Leadership and Management in Childcare, a Free Guide | Vanco

Leadership and Management in Childcare, a Free Guide | Vanco

Leadership and management are equally important in supporting and sustaining high standards in early childhood education and care settings and creating a stimulating environment for both staff and children. Leadership in childcare allows workers to deliver the best services, thereby positively impacting children’s learning development and well-being. Effective leadership and management in childcare also reduces absenteeism and staff turnover.

A leader can be anyone who can motivate and inspire those around them. They do not need a fancy job title, an essential degree from a prominent university, or a high rank in the military to be considered a good leader.

In this guide on leadership in childcare, we will cover the most critical aspects of leadership and management in early childhood education. We’ll explain what a leader is, why it’s so important, and how you can become the leader your center needs.

Why Leadership is Important in Early Childhood Education

Early learning professionals face challenges every day from children to career possibilities, there are plenty of difficulties that come with being an Early Childhood Education practitioner. Every staff member is invested in the young children they serve. Their skill and passion for their work provide quality care to children across our nation. Nevertheless, this work is complex and can be exhausting.

With all the trials childcare providers face today, being a solid leader becomes more important. We must never lose sight of goals to improve learning outcomes for children and rally the entire community to share in this goal.

Many childcare centers with a small staff stretched thin and wearing multiple hats do amazing things with the resources they have. And if you take a close look, you will see how they accomplish more because of strong leadership. Having strong leadership in childcare is incredibly important because exemplary leadership will instill confidence and help children solve problems creatively, work in a team, and work collaboratively.

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The Difference Between Leadership and Management in Childcare

The difference between leadership and management in childcare is the degree of trust the followers or team members have in their leader. Management is based on control and authority, while leadership is based on influence and trust. Leadership lies in behavior, which is also known as “character.” A good leader leads by example, but the best leaders never stop growing. This is because great leaders aren’t about their skills; it is about how well they can influence others.

The main difference is that management is about organizing; it’s the glue that holds organizations together. Leadership is about inspiring others and directing the organization towards ambitious common goals.

Management tends to use rational thinking, planning, and execution to achieve specific work outcomes. Leadership tends toward the more emotional aspects of helping people perform optimally and is more closely tied to individual personality and authenticity. But when combined, leadership and management in childcare create an inspiring and well-organized program.

How to be a good leader in childcare

While there are many definitions of what a leader is, we believe that leadership goes beyond titles and positions. It is the sum of an individual or group’s ability to guide and facilitate others’ success through influence, communication, and a collection of important characteristics for strong leadership in childcare.
Being a strong, respected leader comes naturally to some, but others have to work hard to make it happen. Regardless of how easy it is for you, certain qualities can be taught and help you become a valuable leader in early childhood education, including:

Never Stop Growing

It is through learning that leaders are made, so it is crucial for the growth of individuals and their organizations. If a leader stop learning, it is likely that they will no longer be one in time.
Being a learner is about being open-minded. This means that you need to be able to accept new ideas and new experiences, even if they are drastically different from what you have been used to. These days, there is no shortage of ways to learn, so take advantage of whatever works best for you and the childcare program.

Inspire Others

Support others, encourage them, and empower them to achieve greatness. Showing your colleagues how important they are as part of a team will raise their performance and self-confidence.

Know That it’s a Journey, not a Destination

Improvements in your professional life happen over time. A one-day course won’t be enough to make you a better leader or improve your team’s skills. You need to commit to this for weeks, months, and/or years.

Have a Clear Vision

Make sure that you are getting regular feedback from your team, so you know where they’re at. Bringing them into a dialogue and making them feel part of the process will help you make the most out of your team.

Create a Positive Environment

By being empathetic to your colleagues and ensuring their workload doesn’t interfere with their happiness and stress levels at work, you’ll be able to create a productive working environment where enjoyment of work and the boss’s visions are shared between all.

Make People Feel Valued

Help your team to feel valued. Make sure your staff know when you’re available and how to reach you and show them praise when you can.

Leadership Styles in Childcare

Knowing your leadership style—influential, authoritative, or participative—may also remove the need for getting feedback. Each leadership in childcare style has its pitfalls, allowing you to remediate areas of improvement proactively. This is critical because some employees might hesitate to speak up, even in an anonymous survey.

Participative Leadership

The Participative leadership style works closely with the team; they remove the hierarchy without eliminating boundaries. This leader connects with each team member and makes decisions based on input from all sources. Until a project is complete, all employees have an equal say in its direction.

When you practice participative style leadership, you allow lower-level employees to make decisions and exercise the authority they’ll need to use wisely in future positions they might hold. This style also is known to lower staff turnover.

Everyone has an opinion, and the participative leader is willing to hear them and eager to listen to them. Unlike authoritative leaders, these leaders are chosen because they seek input.

Authoritative Leadership

Authoritative leadership is the inverse of participative leadership. In this leadership style, there is a defined hierarchy. A change in direction isn’t communicated to the employees until after the decision has been made.

An example of this could be when a manager changes directions in a project without consulting anyone — especially the employees who have spent hours working on the original project.

In truth, there are a lot of problems with authoritarian leadership. It leads to secrecy and mistrust, which can tear apart an organization. The best leaders establish communication and use their intellect to guide.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

The Laissez-Faire leadership style has an abundant amount of trust in its staff. This type of leadership is the “hands-off” approach that allows the team to set their own rules and make decisions.

An empowering leadership in childcare style, laissez-faire, encourages personal responsibility and creativity.

This leadership style is often seen in a young startup; for example, you might see a laissez-faire company founder who makes no significant office policies around work hours or deadlines.

Although the laissez-faire leadership method can empower employees by allowing them to work on their own, it can hinder company growth and limit their development.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership in a company is constantly “adapting” to challenges and improving upon current conventions by setting and hitting goals. Employees might have a basic set of tasks and goals that they complete every week or month, but the leader constantly pushes them outside of their comfort zone.

Although there are standard ways to handle tasks, this leader constantly finds new ways of getting employees out of their comfort zone.

Although there are a lot of benefits to this style of leadership, managers with this style can risk losing sight of individual learning curves in each employee because they’re always looking at reports.

Mentor-Style Leadership

The leader is considered a mentor and coach to the team. Instead of focusing on subject-specific teaching, this type of leader identifies each person’s most vital skills and creates common goals for the team to accomplish.

This leader will create a team where everyone is valued for their unique skill set and personality. This team will work together to ensure that they all have the knowledge and communication skills to get work done.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership in childcare is about creating and overseeing an efficient structure so that employees know what’s expected of them and how they will be rewarded. There is not much room for flexibility or creativity. The leader isn’t concerned with what motivates their workers; they want results.
Although this leadership style may produce results and hit goals, empathy is not as valued, leading to a higher turnover rate.

Leadership Skills That Are Critical for Childcare

To be an effective leader, you must set a strong example for others to follow. Those children watch your every move, so being a great leader will go a long way in the childcare industry. Although everyone’s different, most strong leaders will carry these set of skills:

Have a Vision

People will only embrace the change if they feel that it is being made for a good reason. To earn their trust, you need to have a clear vision of where your business is heading and why these improvements are necessary.

Build Relationships

The most effective leaders have a close relationship with each of their employees and take the time to get to know who they are and what is important to them.

Speaking directly to your employees’ hearts will show them you care about them as people and not just as cogs in a machine. And treating them like your friends is undoubtedly much more enjoyable than barking out orders at them. Plus, when you treat people with kindness, you’ll find they are more open to trusting you with the details of their lives, including their goals and milestones. And that can be an incredible help to a business owner who wants to learn what problems they can solve that is of genuine interest to their employees.

No matter your position or seniority level in your company, getting to know the people who work for you should be a priority.

Effective Ambiguity

Remember that what you say is just as important as how you say it. Whether you speak with your peers or a customer, it’s essential always to be yourself and never exaggerate.
Share key information in a format that will engage your team and ensure everyone parts the conversation with a clear understanding of expectations. If your team does not understand what you are trying to do or how this plan will help you achieve your end goal, it will be difficult for them to move forward.

A Great Listener

Because communication is a two-way street, it is important to make sure that your team feels heard. To facilitate this, we provide you with the opportunity to share your thoughts in a structured way. This will help identify any obstacles or concerns about the project and ensure that everyone gets on board for success.

Positive Mindset

You’ll need to set a positive tone and work environment to uplift your employees. Things have a way of trickling down an organization from the top. If there is uncertainty or resistance at the top, so too will it most likely appear at other levels in the hierarchy. This is why those in charge must be clear on what they want and how they want things done and help the rest of the organization see where this new direction is taking them.


Leadership in childcare plays a significant role in business, and even in a childcare setting, the principles are the same: a leader needs to get their team excited about what’s to come and give them the confidence to get there.

Looking for More Time Saving Resources?

Planning, building and designing a daycare daily schedule takes time, which you and your staff are short on. Avoid the stress of starting from scratch. Check out these daycare schedule templates our team built to simplify the task for you. These schedules are printable and easily editable PDFs you can share with parents looking for greater insights on what their child’s day at your center looks like.

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14 Principles & Examples of Effective Teamwork in Childcare

14 Principles & Examples of Effective Teamwork in Childcare

Principles of effective teamwork in childcare help to promote proactive communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills. Skills such as taking turns, listening skills, teamwork, conflict resolution and leadership are essential elements of every child’s growth.

When team members cooperate, support and respect each other, it helps the childcare team achieve common goals. Each member contributes to the workspace, but the whole group is responsible for its success. Understanding each other’s roles and responsibilities enhances your ability to communicate effectively. In Dora the Explorer, Dora always asks for help from her friend Boots, and together they work as a team.

Each childcare team is unique, with its own members, meeting time and culture. Regardless of your team’s size, setting or methods of communication, there are a few key principles that allow your childcare team to run smoothly and reach its goals. Below are 14 key principles of effective teamwork in childcare that you could incorporate in your workplace:


Oftentimes, teams in daycare will need to work together when appropriate to improve the care and education for children. In some cases, the team may have individuals with different skills but working towards the same goal of improving the current system or meeting children’s needs. This is why the principles of effective teamwork in childcare are so crucial to a successful childcare program.

Cross-functional work involves a team of individuals with a variety of skills, but working towards common goals like childcare workers, teachers, speech and language therapists, counselors, etc.

Here are a few good examples of teamwork:

  • Willingness to Share Expertise
  • Complement One Another
  • Rise and Fall Together: When the success of one is dependent on the success of all, team members are more likely to do what needs to be done to pull up those around them

Child Care Eval Forms

Clear and Proactive Communications

Effective communication with parents and teachers is a critical part of your job as an educator. Good communication builds understanding and trust, which leads to successful collaboration to support children’s wellbeing and development.

Workplace communication is also essential for the success of a daycare. A clear and effective communication system allows everyone to be on the same page. This helps to enhance productivity because each party (management, co-workers, etc.) will be able to remain updated on internal matters. Below are examples of proper communication you should incorporate into your daycare.


There are times when you may need to communicate with your colleagues to complete projects on time. To do this effectively, it is key that you know how to handle your team.


Show your teammates how to do things or give them new ways to complete tasks. Work with others, either in a group or as individuals; share responsibility for tasks and complete them using accepted practices.

Guiding :

Teamwork often entails guiding each other through steps and taking turns shepherding team members.

Shared Goals

The team works together to establish goals that are realistic and achievable. These goals reflect the child’s and family member’s priorities and can be clearly articulated, understood and supported by all members. Identifying and building common ground is an essential step in the collaborative process of negotiation. As a professional, identifying your goals is one of the first steps. Make sure to follow these three steps before setting and sharing goals with your staff and parents.


Create a mission for your daycare team that you stand behind. The mission will become the sole purpose that drives everything the business does. Our mission is simple: We want to help children flourish in their individualism.

Strategic Goals:

Strategic Goals are the reason we get up in the morning. They move the company in one direction, and if they’re achieved, they help the business achieve the mission.

Tactical Goals (Team and Individual):

Tactical goals are the specific, immediate results you will achieve. From learning new skills to creating a new daycare service and making a sale, your tactical goals will help your childcare team be successful.

Defined Roles

Although the question may seem straightforward, you are probably aware that defining roles and responsibilities in a childcare environment is not always easy. Defined roles are important principles of effective teamwork in childcare. It’s vital to define a person’s role in the business and make sure that each one fulfils his or her specific obligations. It is a serious matter with serious consequences if not handled correctly, especially when managing children. Strategic planning is crucial before making any decisions that will affect the company as a whole. To avoid confusion, ensure that each team member knows what their role entails and what is expected of them.

Mutual Trust

Trust in the workplace promotes an atmosphere of security and respect among employees. Rewarded with a feeling of attachment, they come to regard the organization as their home. This improves communication between both the employer and the employee, thus creating competitive advantages. If you want honest feedback and ideas, trust is the foundation that underpins an effective childcare program. It allows an open environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves as well as listening to other team members.

Measurable Process & Outcomes

It’s important that your childcare team works together to make sure they always learn and improve. Use any feedback you’re given and make sure any successes and failures are shared. This can be a useful way to grow from possible mistakes or build on what’s working to allow you to provide the best possible care for the children.


Early educators have taken center stage, and that is a good thing. More people than ever before are recognizing how important early education and child development are to all of us. However, it is easy for early educators to feel that the spotlight is too hot. One of the principles of effective teamwork in childcare is being accountable for creating environments and facilitating learning opportunities that support child development and learning in daily schedules. Not only is being accountable important in the childcare realm, but equally important in any workplace environment. Here are ways to be more accountable:


Participating in discussions, tasks or team-building activities.


It’s important for the whole team to contribute to an ongoing review process. As part of this, you should check that the children’s care meets your group’s goals. Team members will feel more creative and motivated if they feel their voice is being heard.


The group depends on the abilities of each team member, so work hard to create a supportive environment and motivate one another to do their best. This will, in turn, help your staff motivate the children.


Working together as a team helps us achieve our goals and provide the best childcare possible.


Childcare teachers’ words and actions can have a big impact on the children. Infants and toddlers will be looking for positive role models. As a teacher, you want to make sure that your body language is respectful when you are dealing with troublesome behavior from children. Also, allowing your employees to display disrespectful or degrading behaviors will result in a poor workplace culture and will likely increase employee turnover. Examples of how to show respect in a daycare to children and staff:


It’s simple. Effective active listening skills are essential to establishing a professional work environment and effective teamwork.


The team must show an open mind and genuine interest in the views of others. They should never be hostile towards the ideas of others, and they should always be respectful of the knowledge acquired by fellow teammates.


When you value individuals on the team, alignment with company goals happens naturally. It’s as easy as listening and adding your own take on what was said.

Commit to Excellence

Keeping kids safe and healthy is important in a high-quality childcare center. In addition, keeping children safe and healthy helps children develop skills they need for success in school and in their lives. It’s important that all staff are always committed to excellence and holding a high standard in the workplace.

Take Advantage of Communication Technologies

Communicating with parents is one of the most important aspects in an educational environment. By using collaboration technology, you can create a more effective and productive relationship between parents and teachers. In this electronic era, adopting technology to better communicate has joined the list of principles of effective teamwork in childcare.

Encourage Shared Leadership

Shared leadership involves maximizing all your staff’s talent in an organization by empowering individuals and giving them an opportunity to take leadership positions in their areas of expertise. Shared leadership builds an environment of trust and respect for each member. When teams define their goals, responsibilities and tactics, they are motivated to succeed. Incorporating leadership and collaboration in the childcare setting allows a team to share a sense of purpose and responsibility to ensure the learning and well-being of children is always the key purpose.


Incorporating patience in a childcare setting is crucial. Losing your temper repeatedly, whether at a child or in reaction to minor troubles, can be a pitfall that children learn to emulate. Having patience in childcare is one of the essential principles of effective teamwork in childcare.

Flexible and Open Mindset

Agreeing on a common goal is essential. But in terms of our children, it shouldn’t be at the cost of suppressing alternative ideas and opinions. Having differing opinions leads to having more ideas, making our childcare teams more ambitious and inclusive; a diverse team is its competitive advantage.

Embrace Diversity

Diversity is important in all workplaces, but especially in daycares. By understanding diversity, children will be able to form positive relationships, especially with other people who do things differently to themselves and their family. Children’s natural curiosity needs to be nurtured and extended to include their friends in the setting. That’s why it’s important to consider diversity in a childcare setting.

Diversity is a simple fact of life. Our everyday experiences are shaped by the people we meet and the communities that produce us. Diversity offers a range of benefits in every setting. For our kids, these benefits are a bit more distinct. Here are a few reasons why diversity is an essential element in childcare:

    • Increased creativity and innovation:

Students are surrounded by people with diverse knowledge, skills, and expertise whom they can call upon in all situations.

    • Nurturing empathy:

When students are exposed to diversity, they may overcome the empathy gap that develops between young children and teenagers.

    • Preparation for future diverse settings in adulthood:

Students are likely to have many different experiences with people. They will be exposed to a wide variety of people, different types of work environments and a variety of cultures as they go forward.

Looking for More Time Saving Resources?

Planning, building and designing a daycare daily schedule takes time, which you and your staff are short on. Avoid the stress of starting from scratch. Check out these daycare schedule templates our team built to simplify the task for you. These schedules are printable and easily editable PDFs you can share with parents looking for greater insights on what their child’s day at your center looks like.

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How to Recruit Daycare Teachers & Employees: Free Guide

How to Recruit Daycare Teachers & Employees: Free Guide

If you are looking for the best employees to work in your child care organization, you need to know what to look for. It can be challenging to find the right staff, but you can do it if you follow a few test principles. Make sure you know how to recruit daycare teachers and retain top employees..
Read our comprehensive guide that will outline everything about recruiting staff for child care. We will discuss what qualities to look for in candidates and how to find them.

Table Contents

  • How to Enhance Your Work Environment When Recruiting Staff for Child Care
  • What Qualities to Look for In Candidates?
  • How to Find Daycare Teachers?
  • How to Go About Interviewing Candidates?
  • How to Ensure the Staff Integrates Well Within the Child Care Setting
  • Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Child Care Staff
  • How to retain daycare employees
  • Questions for Daycare Teachers


How to Enhance Your Work Environment When Recruiting Staff for Child Care

When recruiting staff for child care, it’s essential to remember that the work environment you create is vital in attracting top talent. No one wants to work where they feel uncomfortable or unhappy.

So, before anything else, take some time to evaluate your current state and make improvements if necessary. Here are a few tips on how to enhance your work environment.

Create a positive and welcoming atmosphere. This includes having a clean and organized workspace, providing adequate breaks and lunches, and being friendly and communicative with employees.
Offer competitive salaries and benefits. Top candidates will be looking for jobs that offer good pay and benefits, so make sure yours does!

Promote professional development opportunities. Employees want to feel that they are constantly learning and growing, so offer them training and development programs that interest them.

Provide a good work/life balance. Everyone needs time for themselves outside of work, so make sure employees have the opportunity to relax and recharge.

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What Qualities to Look for In Candidates?

During your search on how to recruit daycare teachers, it would help if you looked for many qualities when recruiting staff for child care. First and foremost, you need to find individuals passionate about working with children.

They should be patient, caring, and enthusiastic about helping kids learn and grow. In addition, it’s crucial to find employees who are reliable and responsible. They need to show up on time every day and be willing to work hard.
It’s also essential that they have
the necessary skills and experience required for the job. Finally, you will want to find people who are friendly and outgoing. They should be good communicators and be able to work well with others.

What Qualities to Avoid in Candidates?

There are also some qualities that you will want to avoid when recruiting staff for child care. First and foremost, you should avoid hiring anyone who has a history of violence or abuse.

In addition, you should stay away from candidates who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse. It’s also essential to avoid employees who are not reliable or responsible. Finally, you will want to steer clear of anyone who is not friendly or outgoing.

Furthermore, you should avoid hiring anyone who isn’t qualified. The candidate should have the necessary skills and experience to succeed you’re seeking. This means they must be able to:

  • Work with children of all ages
  • Follow safety guidelines
  • Handle difficult situations
  • Deal with challenging behaviors

These are just some examples. By no means is this list exhaustive.

How to Find Daycare Teachers?

To find daycare teachers, you must know where to look. The best place to find potential candidates is online. Many websites allow you to post job openings, which is a great way to reach many people.

You can also search for candidates on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Another great resource is employee referral programs. If you have current employees looking for new opportunities, ask them if they know anyone who would be a good fit.

How to find daycare teachers is by attending job fairs. This is a great way to meet many people in a short amount of time. You can also network with other child care providers in your area. They may be able to refer you to some qualified candidates.

Finally, don’t forget about recruiting events. These events allow you to meet potential candidates and discuss the position with them. They can be a great way to find qualified individuals who may not be actively looking for jobs.

How to Go About Interviewing Candidates?

Once you are finished recruiting staff for child care, you can start interviewing them. The best way to do this is to conduct phone interviews first.

This will allow you to narrow down the pool of candidates and move on to the in-person interviews. During the phone interview, you should ask questions that will help you determine if the candidate is a good fit for the job. Some of these questions for daycare teachers include:

  • Why are you interested in working with children?
  • What experience do you have working with kids?
  • How would you handle a difficult situation with a child?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Once you have interviewed all candidates, it’s time to decide. Look for individuals who possess the qualities you outlined in your job description and are a good fit for the child care team.

It’s important to remember that the best candidate may not have the most experience, so don’t be afraid to give someone a chance if they seem like they would be a good fit.

How Not to Interview Potential Daycare Employees

Bad interview techniques can doom your search for the right daycare employee before it begins. You might be tempted to ask personal questions or grill candidates on their weaknesses, but these tactics will only turn people away.

Furthermore, you should avoid asking about a candidate’s family or personal life. This is not relevant to the job, and it may be seen as intrusive. You should also avoid making assumptions about someone’s qualifications based on their appearance or age.

The best way to interview potential daycare employees is by asking questions that will help you determine if they are a good fit for the job.

Ask about their experience working with kids, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they handle difficult situations. Stay away from personal questions and make sure you are respectful during the interview process.

How to Retain Hired Daycare Employees

Once you have found the perfect employees in your quest on how to recruit daycare teachers, it’s essential to do what you can to retain them. There are a few things that you can do to make your daycare a desirable place to work. Human resource management in child care is critical.

First, make sure that your employees feel appreciated. Thank them for their hard work and let them know that their contributions are valued. You can also offer incentives such as raises, bonuses, or paid time off.

Another way to keep your employees happy is by providing training and development opportunities. This will help them grow professionally and learn new skills. It will also show them that you care about their well-being and want them to succeed in their roles.

Finally, create a positive work environment where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and speaking up. This will help them feel like they are a part of the team and that their opinions matter.

You can create a successful recruitment process for your child care organization by following these tips. Remember to take your time and be patient – it’s essential to find the right employees who will be a valuable addition to the team.

How to Ensure the Staff Integrates Well Within the Child Care Setting

Once you have hired your new staff, it’s essential to make sure that they integrate well into the child care setting. This can be tricky, but you can do it with effort. Here are a few tips:

  • Encourage them to get to know the other employees and ask them questions about the job
  • Make sure they are familiar with the policies and procedures of the organization
  • Give them a tour of the facility and show them where everything is located
  • Introduce them to the children and explain how they will be working with them
  • Provide training on how to do their job correctly

You can ensure that your new staff members feel welcome and become a part of the team by following these tips.


Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Child Care Staff

There are a few common mistakes that you should avoid when hiring child care staff. Here are the most important ones:

  • Hiring someone who is not qualified for the job
  • Not doing a background check
  • Failing to interview all of the candidates
  • Making a decision based only on experience
  • Not providing training
  • Not integrating the new staff into the child care setting

By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that you hire the best possible employees for your organization.
Child care is a challenging but rewarding field, and with the right team in place, you can provide quality care to children of all ages.

How to Retain Daycare Employees

It’s not a secret, the best way to keep daycare employees is by giving them a variety of benefits and rewarding their hard work. This strategy leads to high employee retention rates and higher productivity levels. If you want to improve employee retention, it’s not only about throwing fun parties or celebrating birthdays… it’s about having regular meetings with your employees to ask how they’re doing on a personal level.

Many employers believe they can’t do much for employee retention because there isn’t enough in the budget for extras. Remember though, the cost of replacing employees is usually much greater than the cost of maintaining a healthy and positive employee retention program. Here are some ideas on how to retain daycare employees.

Show Appreciation & Gratitude

  • Professional Development Options
  • Motivation/Reward
  • Staff Surveys
  • Follow salary market rates


Questions for Daycare Teachers

Interviewing for the position of daycare teacher is a unique experience and a lot you have to consider when asking questions daycare teachers. Not only do you have to look at if the candidate has suitable teaching skills, but you’ll also want to determine whether you have a basic understanding of early childhood development needs. Another point to consider is whether or not this candidate will be a good fit in your company culture. Company culture is huge and how to retain daycare employees. Here are some questions for daycare teachers that will help get you started.

  • Why do you enjoy working with children?
  • What is your approach to discipline?
  • How do you comfort kids when they’re upset?
  • Do you provide an education curriculum?
  • What do you like most about teaching this age group?

Interviewing for the position of daycare teacher is a unique experience. There is a lot you must consider when asking questions to daycare teachers. Not only do you have to make sure that the candidate has suitable teaching skills, but you must also determine whether the person has a basic understanding of early childhood development needs. Another point to consider is whether or not this candidate will be a good fit in your company culture. Here are some questions for daycare teachers that will help get you started. Company culture is huge when it comes to retaining daycare employees. Here are some questions for daycare teachers that will help get you started.

  • Why do you enjoy working with children?
  • What is your approach to discipline?
  • How do you comfort kids when they’re upset?
  • Do you provide an education curriculum?
  • What do you like most about teaching this age group?

Looking for More Time Saving Resources?

Planning, building and designing a daycare daily schedule takes time, which you and your staff are short on. Avoid the stress of starting from scratch. Check out these daycare schedule templates our team built to simplify the task for you. These schedules are printable and easily editable PDFs you can share with parents looking for greater insights on what their child’s day at your center looks like.

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Make First Day of Daycare Easier | Teacher Tips | Smartcare

Make First Day of Daycare Easier | Teacher Tips | Smartcare

How Teachers Can Make the First Day of Daycare Easier

Going from home to the first day of daycare for kids can seem like a pretty stressful thing, which is understandable. Most young children have never done it before and often aren’t sure what to expect. Even those accustomed to occasional transitions to new places can feel the strain of starting a new routine and being away from their parents at the same time.

The first day of daycare can put a lot of pressure on teachers to make not only the children but also the parents feel as comfortable as possible. According to the Health and Wellness Article on The Stress of Leaving Your Child at Day Care, Cherie Langlinais, a social worker says, “By decreasing the child’s anxiety, this will also decrease the parents’ level of anxiety. Parents should drop in when not expected to see how things are being run. They should also get to know the childcare team before dropping their child off at the daycare. Doing the investigative work of picking out the appropriate daycare will help to decrease any anxiety about a child not being able to remain in their family home where the environment is controlled. Again, this comes with time, knowledge of the facility, and how comfortable one is with daycare personnel,” Cherie recommends.
But, there’s no reason for teachers to be anxious about how the kids will do on that first day. We’ve put together helpful tips for a child care team that will make the transition from home to daycare easier for everyone on that first day.

Here are 10 tips to make the first day of daycare easier for children.


10 Tips for Teachers to Make Daycare Easier for Toddlers


Be Reassuring & Empathetic

As providers, it’s important that you show the parents you are just as concerned as they are. You’ll want to reassure them that you’re an expert in your field and guarantee a worry-free experience while their children are with you. Parents are putting so much trust in childcare experts to love their babies and help them grow and learn. Ease the parents’ worries by reassuring them that their child is in good hands.

Prepare The Entire Family With a Practice Run

Helping families transition into daycare for the first time can be a stressful experience for both parents and children. One way to ease any anxiety is to walk them through their drop-off routine. This is not an interview, but rather a meet-and-greet after the family has already gone through the enrollment process and decided on a daycare provider for their child. During this time, you can show them where they will enter, what to do with their belongings, how to sign their child in and where they should hand their child over to you.

Welcome The Parents With A Gift

Giving the family a small token to welcome them to your program will make your business stand out from the others. The first week of daycare can be extremely hectic for the children and parents, which can make this transition time more difficult. Showing them a little extra appreciation can make all the difference in a child’s first few days of daycare.

Give Students a Classroom Tour

For little ones who are more aware of their parent’s absence, setting the scene beforehand can make a big difference. Take the time to show them around the daycare to make them feel more “at home”. If they know how to navigate their new daycare, they’ll be more at ease and they’ll have an idea of what activities they’ll be participating in.

Create a Welcome To Daycare Pack

When the child is leaving, send them home with a special “Welcome to Daycare” gift. This helps them be excited about the first day of school. The packet could include a book that their parents can read to them, some pictures of the daycare and a sign they can hold up for a picture to get them excited to return!

Plan a First Day Craft Project

Make the first day memorable for both child and parents by setting up a first day of daycare craft project. Kids love being creative and using their imagination, so make sure you have simple and creative toys and projects.

Use Their Name as Often as You Can

Have cubbies, labels, class lists and name tags ready. When a child walks into your classroom, greeting them with personalized name tags, class lists and cubbies can make them feel welcome. A clever idea is to have them make their own name tags to make it extra personable.

Display Photos of the Children and Their Families

The first week of daycare can be a bit challenging for the little ones. To help them feel comfortable, ask parents to send photos that you can hang in the classroom for all to see.

Set Up a Welcome Area

Prepare a welcome mat! Put up a sign at the door that greets each family by name. Make a list of all the languages represented in your family program and have children write their own greetings.

Follow Each Child’s Individual Schedule

Try to be your most flexible during the first few weeks so that the new children get a chance to settle in and get comfortable with the classroom environment, teachers and other kids. You need to acknowledge any child’s anxiety about being away from their family for the first time. The kids are bound to feel a little out of place and sad after spending the day with his/her parents and now must stay in school.