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!
There’s one main thing that can totally help you stay on track inside your childcare business. Are you doing it, Ninja? It’s ok, don’t panic! I wasn’t either in the beginning. But now I make sure that I’m using all kinds of workflow systems to help me stay on top of things. Read on to find out how to setup your very own childcare workflow for success!
I wish I’d known 15 years ago how much having a workflow would help me! Since I started implementing them I’ve grown my business massively and don’t know where I’d be without them.
So what are you waiting for?! Let’s get started right now…
Nyckie, what is a workflow?!
Simply put, a workflow is a way of making your day more efficient. A business workflow is a repeatable process that consists of a series of tasks that generally need to be completed in a specific sequence. You map out your processes – for everything – and then you’ve got a workflow to ensure things get done!
Workflows are useful for making sure that those important processes you rely on are done the right way – every single time. An example: you may want to define a process workflow for onboarding new employees. You want to make sure that all your new employees get all the info, policies, and resources they need!
So, now you know: a workflow isn’t a plan for the kids, it’s a flow of work for you. The purpose is to ensure your daycare runs smoothly and your business is successful! What are you waiting for, Ninja?!
Write it all down
Start off by writing everything down. Break down all the tasks your team have to do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. How often? By whom?
Look at your monthly views in your planner. What needs to get done in each month? Payroll? Team meetings? Taxes? Training? Each month is different! And don’t forget about those special days each month – Thanksgiving, National Poetry Day, Valentines, Black History Month… Maybe you’ll want to create some activities based round these or get a guest in. If you’ve got it written down, you won’t forget!
Theme your days
I have a theme for each day of the week. For example, Mondays for me are marketing days. I take a look at what needs doing so I can stay visible and keep my day care centers on people’s radars. What do I want to post? I focus on what needs doing for my marketing each Monday. Tuesdays are for teamwork! I meet up with team members and update paperwork. Wednesdays is my client day, so I focus on emailing potential families back or getting in touch with people who’ve been in for a tour.
Thursdays is my facilities day. So I work on things that relate to inspections – paperwork, asking questions. And I also use that time to do facility paperwork or practical tasks – like ordering lightbulbs! Sometimes I reflect on how things are working in the facilities – are the plans we have working? Do I need to work on the building itself and remodel? My Friday focus is finance!
I’ve just shared my themed days with you, but I now have all this down on my Trello. Each theme has a board and then I add tasks to the list that come up to the appropriate board and I then work on those as I go! I used to find using tech really hard for my workflows, but now I get in and open up my boards and I can see what has to get done! Once you’ve figured out your themed tasks then you can plug them into your week. I show you exactly how I do mine here!
There are other tools that I know people use, and I hear great things. There’s Asana, Monday, Hive, and more… You’ve got all the tech right at your fingertips! Imagine if I’d had these tools 15 years ago!
Hopefully you can now see how you can run a daycare successfully using a workflow! Have fun with the template and try out implementing your workflow with tech to help you stay organized.
Don’t forget your freebie!
I’ve created you a FREE RESOURCE to help you start and scale your home childcare business successfully. So don’t forget to grab this week’s FREE resource: my Ultimate Childcare Workflow Template. Get your copy now by clicking here. Enjoy!
Want to grow your business and get more involved in the childcare community? 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!
Something I get asked all the time is “how do I go about setting up my home childcare business?!” And it’s not a simple question to answer by any means! However, I’ve got some tips and tricks from all my years of setting up multiple day cares that I want to share with you.
I wish someone had created a simple guide for me to follow back in the day, so I thought I’d fill that gap to support you in your journey.
Wave goodbye to overwhelm
When it comes to setting up your childcare business it could be very easy for the seemingly endless To Do list to get overwhelming. Before you know it, tasks are missed, inventory gets messed up, meal plans and ordering go crazy…How do I know?! Because I’ve been there, done that. I’ve learned the hard way so you don’t have to!
By following my 5 steps, you’re giving yourself a massive head start in the childcare game! Ditch the overwhelm and start taking simple steps towards success right now!
5 steps to setting up!
There are 5 steps to setting up your childcare – whether that’s a home-based daycare or a smaller center. These 5 steps that will give you a great foundation to start your new career with
Setting up the actual childcare space.
Setting up all your workflows.
Managing daycare paperwork.
Create your financial systems.
Although I cover those five steps in this week’sYoutube videoI wanted to share with you a little about each step here.
Getting your space all set up
This is the fun bit! I like to use Pinterest for inspiration. Creating boards of the different areas I need and what I’d love them to look like. Plan out what you can do in your unique space.
In case you’re stuck for ideas on this first step, have a read of this blog post I wrote about designing the space.
Figure out your workflow
This step is the key to success! Creating your own personal workflow for your days. This is separate from the daily routines you have planned for the kids! Setting up your personal workflow as the childcare business owner is going to help you feel less overwhelmed and keep things running smoothly in your business. The workflow helps you get into a rhythm too.
Trello is where my workflow goes, but I also love using my planner. But it doesn’t really matter where you write it all down, the purpose is to help you get clarity on what tasks need doing and when you’re going to do them.
Will you plan to do your paperwork during the kids’ nap time? It’s good to fit in simple tasks you can manage to do in the same room as the children as they sleep. Or perhaps you’ll be planning your menu on a particular day during naps. Maybe on Fridays if you have movie time when the kids are leaving you can catch up on the week’s finances.
It’s about spending your time more wisely, having a plan and getting into a routine. Setting it up properly in the beginning will make a difference!
Managing the paperwork
The bit lots of you will be dreading, and it’s the bit I got all wrong in the early days… I had so many files and folders and I had no system to organize things. It was chaos! But once I nailed my own filing system and had somewhere designated to store them, things got a LOT easier!
You might want to keep paper records in binders or folders on a shelf in your office, so you have them to hand – especially handy for those inspection times! These ought to include all your official and mandatory daycare files (insurance etc); your staff and kids’ files; enrollment packets (I keep mine in a separate box); all your food files…
Nailing your financial systems
I’m always talking about systems, I know! But there’s a good reason why. They will save you from slip-ups over and over again! Systems keep you organized and on top of your game. What’s not to love, right? And when it comes to financial systems, you want to get them sorted as soon as possible.
Since I got all my finance systems fixed-up, I’ve been able to grow my childcare business empire beyond my dreams! None of my focus goes on overwhelm or worrying about how things are doing, because I know already! And you can have that weight off your shoulders too.
Automate your business
Being a childcare business owner is hard enough without having to do every single little thing yourself! So I’d highly recommend not skipping this step! Look at apps that’ll save you time or help you stay organized. Whether that’s apps to help with staffing or apps to make CEO life easier, use technology to grow your business.
When I first set up my home daycare over 15 years ago, I didn’t know about any of this stuff!! This meant that promoting my business was super hard. But it doesn’t have to be hard for you! Apps and technology for growing your biz are absolutely where it’s at!!
Watch my YouTube video to find out more about each of these steps because that’ll help you create a plan! Which will get you working more efficiently and become profitable faster!
Ok Ninja, no more worries! Every little thing is gonna be alright!
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! 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!
Last week I wrote about getting our mindset ready for the inspection process and looking at it with the mindset that this is going to be something that helps us do what we do even better! This week we’re thinking about how to prepare for inspections.
Now that we’ve got our mindset sorted out, we’ll pull out some strategies to help us get the job done while we prepare for that all important daycare inspection.
In this blog post you’ll find ideas and strategies to help you create a successful Daycare Inspection Strategy. These are going to help you prepare for what’s commonly recognized as the scariest part of your childcare ownership journey!
It’s time to get confident and kiss goodbye to the fear!! Let’s go Ninja!
Remember that inspections are here to keep kids safe!
This is not a trick situation. No one is out to get you! The inspectors are coming into your day care to make sure it’s as safe as it can possibly be for children in your care. Running a childcare business means you signed up to a regulated industry and we all want to do our best, right? And it’s an opportunity to have an experienced expert giving you advice and support on a yearly basis.
It’s really important that you get your mindset into a positive space. Read more about how to get into the right frame of mind for your inspection here.
Why do you need a strategy?
All a strategy is is a plan! It’s not as complex as it sounds. And, in this case, the plan is going to keep you focused and give you confidence to show the inspector round your day care without worrying about things.
The tips I’m sharing have helped me and others that I’ve shared them with to go on and smash their inspections. When you approach these inspections with a positive mindset and a tried and tested strategy, it’s much less stressful all round!
Back when you opened your daycare, you would’ve been given some sort of handbook or regulation information. It might have been a digital format or it could’ve been in print. Either way, I like to keep a paper copy of mine in each day care because then I can check things off as and when I remember them. Or maybe download it on your iPad and scroll through whenever you get the chance.
I’d hazard a guess that back then when you first got your handbook you were probably all rose-tinted glasses thinking you’ll never letting things slip. You were no doubt adamant that you’d be looking over it and getting clued up on the daily. But after a while you realized that you’re referring to it less than you initially hoped! So your first job is to go get the handbook back out! We all get super busy and things can easily be missed. Doing a bit of a re-read on the regular means you’ll always be prepared.
What do you need to have in place in order to meet the requirements? Get yourself refamiliarized with your state regulations so that you feel in control and confident when the inspection rolls around.
Play inspection make believe
Two pairs of eyes is better than one. So why not ask someone with a fresh pair – someone you trust! – to look through the handbook and help you out. Get them to come in and point out things you’ve overlooked. This could be a team member or a savvy friend. Ask them to play the role of inspector and make sure everything is in tact.
Sometimes it’s more manageable if you break the “inspection” down and go over each section at a different time, making notes as you go. Although I don’t know every single state handbook by heart, they generally consist of 4 key areas: facility paperwork, staffing, children’s records, and the environment. Allocating a team member to “inspect” one of these, and then swapping can give you a great insight into the things that might be overlooked.
It’s an excellent way to prepare for your inspection.
Make a video
Okay, okay. I know it sounds a little funny. But this is something that really helped me! I know it’s not fun to watch yourself back but it will help you! Just like when you’re in the movies and you notice errors – like in the scene editing, when props are suddenly missing, or there’s sometimes a random hair or outfit change – you’ll watch your recording and notice things. I bet you’ll catch things you totally missed as you were going through! Tiny but crucial things, like a missing outlet or safety cover and you’ll be even better prepared for the real thing!
I first realised the value of making a video when I made a training video for new staff and noticed things out of place or missing! Honestly, try it! It’s amazing how our brains see what they want to see! Filming yourself doing a preparation run of the inspection and filming it is a game changer!
Not your first inspection?
If you’ve had previous inspections, don’t forget to go through all the old notes and recommendations. What did you miss last time? Try and catch as much as possible before your next inspection comes around. Thoroughly check their references to systems and paperwork, where did things slip previously?
Use your experiences to reassure newer staff and teach them how to go through the handbook and check things off. What are your top tips for prepping for an inspection?
These are just a few of the things that have helped me so head over to the Facebook group. There you can watch my Live on #replay and find out more about how I prepare!
Don’t forget to get your hands on my Ultimate Home Daycare Inspection Guide which includes a checklist to help you get ready for your upcoming inspection. Get your copy now by clicking here now!.
If you haven’t joined the group yet jump in and join us live every week. You can catch up on past lives about inspections but also a ton of other topics that’ll help you grow your childcare business!
Want to get more involved in the childcare business owner community and really ramp up your business to the next level? 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!
This week we launched The Club and boy oh boy it has been incredible to see the caliber of women who are on board! Woop woop! So I thought it might be a nice idea to share with you some empowering quotes from phenomenal women to inspire you to up your game. Y’all know this is the sort of blog post you gotta share with your fellow business owners, right?!
And if you’re ready to create the childcare business of your dreams, you’ve still got a chance to join The Club!
Here are 8 of my favorite empowering quotes to give you a boost today and beyond!
Empowering Quote 1:
Who else to start us off by one of the fiercest women to roam this planet?! None other than the tennis queen herself, Serena Williams.
Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on. Serena Williams
Phenomenal Quote 2:
Next up is the Queen of Pop, Beyoncé, whose music inspires and encourages us to all be ourselves and become the leaders we were born to be! Who run the world?! GIRLS!
We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead. Beyoncé
Inspiring Quote 3:
An inspirational and empowering list would not be a proper list without the icon that was Rosa Parks. We are grateful for those that fought hard for our rights and we’ll continue to follow in their footsteps!
I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fears; knowing what must be done does away with fear. Rosa Parks
Yassssss Queen Quote 4:
We couldn’t compile this list without the First Lady who’ll forever be in our hearts and inspiring us daily, Michelle Obama!
There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish. Michelle Obama
Girl Boss Quote 5:
When you’re the first African American Woman to lead a Fortune 500 company we had to have her! Ursula Burns smashed the glass ceiling when she became CEO of Xerox in 2009. Proof it’s possible, right?!
Believe that there are no limitations, no barriers to your success — you will be empowered and you will achieve. Ursula Burns
Royalty Quote 6:
What’s an empowering quotes list without Oprah? The woman is a living legend, right?!
Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping-stone to greatness. Oprah Winfrey
Kickass Quote 7:
I love this quote from Indie film producer and singer, Gina Carey! It’s my approach to challenges for sure! Go on, give it a try.
A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink. Gina Carey
Illuminating Quote 8:
I wanted to finish with a quote that inspires you to be yourself. No matter how hard things get, remember you are a shining light, Ninja!!
Nothing can dim the light which shines from within. Maya Angelou
I hope these empowering quotes will inspire you to strive to achieve your goals, in your business and in your life!
And that they remind you that if you’re learning from all the things that you’re doing, even if the outcome isn’t quite what you planned or hoped for, you’re always learning! And when you’re learning from your mistakes and everything else that you’re doing, you’re definitely winning!
Which leads me to tell you a little bit more about The Club. It’s my brand new learning and community platform for Childcare Ninja Bosses to be inspired, learn, grow and build a business that enables the life of freedom they want!
We’ll be working our way through everything you need to succeed! From getting your first clients, finding and setting up a location, planning, staffing, creating systems, and oh so much more!
I wish this had been available to me when I first set out to run my own childcare business! But hey, I was put here on this earth to help others and that is what I’m gonna continue to do! It is absolutely my mission to inspire, educate and support women to create successful childcare businesses so that they can live a life of freedom, flexibility, and financial success!