Investing in your childcare teachers
A child care center staffed with teachers who understand they have as much to learn as the children, is something very powerful if harnessed correctly. The need to always be growing is an internal desire we all share. Most companies fail to tap into this need, and oftentimes have the misconception that investing in an employee's growth only benefits the employee not the company. What if you learned to treat the investment of your teaching staff with the care and intentional nature it deserves? How could this simple investment turn into growth for your child care center?
As an Executive Director, Center Director, or Administrator, you need to be able to give opportunities of growth to your teachers. This includes offering them outlets to grow as educators and outlets to explore their creativity.
The power from this investment comes back in many different ways:
Keeps staff at top of their game
Whether you're helping your teachers earn a specific certificate, enhancing an existing skill, or tapping into a future area of expertise, you're helping keep them at the top of their game. This help can come in several different forms: paying for their class, buying them books, or allocating your own time to train them. All of these acts of investment validate with your teacher that you want to invest into their work and you value them as an employee. A quote from a teacher I used to work with once stated, “One of the best feelings you can have is when you know your Director actively works to keep you at the top of your game.” When you can make teachers feel at the top of their game and feel like someone cares about them, they are not only going to want to continue growing but that knowledge will be used to make improvements in your center.
When you have teachers who are happy and growing, it seems natural that the quality of care and the enthusiasm behind their teaching will also be amplified. When a teacher is growing and learning they are generally receiving instruction on how to improve on their craft. The real power comes when learning is passed from teacher to student. Parents will notice if your teachers are offering learning in different ways then their friend's child care center. The kids in the center will be better behaved because teachers will have more control over their classrooms. The long term impact to the children enrolled in your center is far more powerful than the small financial investment in the front end.
Extends employment longevity
Feeling wanted is a true key to keeping an employee. We all know engaged and happy employees are more likely to stay employed with you longer. As a manager or owner, taking the time to find out what your teachers are passionate about and then helping them come up with a plan on how to grow in that passion can be the difference between an employee that stays or goes. There's power behind one-on-one time that is taken between a manager and a teacher. Knowing the company is interested in my personal growth will make me a stronger advocate for the company and with the rest of the staff. So not only can a manager impact the one teacher, but one growth plan, can affect the longevity of their entire team. Attitude is contagious, so what are you spreading?
Improves or reinforces the reputation of your center
When you look at your teachers and how they interact on a daily basis with their children and with the parents, are they are helping build or reinforce the reputation of your center. How are your teachers affecting your brand reputation? If they aren't helping improve it, they are hurting it. There's power behind having highly qualified and highly motivated teachers in the way they communicate and present themselves to your current and potential families. A solid reputation in the community can be your number one source for referrals. Build a foundation of happy, growing teachers and you will build a reputation that is solid. Let your investment in your staff improve and reinforce your reputation.
One of the best feelings you can have is when you know your Director actively works to keep you at the top of your game.
So don't be afraid of the upfront financial and time investment it may take to keep your staff on the top of their game. Build yourself a roster of strong willed teachers, knowing you helped them grow in their position to a point where they are extremely gratified every day when they come to work. The growth experience will be equally beneficially for the teachers, the children, the parents, and your center. Now that's powerful!
If you would like additional advice or support on this topic, consider emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our child care blogs.
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