Running a childcare business — even a small home daycare or an after school program — involves so much more than just making macaroni art projects with a few precious angels. The responsibilities that come with daycare management can be exhausting; you have a massive amount of safety, record-keeping, curriculum writing, meal planning, employee management and regulatory tasks. Letting any of the balls that you have to juggle while managing a daycare fall can be disastrous. Let’s consider a few of the responsibilities that you have to stay on top of:
- Employee management
Any business is as strong as the staff who work there, but managing the employees who work at your daycare is particularly important. The families who entrust the care of their children in your hands are trusting you with their the center of their world. It is critical to ensure the employees who actually spend all day with the kids are equipped and competent to handle the job. This involves background checks, extensive and ongoing training, regular check-ins and supervision of employees.
In order to ensure this vital aspect of running a daycare is thoroughly covered, many childcare providers use software for daycares that tracks employee records and provides reminders when something should be updated (such performance reviews or updates to CPR training) for them.
- Child records
There are approximately a metric ton of data points about every child that must be recorded and tracked in order to provide care for them. Each child’s shot records, allergies, medications, special care instructions and the parents’ contact information needs to be on-hand at all times. Since all of this information is likely to change on a regular basis, it needs to be reviewed and updated once or twice a year to ensure it is current. Entering this information into the software for daycare management and keeping it current is an important responsibility.
- Safety and security
If you Google literally any child’s toy, furniture, or equipment, one of the first links will be whether or not it has been recalled. Safety is a particularly important aspect of childcare, and due to the delicate nature of a small child, it involves so much more attention than that of an older person. Doing regular inspections to identify potential hazards is one of the most important jobs of a daycare manager.
Additionally, it is critical to ensure the environment the children are in is secure. Most software for daycare management keep track of guardianship and who is allowed to pick the kids up for you. However, it also requires physical security, such as installing locks on doors and fences or gates to keep the children in, and any unauthorized people out.
- Health and nutrition
Managing the meals and nutrition at a daycare is more complicated than ever before. Now, it is extremely common for children to have diets that are gluten-free, dairy-free, dye or sugar free, or vegan. If you provide meals for the kids, keeping track of this and making nutritious meals within these diet restrictions can be a career in and of itself. Even if you don’t make the meals for the kids, you have to keep record of each child’s diet restrictions the the software for daycare management, so that you don’t unintentionally let a child contaminate themselves (since the choice to be on a specific diet usually isn’t made by the child themselves.
- Service providers
They say it takes a village to raise a child and that is particularly true for a daycare owner. Meeting the needs of so many tiny humans requires a laundry list of service providers: maintenance, pest-control, health inspectors, sometimes medical professionals, to name a few. As a daycare owner, it is your responsibility to maintain records on each of these service providers to keep your facilities in good shape and the children well cared for. This type of information requires more than a little black book; you guessed it, you’ll need a great software for daycare management solution to stay on top of it for you.
Do you run a daycare? What is the greatest challenge of your work? What do you love most about it? Please share your experience in the comment section below.