If you work in childcare, you know it’s not always easy or predictable. Running a childcare center is a huge responsibility, involving planning, communication, and adhering to policies. It’s a lot of work! And if you don’t know how to operate smoothly, all this work can pose extra challenges that could have been prevented all along.
When all of the mandatory logistical factors are being taken care of, childhood educators have more time and energy to give to the kids. This translates to better behavior, more efficient learning, and happier parents. So how can you start running your childcare center more smoothly?
1. Clarify Your Policies
You’ll save yourself the headache of a misunderstanding if you have a clear outline and regularly updated document of all your policies. This benefits you, your staff, and the parents of the children at your facility.
Most childcare centers have a parent handbook that includes common concerns and resources for parents to access. These handbooks typically also include state licensing requirements, financial terms, and payment agreements. Other types of policy include:
- Curriculum expectations
- Health and safety protocols
- Nutrition and eating guidelines
- Calendars and schedules
- Immunization standards
- What happens during emergencies
- Sign-in and sign-out; pick-up details
- Tuition and payment options
- Signed agreements and compliances
- Parent-Staff communication methods
Keeping these policies transparent and available help you avoid legal trouble. It also lets the families at your childcare center maintain trust and satisfaction in your childcare.
These days, many childcare centers are switching to digital software programs to store and update policy documents. This makes it easier to find and access important documents at all times.
2. Streamline the Classroom Schedule
Keeping track of all the children, classrooms, and schedules can be a real struggle if you’re not organized. Are all the teachers on the same page? Is the class enjoying the activity schedule? Is there a clear and structured plan?
If your staff needs to take hours out of their week to plan class activities and lessons by hand with no guidance, they’re using hours of their precious time that could be better spent elsewhere. By utilizing digital templates, setting reminders to plan the monthly schedule, and setting up recurring calendar activities, you can help everyone at your site find more time in their day.
Childcare software platforms let you add links to videos you need to play, or upload files of example photos of a project in no time, so you don’t have to scour your email or desktop during the lesson. Having everything available in one place will improve the flow of schedule and productivity in the classroom.
3. Improve the Billing Process
Parents are busy. It can be frustrating constantly trying to chase monthly payments, late fees, or quarterly tuition costs. Verbal reminders can be ignored or forgotten. A major stressor in childcare is the financial relationship between parents and leaders.
Many childcare providers now offer digital payment options to ensure there are automatic transactions in place for continued enrollment in a program. When a bill is due, the parent’s bank or credit card is automatically charged on the designated date. Just like a recurring subscription bill, it’s much easier for both customer and childcare business alike.
4. Bridge Parent-to-Teacher Communication Gaps
There is only so much you can do to make sure parents are receiving the type of communication they feel necessary when it comes to their child under your care.
Parents want to know how their child is doing, what they’re learning, and how they interact with other kids. With so many little humans to be responsible for, it’s common to forget the details or important events that happened throughout the day.
When you interact with a parent, the chances are you tell them about how their kid did that day! But there are often communication gaps. It isn’t easy for most parents to leave their kids at daycare, and it’s all too easy for them to feel like they’re missing out on their child’s development milestones while at work.
By communicating more effectively, you can help ensure parents still feel heavily involved. Childcare apps like Daily Connect allow you to send regular messages to parents throughout the course of the day. You can communicate what the child ate, when they took a nap, and add photos of activities so that parents can feel included in their child’s activities at your childcare center.
5. Create a Curriculum You Can Plan and Track Simultaneously
Just as scheduling needs to be streamlined and efficient, your curriculum might need a change of plan. While all childcare leaders want to make sure their teaching schedule is being followed correctly, if you don’t leave room for kids to have fun, explore, and express themselves, the curriculum might not cut it when it comes to development.
Seek out inspiration for new ideas that make learning fun. You might want to audit your teaching plans and upgrade it to include more fun, innovative activities. Many digital planning systems can help you search for, implement, and keep track of new and improved curriculum plans for your childcare center.
Digital tracking of curriculum and progress immensely helps childcare centers. This can improve administrative obligations, staff communication, scheduling needs, and more.
6. Implement Technology in Learning
It’s the digital age. Now, we can use technology to help kids learn and make discoveries. Consider allowing kids to use technology as a means to improve their learning.
The World Economic Forum claims integrating technology into the curriculum process can advance youth development in society. Using tech in your curriculum can:
- Help encourage experience-based learning
- Save time, money, and confusion
- Develop a “can-do” mindset in kids
- Open up opportunities for the development of future skills
- Add excitement to learning
- Easily track and transfer necessary data to higher learning centers
As children can be familiarized with technology, so can the teachers and staff. Clear and instant progress updates, incident reports, and behavioral notes can be saved and shared among staff and parents. Implementing new tools in the learning process can make assessments and grading smoother and more thorough.
Does Your Childcare Center Need Help?
If you want to improve specific areas of your childcare program, there are plenty of solutions available. It’s easier than ever to set up new systems that work for you in your business.
Whether you need help planning, managing communication, or revamping the reporting process, technology can make the world of a difference. Consider trying out Daily Connect, an app custom-built for childcare centers. It’s used by over 90,000 childcare professionals around the world, and improves parent communication, center management, and learning experiences.
Schedule a free demo to learn more about how Daily Connect can help your business, or sign up for a free 14-day trial (no credit card required!) to see the effect of Daily Connect on your childcare business.