Employing Highly Motivated Child Care Staff Who Are Truly My TEAM Members!

 

Just where are all the “workers”?  Every industry is experiencing huge turn-overs and staff shortages, and yet I can name at least ten people (without even thinking hard) who say they are “looking for a job”.

 

So, about the ones who are “looking for a job” – I hope they DON’T show up on my door step because they aren’t who I am interested in having join my team!

 

Employers say they are searching for great candidates.   Workers say they are searching for great jobs.

 

I wonder if, when each of them describe “great”, they have any descriptive words/phrases in common???

 

I want to try to read between the lines on this issue and give my opinion of what might be helpful in staffing up in the child care industry.

 

  • I’m not sure that people who say they want to be child care professionals really know what this means. Being a child care professional does not mean watching a child sleep, eat and play while talking on their cell phone.  In fact, a child care professional’s goal is to help each child in his/her care to flourish on a daily basis.  It’s extremely exhausting work, and they should know that before being hired.

 

  • I’m not sure that child care owners and directors demand this level of professionalism from their staff members on a daily basis. Has each staff member been thoroughly trained in what this job entails, and do you coach and mentor and redirect as needed?  It’s up to the supervisors to set the bar for each employee.

 

  • I truly believe that when a staff member is trained as a child care professional – and understand and sees that each child in his/her care is flourishing daily because of the good work s/he is doing with the child, the staff member is more engaged, more committed, more motivated and more of a team member. Make sure that everyone is looking at each child as an individual.

 

  • I’m pretty sure that if you and all of your staff sit down together to discuss your commitment to make certain that every one of you have done everything you can to work together toward every child in your care being ready to enter kindergarten as they age out of your program, you will all have more focus and drive to accomplish this huge goal.

 

  • I know that if every owner, director and staff member begins to call themselves child care professionals (instead of workers) there will be higher expectations and richer delivery of services.

 

Working in the child care industry can be accomplished two ways – caring for children so that they are safe and relatively quiet all day long OR engaging children so that they learn, and grow and flourish, enabling them to become all that they can be as the move from childhood. (Play in the sandbox with plastic shovels OR prepare their minds and bodies to build skyscrapers, teach at universities, be community leaders.)

 

The first five years of a child’s life are the most important time.  Are we exciting our applicants and staff members to understand this and want to be a part of the success?

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