On March 8, the world celebrated International Women’s Day in recognition of the incredible contributions women make to culture, society, economics, and politics. These achievements stretch from home to the workplace in both male-dominated and female-dominated industries.
Childcare is one such female-dominated industry: in 2016, 91.1 percent of the childcare workforce was female. In situations like these, women have the unique opportunity to uplift and support other women as they become leaders in their homes and communities. Even for women who go on to pursue other careers, a job in childcare can lay the groundwork for their future success.
More Than a Job
Caring for children is an important responsibility. These teachers and caregivers, who perhaps started their journeys by babysitting during their teenage years, are not only shaping the next generation, they are also learning a wide array of transferable skills that will serve them in any career. This includes compassion, attention to detail, communication (with co-workers, children, and parents), and patience as well as organisational, teamwork, and decision-making skills.
In 2016, nearly 25 percent of the childcare workforce was under the age of 25. These are young women (and some men) who are just beginning their careers and learning how to succeed as adults. The way you manage the childcare centre and the way these employees are treated and encouraged will impact their lives—as well as the lives of the children they’re caring for.
Job satisfaction and performance are closely related across many industries; if employees feel their work has no meaning or if they feel stressed by poor leadership, they are more likely to underperform or leave the position. Effective leadership, access to training and education to do their jobs well, and the opportunity to use their unique skills are all factors that contribute to employee productivity.
The Employer’s Responsibility
For the employer, the responsibility to these childcare workers goes far beyond offering a fair wage. Indeed, it’s an opportunity to set these women up for success no matter what their future holds. One day, they may have the opportunity to do the same thing for the next generation.
This includes recognising their strengths and weaknesses and supporting them with proper training, education, and guidance as they seek to improve. It means setting a standard for excellence and compliance in the workplace, so all employees have an understanding of and respect for regulations and protocols.
There are many steps you can take to create a well-organised, supportive work environment where employees understand their roles and feel empowered to manage the challenges that come their way. ChildHR can help with these:
- Performance Reviews: Highlight where the employee has performed well and provide the constructive criticism he or she needs, so they can continue to improve—we can give you tips to help you conduct these reviews objectively and professionally. Doing this on a regular basis maintains a high level of expectation for your team and encourages continual growth. We also outline the process of documenting an underperforming employee so you can rest assured you’re taking the proper steps.
- Clear Roles and Responsibilities: Carefully clarifying expectations for each employee helps you avoid misunderstandings and mistakes. It also increases their confidence in you and each other.
- Policies, Documentation, and Protocol: You need employment contracts as well as documents to cover your expectations for employee behaviour, outline roles, and responsibilities, and define procedures that must be followed after an incident. All documents are written by experts to ensure you meet the National Quality Standards.
- Compliance: Laws change on a regular basis. Real-time updates help you stay compliant.
A solution like ChildHR takes the guesswork out of many of those steps. It allows for a seamless experience, where employees know they can trust you to manage the logistics. This frees them to focus on their roles and how they can become the best childcare workers they can be—knowing you’ll support them in that endeavour, as well. For more information about how ChildHR can help you manage your childcare centre and your valued employees, book a demo today.