The BC Government, Coalition of Childcare Advocates, the professional association for Early Childhood Educators (ECEBC), and managers everywhere, agree that finding great teachers is the basis for quality childcare.
Teachers are overwhelmingly women (approximately 99%), and the industry is famed for its low-wage, high-demand work. Meanwhile, the cost of childcare, to parents, is so high, many educators leave the field when they have their own kids, never to return.
… and that’s why we’re constantly hiring, training, and promoting staff…
Since Buddings offers a living wage and extensive training, we’ve minimized the top two causes of teacher burnout, but I know the pace of our flexible service can be exhausting. The staff who stick with you are worth their weight in gold… but you can’t pay them that much!
Last year, we implemented a wage increase policy, to attract talent, and demonstrate financial appreciation for the work our teachers do. This spring, I’m implementing a formal performance evaluation system so we can maintain that value-for-service model.
Looking back on eight years, I see so many ways it would have been better if we’d done that years ago, but it’s happening now.
If I’d been objectively evaluating staff performance all this time, maybe I would have seen the connection between retention and success more quickly. The better my teachers are, the more confidence they have, the more able they are to support one another, and the company, the better everything is. The longer they stay with us, the better they are. Regular pay increases, based on performance, offers the motivation for teachers to stay, and to strive.
So here’s a question: where does the money come from?
I think you know.
Even if we just followed the rate of inflation, without raising our rates, we’d run out of money. And that still doesn’t demonstrate value for the work.
So how do you retain and inspire the staff without alienating the customers…?
Show me the value!
To be continued…