Being a child care provider is a very dynamic job with tasks from caring for the children to administrative tasks to human resource management in child care. Since it's such a multifaceted job, not everything comes without a little bit of research. But the good thing is, you've made the first leap into learning everything it takes to carry out human resources in your child care center.
To make your job just a little bit easier, here's our extensive guide to human resources for child care providers.
Our Extensive Guide To Human Resources Management In Child Care
1. Create An organizational chart
- An organizational chart is a powerful human resource management tool in child care because it gives all employees an easy reference for departments/teams, as well as insight into who is the reporting supervisor and who is part of the management team. An organizational chart also helps any staff member understand their role, responsibility, and relationships as it relates to the organization.
Some areas to think about when creating an organizational chart:
- Who are the people that comprise the organization?
Some people could include paid staff, volunteers, licensing body and funding authority, families/parents, children in your care and even community members.
- What roles exist within your organization? Are there groups of roles working as a team to serve these functions?
- How do these roles and/or teams interact?
Every organizational chart looks different for every organization. Once you get a strong idea of where you stand with the above questions, you can begin to map out how your organization is structured.
With this, you're one step closer to solid human resources management in child care.
2. Design A Staffing Procedure
To create a team of valuable contributors to the success of the child care center is to design a proper staffing procedure that outlines how positions will be identified, advertised and filled. When design staffing procedures, there are two areas of staffing to consider: permanent staff and relief staff. Examples of permanent staff include a cook, cleaner, caregiver, bookkeeper, supervisor, director, etc.
Conversely, relief staff members are workers who are limited in the number of hours they may work in any given period. These staff members serve as a backup or the ‘backshift’ to ensure that your team isn’t overworked, allowing them to be as present and productive as possible.
General Staffing Procedure Outline:
- Draft advertisements for open positions
- Post positions as advertisements on local and relevant job forums.
- Inform applicants of any requirements and duties that are specific and mandatory to the job
- Create a shortlist, either as a staff selection committee or as the child care human resource management lead
- After reading the shortlisted applications, a designated team member or members are assigned as interviewers.
- All shortlisted applicants are contacted and allotted an interview time, and informed of the interview venue and any other details.
- Each interview is carried out with an official set of questions, with the applicant's answers recorded for their file.
- After each interview or a period of interviews, each interviewer will review the applicant's interview with the appropriate management team.
- At this stage, there may be a second interview to narrow down the search amidst top applicants chosen after the first interview.
- The successful applicant is offered the position. The applicant is requested to inform the interviewer of their decision to accept or decline the job offer.
- Once the applicant accepts the job offer, the onboarding paperwork is then provided, with documentation of any certifications and background checks included.
a. If the applicant does not accept, a runnerup candidate is contacted with a job offer.
- All other applicants are notified briefly of the outcome and conclusion of the job posting.
Additional Steps for Relief Positions
- Successful applicants are given a trial period which provides a practical opportunity to determine the applicant's suitability for the role. Typically, daycare child care centers have a trial period of 3-4 hours; in child care that operates outside of school hours the person’s trial is typically 2-3 hours.
- If the applicant is suitable, they are notified by email or phone and put on the relief list for when there is a need.
3. Prepare Thorough Staffing Documents
Keeping records is a very important aspect of good human resources management for child care. Examples of staffing documents that you should always keep a record of in a secure and accessible place:
- Duty statements
- Position classification
- Selection criteria
- Interview questions
- Sample advertisement of the job post
To see examples of each of the above documents visit this study, Human resource management manual for children's services, starting with page 19.
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4. Create A Staffing Handbook
Much like an organizational chart, a staffing handbook can be a great resource for any and all staff members, whether they are permanent or relief workers. While every staffing handbook can look different from one organization to another, here are some key elements that you can consider including in your handbook as part of your human resources management responsibilities in child care.
This includes conditions of employment and any other information as it relates to them and their rights and responsibilities as a staff member.
- Mission, Vision, Values
- Child Care Center Policies and Procedures
- Staff Recruitment Policies and Procedures
- Employee Conditions
- Staff Orientation Information
- Performance Review Policies and Procedures
- Professional Development and Training Policies and Procedures
- Staff Roster and Organizational Chart
5. Provide Your Staff With Continuous Education
Many individuals in the child care sector are very passionate about their work and, as a result, often want to seek ways to continuously learn and grow. This is also a benefit to your child care center since you can continue to build a high calibre team and deliver exceptional child care. This is a great human resources management strategy since it not only elevates the skills of your team, but it also contributes to job satisfaction and, therefore, employee retention.
Some examples of continuous education you could provide to your team members:
- Webinars on topics such as mental health and self-care as a child care worker.
- Online Workshops that explore new developments in early learning practices, strategies for children stress management, and even nature
- Industry open houses
- Of course, emergency child care first aid
6. Communicate And Understand Your Staff Needs
For many human resources professionals, it's well-known that employee job satisfaction has a direct link to business objectives.
A Forbes article covered a study by Gallup, which states that teams that score in the top 20% in engagement also typically see a 41% reduction in absenteeism, and, even better, 59% less turnover. That means employee happiness can make your job easier in almost every way, since motivated and satisfied employees show up every day with dedication.
Your Human Resource Management Sidekick
Create a process and digitize it to make it as easy as possible. This can be done using cloud software or, even better, management software that is catered to child care needs.
Are you looking for more child care management information? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Child Care Management.
Our child care management system makes running your child care program simple and efficient. Get back to what's most important. You shouldn't have to spend more time on the administrative tasks than you do with children and staff.
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Header image courtesy of Jumpstory.