Daycare Staffing Tips for Keeping Happy Staff and Reducing Turnover

Running a daycare may be your dream job and while it is a rewarding career, there are always issues that need addressing for a more successful business. One of these issues is the turnover rate. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), staff turnover in early childhood education averages 30 percent annually. That’s a lot of employees coming and going and that makes it more difficult to focus on other important matters when you are constantly having to hire and train someone new. Here is a little bit of help on daycare staffing tips for keeping a happy staff and reducing turnover.

Finding the Best Employees

It is a universal challenge for all businesses to find the best employees. Whether you post on bulletin boards, try local churches, the community college, or job fairs – always have recruiting on your mind. Utilize services like LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Craigslist, and never be afraid to ask for referrals from parents.

But your business needs a welcoming atmosphere and policies that are attractive to potential hires. The following are a few things to keep in mind on how to attract and keep the employees you value.

Start With the Basics

What do most people want when they find a job? You might think that higher pay is the top answer. While this is one of the important factors in retaining employees, there is more to it than just a paycheck. Along with competitive wages, employees also want:

A Pleasant Atmosphere

A good work environment is part of what makes a happy employee. One thing to keep in mind is the child to teacher ratio. If there are too many children to watch, not only can this be a violation at your business, it also puts an extra workload on your employees.

For daycare centers, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a child-to-staff ratio of 3 to 1 and a maximum group size of 6 for babies under 1 year; 4 to 1 ratio and 8 maximum for children from 13 to 30 months; 5 to 1 ratio and 10 maximum for children 31 to 35.

Make sure your employees feel valued, too. If your daycare workers feel like they’re not appreciated, they have no reason not to move on at the first opportunity. Treat them like you want to be treated and value their work.


If possible, offering a benefits package will attract better employees and help retain the ones that you have.If you are able to offer insurance, paid time off, and holiday pay – these are just a few of the things that create an atmosphere that employees will flock to. Many daycare businesses are not able or not willing to offer benefits but if you want to attract the best, be the best.

Consistent Work Schedule

If possible, provide a balanced work schedule with consistent hours. Employees are not as apt to stick around if they are constantly being sent home when there isn’t enough work or not enough children showed up. Childcare workers want to know that they have a schedule they can depend on. Just like you want to be sure of a specific income, so do they. As a childcare provider, when you know that your daycare is going to be at a maximum on regular days, you can offer consistent hours to your employees. Having a full daycare means that staff are always caring for the maximum amount of infants, toddlers or kids allowable under student-to-teacher-ratio regulations.

The Five R’s

There are five R’s in retaining good employees. They include:

Responsibility. Allow your employees the responsibilities that shows you trust them. This not only allows them to grow within the business but showcases that they are an important part of your daycare.

Respect. This one is a given. If employees feel respected, they are much likelier to remain at the job and do a good job as well.

Revenue Sharing. This one may be a little more difficult in your daycare business but you can offer certain bonus programs that will be incentives for the employee to do a good job.

Reward. If possible, reward your employees for a job well-done.

According to Psychology Today, regularly practiced gratitude and increased dopamine can keep you healthier and happier. The hypothalamus has a major influence on your metabolism and stress levels. Recognition and gratitude has been proven to generate higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus, which improves sleep regulation, decreases aches and pains, and increases energy in the body.

Simply put, as humans we all love rewards and it helps us mentally, physically, and makes for a better work environment.

Relaxation. Try not to overwork your employees. While watching children is a hard job in itself, always make sure that your employees get the breaks they need to ensure that their minds are sharp and they can work at their full potential.

Honest Buck Helps

Honest Buck assists clients with problems such as when they can offer or afford company benefits such as healthcare and retirement options. While retirement may not be part of your benefit plan, offering healthcare benefits and the aforementioned paid time off, holiday pay, etc is crucial to retaining your best employees and we can help!

We are Honest Buck Accounting, your full-service accounting partner. From payroll to forecasting, from budgeting to tax preparation, we offer a variety of services to meet your business needs as it grows.

Want to speak with an expert about your situation? Schedule a Call today.

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