The past couple of years have brought about many changes to the childcare industry, many of them driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many daycare providers have had to fundamentally change the way they operate in order to provide an environment that’s as safe as possible while still delivering the fun and learning experiences that make childcare so important.
We’re turning our minds towards what’s to come in 2022. It promises to be an exciting year, with growth forecast across the childcare industry. If you run a childcare business or are considering what to expect when starting one in the future, here are five important 2022 childcare industry trends you need to be aware of.
1. Increase in Demand for Childcare Services
Parents from all over the world are still experiencing changes to their work schedules and employment conditions. And while many companies are encouraging their employees to come back into the office, a lot of parents continue to work from home. Whichever situation a family finds themselves in, the demand for childcare is on the rise.
Since 2020, nearly 20% of working adults quit working because they couldn’t locate a feasible childcare option amidst work and school closures. The demand for babysitters, tutors, nannies, and visiting teachers increased more than ever before. Many public childcare centers saw devastating losses in business despite the need for childcare services, with the COVID-19 pandemic the key driver.
But now, as our economy continues to reopen and more and more parents head back to work, centers are experiencing high levels of demand. With the Build Back Better Bill, eligible families may have the opportunity to receive more affordable, high-quality childcare. This bill expects to offer childcare for nearly 20 million children in the United States while providing even more jobs to new and upcoming childcare workers. If it passes, it’ll be a major boost for the childcare industry.
Is your childcare center equipped to handle this increase in demand? With the right approach, 2022 could be a great time to operate a childcare center, with plenty of new enrollments and all kinds of opportunities to grow your business.
Want to learn more? Check out this article: 7 Tips to Run a Successful Daycare Business
2. A Focus on Flexibility
Flexibility will be key for childcare centers in 2022. So much has changed in the past couple of years, and with government guidelines, childcare best practices, and more continuing to evolve, it’s crucial that childcare providers remain flexible.
Social and safety routines are not what they used to be, as gatherings are required to follow social distancing practices. Childcare centers are coming up with new and creative ways to involve young children in activities without risking illness, and instructing classrooms to interact in ways that encourage safety.
Another way public childcare centers are remaining flexible is in giving parents more grace than in recent years. Consider giving families more flexible options, like the opportunity to schedule childcare three days a week, instead of five. It’s a challenging time as everyone tries their best to maintain schedules and livelihoods, but if you can provide that level of flexibility required by parents, you’ll build high levels of loyalty with the families you work with.
To keep running a childcare center effectively in 2022, centers around the U.S. will also have to stay up to date on changing health advice from the CDC as it relates to children. Regulations change all the time, and it’s important you adhere to these to ensure you create a safe environment for families.
3. Technological Advances In and Out of the Classroom
The use of technology within the classroom will continue to evolve throughout 2022. The use of online communication, cloud document storage, and digital tools are no longer limited to higher-level learners: they’re increasingly being adopted by childcare centers. Technological platforms can help Early Childhood Education (ECE) students and teachers alike.
In addition to changes in the physical childcare environment, advances continue in the online classroom as well. Some childcare centers now allow hybrid care, where children can continue to learn via Zoom while at home with their caregivers. Online activities are used in addition to hands-on learning, and interactive lessons help fill developmental gaps.
Kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from technology— parents increasingly expect more consistent communication between teachers and staff thanks to parent communication apps. Instead of brief interactions upon child pick up, parents can receive direct videos, online messages, and notification reminders about their child’s activity at daycare.
4. Analytics in Early Childhood Education Learning Assessments
Digital tools aren’t the only technological development contributing to upcoming childcare trends – the use of data and analytics is starting to play more of a role too. By utilizing online platforms specifically for childcare centers, teachers and directors can unlock useful insights that help improve the learning experience.
Childcare center management apps can log the developmental and learning progress of each child, making it easier for teachers to communicate among themselves. During a learning assessment, online documents from throughout the learning year come in handy. Additionally, teachers can deliver thorough progress reports to parents backed by daily observations of their children’s development.
Comparing a child’s progress with the designated learning and assessment framework for your local area can help teachers to track how each child is developing. Center-wide data can reveal weaknesses and give insight into how teachers can adjust lesson plans to address any gaps and ensure a high-quality learning experience.
5. Health and Safety Regulations
Following health regulations, parents and teachers limit direct contact with one another in many circumstances to prevent the spread of COVID and other illnesses. New options like contactless check-in and check-out are easy to perform with the click of a button. Daily health requirements like temperature checks and health questionnaires for students are another way to catch any issues early.
Teachers now have another safety protocol to check off their do-to lists: sanitization of the classroom. The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, meal areas, play areas, and changing surfaces at least once per day.
Parents play an integral role in the health and safety of not only their child but others at the childcare facility. It’s important they remain honest about any symptoms their child or household members may experience.
With online parent surveys available at check-in, childcare staff members are able to maintain contact with a parent if any warning signs appear. This is an excellent way to take precautions in case anyone at the facility contracts the COVID-19 virus.
How to Grow with 2022 Childcare Business Trends
Growing your childcare business during challenging times is still possible. While many daycare centers experienced budget cuts and closures throughout the past two years, today, many are in a good position for next year and beyond.
One way to ensure your childcare business is successful in 2022 is by using a digital childcare center management platform. Software such as Daily Connect can help you access faster, more affordable solutions to the everyday problems of your childcare business.
From recording children’s health status to improving learning assessments and parent-teacher communication, Daily Connect was created to help childcare professionals focus on what really matters: the children.
Organize and automate the administrative tasks with the app so you can spend more quality time teaching your students and keeping them safe.
Whether you want to focus on staying compliant or you simply need help delivering the type of childcare your community needs, it’s time to get on track with growing technological trends.
Take the first step towards a successful 2022 and get started with Daily Connect today.