by admin | Nov 19, 2020 | Blog, Uncategorized
By now I’m sure you know that I’m all about nurturing my team to become the best rockstars they can be and that your childcare business deserves. It’s important to keep working with them and developing them so that your business can grow. And to do that, we must supercharge our staff with their training!
So what does training your staff look like at the moment? Are you offering as much professional development as possible to challenge and hone your team? Are you ensuring that your childcare business is ready for a spot-check inspection?
I’m going to give you some ideas for how to make training less of a burden to both you and your team.
Organize your training
In order to make sure all your staff receive the training they’re supposed to, you’ve got to have systems in place. If you don’t someone is going to get missed and that could really cause chaos. By taking some time to plan out all your training sessions and have a tracking system in place, you won’t have to have a mad rush to get someone’s training done if there’s suddenly an inspection.
You can keep a paper tracker, or use an online system that you update or send out to staff when they’ve completed their training. Knowing who has got what in terms of staff training will really help you with planning for professional development opportunities for the following year. There’s always gaps in knowledge that need attending to! And in our industry, there are constantly new initiatives and resources to learn about.
Keep staff training simple
This one isn’t just about simplifying things so that you can keep on top of where everyone is at in terms of training…it’s just as important that you simplify things for your team members as well.
Instead of expecting your team to travel to training or stay late after their shift finishes, you can make their lives simpler by booking online options. This way, you’re both free of any obligation to book transportation or accommodation, and they can complete the training in their own home at their leisure.
Doing training virtually will not only simplify things, it’s going to help your budget and your stress levels! It’s much easier to keep track of who’s attended what and you can do so many different trainings online nowadays!
In the past, it used to be really difficult to find good quality, state recognized virtual training programs. But things have moved on so much! Especially in the last year. However, even before Covid-19 took center stage, many states were offering digital versions of trainings and they made the opportunities for learning more flexible and accessible. So now you can get trained by experts without being physically present and even from the comfort of your own home.
If you do find some excellent training courses online, double check it is eligible for your state requirements. Here in PA we’re still required to do our CPR training in person but there are lots we can do virtually. Luckily, there are now a lot of other online trainings that you can get that are taken into account by inspectors, where they didn’t used to. So make the most of this new revelation and train up your team!
Budgeting for training
When you’re booking in training sessions for your team, try and look for the best value. That doesn’t always mean the least expensive! It’s about getting a balance. The price has to fit, but what are you getting for your dollars? It’s all very well having some cheap online training, but what if it isn’t recognized by your state authorities? That’d be a waste of money. So ensure that you do your research.
I’ve written about budgeting before, and how starting a childcare business doesn’t have to break the bank. Read more about that here.
You must make sure you plan staff training into your annual budget. It’s a must, and you’ve got to keep on top of the game to grow your childcare business. Nobody wants to send their kids to a daycare where the staff are haphazardly trained and where learning isn’t valued. And we’re all learners in childcare aren’t we?! It’s how we stay young and agile!
Train your staff to be childcare rockstars!
I hope this has shown you how to lead your team to become the rock stars they’ve always meant to be! Let me know in the comments if you have any other tactics to share. I’m always keen to develop my leadership skills and continue my own Childcare Ninja journey!
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!
by admin | Sep 25, 2020 | Blog, Uncategorized
When it comes to leadership in your childcare business, it’s really important that you let your team see you leading through service. You’re not just a body in an office, sending them instructions, you’re a human being who cares and wants their team to feel that.
But what does this sort of leadership really look like?
As someone who’s been leading like this for a long time, I wanted to share with you some ideas – about developing your leadership and building your team – that have worked well for me. So read on if you want to help your staff be the best they can be, while also growing your childcare business into the successful, profitable enterprise it deserves to be.
Let’s get started…
Serving your team through leadership
The idea behind this style of leadership is that by serving your team, you’re demonstrating that you care. You’re helping them become the most efficient and effective members of the crew, and that benefits everyone. They want to see you leading in an inclusive and honest way. So give them what they want! Set up systems that welcome their ideas and contributions.
As a leader in the community, don’t pull up the ladder on your way up, pull your team up with you as you grow. Show them that they too can be leaders.
I’m not talking about the displays (y’all know that is important!) because today’s focus is on leadership. But part of this is creating an environment where everyone who works there feels valued, seen and cared for. They want to feel supported by you and their colleagues. Be a role model. If you’re having a hard time, share your struggles (I mean, don’t over share, right?!) so they can watch and learn how to be resilient and handle challenges with grace as I’m sure you do by now.
In my childcare businesses, I’m proud of the fact that my team are pretty much part of my family. We spend so much time together that we support each other through thick and thin. When we have issues, we talk it out instead of muttering under our breath or getting frustrated bottling it all up. All of this is leadership.
Be there for them
A bit like the song in F.R.I.E.N.D.S., demonstrate that you’re always there to support your team. Make sure your communication is tight, so they know if they’ve got a problem, they can come straight to you. There’s nothing worse than when a member of the team doesn’t feel they can ask a question or bring up something that has happened. It brews resentment from both sides. And that’s not good for business.
You want the team to rally round you and your business, so rally round them. Build their loyalty and trust. Talk to them openly about your expectations, and be clear with your boundaries. And don’t be afraid to be human with them. It shows strength in your leadership.
This is a great opportunity for you to show that you respect and value your team. Put an end to meetings for meetings sake. There’s really no need. Fitting in whole team meetings is so tough when you’ve got multiple shift patterns to negotiate. Often the only day that suits some is a Saturday (unless, like me, your business is 24/7…) and that’s a lot to ask your employees, to give up their free time to come into work and sit through a meeting, only to have to go home again.
So why not move them online? We have the technology! Let’s make the most of it! Moving your staff meetings to Zoom or Teams or another platform allows you to conduct meetings and give some flexibility and freedom to your team. By demonstrating courtesy and showing them understanding in your leadership, you’ll build trust. Let them join from wherever they happen to be – comfort of their own home, a cafe, a resources room at the library.
Another plus of online meetings is that you can record them. So if a team member can’t make it – not only do you have a record of who attended – they can catch up on what they missed and your team have the opportunity to re-watch if they want to. Recordings also double up as evidence to show inspectors or any other interested bodies that you have great communication with your staff.
Obviously when it comes to staff training, wherever you are in the world, there’ll be some mandatory guidance around training or qualifications for your staff. Those are not what I’m addressing here, what I want to highlight is that technology has given us another gem for staff training. All of our childcare settings have different specifications and as business owners we want things a certain way.
We often spend a long time figuring out how we’re going to to train up new staff, give them a tour of the day care center, an induction training of what you expect and so on…it can be arduous. But it doesn’t have to be. One of the ways I’ve saved time and energy is by creating welcome training videos set for new team members. I can then use these until they need updating with every person who joins us.
In practical terms, this is essentially me giving the new member a guided tour via video. I’m showing them where things are kept, how displays work, what belongs in each room, checks they need to do each day, and how certain things work. It can be as comprehensive as you like, but this sends a clear message to new staff: she means business.
Create an environment that helps your team thrive.
They’ll become more efficient, effective and they’ll see you role modelling excellent leadership by caring for them. As such, you’ll notice them growing more loyal and that’s how you’ll grow a successful business. They’ll be invested in their future, knowing that you’ve got their backs, so long as they’ve got yours too.
Hopefully some of these will resonate with you and you’ll be nodding along! Was there anything I missed in terms of leadership? Let me know! I’m always learning, even after this long in the game!
If you want to read more about stepping into being the boss, you can read this blog. Or join us over in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group, come and say hi! We’d love to welcome you into the space and find out how you’re getting on.
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! If you’re 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!
by admin | Mar 13, 2020 | Uncategorized
One of the key parts of your childcare business is the people who work for you. The quality of your staff is essential to maintaining a professional and well-run establishment, and most importantly they are taking care of those precious children in your setting.
They’re your representatives and your eyes on the ground, and they’re part of a team, so hiring the right people is a huge decision for your business. You can’t just hire someone based on their résumé, because there’s no guarantee they’ll gel with your other staff members; but nor can you employ a person for their personality and not look at their experience and qualifications. It’s a monumental task! Streamlining this process is going to help you grow your business.
And sometimes it can take up so much of your time, it could almost be a full time job in itself!
But there’s no need for it to be so time consuming. I’ve been in this game for a long time now, so I have learned a few things on the way to becoming a Childcare Ninja, and I want to help you streamline the hiring process.
Here are my ninja tips for a more efficient process for hiring staff for your childcare business.
Automate as much paperwork as possible
Getting your potential employees to fill out an online form will save you time and definitely streamline your hiring process. No more loose bits of paper to peruse, or lose! By having an automated system, you can make the process faster and fairer for everyone.
There are various apps/softwares you can get for each stage of the process. For example, candidate pre-screening tools can rank and grade candidates to pre-qualify those who are a fit to move forward in the hiring process. Or you can just have a simple form, akin to a questionnaire that they can input all their information into.
When the form is filled out online, it means you’ve got a digital version. You can then search the documents for key words much faster, enabling you to rule out people who don’t have the qualifications or strengths you’re looking for, and find the ones who cut the mustard!
Once you’ve shortlisted, it’s time to get them booked in for interview. However, manually scheduling interviews can be exhausting! It might not sound like a time-consuming task, but when you’re going back and forth to check availability for all the different applicants you’d like to meet with you suddenly realize what a drain on your time it is!
I’d highly recommend that you try interview scheduling automation. It’ll save you time and streamlines the interview process, which creates a better experience for candidates and you alike. You might have heard of Calendly, which is an easy to use system for booking in interviews.
Have a central place for your hiring documentation
It’s important that you keep all your paperwork and vital documents for new and potential employees in one place. This is key because if you were to fall ill, then your cover person will know exactly where to find everything they need when it comes to your team. Not only is it for unfortunate scenarios, it’s also fundamental that you’re seen by outside agencies and inspectors to be organized and keeping on top of standards.
Another reason you ought to keep staff documentation all in one central place is it’ll help you find things quickly if there’s any accidents or medical emergencies. Your team members might have an allergy or a disability, and as their employer you have responsibilities for their welfare.
Video training on the go
Create your own training videos for newly hired team members so they can get up to speed quickly. Everyone’s got a smart phone nowadays, and it’s so helpful for building relationships with new staff. Having apps like Slack to connect team members, gives them an opportunity to communicate outside of work and also access information as and when they require it, or when you need them to.
One of the strategies that I’ve found that works for my teams is when I do training on Zoom about specific areas and then I upload the videos and place them in Slack. My staff can then view them when they’re able to – on breaks or during their spare time – and once they’ve watched the training they can sign off that particular task. I can then see exactly who has done which video session, and can remind people gently on the app.
This saves us tons of time trying to coordinate a training meeting that everyone can attend! We’re all busy people, right?!
Streamlining the hiring process is going to save you time and energy, leaving you to focus on getting the right team player for your Childcare Ninja squad!
If you haven’t already, join my free Childcare Ninja Facebook group! 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!