Improve Your Daycare Business by Focusing on Talent Development

A continuation of "Improve Your Daycare Business by Focusing on the Three Pillars"

Talent Development

Do your staff have a job, or do they have a career?

Human nature is not to stand still, but to keep moving forward. If you are lucky enough to find good talent, or caregivers to work in your daycare, it is crucial that you foster an environment where your team members have a path forward, whether that means opportunities to make more money with you, or a constant ability to improve their skills and competence in their jobs. This is what talent development is all about.

At 30%, the turnover rate in childcare is more than four times that of elementary school teachers. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the task of staffing childcare businesses even harder. In a December 2020 survey of childcare operators, 69% of respondents stated that recruiting and retaining qualified staff is more difficult now than it was before the pandemic. Yet childcare workers have been some of the pandemic’s unsung heroes, continuing to work in-person with children, and even taking on school-age children when K-12 schools remained shuttered. It’s never been more important to take measures to ensure that childcare staff feel respected, prepared and hopeful about their jobs.

The economics are impossible to ignore. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median hourly pay for a childcare worker in 2019 was $11.65. That’s less than median pay for food preparation workers and retail sales workers, and nominally higher than the median hourly pay for cashiers. Given that working in a daycare pays roughly the same or less than jobs that do not involve bending over, picking up kids, cleaning up constant messes and consumers who bite each other at times, it’s important to ask: what are you doing to create an environment where your staff would rather work in your childcare center than somewhere else?