Recent studies indicate a rise in dual-income households and suggest more parents are choosing to work full-time. While this should be good news for child care providers, growth in the industry has remained stagnant in recent years. To continue to grow, day care providers need to differentiate their business by making their facility standout in a crowded market and reducing attrition.
Day cares often face risks and various child care challenges that are unique to the industry. From providing for the essential needs of the families they work with to complying with strict state and federal requirements, day care centers have plenty of business obstacles. Here are some tips on how to overcome challenges of a day care center.
Establishing and Maintaining Trust
Every parent sees their child as a prized possession. Trust is the lifeblood of day care centers; without it, your business can’t earn a loyal following of customers. A focus on safety and quality of care are paramount, inspiring confidence in your ability to care for the children.
Earning your clients’ trust is essential for the success of your business. Keep in mind that high-quality child care centers don’t just have luxurious amenities and safe facilities, but they are also equipped with staff that parents trust and provide peace of mind. One great way to establish trust is to build a positive relationship between staff and the parents, and this can easily be done by practicing good communication skills.
- Always show genuine interest when talking to clients and convey it through proper actions.
- Regardless of their status, race, religion or beliefs, maintain utmost respect in every discussion.
- Be a good conversationalist by listening and waiting for their response before answering back.
Keeping up with Licensing Requirements and Regulations
Meeting proper licensing requirements and following regulations are also challenges of a day care center and are extremely important. If there is one industry that is a favorite amongst legislators and politicians, it’s the care business. Ever-changing requirements and new certifications to maintain the legal operations of your business can keep you busy.
Depending on the state, rules and regulations differ. Some states or municipalities require orientation even before the classes starts while others are very strict when it comes to features of facilities and child-appropriate furniture. Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to increased scrutiny or even a temporary closure of your business until you are in compliance. To protect your business, meet all local requirements and make sure that you are protected with the right insurance policy.
Among other challenges of a day care center are health risks. Young children are vulnerable to various illnesses, and kids often carry germs or viruses that can spread to others. This is especially risky for infants who have the most vulnerable immune systems. One sick child with an illness can quickly spread an infection to other children, to your staff, and to families.
Failure to minimize risks and an inability to provide high-quality healthcare policies will ultimately lead to fewer customers. Follow these tips to maintain a healthy day care facility.
- Make sure to clean the learning and playing areas daily and sanitize toys regularly – especially those that come in contact with children’s mouths.
- Provide a strict sick-child policy that clearly specifies the conditions when children must stay home.
- Your child care center should practice isolation procedures for communicable diseases or illnesses.
- Train your staff on proper cleaning techniques addressing what to clean and when to clean it.
Behavior and Incident Reporting
Among the most important child care challenges is the importance of behavior and incident reporting. The day care industry carries a moral obligation to ensure that children don’t create a danger for each other and that there is no form of abuse in or out of the facility. Day care workers have a legal responsibility to report suspected incidents of abuse to proper authorities, and a failure to make reports immediately create a risk for your business.
The behavior of children should also be reported to parents or guardians in a consistent manner. Any untoward conduct to the staff and to others must be referred to authorities when appropriate. Remaining diligent about reporting practices increases the credibility of your day care business and fosters a safe environment.
- Incident reports should include all necessary details such as time, date, witnesses, cause of incident, nature of the injury, administered treatment, and description.
- Consider installing CCTV cameras on your facilities to monitor all activities.
- Discuss the role of your institution in monitoring and reporting suspected cases of abuse. with parents.
Staff Challenges of a Day Care Center
For childcare facilities, first impressions always matter. Customers won’t enroll their children enroll in a day care center that is understaffed. Additionally, overstaffed institutions with a low number of enrollees can raise flags for parents as well. To provide personalized care services for your clients, make sure that you have a well-staffed childcare center with the appropriate amount of staffing for the number of children enrolled. This makes a good impression on parents, increasing the possibility of referrals and eventually business growth.
Always follow the mandated requirements set by your local government. If possible, don’t settle on the minimum requirements but try to exceed requirements to demonstrate your commitment to quality care.
- Depending on the number of children and age group, be aware of the required staff to child ratios.
- Child care staff should be at least 18 years old, with a high school diploma and with proper training.
- Consider additional training for your staff such as first aid, basic safety, and child development related courses.
- Ensure that you have enough qualified providers to cover absences.