Owners of childcare centers juggle numerous responsibilities at any given time.  Sometimes, hiring qualified staff for your center can present as more of an obstacle than an opportunity. On one hand, it’s challenging to operate a child care center without adequate staff. However, if you don’t manage to take your time and carefully evaluate your options before hiring someone, you could be worse off than you were without any help at all. You must invest your time wisely into outlining the criteria needed for the perfect candidate for your center.

Educational Requirements 

Depending on your state, your teachers should have at least a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, along with several years of experience working in childcare. Ideally, each candidate should be open to acquiring additional certifications or qualifications in order to update his or her knowledge and skills regularly. A candidate who is eager to learn may bring a new approach to education, which can ultimately benefit your center. Education, however, isn’t the only component when it comes to finding the best fit for your center. Traits such as problem solving, patience, and reliability are pertinent for staff who need to fulfill expectations and establish routines for young children.

Advertising Open Positions  

Of course, there are many avenues you can use to help you find ideal candidates, such as Indeed, and Google. There are also more traditional routes, such as postings in your local newspaper. However, if you really want to broaden your search, we recommend recruiting from local teaching programs at a nearby university. We also suggest you utilize social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. You can even look into teacher recruiting agencies.

Another thing to strongly consider are your candidates’ referrals. Whether they come from your staff, parents, or even someone you know personally, it’s a good idea to network and keep a running list of potential candidates, even if you are not currently hiring.

Considering New Ways to Attract Quality Candidates 

In order to attract quality candidates, you must provide quality compensation. Competitive pay, great benefits, and flexible scheduling are all distinct characteristics for which well-seasoned candidates are looking when applying for a position. Additional perks such as an emphasis on work-life balance and opportunities to further their education will also engage motivated candidates. As a matter of determining which candidates would make an ideal member of your team, it’s always a good idea to obtain references. Perspectives from past employers and families with whom they’ve previously worked, will all give you more insight beyond a resume.

Conducting A Robust Interview Process

Having a robust interview process will help you better identify which candidates may or may not  be a good fit when evaluating potential hires. We recommend starting with a simple screening process, such as an initial phone interview that includes yourself or your director. Next, you can set up a more in-depth interview with your staff, and possibly a parent, who can represent your center. Giving each candidate hypothetical situations and asking what his or her response would be can be helpful to help you see how candidates handle issues on the spot, parent communication, and ultimately how they will interact with children. To that end, it’s helpful to set up a mock lesson for the candidate as a means of further gauging his or her skills when it comes to managing a classroom.

Investing in Opportunities for Professional Development

Not only will opportunities for professional development attract candidates who want to further their education, but it will also fundamentally help you provide better care to your center’s children. Providing opportunities for professional development can be mutually beneficial because while your teachers are being exposed to new ideas and concepts that can help to further innovate your center, and you will also be reaping the benefits of a staff that has superior knowledge. Opportunities for your staff members to hone their skills will help your center’s reputation in terms of enrolling new families, and will also drive knowledge-hungry and eager candidates to apply for positions at your center. Examples of professional development include sales training for converting new enrollments, opportunities to attend online conferences or webinars, or even ways to network and access new research and industry trends through an organization that specializes in early childhood education.

Loyalty is Key

Employers in every industry are looking for an element of loyalty when it comes to new applicants. The best way to determine if a candidate is loyal is to review how long they’ve remained with previous employers. Candidates who have jumped from one preschool to another may not be the ideal choice if you are looking for a candidate to stick with you long term. As previously mentioned, routine and consistency are keys for early childhood development. Having someone who has worked with the same center or families for a number of years will demonstrate his or her loyalty, and can also speak to your candidate’s credibility as a well-rounded and experienced candidate.

From offering competitive compensation packages to conducting a thorough interview process, there are many ways to attract and narrow down qualified applicants. The hiring landscape is always changing, and that’s why it’s important to be flexible in your approach. While there are many aspects to consider, hiring the ideal person can make all the difference when it comes to running a successful child care business.

Here at Local Child Care Marketing, we have the resources you need to grow your childcare business. Feel free to contact us for more information.