When it comes to hiring a child care center director, finding the right person for the job can be a daunting task. If you’re someone serving in the role of a child care center director, you know what a huge responsibility you have to provide your young students with a safe, caring educational environment in which they can thrive.
In our previous article, we discussed the importance of a director being able to set achievable goals, work toward reaching those goals and hire staff that can get the job done. In this second article of our series, we’ll explore some of the other aspects of leadership which this position requires.
Ability to Manage Teachers & Staff Members for Successful Teamwork
Setting goals and assembling a great staff is only the beginning. Once their team members have been hired, the director must know how to work with them effectively on a day-to-day basis. This would include keeping open lines of communication, offering much-needed support, providing adequate supervision, and offering constructive feedback on their performance.
The director should always strive to project a positive, helpful spirit to the rest of the staff in order to maintain morale at a high level. Encouraging staff cooperation as well as being considerate of the staff’s family obligations when it comes to scheduling can also go a long way toward encouraging staff loyalty, camaraderie, and contentment.
Looking for opportunities for professional development and enrichment for the staff is another smart move for a child care center director. This could come in the form of educational training meetings and seminars. This point should be kept in balance so teachers and staff members don’t feel overwhelmed yet are kept informed of the latest strategies for achieving optimal safety, welfare, and educational development of the young children under their care.
Ability to Maintain Positive Interaction with Parents
One of the trickiest areas of directing a child care center is parental relations. That’s because, unlike hiring staff members, a director can’t always pick and choose when it comes to the level of cooperation and professionalism which a parent will display in their communication with teachers, other staff members, and other parents. Most parents will likely prove to be reasonable individuals who respect the staff and have their child’s best interests in mind at all times.
However, there are usually a few parents whose behavior could, at times, seem at odds with promoting an environment of peace, understanding, and harmony. Communicating effectively with these parents, who are often quick to blame staff members for behavior problems or read ill intent into benign situations, will require extra skill and patience. They certainly call for a director who is able to stay calm, resisting the temptation to get defensive.
Any director wishing to achieve positive outcomes in dealing with difficult parental confrontations must be able to project a sincere desire to listen carefully and respond fairly to the concerns of both parents and staff members.
Even when interacting with parents who are easy to get along with, directors should still strive to be clear and approachable in both their style and methods of communication. This means giving frequent updates about schedule or rule changes, staying in touch with parents by means of the latest convenient technology, and offering flexible hours for setting up meetings with families.
Besides setting goals, assembling a team, and effectively managing staff and communicating with parents, there are a few other essential elements to the effective leadership of a child care center. In our final article, we’ll touch on a few of these other qualities which a child care director ought to possess.