For a business in any sector, including early childhood, to reach its full potential and thrive, there are a few keys to success.
It needs to offer a valuable service or product. It needs to provide a clean and safe environment in which to operate. It needs to spread the word about what it has to offer. And, perhaps most importantly, it needs to have a high-quality team of skilled staff.
In early childhood education, this means attracting and retaining quality educators to be part of your workforce. Knowing what to look for when finding employees and how to keep the best of the best on your team is important for any business, and there are many things you can do to ensure your workforce shines.
Defining quality when it comes to staff
So, what is ‘quality’ when we are assessing staff in early childhood education? It can refer to many aspects of a person’s ability to succeed in their job. Quality should take into consideration a combination of personal traits along with their qualifications.
Personal traits that may lend themselves to early childhood education might include effective communication, well-developed emotional intelligence, cultural competence and patience, to name just a few. These soft skills are highly valuable to an early childhood education workplace and educators who possess them are more likely to flourish in their work.
When considering qualifications, ideally your staff will have gained their relevant qualifications from a reputable, high quality registered training organisation. Not all courses are created equal, so look for employees who have completed practical placement and have a thorough working knowledge of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and National Quality Framework (NQF), it takes to deliver a high standard of early childhood education.
The benefits of quality staff in early childhood
It’s no surprise that having a team of quality educators working within your childcare service has a range of benefits not only to your business but to children and families. When you take care to enlist educators who are well-trained and highly skilled, you can expect advantages including:
Highly trained staff have the skills to get the job done efficiently and are more likely to be proactive. When your team takes initiative, things can run smoothly and foster a productive workplace.
Positive working environment
Staff who feel confident and capable to respond to any situation in the workplace feel happier and less stressed. This in turn can bring about a more harmonious working environment for all.
Low staff turnover
When your staff have received high quality training and feel appreciated in the workplace they are more likely to want to remain in their job. A lower staff turnover means you will save time and money in recruitment, and your children and families will feel secure.
Better outcomes for children
Early childhood education is all about giving children the very best start in life. High quality educators deliver just that and can ensure that children are provided with engaging play-based learning experiences. This also means that families will stick with you and spread the word throughout the community.
How to find high quality staff
It’s one thing to know that you need high quality staff, it’s another thing to know how to find or attract them. Beyond having an excellent recruitment process, it is worth considering partnering with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). At Selmar we work with many early childhood education services, partnering to ensure they can work with our highly trained learners when they are on placement and beyond.
Partnering with a reputable RTO that specialises in the early childhood education sector allows your early learning service to have a direct line to job-ready graduates who have received sector-leading training. Our Selmar learners receive consistent high-quality learning and support, bolstered by practical placement experience and the development of crucial skills, including soft skills.
Another way to improve the quality of your workforce is by employing trainees. Selmar provides traineeships that allow early childhood education providers to take on passionate workers who are ready to grow and learn on the job. Plus, wage subsidies are available to employers who take on apprentices and trainees in Victoria and NSW. This hands-on training approach gives you the opportunity to nurture your workforce while they are learning, ensuring that your team understands how you want to run your business from the get go.
How to retain quality staff
Once you have created a team high quality staff, you want to keep them. Retaining your quality staff comes down to a number of areas:
Create a positive workplace
Feeling happy, supported and safe in the workplace is vital. The climate at your childcare business should feel vibrant, encouraging and positive. Make it a priority to ensure your staff members feel valued, respected and part of a team.
Provide ongoing professional development
Training opportunities for your staff will show them that they are appreciated and that their career growth is supported. Be there for your team as they explore upskilling and provide guidance for them on their career journeys. Selmar supports training for those in the early childhood education sector from Certificate III to Diploma, and pathways to Bachelor qualifications.
Raising the standard for the early childhood education sector
Early childhood educators are not babysitters, and quality educators understand that they play a crucial role in a child’s learning and development. When you show educators exactly how vital their role can be, you raise the standard for the entire sector. Encourage educators to bring their personality to their role as they enrich children’s lives.
By supporting and nurturing high quality staff in early childhood education, your business will thrive alongside the early childhood education sector.
Contact Selmar to find out more about how we can support you and your success.