7 Back to School Tips for Childcare Center Owners

back to school tips childcare center owners

Back to school season is an exciting time! If you’re a childcare provider, you know that it can also come with some inevitable stress. Summer quickly comes to an end, and you suddenly realize you still have to plan this year’s events, enroll new students, make sure you restock class supplies, and organize your budget.

Fortunately, this fresh start is a great time to think about important changes in your business and how you can improve your childcare center. If you need some back to school tips for childcare centers, keep reading. Learn how to level up your classroom and business this year. 

7 Tips to Improve Your Childcare Center in 2023-2024

As you get ready to welcome new and returning childcare students, here are the essential tips for back to school preparation. 

1. Prioritize Your Staff

Your business wouldn’t be successful without the care and hard work of your team. Put your employees first, as they set the foundation for all other childcare operations. 
Be proactive by:

  • Planning consistent team meetings throughout the year
  • Deciding how you’ll express appreciation for your staff, both privately and publicly
  • Providing professional development opportunities to teachers and staff
  • Setting the standard for positive attitudes and effective communication

Make sure you know how to hire the best childcare staff if you need to focus on recruitment. Equally as important, set up some kind of staff retention strategy so that your team can thrive in a supportive work culture.  

2. Revise Your Childcare Curriculum

Revise your curriculum for the coming year. If you’re an experienced childcare provider, reflect on what lesson plans worked well in the past and what needs to improve. Keep in mind the latest childcare education trends so you can provide more engaging, entertaining lessons. 

If you’re new to running a childcare business, create an ECE curriculum before opening your doors. Your curriculum should follow ECE guidelines and learning milestones. Implement your own teaching philosophy as well. This step is crucial because it informs which supplies your class needs and lets you know how your classroom will need to be structured.

Starting a new childcare business? Check out How to Open a Childcare Center to learn more.

3. Set Up Your Classroom

One of the most important (and fun!) parts about back to school childcare is preparing your classroom. Whether your childcare business is in your home or at a facility, creating a healthy learning environment is vital to student success. 

Here’s a basic checklist when setting up your classroom for the new school year:

  • Thoroughly clean the entire classroom, from walls and furniture to toys and books. 
  • Rearrange any furniture as necessary. Check if anything needs repairs.
  • Decorate the bulletin boards, art areas, and doors with a new school year theme.
  • Purchase and organize all the learning supplies your class needs for the next several months. 
  • Go through books, toys, games, and other supplies that may need to be replaced or thrown away. 
  • Check that all required licenses, evacuation maps, and health code certificates are displayed correctly. 
  • Start taking inventory of all items so you can purchase backup supplies as needed. 

Make your classroom fun and inviting while also ensuring it has the structure it needs to facilitate a fantastic school year. 

4. Plan the Childcare Center Event Calendar

Take some time to plan the yearly calendar for your childcare center. Mark important dates like holidays and school closures. 

Create your center event calendars and schedule time for you to finalize event planning throughout the year. Events may include field trips, community events, classroom celebrations, themed days like crazy hair day, and graduation ceremonies. If your childcare center offers after-hours care or summer care, include that in your calendar planning.

Once you finalize the calendar, share it with your childcare center community. You want to give parents, teachers, and staff plenty of time to confirm their availability. Many childcare centers provide yearly calendars with general dates, then send updated calendars with more details at the beginning of each month.

5. Check Your Licenses and Certifications 

Before the school year begins, make sure all of your childcare licenses and certifications are up to date. In most states, this requires you to submit a renewal application and pay a licensing fee 30 days before the anniversary date.

Keeping all your licenses and certifications organized year after year makes this process a lot easier. Mark your calendar to do this every year so you don’t forget. Even better, set up some kind of digital system to keep all important childcare documents organized. Many providers use childcare management software that automatically notifies you of important dates.

6. Upgrade Parent-Teacher Communication Platforms

Whether you use email, a CRM, or a parent-teacher communication app to keep parents informed, give it an audit. Do you need to add new customers’ contact information to the system? Do you need to create classroom email lists? Is it time to switch from outdated customer management software to a more user-friendly one?

Many childcare centers rely on technology to automate and protect digital communication with parents. A childcare management platform that includes parent contact features is a great way to save time and keep parents informed.

7. Switch to a Digital Billing Platform

An even more influential way to improve parent-staff communication is to digitize parent billing. Instead of sending invoices and bills via snail mail, it’s easier for parents to receive recurring invoices every month in their emails. 

A digital childcare billing system lets you automate invoices, due date reminders, and late payment notices so parents are more likely to pay. It also diversifies payment methods so parents can pay online, while also having the option to pay cash or check. 

The best part about digital billing is that it helps you with financial duties as a childcare owner. Bookkeeping integration, secure payments, and classroom budgeting can be managed all in one place, making it easier to control your business income and expenses. 

Set Up Your Childcare Center for the Best Year Yet

As a childcare provider, you always want the best for the families you serve. Every back to school season is an opportunity to start fresh and become one step closer to your long-term goals. With these tips, you can start off the school year with inspiration and a plan. 

To support you and your childcare center this school year, Daily Connect is proud to equip your business with the features it needs to succeed. Make your job easier both in and outside the classroom with learning assessment analytics, staff/parent messaging options, automated parent billing, and more. 

Go back to school prepared and empowered with the Daily Connect childcare management platform. Get a two-week free trial to try out all the features today. 

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