Having the right systems in place for your childcare business involves:
- Getting the right people for the job.
- Paying your staff.
- Staff feel appreciated and heard.
- Getting the cash flow needed for the business.
- Responding correctly to client complains.
- Getting paid for the services or product provided.
- Service carried out is not seen as a bad business for the company.
- Client get the best service.
- All T’s being crossed and I’s dotted.
- Business growth.
Strategies and systems are important for any business this include any childcare business. I have come across childcare business owners with the professional background but illiterate with the business management side. I have also come across childcare business owners with the business management background but illiterate with the childcare side.
Business in childcare can be complicated but also straight forward when you get the right strategies in place. It’s like a dancer who is perfect in street dancing but enters a ballroom or tap dance competition without having the right dance strategies. Put your strategies in place!
- Get an administrator for the admin job;
- Get childcare practitioners for the childcare jobs,
- Get an accountant for the accounting and see where the business lead you.
Will you have to do some of these jobs yourself in the first instance, of cause. However, with the right strategies in place, the foundation of the business is heading in the right direction.
As a woman, I know how important it is to have my hair style changed quite often. This keeps my look fresh, clean, innovative and unpredictable from people around me. I hear quite often, when this change takes place, ‘You look different’. This contribute in boosting my confidence and self-esteem. These hair style changes are not because I need confirmation that I look good but because I know how the change makes me fell good and confident.
This can also be related to your childcare business. Change is important for any business because it shows you are innovative and ready to move with the times. As a children’s nursery such change can involve repainting your setting environment at least once a year, moving the equipment around, having yourself and staff all have an innovative training. It is a way of ensuring a confident boost for your childcare business and telling parents and carers that you care about the environment and space their children are being looked after.
A childcare business or any business that has an open door policy for ideas generated by staff will have no problem changing the hair style of their business. This is one of the way companies such as Google has used in staying in the competitive market on SEO, internet and WWW marketing. By ensuring that all good suggestions or ideas, from staff is acted upon, you then ensure to pass on the praise and acknowledgement has this boost confident and enhance the process of generating more great ideas from staff. Another way of encouraging changes in your business is getting the children in your childcare setting involved. You can ask them to draw a layout of how they will like their childcare setting to look. This can help provide insights from a child’s perspective and a great way of getting children included within the childcare community.
Not all hair style fit all faces, so you have to do a style that fit’s your face. With your childcare business, not because you see a school, nursery, creche or play centre carrying out a particular initiative or idea does not mean it will work for your business. You have to think of your location, clients, staff, children and other things before you put the plan into action because as you know our face shape are not all the same. As it is said, change is good, but ensure the change is for a positive rather than negative because a negative change can help set your business backward and undo the hard and smart work that may have already taken place. Ensure to carry out research or test the ground to see what works and what may not work.
I was recently asked to give a talk on how branding can help SME businesses. A good brand is there to make known the service, product or company that is being sold to client. When starting a business, there were several steps to take on how to develop the process of company branding. Some aspect of branding a company involves:
1) The company logo: For a SME or newly developed company, it is important that the logo help identify what the company does and also reflect who and what the company is about. For big companies, years of being in the market has helped make their logo recognizable, but for newly developed companies ensuring that the services provided can be identified from the logo or name of your company is an important aspect of your public recognition.
2) The slogan: your company slogan indicates what the company is about and provide clients with an ethos of the company. It is a component that helps the company standout within the business community and also reflect the unique selling point.
3) Sign post: most business tend to have business cards as the first marketing material. This can help in leaving your company’s footprint or sign post in different location and places. I have heard people say ‘have seen your card somewhere’ through this process of branding.
4) Social media: can help SME business with it’s branding. It shows your company is keeping up with the IT and technology time. QR codes are inexpensive and a great way to branding your business. Introduced is QR codes to all our marketing materials.
- Do not keep changing your logo or slogan.
- Make your logo or slogan easy, memorable and reflect what you actually sell or do.
- Think of what makes your services and product Unique from the competition by enhancing and using it as a selling point.
- Getting the right brand create a good image for your company, opening business door to sales and profit.
- The person behind the branding is important with SME: SME branding is about the owner, how you interact with clients, if clients like your personality/person, developing relationship, showing passion & commitment for what you do and delivering fantastic customer service. SME branding is about being human because your human customers will appreciate you for it.
In our current society, childcare needs has become almost 24 hours with nurseries all around the country opening much early in the mornings and closing much later at night. The demand of parents on nurseries, especially private nurseries, is to open as early as possible in the mornings and close as late as possible in the evenings. This is not whole down to the parents but due of work demands and making a living, this type of request cannot be avoided.
Having this in mind, my question is Who Is Looking After The Childcare Practitioners? I visited a community hall to use for private hire and at about 7.15pm when I allowed into the hall I noticed the nursery workers were still tidying up and cleaning the space. Being a keen childcare professional, I asked questions about the nursery using the space. The caretaker of the centre indicated that the nursery started at about 6.45am and left the venue at about 7.30pm. She also indicated the nursery staff had to tidy up all the toys and resources used within the nursery environment daily. I first thought, WOW, what dedicated staff but I later thought, how tiring for the nursery staff to have to do this 5 times a day. I thought this is not the best way to have childcare practitioner working long hours on a daily basis. I can understand childminders providing this service to parents in a domestic premise but having a private nursery seem un-healthy for the childcare practitioners.
It seem to me that childcare practitioners health and well being are not being thought of and which seem to me the reason why most nursery have a high level of sick staff and use agencies a lot. Nursery workers are been used and are paid a little as possible for the amount of work they do. This is why I support the CWDC (Children Workforce Developmental Council) in making the childcare profession a professional level and having practitioners having an early childhood studies degree or a professional status qualification. Through this process early years practitioners will be able to demand more from their employers both in salary and timing.
To help create a better work environment for your nursery staff or practitioners here are some tips:
- Have a shift pattern if your nursery start early and close late.
- Provide training facilities for ALL staff.
- Rather than have the nursery manager do all the administrative work, get an admin staff.
- Create a working environment where early years staff can express their concerns and issues.
- Acknowledge and prise you staff for the good work they do. Everyone needs positive affirmation, even early years staff.
- In working in partnership and meeting parents need, nurseries do not have to close late. Parents will understand and can plan alternate work routines.