Why systems equals success in your childcare business

Why systems equals success in your childcare business

By now you’ll know that I believe systems and processes have a truly significant role in building your childcare business. They’re key to you growing and up-levelling! In the last 15 years, my main learning from being a childcare business owner has been that systems equals success!

Some of the most important factors of implementing systems in your business are to improve efficiency and organization. This is what enables you to monitor and manage your staff whilst staying connected to the operational strategies of the business. And you can keep taking a step back to make sure everything is working and in sync to help you achieve your vision.

Let’s take a look at why systems equal success…

Why do you rave about systems, Nyckie?

Because they work!! (Can I get an amen?!) No matter what size your childcare business is, it no doubt includes multiple systems working together to achieve your goals. Systems and processes are essential to your business’ success, especially when it comes to growth. If you don’t have these to lean on then your growth will be super hard to achieve.

Trust me! To ensure you can train employees and delegate responsibilities, to offer a consistent high quality service, make sure things run smoothly in your day-to-day, you need systems!


Setting up systems is all well and good BUT if they don’t actually work, then what’s the point? 🤷🏾‍♀️

I recommend that you go over your systems at least every 6 months. Analyze and review them, make sure every part of the system is  working towards its purpose. Once you’ve gone through the hard work of setting up all your systems, it can be very easy to put them on the back-burner and forget all about them. But we need to check in from time to time, to look at what’s working and what needs adjusting. As your business grows it’s to be expected that your systems need to adapt too.

In the generic biz world, they call this “System analysis”. Which is, essentially, studying a system or its parts in order to identify its objectives. Does it do its job properly? It’s basically a problem solving technique that helps you improve the system and ensures that all the components of the system work efficiently to accomplish their purpose. Analysis specifies what the system should do. I talk more about it here.

Optimize your childcare business processes

It’s important that you take time to understand the entire system in order to make changes to simplify the steps involved. By using a systems perspective, you can remove unnecessary steps and find effective short cuts which can save your childcare business money (and who doesn’t want to do that, right?!). You want to optimize your systems for ultimate success, not keep things as they’ve always been.

Think about it! What worked brilliantly when you had an in-home daycare with 4 children isn’t necessarily going to do the job when you’re set up in your first location. What worked for 3 team members, is unlikely to work when you’ve got multiple locations and several teams. So do take some time and go through your systems one by one and check if they need to grow with you so you can get to that next level of success.

Problem solving instead of problem dodging

One of the benefits of analyzing your systems—picking it apart and then adjusting as needed—is that your problem solving skills will improve. Instead of avoiding complexity, a systems approach helps you see problems as exciting opportunities. These problems offer potential ways to innovate and develop your creativity. If something isn’t working, what can you do to improve that element of the system? Brainstorm and think outside the box!

problem solving

And this has a knock-on effect with your team. They see you modelling leadership from a problem solving angle, and it has an impact on the way they approach tasks too! Rather than shy away from difficult issues, your staff turn into active problem solvers. They also feel safer to try new ways of thinking because they can trust your systems.

Are your systems helping you achieve your objectives?

Another thing to consider is where you want to be—what’s your bigger vision?—and to see if your systems are leading to that goal. You want to be working a few steps ahead so that you’re ready for what’s coming.

When you only address one part of the problem, you’ll likely never find a long-term solution. By taking a step back, and looking at the interconnected dynamics of the system, you’ll discover a better way of organizing your business.

Systems thinking can help you revolutionize your childcare business across every aspect. If you put the systems approach to work in your childcare—however large or small!—a better and more efficient business could be right around the corner. And that means more revenue!

So, repeat after me: Systems = Success! Unless of course, they’re not working!

I’d love to know what the biggest change you’ve had to make in your childcare business is, as it’s grown? How did you manage to navigate it? Which of your systems needed adapting? Come and join in the conversation about systems over in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group!

And I have an awesome freebie, specially designed by my team of business ninjas to help you sort out your systems! Because smart systems in your business result in Success! So what are you waiting for?! Download your FREE Sassy Systems Workbook today!


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 for biz ideas and to take a sneak peek behind the scenes!

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It’s time to sort out your systems!

It’s time to sort out your systems!

Last week I was talking about financial systems, but this week I’m focusing in on the general ones you need to have in place for your childcare business. I know I have mentioned systems before, but there’s a reason why I’m a huge advocate—THEY WORK!

When I implemented systems into my day cares, I was able to take a breath, and then begin to up my game! We’re halfway through quarter 1, and there’s still plenty of time to get around to organising your own so you can have your best year yet!

Hands up if you’re ready to get systematizing for a super successful 2021? If you’re in, read on!

What’s so great about systematizing?

What isn’t there to love about getting systems in place?! Who doesn’t want to have processes that will help you get organized and help your staff become more independent?!

Nailing your systematizing means you can take time off to relax, to follow your passions, all without guilt. No longer will you spend days out of office worrying about how everyone’s coping without you, leaving your cell phone on just in case. You’ll be able to take a deep breath and walk out of the day care center knowing that you’ve got things covered!


It’s good for everyone if you can de-stress — your staff will feel more empowered and valued and your business is bound to flourish! I’d love to encourage you to plan and brainstorm around creating your systems for a successful 2021.

Why start now?

We’re mid-February which I know is only a short month, but we’ve still got plenty of time! This really is the best time to start putting systems in place if you haven’t yet got around to it because we’re still early on in the year.

So I’d love to encourage you to start the year strong, you’ve probably already created your vision for the year and set your goals so systems come next to turn those into action steps. It’s an ideal time to do it at the beginning of the year as we have other planning going on as well so it makes sense to take some time and brainstorm.


Assess what you’ve already got in place

Look at what you have in place right now, what’s not working, how you’d like to see it work in 2021 and begin making changes.

Break down all the steps and processes that you have in place, adding in the things you’d like to improve. Now you’ve got a plan and a sort of flow chart to guide you through each area of your business.  If you need a guide to help you with this process, download your free childcare business map here and get started building your systems.

So let’s take a step back, get some perspective and look at the systems we have in place. Note down all those little tasks – cleaning toys, writing a menu, invoicing clients…everything! What’s working? What’s not? Dig in and start making some changes.

Once you’ve got your systems all laid out, it’s time to call a staff meeting and get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet!

Up-level your organization NOW!

The systems are what’s going to help you reach your goals in 2021, the earlier the better.  It’s already February, so let’s do it now! Let’s up-level those systems to create success in our Childcare business this year.

And there are so many brilliant ways you can get organized nowadays. From apps to incredible planners, you can get everything sorted out and in order! Systems don’t have to be stressful. But they can help you take your business to the next level!


So what’s stopping you from getting systems in place?

Would you like to chat with me about taking your childcare business to the next level? I’ve been where you are and I can help you grow much faster than I ever did, because I now have the road map. I’ve been coaching women like you and I have seen the progress they’ve made in a short space of time. You can too! All you have to do is book a free discovery call with me, Nyckie B here!

Come and let us know over in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group! I’m sharing tips on setting those systems up so you can actually grow your childcare business.

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!

childcare ninjas logo 2020


Planning for emergencies: How to handle pressure in your childcare business

Planning for emergencies: How to handle pressure in 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.

Don’t panic!

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?

Happy emergencies

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!

babysitter childcare events and weddings passion into action

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.

childcare ninjas logo 2020

Financial Goals Reloaded!

Financial Goals Reloaded!

Have you taken a moment to rethink and reload your financial goals for 2020? It’s been a rollercoaster of a year so far, but there’s no need to despair! Essentially, we’re only half way through so let’s assess where you’re at and get planning!

Y’all know my favorite word is the “p” word. Ms. Nyckie loves the planning! However, you might be wondering, “what’s the point?” You’re maybe even thinking, “Let’s write off 2020 and start from scratch next year”. Who wants to sit back and mope?? Not me! And I want to encourage you to re-look at your financial goals with some positivity and hope!

Why you need to rethink your financial goals

Between a global pandemic causing financial chaos and the anxious state of flux we’re seeing on the international stock market, it’s not really surprising that we might not have met our goals for 2020. But I hasten to add one word to that sentence: YET. You might not have met them YET.

Clearly 2020 is giving us enough reasons to rethink (life, health, family…let alone our businesses!), so why not just go with the flow? We cannot control the way the pandemic is impacting our businesses – social distancing, face masks and additional cleaning are just a few of the adjustments we’re all having to make – not to mention closures for those of us in countries where strict lock-downs have been in place.

What we can control is our reactions and coping strategies. Let’s be pro-active, re-think and reload our financial goals!

Where to start with reloading

It sounds simple, but in the words of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning”! You made Q1 goals in January, right? And maybe the more savvy Childcare Ninjas among us even set Q2 goals back in March. Since then things have gone a bit haywire, and maybe that line you’re usually so able to predict hasn’t quite followed the path you were expecting.

cup of coffee with

Look at what’s worked well and where things need some support. Have you managed to stay open during this time, or have you had to close temporarily for everyone’s safety? I’ve been lucky in the grand scheme of things, but I know many childcare business owners elsewhere who’ve had to shut their doors, uncertain of when they’ll be able to welcome their families back and therefore had to dismiss staff. Now some of those day cares are preparing for re-opening and they’ve got to look at rehiring as well as navigate intense new levels of hygiene.

If you’ve been one of the lucky ones and have been able to keep going, take a good look at your goals from earlier in the year. How can you alter the projections you’d made to take into account any changes in the financial climate? Factor in any interest rate alterations and allowances you might have been able to access. You can still dream big, and maybe reloaded goals look more positive than you’d imagined they might, considering the current situation.

planning with post-its on whiteboard

Ensure that your goals are SMART.

If you’ve not heard of SMART goals before, this means that you are looking at targets in a more analytical way. While you’re reloading your financial goals, it’s worth checking that they are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Due to the instability of everything at this precise moment in time, you might be concerned about the longevity of your business so analyse everything and figure out what you can do differently.

Setting really specific goals, like “Find 3 new families for the day care” or “create new menu on a smaller budget”, will mean you can easily see if you’re making progress. Just be sure to write down detailed plans, to chunk big goals down into bite-size ones, and make a timeline for achieving your goals.

The back up plan for your financials…

If you’re not going to meet your goals, but still worrying about not meeting adjusted targets, what’s your plan B? What are you going to do differently to cover your back? If you’re not fully up and running yet, you could set a new goal to develop your childcare business by training up a team or looking at venues. Or maybe you’ve got to pick up some freelance jobs or babysitting work in addition to running your childcare business, just to tide things over.

You may decide that now is the time to start saving more emergency funds, or that you’re going to make changes in your investment strategy so your money has a better chance of surviving market downturns.

I’d be happy to chat over in the Facebook group with you about how things are going, and the other childcare business owners will have ideas about how you can adjust your strategy to reach your new goals, in the new normal (whatever that looks like for you!).


Before you go, have you found the Childcare Ninja Facebook group yet? We are 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!

How to make opening your first home childcare business a breeze

How to make opening your first home childcare business a breeze

It sounds like a mammoth task, doesn’t it – “Opening your first home childcare”?! Appears to be pretty daunting, hey? But breaking it down into bitesize pieces is going to help you.  Just try to focus on each thing you need to get done, and don’t let yourself get caught up in the overwhelm of starting a new business.

Starting my first childcare business in my family home was a huge learning curve for me. You’ve really got to be sure that this is something you want to do. It’s no longer a case of having your kids’ friends over for dinner, it’s your livelihood. There are regulations and guidelines you’ve got to follow. This is a commitment! But it is soooo worth it!

Why home childcare?

My reason for setting up my first business as home childcare is pretty common, I guess. I wanted a job where I could balance my home life and work, that used my skills and stretched my intellect. It gave me the chance to be my own boss, but still be at home when my baby girls got back from school. Caring for other people’s children in my own home meant I could be around to support my own kids. There was also the added bonus that if there was a performance on at the school, I could make it an educational field trip for the day care!

Still feeling a little unsure? Never fear, lovely Ninjas! As a seasoned childcare business owner, I have some tips to share with you. We’re going to get you feeling organized, confident and ready, so you’re not frazzled when you open the doors!

Get your mindset ready

When you’re opening your first home childcare it can feel a little strange. You’re essentially turning the place where you live and sleep into a work place. And that is a pretty scary thing to do! So what you need to do is develop strategies that get you in the right mindset. These will help you keep a balance.

The way we approach our challenges often sets out how they’re going to be. For example, if you rush around in a frenzy setting up your home childcare the reality is that you’ll probably end up running your business in the same way. I believe that being organized, calm and confident in my abilities will set me up for success, and it’s the same for you.

Positive mindset

Hey girl you've got this - Ohverlee

Surround yourself with positive messages and people who believe in you. Put post-its on the cupboards reminding you that “you are awesome” and “You’ve got this”, and get some dollar store frames and print off some posters with affirmations on them – make your own on Canva or use this template. Here is a really great article with some business specific affirmations for you to read. I love this print from the talented British designer, Ruthie who runs “Ohverlee“.

Make sure you’ve got a space at home that you can go and reflect in at the end of the working day. Somewhere calm, child free and relaxing, where you can light a candle or be creative. I’ve written more about creating a space for yourself here.

Plan, plan and plan some more

This is super important and will make opening your first home childcare feel easy breezy! Making plans and putting them into action is how you are going to run a successful childcare business, so let’s start off the way we mean to continue, right?

With opening your first home childcare, you’re bound to be on a tight budget, so planning is key. So, first of all, you’ve got to plan out your space. What do you want the parents to be buzzing about when they visit? What do you want the kids to notice? Think about what you’re offering families and plan out how that’s going to work. Take time to figure out the curriculum – will there be a theme each week or month? Plan out activities you’d like to try and trips you’d like to make – this’ll get you ahead of the game!

Plan out how you want each day to look. Will you begin each day with a story? Will the kids be allowed to free-flow into your outside space (if you have one) or will there be set times?

Plan out meals you might prepare each month taking care to have a healthy balance and not too much repetition. Then you can get list ready for grocery shopping. It doesn’t matter that you’re not open yet. This is going to save you time when you are!

By breaking down each part of the business, and planning it out, you can then start thinking about systems!

Start with systems

Before you open your home childcare, it’s a good idea to have some systems in place. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am systems obsessed – and for good reason! It’s how I have grown my childcare business and it’s how I stay sane! By being organized, and using systems, I have more time for the fun stuff!

The way I do this is I write down all my plans – every area of the business, every little task – and I then look at ways I can simplify or put a system in place. This ranges from staffing to hygiene, food to safety! I have systems in place for everything. And I cannot stress how essential this is if you want to start off on the right foot. You might change the systems once you get going, but it’s good to get organized in advance of opening.

Download your free childcare business map here and I’ve written more about planning and systems here.

planning opening your first home childcare

Hopefully you’re now feeling a little more prepared and ready to begin this journey? And perhaps more motivated to get started on organizing yourself?! I love hearing about how other people go about setting up their childcare businesses, so please leave a comment below or drop me an email with how you’re doing.

This is such a great industry to be in and it’s why I set up my membership to help other women become successful childcare ninjas as well!


My community of Childcare Ninjas is here to help with tips and advice, and to support you while you’re opening your first home childcare business – and beyond!

Please tap into the hive mind over in the free Facebook group, and if you want to join the Ninja Membership head here now to reserve your spot! And don’t forget to follow @ChildcareNinjas on Instagram for more ways to grow your business!