So your child care center culture is struggling to retain employees, and staff member turnover is at an all-time high. Don’t worry! The good news is that recognizing and admitting there is a problem is the first step.

In a hiring climate like the one we're in now where there's an enormous shortage of talented childcare workers, you should never EVER ignore your team when they tell you there's a toxic culture at your center. Letting a toxic culture persist, or being dismissive of childcare worker complaints about colleagues or the work environment will lead to employee attrition, under-performance, and inefficiency.

While you may think complaints you're getting from your employees are the result of enforcing workplace rules and holding your staff accountable. Maybe you look at your team and think that gossip, cliques, poor benefits, and other less obvious issues are the culprit. While these will all play some role, the biggest source of child care center cultural influence sits at the top of the organization -- with you. Truth.

In Meghan E. Butler’s article “How to fix your toxic culture,” Shahnaz Broucek, a professor of coaching and mentoring for MBA students at the University of Michigan, notes that “leadership sets the tone of the workplace culture and acceptable behavior patterns.” Leaders set the tone. Whether the leader of your childcare business is the administrator, team leader, or a mentor, those in leadership roles carry the burden of ensuring a positive, healthy culture for everyone else. 

Now that we know who’s leading the charge around culture, what can you do to fix it?!

Free White Paper
Best Practices for Managing Difficult Parents

Whether you are a veteran teacher, center director or staff member, at some point in your career as a childcare worker, you will encounter difficult-to-please parents.  Learn how to handle tough conversations about a child’s behavior, build healthy relationships, and avoid unpleasant interactions with even the most difficult-to-please parents.

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What's in the White Paper?

Whether you are a veteran teacher, principal or other administrator at a preschool, day care center, or after school care program, at some point in time, you will encounter difficult-to-please parents. It has the potential to be one of the most stressful parts of working in childcare. Parents often believe that because they are paying for a service their standards are the only standards that matter, and they expect you to meet those standards.

Sometimes those expectations are reasonable, but many times they are not. Issues that pertain to a child’s behavior, health, or performance can be a minefield of potential perceived offenses and adventures in denial. After a number of these run-ins and difficult conversations, it’s natural for childcare workers to face future conversations with dread (or in some cases just avoid them entirely.)

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve pulled together years of experience and advice from teachers and administrators like you that will help you put your best foot forward and work with even your most difficult-to-please parents consistently and professionally.

Money is such a sensitive subject. No one wants to have to ask for it, but many people simply don’t want to part with it. It is one of the more challenging issues child care center administrators and owners face. To run a business successfully, you must carefully balance your cash flow both in and out of the business.

Whether you are a new or well established daycare, preschool, or after school care center, the key to ensuring timely payments from your parents requires 3 important things...

Learn how to cut through the confusion surrounding electronic payments processing in an effort to make the right options for your childcare business more clear. With off-the-shelf options like PayPal and Square, in addition to the myriad other choices flooding the market today it's easy to get confused. However, with knowledge of just a few basic terms and concepts your choices will become much simpler. 

Do you consider the parents of your preschool, day care center, or after school program to be enemies or allies? Have you ever even thought about it? Maybe you have some of each. The ultimate goal is to make them all allies.

Going to war with a challenging parent is a battle you will never win. Yet, how do you win over the tough ones? Ask for their feedback. That’s it.

Provide all parents (especially the challenging ones) an opportunity for feedback. At the end of the day, we all want to be heard. If you regularly take time to listen and then make and execute an action plan, you can have a winning ally in each of your parents.

Partnering with parents and seeing them as an ally is vital to any center’s success. Allies work with you, not against you. They have your back during times of need or struggle. Thus, this partnership requires regular back and forth communication. The easiest way to encourage that is through surveys, newsletters, and informal conferences when time permits. Understanding areas that your center’s parents value and ensuring that you meet their standards today will save you a lot of unnecessary battles down the road.

Implementing a successful feedback program for your parents doesn't have to be challenging or time consuming. Click to see the 3 steps you'll need to take to get a parent feedback program off the ground for your child care center.