As Childcare business owners we focus on planning so much, don’t we?! Whether it’s planning for the day care curriculum or contingency planning, there’s always something. But when we enter the third quarter of the year it can feel like it’s time to take our foot off the gas. So I want to share with you why you must plan to plan in your childcare business now rather than later.
It’s important to know what’s actually coming for your childcare business, and what you want to focus on for the rest of this year. Take time to reflect on where you started this school year and how it’s gone. Then look at your goals.
Now is the perfect time to plan in your childcare business
Right now is actually a great time to plan ahead to revamp your school year sessions. We’re coming out of the first half of the year into the second, and your eyes might be on the end of year targets. However I’d love to encourage you to break that down a bit more and put those under a magnifying glass for a moment.
Break up the targets for the end of the year into smaller tasks and then plan for each of those. Chunking it into bitesize pieces makes it a lot less scary! Write down all the things you need to plan for and then take a look at your diary. When can you fit it in? What can you reschedule to make sure you have time?
But Nyckie I just want to slow down for summer
Oh believe me, I hear you! I too would like to slow down and enjoy the summer. I can picture it right now – we’re out in the yard. The grill is fired up, music is on, I’ve got an iced tea in one hand and the other is high-fiving my gorgeous grand babies…mmmm sounds good right!?
But I also know that I do not want to be panicking when the new beginning of the academic year comes round. So trust me when I see a little bit of planning goes a long way at this point! And if you take time to plan right now, you’ll have plenty of time for that cocktail in the garden later on!
Squeeze in some planning sessions during summer
I always say you have to ‘plan’ to ‘plan’ and schedule it in your diary! Even if you can only make time for just the next quarter, it’s better than nothing at all! It can feel overwhelming, so plan in some short sessions – I like to use the Pomodoro method to keep my brain focused.
Whether you’re a paper planner or digital, take your work outside. Try putting your laptop in a cardboard box to keep the reflections off the screen. Or taking out a giant paper pad and pens to map out your plans.
Plan in some fun after your planning time!
Who doesn’t love an incentive to work? You could block out time in your diary for planning time, but then schedule in something awesome for after. Have a drink with an old friend. Take a trip to the park with your kids. Take-out dinner! Movie night with popcorn and candy! Go as fancy as you like. But it doesn’t need to be. Just something to reward your hard work.
Don’t let the new school year chaos creep up…
Trust me when I say it’s going to sneak up on you! You can avoid that new school year chaos with some planning and clarity. Don’t be running around with blinders on, make a plan and get clear on what the beginning of your new school year will look like.
Allow yourself some planning time and get ahead of the game. The last thing you want to be doing in September is scrabbling round for ideas and a plan!
You’ve got to change it up
Remember that you can’t just stick to the same-old thing. What got you “here”, won’t get you to “there”. You’ll need to review and change things up. You can’t just continue to run on what you did last year, we need to be up-levelling all that we do. What got you to 5 figures won’t necessarily get you to 6. Sometimes you have to pivot, leverage, and up-level.
Also with things like Covid-19, the unsteady economy, and all of life’s little changes you will need to do things differently. But just take a deep breath and get started. No one can predict what this coming year will be like, so make it flexible and don’t be afraid of re-jigging things as the world changes!
The good news is with some time and planning you still have an opportunity to knock it out of the park by the end of the year. Read this blog to discover more tips on planning for success!
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Did you know I do live trainings fortnightly?
These are held on Thursday nights in my Facebook group. We start at 8:00pm EST, so why don’t you bring a friend?! Join us in there and get connected with other childcare owners. Every week we’ll move your childcare business forward by with tips and ideas! Hang out with like-minded and aspirational daycare owners as well as trainings 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!
Hands up if an onboarding system has slipped down your To Do list? I know so many childcare business owners who are winging it on this front. You have people knocking on your door before you’ve had a chance to create a team to take care of the kids! Sometimes this leads to panic hiring, and – let’s be honest – this is a disaster for everyone!
Rushing to fill the gaps in your team is nearly always a mistake. You want to have time and space to find the right fit, and having a great onboarding system will make this easier! And we’re in the final quarter of 2021 and 2022 is looming, so now is the time to sort it out!
Let’s do this, Ninja! I want to share with you my expertise on how to create an onboarding system that helps your new team members settle in but that also keeps you on top of the paperwork you must do!
What is an onboarding system?
This is the processes you have in place for hiring someone new for your childcare team.
Firstly there’s the hunt for people to interview. Then there’s the picking the right people for interviewing. After that there’s the actual interviews…and that’s followed by all the legal paperwork that needs to be completed. And once they’re hired, it’s important that you nurture them so that they stick around and help you grow your business through consistency!
It can be a whole lot to deal with, so I want to help you as much as possible.
Why do we need an onboarding system?
In this industry we have a ton of rules and regulations to follow when it comes to bringing a new member of staff onboard. There are legal requirements that must be adhered to and we cannot afford any errors. The state needs us to have certain things, wherever you’re based!
And actually it’s not just about the legalities…it’s about saving you time and money! Hiring the right team member in the first round rather than third time lucky will make a huge difference to your business. You want to make sure the onboarding system includes elements that brings the right person into your business.
Hiring a team can be hard!
Hiring is one of the hardest parts of running a childcare business. Where can you find your dream team?! Make sure you’ve got your job description sorted out, you’ll want to head out and start looking for those new key players. Obviously you can use the internet to place a job ad. You can look on Indeed, Craigslist…there’s a tonne of other places to put your job description on there. Set up a Facebook page where potential staff can come to you and you can let local people know that you’re hiring right now.
I’d recommend using a mix of digital and traditional in your search for the perfect team! “Help Wanted” signs still have a place. Word of Mouth is still great too, so make sure you tell parents and the current team that you’re looking for help. And I know I’ve found some great extra help from teachers who are looking for some additional income over the summer holidays. Plus you might have some newly qualified trade school students in your area who are looking for some work.
You can ensure that your interviews go well by having a set list of questions that are really tailored to your daycare. It’s no good having generic questions, because your business is different and unique to you. Make sure that your questions reflect that and are open enough to allow your interviewees to feel at ease so they can answer to their best ability. I’d also recommend including an orientation session and maybe a “meet the team”, so you can get the team’s feedback.
Also, this process is as much about you as it is about them. You want to be giving the right signals to your potential new team member. How do you want to come across? What do you want to be known for? Remember the old adage: people remember not what you say but how you make them feel.
File your paperwork!
Unless you love having really difficult conversations (or WORSE receiving citations!) from the inspectors, you must make sure all the forms get filed properly!!
It’s very easy to forget what has or hasn’t been done, so the best thing to do is – you guessed it! – create a process!
Checking off things the list as we get them done will help us keep track of where we’re at. In order to do that properly, it’s great to sit down and think the process through. Consider all the steps like how are we getting the people in our doors, getting paperwork filled out, training, and getting them used to your children, parents, and the rest of the team.
Bringing them into your business
Once you’ve hired your new team member – a newbie or someone who’s done it before – you want to get them settled in. Give them time to learn the processes and routines. Let them get to know their new colleagues and the kids and parents.
It’s important to make their probation as positive an experience as possible, so that they want to stay. It’ll save you time, money and energy if you can retain your new team members and not have to go through the hiring process over and over again.
Watch my video to find out more about how I create my onboarding system!
I hope your takeaway from this is that you need to get an actual process in place! One that’s written down and ideally in a checklist form, because it definitely helps things flow easier! Trust me on that!
Tell me in the comments…Do you have any onboarding tips? What works for you?
Join us over on Facebook for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! You can hang out with like-minded and aspirational daycare owners. Or if you prefer Instagram, we share inspiration, 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!