Taking time away from your childcare business to rest, relax, and reconnect with yourself and loved ones is one of the most important ways to avoid burnout from the heavy demands of a career in childcare. If you are ready to take a vacation from your Early Childhood Education business but aren’t sure how, keep reading. In the following guide, we offer practical guidance for planning a vacation from your childcare center.
How to Plan Vacation Time Away from Your Childcare Business
Following are several practical tips for taking a vacation from your childcare business. Many Early Childhood Education professionals hesitate to take any time away from their childcare centers for a variety of reasons. Some worry about a loss of income when they aren’t around to provide childcare, while others fear parents will become angry and upset if expected to pay for the provider’s vacation days. Let’s take a look at some ways to ensure you are getting the vacation time away from your business that you need and deserve.
Childcare Provider Vacation Tip #1 – Include Your Vacation Policy in Your Parent Handbook
Our number-one tip for planning your vacation time is to include a childcare provider vacation policy in your parent handbook. Giving parents access to your vacation policy at the onset of a new client relationship helps get everyone on the same page so there are no unexpected surprises later on. Your vacation policy is your own personal decision; there is no right or wrong vacation policy for your childcare business. Some Early Childhood Education professionals outline the specific holidays they will take off (think Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, etc.) as well as a specified number of personal vacation days (one week, two weeks, etc.). Another thing to think about is whether parents will pay for your vacation days as a part of the tuition fees you charge. Again, every provider differs in their approach, but be sure to spell out your vacation policy clearly for parents to sign off on when they first enroll their children in your program.
When you put your vacation policy in writing, you show your clients that you value your own time as well as theirs. You establish an expectation that as a dedicated and hard-working provider of quality care for their children, you deserve regular personal time away from childcare to recharge and refresh yourself. You will not regret having an official childcare provider vacation policy in place.
Childcare Provider Vacation Tip #2 – Give as Much Advanced Notice as Possible
Our second tip is to give as much advanced notice about your upcoming vacation time as possible. Whether you decide to let parents know two weeks ahead of time or a month is up to you, but the more advanced notice you give for your upcoming time away from childcare will help parents make other arrangements for their children during the time you are off. Understandably, life happens, and it is not always possible to give advanced notice about time off. However, let these occasions be the exception instead of the normal occurrence. Being proactive about your vacation time not only helps you avoid burnout on the job, but it also makes you more dependable in the eyes of the families you serve.
Childcare Provider Vacation Tip #3 – Prioritize Your Vacation Time Over Other People’s Opinions
There is no doubt that someone at some point is going to be put out, upset, or even angry about your vacation policy. People are people, and when something you do (however professionally and reasonably) puts them at a perceived inconvenience, they may choose to react unfavorably. Whether they voice their displeasure over your upcoming vacation or even try to argue with you, understand that your need for time away from the demands of your job is more important than whether other people validate that need or not. At the end of the day, your vacation time is still a necessity, and you still deserve that time away, so don’t let other people’s opinions stop you from doing what you need to do for yourself.
Childcare Provider Vacation Tip #4 – Don’t Feel Guilty
Our fourth tip is right in line with Tip #3—do your best to dismiss guilty feelings for taking vacation time as a childcare provider. Again, we can’t overstate the importance of taking care of yourself. If you were a traditional employee of a company, you would be entitled to a certain number of paid vacation days, personal days, and sick days every year. Now imagine how much vacation time you may have accrued over a career that spans years or even decades—and that’s how long you may have been working as a childcare provider! No one else can tell you how much vacation time you need or deserve; that’s up to you. Take the time away from work you need and don’t waste those precious vacation days feeling guilty for taking them!
Childcare Provider Vacation Tip #5 – Show Up with Excellence the Rest of the Year
Our last tip is to show up with excellence at your childcare business for the rest of the year. When you establish a reputation for yourself as a reliable, dedicated, hard-working, and loving childcare provider by giving the job your all on a day-to-day basis, you can take your vacation days knowing they will help you recharge and relax so you can continue to be the best Early Childhood Education professional you can be.
We hope these tips are helpful to you as you plan your next must-needed vacation away from your childcare center!
Honest Buck Accounting offers a full range of professional accounting services to Early Childhood Education providers just like you. Schedule a call with us to learn how we can transform the financial side of your business, helping you reduce overwhelm and get back to what you love most about being a childcare provider.