It takes a very special person to be an excellent childcare worker. In the morning you’re facilitating art lessons, lunchtime brings out your inner food critic and by mid afternoon you’re negotiating playground conflicts with the flair of a boardroom business negotiation! These are the things that attracted you to the childcare industry in the first place – but now that you’re a manager, you might find yourself facing a truckload of additional responsibilities that could leave you feeling a little less than fulfilled in your job.
So, here are our expert tips to help you get the most out of your day – so you can get your management responsibilities out of the way, have more fun at work and go home feeling more fulfilled!
Get your hands-on staff doing what they love
Childcare centre managers across Australia are feeling the pressures of meeting increased staff ratio requirements and complying with the time-intensive reporting demands of the National Quality Framework (NQF). While increased staff ratios are a fantastic initiative in terms of delivering quality childcare, those precious additional hands-on childcare workers don’t want to be stuck in your office running reports and other administrative tasks. Like you, they want to be doing what they love and what they’re qualified to do – caring for the children. Anything you can do to get your hands-on staff out of the office and onto the childcare centre floor will go a long way towards improving staff morale, boosting your relationships with staff members and in turn make everybody go home feeling happier and more fulfilled. Consider which of your back-of-house tasks could be delegated to non-reporting administration-only staff, or automated through software, so that you can achieve more face-time with your hands-on staff.
Build great relationships with your parent community
The relationships you have with your parent community have a big impact on the amount of joy and fulfillment you get from your work as the manager of your childcare centre.
For example, if you were to make a list of your day-to-day work tasks, ranked in order with your most favourite task at the top to your least favourite task at the bottom, we’re pretty sure that chasing late payments from parents would be somewhere right down the bottom of that list. Chasing parents for payments doesn’t help you to build cheerful relationships and can be extremely awkward for everybody involved. Plus, sitting in your office making phone calls to late payers can suck hours of valuable time away from other more fulfilling aspects of your job such as spending quality time with the children and your staff. Consider how much more fulfilling your day-to-day work life could be if you could remove that awkward ‘late payment’ conversation from your job description. In doing so, you can build better relationships with your parent community, spend more quality time on the floor and improve your centre’s staff ratios all at the same time!
Use technology to do your administration for you
We know that every childcare centre manager is responsible for a long list of administrative tasks that do nothing to make their workday any more fulfilling. The good news is, there are some great tools on the market that can help you to reduce your most repetitive administrative chores so you can spend more time on the more fulfilling aspects of your job. For example, our research shows that the right direct debit software can potentially reduce the time that childcare centre managers spend chasing late payments from parents by up to 95 per cent!
Our top tips on saving time in your busy dayIncreasing your fulfilment as manager of your childcare centre comes down to two key things:
reducing the time you spend doing unrewarding and repetitive chores, and
increasing the time you spend doing what you love most – and that’s spending quality time with the children, your parent community and your staff.