their personal life because that something may be having an impact on their job.
So as you create your staff policies, while also serving your clients and protecting your business, do make sure you hold space for your team too!
Watch this weeks Nyckie’s Monday Moves Youtube where I’m diving into the process of creating childcare staff policies. Ones that will help you get the results needed for that ALL STAR TEAM your childcare business deserves. Check it out here:
As promised here is this week’s FREE resource to help you create staffing policies that produce the desired results from your All Star Team. ENJOY… 👉🏽 👉🏽👉🏽 CLICK HERE FOR THE FREEBIE
Listen, I know that sometimes being a home daycare provider can feel lonely and overwhelming. Getting connected with other childcare owners can really be a game changer to help you gain strategies and tips to move your daycare business forward.
That’s why I set up my community over on Facebook, where you can hang out with like-minded and aspirational daycare owners. Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too. We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup!
I’ll bet my morning coffee that you’ve had several hard conversations to handle in the last month or so. Am I right?! Sometimes it might have been with a member of your team, it might even have been with someone in your family…but what do you do when it’s with a parent?
As a childcare business owner these conversations are not uncommon! You don’t have to have been in business very long before you find yourself in the awkward situation of needing to have an uncomfortable conversation with a parent. It may be something that sounds super simple, but you never know what it could turn into.
Recently I’ve been asked in my Facebook group about how to handle these tricky moments and I thought a blog post might help!
What do you mean by “hard conversations”?
Ok, so these are the conversations that you might freeze up in, or avoid having altogether. You know the ones?! The time a grandma comes to pick up their little one and they are more soaked than a rum cake. Or in winter when a pre-schooler is brought in wearing inappropriate jelly shoes and a sundress, with no coat. Or one of your parents smokes right outside the window, despite the sign you’ve displayed…
These are sometimes what you might describe as “teachable moments”. When the person you’re speaking with might not know what they’re doing or saying is wrong. Often this might be with a new team member or a family who’s new to my day cares. And it’s my job as a professional to set them straight and to help them see things from my perspective.
Other times, a different approach is needed. It’s important to address this because you will find these conversations come up. Ones that you don’t want to tackle but will need to.
What do you do if…
One of the Childcare Ninjas in my Facebook group asked me last week about something quite specific, so I thought I’d also share it here. It illustrates the exact kind of hard conversation many of you might have to have in your role as a childcare business owner. So the question I received was, “Hey Miss Nyckie! What do you do when a parent has come to your center smelling of Marijuana or seems intoxicated, how do I handle these things?”
In a situation like this your first priority is the safety of the child. You need to make sure you protect the child in your care above all else. You’re in “loco parentis”, which means you’re totally responsible in that moment. As a business owner, it all comes back on you.
What you do next matters because what if someone comes back and asks, “Why did you let the child go with a person in that state?”
So here’s how to handle it
In this situation (or others like it) you want to immediately assess:
1. The danger or potential danger of the child (make sure the child is in a safe position).
2. Your own protection as an individual and as a business owner.
3. What options do you have to handle this situation?
Those are a few of the things you must consider in an uncomfortable situation, that could potentially turn into something worse.
The best way to deal with hard conversations it to be ahead of the game! Make sure you’re as prepared as possible so that these conversations are less likely to occur in the first place. I’d advise that you have something in your Parental Contract wording that covers things like this and ensure that all of your parents read and sign off. You can then parrot the information at them when they break the rules they agreed to. It makes your job easier!
Another thing you need to take into consideration is covering yourself. By making sure that you cover all bases, you’re protecting everything you’ve spent time building. After all, this is your business, your livelihood and legacy! You want to protect it as much as possible. Look into insurance thoroughly.
Tips for hard conversations
When these situations crop up, we can easily fall into “I’m the boss” mode. You’re the expert. They’re the parent. You make the rules here. However, as much as an authoritarian manner can be useful occasionally, this can also be like a red rag to a bull.
I recommend that you take a deep breath and try to stay calm. Run through points 1 to 3 above. Try to make sure you have a witness to the conversation. Lay out the law of the land in a respectful and composed way that won’t incite any bad feeling.
I’m going to be talking you more about this sort of difficult circumstance during tonight’s live, so why don’t you join me?
Have you been in an awkward situation before? How did you handle it?
Supporting you is top of my priorities, so head on over and join my free Facebook group, where I help childcare business owners step into their leadership like the ninjas they are! We can do hard things!
We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming more involved in the community and to grow your business? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too!
This week my blog post isn’t so much about strategy, but reflecting and sharing on the freedoms of being a Childcare boss. This is certainly one of my most favorite perks of being a Childcare Business Owner!I’m guessing that you wanted to become a childcare business owner because you dreamed of helping families but I bet there’s another key reason – you wanted freedom and flexibility!
I want to share with you what I mean by “freedom” and why it matters, and how I got to a place where I had room to breathe and space to fill with things other than work!
It started with a chat…
Last week I was talking with some of my girl friends, and we were all sharing how things are going for us. You know, the kind of chat where everyone has a little boast but usually backs it up with something silly that’s happened? And we were all laughing about whatever it was my friend said. Along the lines of how busy the store was and how she wishes she could go at a different time. She doesn’t want to do it when every other working mom is in there buying her groceries!
I grimaced. It’s fair to say that sometimes I really do tease my friends that I have the luxury of freedom when it comes to making my own schedule. I can do what I want, when I want. At least most of the time, anyway! So I piped up, “You probably oughta start a Childcare, because I get to go to Walmart or the grocery store early in the morning, when everyone else is on their daily commute!”. I got a couple of eye rolls and a “maybe I will!” hollered back at me!
How is it possible?
Having my Childcares all running smoothly, with my team in place – like a fine-oiled machine! Which has given me the freedom that my old 9-5 didn’t. Gone are the days where I needed permission to take my mother to a doctor’s appointment! I no longer have to wait for my holidays to come before I can take a day off. So when I’m in need of some time to myself, I can just note it in my calendar and things carry on without me for a day.
I don’t need to be “on” 24/7
One of the major blessings I’ve been given is that I’m not always needed in any of the facilities nowadays. I can make my own schedule. I don’t always have to be hands-on deck, and I don’t need to be in the office all the time – they’ve got that covered!
It’s truly one of the best perks about being a Childcare boss, I’m very appreciative and very grateful. However, I also know that I’ve worked hard to get to this point and it didn’t start out this way!
Freedom works both ways
When we’re thinking about freedom, we tend to think about freedom to have time off. But on the flipside, it means we’ve got the capacity to be the helping hand to others when it’s needed. Recently, one of my team members needed to take time off short notice for an appointment. I had the freedom to cover her, so I said, “no biggie”, and was able to pop into the facility while she was out. When she got back I headed off again to do my own thing.
How did I get to this stage of freedom?
This perk of being a childcare business owner didn’t come immediately. Don’t be fooled into thinking that overnight I created a crazy successful business and suddenly took days off and long lunches and spa trips. Nope.
Freedom has come about with hard graft. It’s been possible because of the systems I’ve put in place (y’all know I love a system!). Creating freedom through the investments I made when it came to training my staff. Now they can run the day care centers without me. And you’d better believe that I’ve also taken time, energy and spent money on coaching. Mostly to fix my mindset around controlling every little thing! (Clue: you don’t have to!)
Put the foundations in sooner rather than later
Taking those steps early on in your business will give you freedom to do other things later on. What will you do with all that freedom? Maybe you’ll develop a second childcare center or perhaps you’ve got hobbies you’d like to pursue? I can think of thousands of ways you could use that flexibility! I bet you can too!
Now, I didn’t write this blog post to show off (although I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and have the audacity to say so!). I wrote it to show you how it’s possible for you too! I’m so thankful and grateful for the freedom being a childcare business owner gives me. And I want you to have that freedom as well!
In case you’re looking to grow as a childcare business owner, I thought I’d let you know about my latest program! The doors are open to my group coaching program “The Simple Childcare Ownership Program”!
This 10-week coaching program is perfect for you, if you…
🟣 Believe working with children is fulfilling, and there’s no other job in this world that you would rather do!
🟣 Are ready to step into your power and develop your leadership skills.
🟣 Want to make the ultimate change and start the childcare business of your dreams, so you can live life on your terms.
🟣 Are fed up on the 9-5 rat race and want finances and flexibility
🟣 Are tired of getting in your own way and READY to start your Childcare boss journey
The first 2021 Program kicks off Monday, February 15 @ 8pm EST. We’ll be having weekly training with me Nyckie B in my private Facebook group with 2 weeks for implementing everything you’re learning. On the program I’ll be covering:
✨ MINDSET & GOAL PLANNING ✨ LICENSING & REGISTRATION ✨ FABULOUS FINANCES ✨ PROGRAM & CURRICULUM ✨ OUTSTANDING OPERATIONS ✨BUILDING A TERRIFIC TEAM ✨ MARKET LIKE A NINJA ✨ BUILD YOUR LEGACY
Sound good? You can sign up right now! Just click here.If the program isn’t for you, I’d still love to invite you to join us in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group where we’re all sharing ideas and learning from each other. We are an army of childcare professionals who are honing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
One of the things I hear on a daily basis from other childcare business owners is that they “don’t have time”. What’s the common denominator of successful entrepreneurs and CEOs? It’s that they’ve honed excellent time management skills and are great at prioritizing. So this blog is focused on why it’s important that you up-level yours!
I want to share my tips for getting better at managing your time, including an app I use that has transformed the way I prepare myself for the day ahead. How we use our time can be a total game-changer in becoming successful in Childcare Business Owners.
Read on if you’re ready to find more time and get more done!
Where are you wasting time?
First things first, you need to look at where you’re spending your time at the moment. Track what you’re doing, hour by hour, minute by minute. How long to you spend in the shower? Putting on your make-up? Getting your kids ready for school? Making pack-lunches? It’s important that you can look at where there’s time going to waste.
Note all your activities down, trying not to be too hard on yourself. Is there anything that you’re doing on the daily that could be batched? Or perhaps you’ve noticed that you’re scrolling for too long and your smartphone time is getting silly. Maybe you’ve realized that you need to spend less time watching TV. This isn’t about judging yourself harshly. It’s about noticing and making positive changes.
Time for a change in routine
Mornings are frequently where we can make changes with our time. So often it’s a time of the day when we’re rushing around like headless chickens, trying to make sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Mornings can be so hectic, it’s super easy to get caught up with rigmarole of the day and get ourselves overwhelmed. So if you make a single change after reading this blog post, let it be this one: allow yourself to have a morning routine.
I really want you to make a morning routine sacred in your day. When you carve out that time in the morning it helps get your day started off right and really helps you to hone in on what matters most to you.
You’ve got to give time to make time!
I know what you’re thinking, Ninja! You’re sat there, eye-rolling at this blog, right? Wondering where you’re going to find the time to plan out your time management. Oh the irony! I hear you. We’re all busy and we’ve all got mental To Do lists that are longer than the washing line. But I’m not messing around when I say this is life-changing. When you nail your morning routine, and track your time, you’re onto a winner!
Block out time as soon as possible – even if it’s over the weekend – to map out and plan your mornings. What do you want them to look like from now on? Where do your priorities lie? What kind of schedule will you set up? Can you categorize activities to make it easier? As soon as you start your new routine, you’ll quickly claw back any time spent planning, because your focus will be better and you won’t be as easily distracted because you’re sticking to a schedule.
There’s an app for that
I’m using this brilliant tool at the moment called “Seconds”. It’s an awesome app that really helps you get to grips with how you’re spending your time. It allows you to track how long you spend on different activities.
By tracking your time you can see where it’s going and you can assess whether your time is being used on priorities or being frivolously frittered away. I promise you, it’s a real eye opener! And you won’t necessarily like what it tells you…but it’s truly helping me to see where I need to spend less time and where I need to increase it. Tracking my time means I can focus on the things that are actually going to help me grow my business.
An added bonus has been that I now place more value on my time, therefore I don’t waste time doing things that won’t help me achieve my goals.
Timing your activities
The “seconds” app is helping me so much with time management, but especially when it comes to my morning routine. Each activity is allocated a set time on the app. For example, I set it to give me 15 minutes to workout, 20 minutes to shower, 15 minutes for reading and I allow myself a much needed 30 minutes of meditation and prayer.
Sticking to a time for every task and being mindful and motivated to follow your routine means you begin to see things differently. You’ll discover you aren’t as laid back about what you’re spending time doing and become more intentional and protective of your time. When I started attaching tasks and time together, that time became more important to me as it was now scheduled in.
Other ideas to up your time management game
As well as the “seconds” app and creating a morning routine, there’s plenty of other things you could try. I’ve heard great things about this book by Laura Vanderkam, and Marie Forleo talks about how to stop wasting time and become more productive here. You could try out what Silicon Valley execs do with their wardrobes – simplify to save time! Use the Pomodoro method for your daily tasks.
Hopefully you can see that it’s not rocket science. Time management is all about learning where you can use your time more effectively and being committed to a routine and prioritizing well. Furthermore, when you master time management, you create more time for doing the things that bring you joy and happiness!
I’d love for you to join us in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group where we’re all sharing ideas and learning from each other. We are an army of childcare professionals who are honing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!