3 Common Problems Managers Face in Child Care

4 min read ·  

When managers come to work the last thing they want to do is to get caught up in tedious and avoidable problems related to running the centre. The health and learning of children come first, and time spent devoted to unnecessary administrative or operational tasks only serves to take away from that. So you can get back to doing what you do best, I’ll be going over the three most common problems managers are facing in child care and what you can do to solve them. 

Problem #1: High staff turnover

High staff turnover is a problem that is all too common in the Australian child care industry. A nationwide survey found one-in-five child care workers intended to leave their job in the next 12 months. High turnover can lead to an overall less qualified workforce, which in turn erodes the quality of child care being provided in Australia. A high number of staff exits can also affect children’s ability to form trusting attachments. 

The child care industry in Australia has been fighting an uphill battle to secure higher rates of pay, one of the contributing factors of high staff turnover. Additional factors behind this trend include adverse working conditions and difficulties in career development. 

The solutions: Reducing employee turnover can be a challenge for even the most competent managers. If you want to retain your most valuable employees you’ll need to provide competitive compensation and benefits that exceed the prescribed award. Providing staff with recognition and encouragement when they develop their skills is essential in making employees feel valued and respected in their position, employees who feel they are making a valuable contribution to the business are far more inclined to stay long term, than their less satisfied counterparts. Finally, child care is a uniquely challenging industry to work in, and managers will need to go the extra mile when it comes to retaining great staff, prioritising employee happiness is a key factor in reducing burnout in an industry where is it all too common.  

Problem #2: Too much time-consuming admin

As the business grows, so does the paperwork. When it comes to managing one or even several child care businesses you’ll find almost the exact same sources of administrative burden across the entire Australian industry. Managing enrollments, staffing levels, rosters, timesheets and payroll are among the largest contributors to the administrative burden, and the one thing they all share in common is that they aren’t value-adding tasks. 

The solutions: By automating the above tasks, managers free up time and resources to focus on tasks that add value to the business, such as improving the quality of care provided and marketing to improve enrollments. Cloud-based processes have quickly become the industry standard,  from rostering to attendance tracking and qualification management, the systems that run your business play a huge part in reducing paperwork. For example, an efficient rostering software can help managers cut down this task from a couple of hours to just a few minutes. Automatic rostering has become an efficient way to manage staff, because why do the same thing over and over again, every time?

While rostering is a large source of administrative burden for managers, time and attendance tracking is the other side of the coin. Software can also be used to overcome this problem, with a digital clock in system, managers are saved from the guesswork of who’s worked and when. Not only does this make timesheet approvals a seamless process, it also prevents time and wage theft on a bigger scale.

Problem #3: Growing revenue and increasing profitability

Increasing revenue can be a challenge for any business. The Australian child care industry has been hit relatively hard by the pandemic, as parents look to cut costs in their household budget. Juggling revenue and profit while trying to maintain a quality service and enrollment is the single biggest challenge child care managers are facing right now. 

The solutions: The simplest thing you can do to adapt to COVID’s financial impacts is to reassess your budgeting. Redefining your budget will give you a clear overview of your centre’s cash flow and aid you in making better-informed decisions on where you allocate your spending. Once you’ve redefined your budget and have a clear idea of your current financial position, child care businesses need to leverage all available grants and subsidies. The government has provided a number of additional subsidies during COVID that can aid profitability. 

Finally, investing in a great CCMS and staff management platform is proven to reduce costs as well as administrative burden. By investing in CCMS and staff management systems you can easily manage compliance requirements such as educator-to -child ratios, qualification management and wage compliance.

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