The integrated childcare management platform helps daycare and childcare centers in managing day-to-day business operations while also providing efficacious child care assistance. These services include end-to-end processes such as lesson planning, invoice tracking using a childcare billing software, attendance & meal program tracking, parent-teacher collaboration, progress reports, and more.
A Glimpse of the Child Care Industry in the US
The COVID-19 pandemic amongst other things also brought back the emphasis on the necessity of childcare facilities and how crucial it is for supporting working parents and ensuring steady and healthy growth in the children. Even before the pandemic had hit the continent, the childcare vendors were running on razor-thin budgets and profits, and also were in the need of extra funds to provide standard care for growing children while also supporting their own businesses. The outbreak of the pandemic, however, brought a dent into the already fragile business structures of the daycares. This phenomenon left the daycare providers in doubt and confusion about how to keep their companies functional and successful while also providing the services they set out to provide.
The daycare providers with their marginal profits and exquisitely low budgets have also grappled to be able to afford and access defensive equipment and supplies that could foster a safe and healthy environment for the children and the staff. Despite multiple difficulties, child care providers have stood up to the task of assisting families and children during this crisis. Many early childhood educators are unemployed, despite the fact that they work with children aged birth to five and receive, on average, poverty wages at the best of times. Others, such as teachers of children in PreK-3rd grade, are experimenting with new approaches to teach young children at home. Parents, who bear the brunt of the cost of child care and spend more out of pocket than parents in other industrialized economies, are struggling to juggle jobs, child care, and education on their own.
Policymakers have yet to commit to investing adequate funds in coronavirus relief packages, because of the decades of underinvestment in child care and education. Despite the fact that many schools, child care centers, and family child care homes remain closed, some states are attempting to reopen them and force teachers to return to work without considering who will care for their children.
Who manages the childcare center?
The owner or a director of a child care center is usually in charge of the facility. The position of senior director is often referred to as a child care administrator. A child care center’s director oversees regular activities such as parent registration and waitlists, early childhood educator staff management, talent and recruiting, operations and finance, marketing, and facility maintenance. In other words, whether the center is part of a larger franchise model or is independently owned, the director is in charge of it.
What does a child care manager do?
Child daycare managers may work for a variety of companies, ranging from small businesses with a single location to large corporations with hundreds. While specific responsibilities vary by employer, they usually include curriculum creation, staff management, record administration, and direct child care.
Roles and responsibilities of child care managers
Program Design Duties
Designing the program that the daycare uses in its day-to-day activities is one of the most significant responsibilities of a daycare manager. A regular schedule of activities to entertain, encourage, and teach the children at an age-appropriate level; a healthy and nutritious snack and meal plan; a clear and realistic plan for coping with disciplinary issues; and arrangements for dealing with emergencies such as a fire in the facility are also included in the curriculum.
Staff Supervision Duties
The daycare manager is in charge of hiring and supervising all of the facility’s employees. From hiring new employees as required, choosing the right applicants for the job, educating and empowering employees, assessing employee performance through a performance review, assisting employees with leadership learning, to dealing with any problems that arise – all of this is overseen by the daycare manager. Since all employees at a daycare center are responsible for the welfare and well-being of children, the manager must carefully select applicants who possess both the expertise and the demeanor required for the job.
Budgeting, recordkeeping, maintaining client files, purchasing anything needed by the facility such as new equipment or art supplies, and updating parents with any information also fall under the jurisdiction of daycare managers. These tasks of managing day to day daycare activities can be effectively managed using a daycare software. The manager must be diligent about concerns such as proper fund management and the client’s right to privacy. In conjunction, the manager must be skilled to communicate with parents in a manner that should be both friendly and respectful. Parents and employees must find managers easily approachable to help them solve any of their concerns.
Direct Care Duties
Staff supervises the children and conducts the curriculum while the manager remains in the office to execute administrative duties. Where practicable, however, the manager is also supposed to be actively engaged in the primary care of the children. Any of the children at the daycare may show signs of developmental disorders or family problems. The manager may also need to respond in certain situations to ensure that a cognitive condition of a child is adequately handled which can be tracked using a preschool child assessment platform . Depending on the situation, this might at times, include contacting a social worker.
Finance and figures (salary)
The average salary for a childcare program administrator in the United States is around $46,769 per year. Wages typically start from $29,928 and go up to $73,086.
Childcare program administrator earnings by seniority
Qualification and Training
Anyone who wishes to serve as a daycare manager must be able to pursue their education throughout her career. In addition to acquiring the mandatory certification, prospective daycare directors must be prepared to complete a variety of courses in order to obtain and retain accreditations and licenses.
Daycare Manager Education
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, although a high school degree is the minimum level of education that daycare workers are expected to have by most states, some also favour applicants with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.
Psychology, linguistics, and language learning, as well as wellbeing, protection, and nutrition, are important practices in early childhood programs. They often require employees to study in an educational setting with a qualified instructor.
Experience of a Daycare Manager
Once qualified, aspiring daycare managers need to gain some experience.
After obtaining the right qualification, aspiring daycare must gain some experience to be considered truly qualified. It is recommended for daycare directors to have had experience with working in early childhood education. Numerous childcare directors began their careers as preschool teachers before moving up to managerial roles. This enables them to comprehend the emotional and physical needs of growing children, as well as how to react to and handle parents’ concerns.
Daycare Manager Certification
A Child Development Associate certification from the Council for Professional Recognition or a Child Care Professional designation from the National Child Care Association is mandated by most states to be held by daycare managers. According to Study.com, the CDA credential underlines that the directors should take on a minimum of 480 hours of childcare work and at least 120 hours of education in childcare in the last five years. A high school diploma, experience in the education industry, and attendance at educational programs are all required to receive the CCP.
Daycare Manager License
Many states also require daycare facilities to be authorized in addition to certification. A facility’s employees, along with its manager, must undergo a background check, be immunised, and complete a basic training requirement to meet licensure requirements. Although licensure prerequisites differ from state to state, most demand that daycare directors should have at least have experience in childcare for a certain number of years and completed a set number of hours in childcare-related academic work.
Is Being a Child Care Manager Right For You?
In a childcare career, it comes as no surprise that you must enjoy working with children, but there are a variety of other attributes you must possess if you want to work as a childcare professional. Before you go any further, consider the following six scenarios:
Loving all of it – the good, bad, and the ugly
Working with kids could be fun in many ways, but it comes with its own set of challenges. There will be several occasions where you will have to handle their tantrums, their extremely high energy levels, crying, and screaming. To be fully prepared for the job of a daycare worker, you need to be willing to deal with the difficult side of being around kids as well.
Communicating with kids as well as their parents
As a daycare worker, you will be expected to interact and handle the concerns of both children and parents. Although, most regular days will constitute taking care of the kids, feeding them, and playing with them, it is also your responsibility to notice and document their behaviour and activities using a childcare app . This could include keeping the child’s parents at par with his or her growth, achievements, difficulties that they might be facing, and above all, their learning curve.
Patience and flexibility – the most important traits
It goes without saying that when you set out to work with kids, patience and flexibility are two key attributes to succeeding in the given environment. Every kid has a different behaviour pattern and a different mind, therefore, it is crucial that as a daycare worker flexibility is something you must possess. Some tricks might work for a few kids, they might not for the other lot. Dealing with several kids at one time is no joke, hence, patience and calmness is essential for you to get through the day and manage the class effectively.
Willingness to learn
In the field of education, the learning never stops. Willingness to learn something new everyday is not just a job requirement but will also keep you up-to-date with the techniques and knowledge to handle various complex situations.
Being dependable at all times
In a profession like childcare, the welfare of the children is paramount. Parents and employers put their confidence in you to take after their children’s well-being as well as their protection. You must also be reasonable and responsible at all times, as these children regard you as a guardian and a role model.
Is your income a deciding factor in your career choice?
A child care wage is pretty average, and it won’t make you wealthy. If making money is your primary reason for pursuing a career, childcare is definitely not for you. A childcare career offers many benefits and highlights that money can’t buy, and it’s a work that will always satisfy you.
Does this ring true for you? Then consider enrolling in a nursery course that will lead to a diploma or credential in early childhood education and support.
There are also classes that will prepare you to teach children with disabilities, as well as education psychology and first aid. Working in childcare can be a satisfying and enriching experience, but it is not for all!
What is your workplace like?
8 types of childcare programs
1. Traditional daycare center
Most daycare centers offer child care services during normal working hours. Several provide half-day or full-day care for children and often include meals and field outings. Daycare centres typically bill families on a monthly basis rather than an hourly one. They also provide a standardised schedule for large numbers of children. These centers are usually based out of standalone buildings, but sometimes they also run from religious institutions, schools, or community centers.
2. In-home daycare
In-home daycare centers manage children from a home-like setting rather than a classroom setup. They usually constitute fewer kids when compared to daycare centers. Since such facilities are typically run from home, their costs are often much cheaper than daycare centers as well. In-home daycare centres that are accredited, it is usually expected from them to offer age-appropriate activities, follow safety protocols, and provide child care instruction to caregivers.
Nannies specialise in providing individualised in-home care for children. Their employers are the families who they work full-time for and are paid by the hour, with a pre-decided schedule. Nannies are expected to be flexible and provide personalised care, but they can often cost more than the other options available for child care.
4. Shared nanny
A shared nanny is not very different from a traditional nanny except they provide their services to two families at once. In short, they don’t exclusively work for one family. To reduce expenses on child care, families often hire one nanny to look after all of their children at the same time. This is typically done at the parents’ home. In this case, the cost is less and there is also increased social interaction amongst the children.
5. Au pair
Trained caregivers from overseas who provide child care services while residing with the families are referred to as Au pairs. They are allocated their own personal room as well as a fixed salary. Au pairs make things extremely simple for families by providing live-in child care services, hence, given them the flexibility to carry on their day-to-day activities without any disruption.
Babysitters are part-time caregivers who provide their services on an hourly basis. They can be called upon by the families when the need arises. It has increasingly become more and more common among parents to offer such positions to a well-known school going kid and in turn, help them earn some extra pocket money.
7. Relative care
While parents are at work, relatives or friends may step in to help with child care. Daily care from recognized and reliable individuals will help children, and relatives and friends are often willing to provide flexible care. The amount paid varies depending on the circumstance and the relationship.
Children aged between 2-5 years old often attend preschools. Since, preschools offer age-appropriate learning environments. They charge on a monthly basis and offer kids a space where they can learn and grow with other preschoolers. Some preschools are also open full-time on weekdays.
How A Child Care Manager’s Performance Evaluated?
Any early-learning programme needs a transparent feedback system in order to succeed.
Employees, administrators, and parents all benefit from a professional performance assessment structure as they collaborate to provide excellent education and guidance to their students.
Types of Employee Review:
Self assessment is considered to be one of the most successful methods for taking in inputs and obtaining feedback from teachers. It is this form of ongoing reflection that helps establish internal strengths and areas for improvement.Self assessments enable caregivers to actively participate in their own professional evaluations.
Cases where certain problem areas have been identified or changes were required to be made, performance improvement plans have proven to set progressive timelines. They have played a crucial role in monitoring situations such as employee promotions and dealing with issues between co-workers.
The Child Care Performance Appraisal
The analysis should be planned ahead of time, giving the employee and boss enough time to plan for it. When self-assessment is part of the plan, the employee is given ample time to complete it beforehand. Whereas in cases where it’s not included in the review process, the employees should be given an opportunity to respond to any such claims and critiques.
All sides are invited to communicate about their areas of agreement and disagreements. This is done so that a potential expectation plan can be developed. Subsequent assessment may be undertaken at the next annual review or could be scheduled sooner if a structured quality improvement plan is implemented.
The professional performance review encourages giving positive feedback wherever possible, and sharing constructive criticism in cases where improvements are required.
It is not intended to be a derogatory experience, nor is it intended to be a platform for supervisory reprimand or employee grievances. These concerns are unrelated to the assessment of results.
6 Habits of Highly Effective Child Care Managers
1. Paying equal attention to the needs of both children and teachers
Ensuring your team feels safe, listened to and valued, with opportunities to grow and develop professionally is the recipe for a successful, happy environment. The best thing for students is a happy, motivated staff; by putting the staff equal first with the students, you are doing the best you can do for the students.
2. Boosting spirits by giving regular praises
Along with providing opportunities for professional growth and development, a healthy, happy workplace requires ensuring that the employees feel secure, heard, and respected, The best thing for students is a satisfied, empowered workforce; and provide the best possible service to the students one needs to prioritise the staff alongside the students.
Parents are another source of praise for teachers. Opening up more opportunities for the teachers to interact with parents will make it possible for them to feel the love and gratitude, which in turn, will keep them going. It’s one of the unanticipated advantages of group learning.
3. Treat team members as equals
By giving respect, effective managers also regulate it. They don’t let their place of power make them feel superior to others, and they’re not afraid to get their hands dirty when necessary.
4. Taking out time to recharge
Taking some time off to reflect and refresh is very essential for one to be a successful manager. In order to sustain a high energy, long term management style, aligning your resources is very crucial. This emphasises the importance of striking a balance between work and play, and it encourages your team to do so as well.
5. Communicating openly and oftenly
Communication is an essential part of managing a childcare team of any scale. Efficient early childhood managers exhibit leadership abilities that encourage collective decision-making and clear dialogue among employees, children, and their parents.
It is essential to create a comfortable and safe environment where employees are relaxed and confident to share their honest feedback. Daily supervisions, evaluations, and mentoring opportunities are some excellent ways to start.
With Illumine, you would be able to monitor and document all your communication from one place. Moreover, this child care management software also gives you the freedom to manage, share, and store all the administrative and teaching documents in a single platform.
6. Looking for ways to build on other people’s strengths
Successful managers understand that by integrating their team’s strengths, they can accomplish goals that no one could accomplish on their own. It’s important to understand the team members’ unique strengths and look for ways to encourage their spirits and nurture their skills.
Overall, a successful child care management involves a good and healthy balance between the children in your care and the teachers in your staff. Opening up two-way communication, giving positive feedback wherever necessary, and leading by example are some of the traits that distinguish a good manager from a great manager.
7 Ways To Effectively Manage a Child Care Center
To ensure that the children in their care can learn and thrive in a secure and healthy atmosphere, childcare centre management must provide a team of trained and skilled educators and caretakers. It is also important for the employees who work in childcare facilities to be certified and qualified in child safety.
In order for the parents to trust the child care facility with their kids, one needs to work developing a relationship that involves credibility and trust. Meeting their needs and ensuring the safety and well-being of their children establishes you as a reliable name in the industry.
1. Honesty And Transparency
A childcare centre must be transparent and truthful with parents about the services and expectations they have. Working with institutions that are transparent about how they care for children makes parents feel more relaxed. Parents should know how their child will spend their day and what things they have planned for their child’s development.
Making sure the parents are aware about their child’s development and success helps the parents stay at par with their child’s growth. And if the news is bad, it’s best to be upfront and inform them right away rather than letting them draw their own conclusions.
2. Have A Licensed & Accredited Team
A team of qualified professionals is what drives the institution into providing the best services for a child. It depends on this very team to establish the quality of child care is provided to the kids at the institution.
It helps to create confidence with your clients when you show that you’ve been approved by the public bodies to provide childcare services. Furthermore, the employees are best prepared to care for children and involve them in activities that are advantageous to their growth.
3. Incorporate Digital Solutions
Childcare management software can help drastically improve the services and processes of a preschool by streamlining and digitalising all the systems. Illumine is an all-in-one childcare management solution that will enable you to automate all your business processes, interact with parents, and significantly increase your revenues. Illumine is used by over 400 schools worldwide.
With Illumine, it is not possible to schedule classes, take attendances, update reports, streamline invoices, and perform all the other administrative functions – all from the touch of your screen.
4. Keep Parents Involved
Along with the children, you also need to keep parents involved.
Parents should be kept engaged as well alongside the children. If any volunteering opportunities come up, parents should be made aware and encouraged to participate.This will not just help you strengthen your relationship with the parents, but will also increase their trust in your offerings.
5. Be Inclusive
You must also make your facility more inclusive if you want to provide the best childcare services. Ensure that the special conditions or needs of a particular child are met. Since no two children are alike, you must keep this in mind while organising events and lessons.
6. Be Proactive
You must ensure that all of your organisational and functional operations are constructive. This enables you to provide a safe and balanced learning and growing atmosphere for children.
7. Document Progress
Be sure to give parents regular reminders so they are aware of their child’s success. It improves the trustworthiness of the childcare provider, the parents, and the baby. Keeping track of children’s development allows you to provide parents with credible and timely reports.