Without Quality Staff, You Will Not Have a Quality Child Care or Preschool Program
Quality is always a primary goal for a director. Selecting and maintaining the right people for your program is one of the most important pieces of a your position.
It is one area that will take up a majority of your time as a Director and it should! Without a qualified team, you cannot provide quality child care or preschool program.
First, let’s define qualified. According to Webster’s online dictionary, qualified is defined as “a high level of value or excellence". having the necessary skill, experience, or knowledge to do a particular job or activity.” (Underlined emphasis added by me!).
There is a LOT packed into those 7 words! And each is important! QUALITY, with regard to staff, does not simply mean someone is trained for the job. Let's face it......we ALL know people who have oodles of training in a certain field by are not providing anyone any value from what they know.
Training is not enough. Training and knowledge need to provide a high level of value to your families. They also need to provide a high level of excellence to your program.
It goes beyond the "necessary skill" that our states require for a position. It is the ability to provide high levels of care: Care that provides a value to the family.
Your role as Preschool Director is to hire qualified staff and therefore you need to be clear on what those neccesary skills are based on:
Remember that the governing regulations tell you what the MINIMUM requirement is for a position. You will need to add your requirements to this. Example: Your state may list the requirements of a preschool teacher to as needing to meet the following minimum requirements:
YOU may require 15 credits (or an Associates Degree or CDA) and additional time in the field.
You will need to know each potential (and current) staff team member “on paper” (the educational skills) as well as “in the classroom” (the hands on ability with the children and other staff) and ensure each staff member has the ability to provide the quality care your program desires to provide.
This "knowing" of your team members does not end at hiring. That is only the beginning. Maintaining the quality of your team is an ongoing, ever growing relationship that begins at hiring and continues through their time with your program.
Team building happens during group team times and during individual meetings.
These times include staff meetings, training, personal development meetings and personally encouraging them throughout their time on your program’s team.
How is this done?
Building and developing your quality child care and preschool team needs to be intentional on your part. Don't leave it to chance and, for example, "hope" they all get along or "hope" that teacher is just having a bad day today or not have your finger on the pulse of your team!
Don't be the old school principal-you know the one! The only time you meet with your staff members is when there is a meeting or a problem.
A Director is a Leader. A Leader is one who helps guide and provides development to others so they can excel in their gifts. You can not do this without being involved on a regular basis!
Provide a quality program by developing the right people.
In this section, we will dig into the following areas (They will be blue "clickable" links when they are available):
Staff Relationships (including their inter-relationships, gossip, etc.)
Volunteers (Yes, volunteers are part of your quality child care team!)
School Boards Here are several articles to help you assess your board, define responsibilities and set effective meeting agendas for your Preschool Board!