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!
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!
It’s Marketing Week here at Childcare Ninjas HQ and in my community we’re sharing our ideas and experience. As such, I wanted to take this time to encourage you to make your childcare business marketing more simple. In this blog post, I’m going to reveal some steps you can take that will reduce the stress that marketing often brings! I want to help you in making marketing easy!
I’ve heard new childcare business owners talking about how they complicated their marketing is. So I want to tell you it doesn’t have to be! Read on to find out how…
1. Keep your marketing simple
As childcare business owners, it’s very tempting to try to be in all the places, all the time. But I need you to hear me on this one: you cannot be everywhere AND do a good job at marketing. Not without spending a fortune and hiring someone (which you can eventually, just maybe not right now?).
Spreading yourself too thin is a common mistake that new childcare bosses make, and I want you to know that actually it’s much more effective to focus your energy and time on one or two platforms, rather than trying to juggle four or five of them! If you know that your families hang out on Facebook, then that is where you should be targeting. Whereas if you’ve got a younger client base, perhaps TikTok is where you could focus your energies.
And it’s not just about social media, printing posters and putting them up in local facilities can get you lots of leads too. Read this blog to give you more ideas. But, try to keep it simple: Don’t try to be everywhere! Do a couple of things really well!!
2. Budget for your marketing
This one is a bit of a no brainer, but if you’re new to childcare ownership is can also feel totally alien. When it comes to marketing, you need to figure out a budget that works for you and your business. It’s vital that you know your budget and can find ways to market your business in a cost effective manner.
After you’ve paid your staff, yourself, and all the bills for your business, what have you got left in your budget? Think about what can you specifically allocate to marketing and still allow a buffer for emergencies. When you’ve worked out your monthly budget, you can work out how you’re going to spend it. Will you be putting money into publishing a local magazine advertisement, paying for social media ads or going old school?
It’s also key that you can look at something you’ve marketed and work out what the return on investment (ROI) was. For example, if you put $50 into some 500 flyers for the local area, how many new clients got in touch – 5? That’s $10 per lead. How can you improve that?
3. Plan your marketing
Putting a plan in place means that any marketing you do will be more likely to have an impact. It will give you a clear map of how you want to market your childcare business and also act as a compass for the purpose and direction of your marketing. Without a plan, you’re just shouting ineffectively into the wind and it’s a waste of your time and energy!
So make a plan. What are you marketing? To whom? Why? Where will you market it? How? When? Don’t be afraid to break it down into bitesize chunks so it feels more manageable. You got this, Ninja!
4. Schedule and implement your plan
Once you’ve laid out your plans, you’re going to have to block out the time you need to take action. Set yourself some deadlines, and start to put together a timeline. Where are you going to start? What is your sales funnel leading them towards?
If you can automate and schedule your marketing content, I’d highly recommend doing so! Since I began using systems and scheduling software for my marketing, I’ve managed to claw back some precious time and can focus on the things I love doing – which is supporting childcare business owners to become ninjas in what they do! Oh and of course, being a childcare boss myself and looking out for my team and the families we serve.
So I encourage you to get focused on what you need to do and when and make it as easy as possible by scheduling! And now get implementing! Go, Ninja, go!
When you follow these 4 simple steps, you’re going to start seeing your hard work pay off!
What gives you a headache when it comes to marketing? Have you tried breaking it down into baby steps? I hope this blog has helped you realize marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. I’d love to help you get clearer on this. Leave a comment or head to the Childcare Ninja Facebook group to discuss how to make marketing your childcare business as simple as pie. Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!
While you’re here, are you in the Childcare Ninja membership yet? 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! It’s full of exclusive resources and support to help you grow your Childcare Business.
Those of us who’ve been in the childcare industry for a while will be well-acquainted with the frequency of emergency situations that occur for us on a weekly basis! However, we still struggle to cover ourselves for every eventuality. So what can we do to improve our ability to handle pressure? How can we relieve some of the stress we feel when it comes to dealing with the situations we face?
In my decades of experience in handling pressure, I’ve learned from all my mistakes so you don’t have to! Let me share with you some things that keep me cool calm and collected – even when the pressure gauge rises to the max.
Keeping up appearances
As for how we handle things that are thrown our way, we’re somewhat different from other industries. This is because a) there’s kids involved, and b) we can’t just drop everything when we’re faced with an emergency. We’re expected to keep up appearances while handling situations. We’ve got our businesses to represent, after all!
So when an emergency situation pops up, we have to maintain a level of professionalism that people in other industries can let slide. And that can be tough when you’re under pressure.
This week I’m focusing on dealing with the pressures we may have when an incident arises, such as kids needing first aid, but handling that in a professional manner and still being able to help deal with the issue, but also keep all the other kids safe.
The last thing you want to do is panic in an emergency, because your concern will cause a ripple effect. First, your staff will freak out and then the children in your care. Neither of these potential disasters is ideal! So, what you need to consider is what will keep you calm and how you can maintain a sense of serenity that the others will pick up on.
It’s really important we stay calm whenever we’re facing a tricky situation. And remaining calm is altogether much simpler when you’re planned and prepared.
Always have a plan to handle pressure
We all know how much I love planning, right?! I can’t emphasize enough how vital it is to plan – in detail – every little part of our businesses. But it’s even more important to ensure that we’ve got plans for emergency situations.
Take time out at the beginning of setting up your business to plan out how you (and your team if you’ve got one yet) will deal with situations that are likely to arise. Really look closely at various possibilities and figure out how you’ll handle them.
It’s a good idea to start putting plans together as soon as you can, so that you’re able to handle the pressures of childcare ownership when circumstances come to challenge you.
Roles and responsibilities
One part of planning out how you’ll deal with emergencies is looking at what role each member of the team would be allocated. Someone needs to be in charge of dialing 911, another can take responsibility for a head count of the kids. Another role might be keeping the kids calm and distracting them from any upsetting situations.
Making sure each team member has set roles for these worst case scenarios is an essential part of your planning. Do you regularly update the responsibilities, bearing in mind that your children will change over time, your plans also need to be adjusted accordingly.
Does every member of your team know what role they play in an emergency?
Plan ahead of time
This is all about being preemptive and proactive. It’s a key part of planning for emergencies! Take action before a situation arises. Get a break down laid out for every potential challenge. And plan well ahead so that you’re not side-swiped by things.
That’s a key thing, to get steps and protocol all organized so that everyone knows what to do if and when something happens.
Much of how we handle the pressure of a developing disaster often depends on whether or not we’ve taken that time right at the beginning to plan out how we’ll address situations and emergencies. And whether our staff are well-informed and aware of their roles.
How they can handle pressure when you’re not there
These steps will also empower your team, because there might be the odd occasion when you’re not in the building to get them ship-shape. But you still need them to know what they’ve got to do and how they’re going to handle the situation.
And because you may not always be there when the situation happens, it’s a good idea to have things written out and accessible so that your team can reacquaint themselves with their roles whenever they feel like they need a refresher.
Ask your team: Do you know what to do if we had an emergency?
It’s also worth remembering that emergency situations aren’t always negative. It’s not all doom and gloom! Occasionally we come across a situation that can be exciting in a positive way too.
Recently, me and the team were faced with just this kind of emergency! A member of my staff team went into labour a little earlier than we had anticipated. However, because I’d taken the time to plan out how we would cope, and because we’d had a run through early enough, when this actually happened we were more prepared for it!
It wasn’t nearly as stressful because we actually had plans in place! We were able to handle the situation calmly and with grace! Things just ran so much smoother. The team came together so well!
I know I like to talk about it all the time, but there’s a reason for that! I totally believe in empowering your staff and making them rockstars in your business. Yes, I truly do believe that. So I urge you to build a team that feels like family!
Time to take action…
When are you going to make a start on crisis planning? Now you know how to handle pressure well in your childcare business, it’s time to take action!
Let me know when you’ve implemented some emergency planning protocols and had some team training to sort out roles. Leave a comment or head to the Childcare Ninja Facebook group to chat about your plans and how you handle the pressures that come with being a childcare business owner. Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!
In case you were wondering, there are even more resources and ideas for being a childcare owner over in my Childcare Ninja membership – are you in there yet? 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! It’s full of exclusive materials and support to help you grow your Childcare Business.
This week I’m focusing on mindset and my mantra is “stop wishing and start doing”. Because this is where the change starts: with you. It begins with you pressing pause on making wish lists and vision boards (not altogether! Just for now!) and getting some plans in place to achieve the goals you’ve set yourself.
In this blog you’re going to find some tips on why it’s important to take action, not just sit there waiting and wishing for good things to happen. The universe can be magical, and I know manifesting is a thing…but things don’t just occur and the universe is not going to chase you. You’ve gotta put things in motion and make moves that show you’re ready to receive!
Start with a daily check-in
Every day, on your way to work it’s the perfect time to check in with yourself. Reflect on where you’re at in terms of your mindset. Are you feeling positive and ready to level up? Or are you feeling anxious and stuck? However you’re feeling, you’ve got to start by acknowledging it and then sitting with that feeling.
So check your mindset at the door. Notice if there’s anything blocking you from succeeding or reaching your goals. Is there a task you’ve been putting off or a person that’s holding you back? If so, what can you do right now to solve that problem? Try to think outside the box and be creative about moving forward.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
Did you know that the average millionaire has seven different streams of income? 7?! That’s a whole lot of trial and error, isn’t it? Imagine how many beta tests they must’ve done before settling on those various ideas. And do you want to know the reason for their success? (Now’s not the time to discuss privilege by the way…but we’ll try to do that soon!) The clue is in the subheading…
These people have achieved success because although they might be terrified they’ve bitten the bullet and had a go anyway. They’ve taken action, even when they’ve been scared. And this comes down to a realization that failing is the worst that can happen. And actually that’s not as bad as people make out. Everyone makes mistakes. Failures happen. It’s how we deal with those moments that matters.
The Blame Game
Hands up if you play the blame game with yourself? I know I used to be guilty of this more than I like to admit. My favorite thing to blame was time. I was always saying “I just don’t have the time to do the things I know will help me reach those goals”. Or “I’m so busy I can’t possibly make time for that right now”. Looking back, I can see that what I actually did with my time was procrastination when I should’ve been spending time leveling up my business.
First off: there’s always time. Everyone has the same amount of hours in their day. Every person on this planet only has 24 hours a day. If you want to make money and be successful, you need to think of your time as a limited resource and spend it wisely. Yes, finances and not having to work two or three jobs makes a difference, but even the busiest people get stuff done! In fact doesn’t the saying go, “if you want something done, ask a busy person”?
If you’re not sure what you’re spending time on, I highly recommend checking your screen time. It’s always quite shocking to see how much time you’re spending on social media, your emails, etc, and deciding whether those things are a good use of your precious time. (NEWSFLASH: They’re not!)
Get Your Priorities Straight
Turns out that – back in the day – what I was seemingly incapable of was prioritizing. I would tell myself the lie “I’m too busy to do that” or “I’ve not got the time to focus on growing my business”. When actually what I meant was “growing my business isn’t a priority”. There comes a time when you have to make a choice and prioritize the things that really matter.
So how do you move past this? How do you stop telling yourself these lies and make the right choice for you and your business? How do you know what to prioritize?
If it’s important, you need to change and prioritize. You’ve got to choose where to begin. Here’s some ideas…
Break your goals into chunks
Take a look at your vision board and the goals you want to reach with your business. Break each one of them down into baby steps. Now you’ve got those, make a plan of how you can tackle each of them. What do you need to do that? Do you need to invest in some training? A course? How about a coach?
It’s time to stop wishing and start doing! C’mon, Ninjas!
Each week, put aside some time in your diary to work on those baby steps you’ve planned out. Make a decision to prioritize that task. It doesn’t matter if you only take minuscule steps. As long as you’re moving forward and making progress, that’s what counts!
By putting the task in your diary, and blocking out the time you’re telling your brain that this is important. That this is a priority for you. You’re less likely to get sidetracked or make excuses if you’ve put it in your diary! Doing this frees you from overwhelm while allowing you to progress on goals!
Another idea is to put it on the communal calendar! By doing that you’re also signaling to your team and your family that this is essential to your growth and you’re busy up-leveling. Great leadership and role modelling!
Now you’ve carved out time in your week and have a set of tasks that lead to achieving your goal, it’s time to knuckle down and get focused. Where are you going to work best? Wherever you choose, shut your door and take a deep breath. This is optimal focus time! You can get into the right frame of mind and work on your prioritized tasks.
In conclusion, it’s important that you recognize how vital time to work on your goals is. Getting in the right mindset will allow you to step up your action. No more excuses. No more blaming your lack of time. It’s time to take responsibility for your future and stop wishing and start doing!
I hope you’ve found this blog super helpful. If you have, share it with a friend!
Also, if you liked this, I wonder whether you’ve found the Childcare Ninja Facebook group yet? 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 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!