If you are searching for a cushy career then swerve steadily away from the child care business because this is one career that involves a lot of work and responsibilities as well as the ability to nurture various relationships and roles. A safe and effective day care environment depends upon the intricate role of the day care worker and all the complex relationships inherent in same.
The first major relationship that springs to mind is that of the worker/child. A worker should never be content to simply be a caregiver but should see their function as encompassing the enrichment of the child’s experience through facilitating the creative, learning and play environment. A caring, warm and consistent personality is essential and should be cultivated.
The skills of the caregiver encompass a wide and varied range. Lots of patience tops the list followed by the ability to encourage independent learning, provision of a safe and hygienic environment, encouraging self confidence and individuality, supporting children to take part in the learning process, an awareness that developmentally all children are different and the cultivation of a caring ethos in the classroom.
Day care workers must be capable of working together harmoniously. The needs of the children are paramount and as such effective teamwork is essential. The major elements of the workers’ relationships are understanding, respect and cooperation. Chaos and confusion can ensue should one person misunderstand or disrespect the objectives and focus of the day care service.
Planning and reviewing sessions will encourage positive interaction and communication between staff which will include positive criticism and ideas for improvement. A comment book coupled with frequent verbal updates can provide effective daily communication. Of course regular evaluation of staff by management is needed to monitor progress and ensure continuing standards.
Appropriate qualifications are a given in a childcare environment and management should have available, and encourage participation in ongoing training. This brings us to the incredibly important area of support and supervision of staff. In order to do their job effectively day care workers require this support which can take the form of supervision by a senior member of staff, an emotionally and physically healthy working environment, adequate pay and an easily accessible supervisor should the need arise.
Finally, a very important, yet often overlooked relationship is that of worker and parent. Open communication with the parents is vital for the best interests of the child. Both parties should be on the same page when it comes to the development of the child. Parents should have easy access to all policies and procedures associated with the day care which should be clear and concise. Encourage and welcome all parental involvement and input.
Possessing the above qualities and abilities are essential if you wish to work in the day care setting and if you have any doubts about your suitability then you may need to seriously consider an alternate profession. Despite the varied duties, responsibilities and difficulties attached to this career it is a rewarding one for the right personality.
Recommended Books on Starting and Marketing a Child Care Business:
- How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Child Care Service: With Companion CD-ROM
- The Business of Child Care: Management and Financial Strategies
- How to Start a Home-Based Day-Care Business, 6th (Home-Based Business Series)
- Start & Run a Home Daycare (Self-Counsel Press Business Series)
- Family Child Care Marketing Guide: How to Build Enrollment and Promote Your Business As a Child Care Professional (Redleaf Business)