Raising the next generation of childcare workers

Raising the next generation of childcare workers

You might remember that a while ago I created a YouTube video on this topic, but I wanna shine a light on entry-level positions again. Although it might sound odd, I want you to think about ways you can raise the next gen of childcare workers by hiring total newbs.

Read on to find out why you need inexperienced team members in your childcare business.

Creating a well-rounded team

We all need additional help in our childcare business now and again. In fact just last week I wrote about how to create your dream team. (Take a peek here!)

Sometimes we’ll be on the hunt for outstanding teachers or brilliant experienced managers, to help us grow our businesses and take over the world! But often there’s still a need for another kind of help. We’ve got ratios to keep up, bottles to warm, and nappies to change!

This sort of help isn’t necessarily highly qualified like a trained teacher, but they’re still a massive help that will see us create a wonderful and well-rounded team.

After all, if you ran a restaurant, you wouldn’t hire an entire team of top chefs, would you? You need a highly trained lead chef, but also chef du parties, sous chefs, a baker, front of house staff…and they would all be up the creek without the least qualified member of the team! Who’s that?! The potwash!

Don’t turn away those with less experience

You need staff on the ground with less experience.  Not to be the dogsbodies, but they’re like a fresh canvass. These are the the ones you can raise to be the next generation of childcare workers. The ones you can mold and shape!

For those positions where they don’t need a certain amount of experience, there are a few ideas I wanted to share to help you make that process simpler.

Having a serving heart

Imagine someone comes to your daycare business looking for work, but they have no experience. They’re very interested in working for you. They see you have a great company that’s well managed and would love an opportunity to break into the industry.

Your instinct might be to politely decline their offer of work. You feel they’re lacking in experience.

But I want you to look at it from a different angle.

So what you may not be thinking of is that while they might not have relevant childcare experience they may actually come from fields where they are ‘serving’.

What I’ve seen in my 16 years or so of experience is that staff that come from a serving industry turn out to be a great fit. Especially with children because they already have that serving heart.

When you find someone with a heart to serve others, teaching them the ins and outs of working with children is a blessing to you.

They already have that servant’s heart and as they’re new to the industry you can train them in the unique ways you run your business.

Raising the next generation of childcare workers

As these newbies learn and grow you’ll find them being a fantastic fit for bigger and better opportunities in your business. Some years later they could even be a director!

It’ll mean in the future, you won’t always have to hire outside your team because they’ll have grown into the staff you’re looking for. Working this way – of training your blank canvasses – you get to raise up a new generation to develop in and with your business.

So when you do train them, have that mindset of empowering them, giving them experiences that will help prepare them for more responsibility.

We see that in places like McDonald’s or in corporate with apprenticeships/ learning plans. Places where someone comes from the counter and works their way up all the time! Why can’t we also do that in our daycares?

Anyway, those are my thoughts on why you ought to be hiring inexperienced team members and raising the next generation of childcare workers!

If you want to learn more about how to be the childcare boss you’ve been dreaming of, then join me in my signature program, The Childcare Flip!

During our time together  in the program you’ll work through my F.O.R.G.E framework, which will help you:

✨ Get clear on our USP
✨ Master your messaging
✨ Fill your spots and have a waitlist
✨ Develop a step by step ROADMAP to build your business

You’ll find the modules included cover so much! From Building Foundations through to Automation, and everything in between! Marketing, Finance, Relations and, of course, Staffing!

The first round have already been seeing huge growth, so if you want to join us for the next cohort, join the waitlist now!

The Childcare Flip Course


Before you dash off, don’t forget that there’s already some free support available to you! We have an active community of like-minded childcare business owners over on Facebook, because I know that being a home daycare provider sometimes gets a little lonely. So connect with other childcare owners! Gain strategies and tips to move your childcare business forward by joining a 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!

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Putting together your childcare biz dream team

Putting together your childcare biz dream team

When it comes to hiring new staff, how easy do you find it? Finding the right people for your childcare biz dream team isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like! However, I’ve been in the childcare industry for 15 years now and I’ve got a couple of super simple ideas for you to try out.

Whether you’re just starting to put together your dream team, or honing your hiring process, read on for some simple considerations!

Why creating your dream team matters!

Before we get stuck in, it’s key that you know what you need a team for in the first place. So you run a childcare business, we know! What’s your goal, what are your aims? How can you craft a team that’ll help you achieve those?

Earlier this week, I had a planning session with two of my team members. They’re totally awesome and amazing at what they do! Each member knows the vision, knows their role, and runs with it! Both of them work really well together and put in 100%. And it’s partly because of having a brilliant team that I’ve been as successful as I have been!

Having a well-rounded team who are in sync means that you can know for sure that your childcare biz is in safe hands! There’s a reason that they use the acronym “Team = Together Everyone Achieves More”.

teamwork makes the dream work

What help do you REALLY need for your childcare biz dream team?

Occasionally we know it’s time for us to get help and begin thinking about new team members. But I’ve noticed that as childcare biz owners, we don’t always take the time we need to consider what we actually want. Often, instead of getting specific support, I’m seeing hires of generic all-rounders who don’t elevate your team to the next level. Mostly this is because the hiring process is rushed but sometimes it’s due to not knowing what you need.

Getting any kind of help takes a decent amount of time to contemplate!  You’ve got to look at what’s needed to help create the right team for yourself.

Get specific about what you want and need to create your dream team!

This might sound obvious, but it’s important to have this clear before you start advertising! If we don’t have that clarity on WHO you’re looking for you can find yourself hiring the wrong person, or a good person but for the wrong role.

Do you need someone to work with the kids or is it about support in the admin department? It’s vital to be clear on your vision and goals so you hire the right person for the right job at the right time!

For instance if you already have a good core team working directly with the kids but find you’re getting swamped with the paperwork and books then you would be better off getting an administrative person in to focus on up-levelling there. Perhaps you don’t like the paperwork and you’re finding it drains your energy and you’re not able to move your business forward. If you’re struggling to work on your vision, finding yourself working ‘in” the business rather than ‘on’ the business, then admin may be your first spot to get covered.

Look at where you have gaps in ability and strengths on the team – not vacancies!

Choosing team members wisely

Okay, I want to take a second and explain why you can’t just hire the top of the class from your local college and hope for the best. Just because people get straight As doesn’t mean they’re automatically a good fit for your childcare business. You’ve got to take time looking at other aptitudes and really delve into what your team needs.

You can think beyond academia. For example, who is going to be great at dealing with client concerns? Have you found anybody with skills in crafting or music…? And you want all your hires to be team players.

Check out their references thoroughly too!

looking for your dream team

Create the kind of team that works well together

This comes down to communication. You have to know who you’re hiring and why, in order to craft a team that shines! And once you’ve hired them, you have to make sure everyone knows what their roles and tasks are.

If your staff can be clear on expectations of them, what they’ll be working on, when, where and who with, you’re less likely to have issues like  personality clashes or overlap with 2 people doing the same task by accident.

You can definitely put together the type of team that works well together and does a stellar job. But it also takes good leadership…

A good team has a strong leader

I’m looking at you, Ninja! You’re the leader in this situation and it’s important that you know that. It’s hard. I get it! You’ve got to effectively communicate your mission and get all your team members on board.

Like the coxswain on a rowing boat, you’ve got to give direction, support, motivation and encouragement. Essentially, you’re responsible for steering the boat (childcare biz!) and coordinating the power and rhythm of the rowers (your team!).

And being a great leader is a skill that takes years to hone. You’ve got to grow! Find out how to be a better childcare boss and grab opportunities to develop your leadership skills. I know it’s totally different working for yourself! And this may be all so new to you, you may just be starting out (or maybe you feel like you’re rusty in this area?!) – I encourage you to be open to learning and growing.

One of the ways you can get support is joining a community of Childcare Ninjas 😉 We’ve got tonnes of resources and another course coming up very soon. If you need help or want to find out more about our support, reach out and let’s chat! I got you, Ninja!

In the meantime, here’s some other posts that can help you put together your childcare biz dream team: this one all about hiring, this one about beating competition in hiring, and this one about getting to know your team!

Sometimes being a Childcare Business owner can feel pretty isolating and massively overwhelming. Getting connected with other childcare owners is a game changer! Gain strategies and tips to move your childcare business forward by joining a community! That’s why I set up my FREE Facebook group, where you can hang out with like-minded and aspirational daycare owners AND get training every other week from me! 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!

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Hiring your next ALL STAR Team member

Hiring your next ALL STAR Team member

This week I’m wading into one of the hardest areas of running a childcare business: the hiring process!

Currently I’m deep in the midst of this tricky operation myself. We’re moving one of my experienced members of the team in an established daycare center to manage my brand new center (yay! It’s all happening! Finally!). So I need to find a new team member for that daycare, but also need a whole new team for the one about to open! Stressed isn’t even the word… So I KNOW how hard this whole process is.

Why is the hiring process so hard?!

From start to finish, the hiring process is FULL ON! You’ve got to advertise vacancies in a way that calls in the right kind of potential employees. Then you’ve got to shortlist the candidates and figure out who’s a good fit before setting up interviews with them.

When you interview, you’ve got to have questions that truly help you decide who will be the best hire for your team. Sometimes I include a challenge or test of some kind to help me see who’s best for the job.

Frankly the entire thing is quite exhausting! And also super expensive! The time, energy and money spent on the hiring process is quite something. But it has got to be done properly, so you can find the right person (or people!).

How to pick your next team member

I’ve already told you I’m up to my neck in hiring at the moment, and you might be wondering “Nyckie, how are you supposed to know whether to hire an “I-can-do-this-in-my-sleep” experienced person or a fresh-outta-the-bag newbie to join your All Star Team?” Well, I know that for most of us the whole hiring palaver can be the ultimate migraine (that’s right not just an ordinary headache), so I’m gonna go ahead and give you some tips!

As always, there are going to be pluses and minuses to every interviewee. There’s no getting away from that. Firstly, you’ve got to have a clear idea of who you need. You want someone who can gel with the rest of the team and slot in where you need them. They’ve got to add value to your team, right?

And it’s important to remember that – once hired – this person is representing YOU. They’ve got to be doing that in the right way. So this stuff really does matter!

The pros and cons of hiring

When it comes to the hiring process, there are so many things that we can discuss but this dilemma of old or new is one that always sparks a great conversation! There’s nothing wrong with some good old fashioned competition, right?!

So, when it comes to hiring your next ALL STAR Team member, I’d love to know: are you aiming to hire an experienced candidate or were you considering a newly qualified one? There are certain positions in your childcare where you definitely need to hire someone experienced who knows their thing – like a room or age group manager/leader. But there’s some flex with other roles.

There are definitely pluses and minuses to each one, so let’s delve in a little deeper to help you make a decision!

Hiring an experienced team member

Most of the time, hiring a more experienced team member can feel like the sensible thing to do. But not everything is always rosy. So let’s take a look at both sides of the coin!

An experienced person will be well-acquainted with the industry, so having to deal with angry parents or a nit-picking inspector will be like water off a ducks back to them. They understand how to talk to parents and explain things clearly. Which means they know the ropes and usually have some initiative, meaning they won’t constantly be needing reminders! Experienced staff don’t require as much training and can therefore cost your business less.

The down-side to hiring someone who is experienced is that they are potentially set in their ways. Occasionally when you have someone like this, who has come from a different way of working, there can be a bit of friction between yourself as the owner and between them and your existing staff. They know how THEY like to do things, and won’t budge on it.

Depending on the person they can be difficult to retrain for your childcare business. They might not like the way you’re doing things as the owner. However, it’s your business…so while you’d be open to feedback, at the end of the day you get to choose how things run, not your staff.

So the best way of steering clear of that situation is to lay out your expectations in the interview, and to find out theirs. If you align, super. If not, show them the door…

What can a newbie offer?

I know some people are swift to dismiss less experienced applications. But I don’t agree: newbies can be great! There’s no way you should write them off at the beginning. There’s something I love about hiring newbies.

Some people get concerned that they don’t have much experience but why not look at that as a clean slate? You can bring them in fresh without the potentially negative impact of any previous experience or habits from another business. No need for unlearning processes that you don’t use! They certainly carry less baggage. I’ve always found fresh staff to be easier to train in how I like things done.

hiring newbies

Newbies have an air of excitement about them and are eager to show their willingness to work hard and learn. They tend not to have the same expectations as more experienced staff. They’re keen to please and make progress!

The main minus of a novice is that they’re a bit too excited and they’re not as hardy. So when it comes to tricky situations – like a frustrated parent or a mean inspector, they haven’t got the skillset to cope yet. They’ve no idea how hard the industry can be.

Things you should do with all candidates

Always check out their references. They’ve told you in the interview that they’re a hard worker…the proof is in the pudding! What do their previous employers say?

Use the interview to get to know them. Ask questions that go beyond the daycare. Try and get a feel for their personality because that’ll give you an idea of how they’ll fit in.

After the interviews and before making a decision, I like to check their social media to get another perspective. Don’t get me wrong – I totally understand that it’s not REAL LIFE! But it can open your eyes to what someone might really be like, are they as responsible as they made out? Or it may show you a completely lovely side that they didn’t feel comfortable enough to share or mention in the interview. It can be helpful but only as a fraction of the whole picture.

you're hired

There are pluses and minuses on both sides whether they’re a newbie or not.

Remember: You want someone who will be a good personality fit for your center!

Go and watch my latest video on the hiring process and how to find the next star for your team! I’d love to know: what’s been your experience with hiring? Do you have a preference?

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!

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