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Tips on Being a Good Daycare Director
Daycare directors must supervise the day-to-day operations of a daycare facility. The job requires a positive attitude and the ability to work well with children, employees and parents. Due to the many requirements of the job, daycare managers must remain organized and focused as they switch from task to task.
Learn about Childhood
Even if you do not plan to spend much time working directly with children, you must know how children think, learn and feel. As a daycare director, you must plan activities and instruct your employees on how to interact with children. If you do not understand the mental state of children, you cannot help others interact with them. Take classes in childhood development, child psychology or counseling at a local university. Common educational programs for daycare directors include associates degrees in Early Childhood Development, bachelor's degrees in Child Care Management or master's degrees in Childhood Education. If you are not able to pursue a degree, read university-level books on childhood development and education.
A daycare should be a fun place where children play and adults get in touch with their childhood selves. If you act like a strict dictator, no one will feel as if they are allowed to have fun. This will lead to unhappy children who may cry, throw fits or ask their parents to take them to a different daycare. To keep your attitude fun but professional, tell silly but work-appropriate jokes, wear colorful jewelry or occasionally stop to play with the children at your daycare. Cultivate a fun environment by planning recreational activities during lunches and breaks. You may wish to sing karaoke with your staff once a week or to watch your favorite cartoons every day at snack time.
Like any director, a daycare director must remain organized. Keep track of your appointments and meetings with a paper or digital planner. Keep the daycare organized using files or color coordination. Make it easy for your staff to find important items such as first aid kits, books and toys. Make sure that the daycare is clean at the beginning and end of each day by storing goods in labeled containers. Maximize available office space in your daycare by using cubicles instead of offices or by turning a large room into an open office. If you plan to spend 20 minutes building blocks, do not let the time extend to an hour, unless you know the rest of the day is free. Keep the entire organization streamlined by writing a business plan that includes a statement of purpose, operating instructions, expected expenses and expected profits. Refer to this plan every few weeks to make sure your daycare is on track.
Working with People
As a daycare director, you must work with many people including parents, children and employees. Ask your employees about their work conditions on a regular basis to make sure that everything is going well. Ask if the children in the daycare are satisfied with their toys and games and if they are happy with the current scheduling. Listen to parents and make notes of their concerns even if the parents act with hostility. If people have a problem, act diplomatically. For example, if one parent thinks a child in daycare is tormenting his child, acknowledge his concerns and tell him you will look into it. Parents tend to be over-protective of their children and may treat small problems as if they are the end of the world. Avoid problems by instructing your staff to use a calm, patient tone with parents. If there is a problem between two children in the daycare, schedule a meeting where the parents and children can meet and resolve their differences.
Breann Kanobi has worked as freelance writer since 2010. Kanobi regularly submits content online to Gamer DNA. Kanobi received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film and television from New York University in 2010.