Are you getting ready to hire a new daycare teacher for your childcare business? Read the following article to learn about five must-have character traits to look for in a great daycare teacher. In addition to professional qualifications, these qualities should be non-negotiables in your search for your next daycare teacher. Be sure to leave your comments at the end of the article to let us know which qualities you think are most important in your daycare teachers!
Passion and Purpose
A great daycare teacher must have a ton of passion for this line of work, as you well know. Adding an individual to your daycare team who is simply there to clock in and out and collect a paycheck is not what you, your children, or their parents need in a daycare teacher. An excellent teacher will be passionate about childcare and early childhood education. It may go without saying, but he or she should genuinely love interacting with children and understand his or her critical role in nurturing and encouraging physical, mental, and emotional growth in these formative years of children’s development. Hiring daycare teachers who understand their purpose will help you and your team members get through the tough days with an extra dose of perspective and humor. A daycare teacher with a passion for childcare will manifest his or her inner drive by pursuing excellence on a day-to-day basis.
A daycare teacher needs to be a very patient person. Working with young children can try even the most seasoned daycare professionals, so it is paramount that your teachers possess a lot of patience on the job. Children will have good days and not-so-good days. Behavioral problems will arise. Activities will not go as planned. Children will react to circumstances in unexpected ways. Things will get messy and simply go wrong. Your daycare teachers need to be able to handle a variety of different challenges without losing their cool, taking out their frustration on the children, or becoming upset and angry. Patience in your childcare workers is an absolute must.
Adaptability goes hand-in-hand with patience; a great daycare teacher will be able to adapt to the various needs and challenges of day-to-day child care. It is important that your daycare teachers provide a daily routine for the children in their care. A daily routine gives children a structured environment that helps them feel secure and confident as they learn, grow, and play. But routines get disrupted and sometimes they need to be adapted to fit the changing needs and priorities of the day. A daycare teacher should be flexible in his or her teaching style to reflect the differing needs of the little ones in his or her classroom.
You want to look for a daycare teacher who is a great communicator. He or she will need to really be able to connect with the children in your program to make a positive impact on their daycare experience. Not only will your daycare teachers need to have an effective teaching style in place, but they also need to demonstrate an ability to really connect with the children at their level, during structured time and free play. Fostering a sense of wonder and creativity in children is so crucial to the development that happens at daycare. Gentle corrections, genuine listening, asking reflective questions, and following the child’s logic to gain greater understanding are all important components of effective communication in the classroom.
In addition, you want your daycare teachers to be adept at communicating with parents, providing updates on accomplishments, new milestones, and discoveries, as well as any concerns, including behavior or development challenges. Finally, your daycare teachers should be open and communicative with other team members, and with you, their team leader. Great communication makes for an excellent childcare team all around.
Finally, look for a daycare teacher who has unquestionable integrity. You simply cannot overlook the trustworthiness of your potential daycare teachers. These individuals will be directly shaping and influencing precious children during their formative years. As you well understand, childcare providers have the incredible privilege and responsibility of impacting little ones in profound ways, influencing the adults they will ultimately become. It goes without saying that you want to do everything in your power to screen potential daycare teachers and make sure they are not only safe, trustworthy people, but really understand the impact they will have on the children in your program. Criminal background checks are obviously a must. Do your due diligence by following up on references and really seeking to understand who it is you are thinking about hiring for your team. Follow your instincts to bring on new daycare teachers you can trust.
A Note About Professional Qualifications
In addition to the five character traits of a great daycare teacher we have outlined in this article, you will no doubt want to set expectations for the professional qualifications of potential new hires. Many states require minimal certifications for early childhood education teachers, which you will be aware of in your area. Whether your daycare teachers are required to have a two- or four-year degree in early childhood education, or other professional accreditation, consider the following minimum requirements for all your daycare staff, full and part-time:
- Basic first aid training, including CPR
- Professional experience in the childcare industry, such as a previous daycare position
- Working toward a degree or certification in a field related to early child education or child development (i.e. hiring part-time daycare staff from a local university’s early childhood education program)
- Strong professional references
- Criminal background check
These guidelines will help you find daycare teachers who exhibit the excellence you have worked hard to achieve in your childcare business.
The experts at Honest Buck Accounting enjoy helping dedicated daycare business owners optimize their company finances so they can grow their business with less stress. Schedule a call with us today to learn how we can help you with your small business accounting needs.