Already know about The 3 Most Important Things In Choosing A Childcare Provider? Well maybe it’s time to go into more detail on how to spot a good nursery.
Like myself, a lot of people work in childcare because they’re passionate about it and want to make a positive difference in children’s lives. However, a nursery is still a business, and like all businesses, you can tell how things are doing by taking a close look at the staff.
If The Staff Aren’t Happy, The Children Won’t Be Either
It may seem obvious, but scientists decided to study it anyway:
So unhappy staff will have a negative effect on children. Simple. What’s less simple though, is judging how happy staff are.
How Do You Tell If Staff Are Happy?
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to have a private chat with some of the staff. However, don’t expect them to come to you saying “Hey, this place sucks, get me out of here!” Other things you should look at include:
- Turnover. Staff leave if they’re not happy, so check with the management what turnover is like. On the flip side, management will also brag if they have staff who’ve been around for a long time, so if they don’t do that, alarm bells should be ringing. And don’t just believe whatever management says; double-check with the staff.
- Staff benefits. Good employment packages and opportunities for career development go a long way in keeping staff happy. The current nursery setting I’m in has booked a hotel for a training day, which has been great for morale.
- Staff ratios. Nobody likes to be doing more than they should be, and staff ratios help to ensure that a room isn’t understaffed. Not every country has a legal requirement for staff ratios, but in the UK staff to children ratios are according to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is 1:3 for under 2s, 1:4 for 2-3s and 1:8 for 3-5s.
These are some of my personal views from a staff member’s viewpoint. I wonder how others feel about the issue?