Day Care Challenges, Part 2
The greatest management problem for the provision of proper day care is the general lack of understanding that a school, even a non-profit school, is a business. It must be learned that every non-profit institution or agency is just as much a business as a for-profit business. For a school, the bottom line financially is the stability of the program, and making it sound to provide the best services possible. In a for-profit business, the bottom line financially is making profit. But in both cases, the better the program and the better the management, the stronger the institution. Both have to be managed responsibly with good business practices and good management techniques.
If a day care director is just starting out, they need to: look at their skills; look at the center as a business providing education and quality care; see what skills they need to get or improve in order to get the job done; and go out and get these skills. No one is just born as a day care director and many parts of the country have a dearth of locally available training programs that are accredited and provide the correct forms of training to turn out professional day care directors.
If the day care director doesn't have time or money to take a course, they can find information at the public library. There is some information available on the Internet, but you have to be careful. Anyone can post anything, and some online courses are not accredited. A tip that should be taken into consideration by all: If you don't know much about the subject, try a book that's aimed at high school students as they tend to have better explanations. College texts or academic books written for people in the field presume too much information on the part of the reader.
Another important tidbit is: No matter what expert you hire to do whatever important function you need but don't know, you must learn enough about that field to supervise that person properly. If your accountant messes up, you are still the one whose name is on the forms as a director, and you are held responsible for what goes under your name.
Learning when to say enough and end relationships with staff and / or parents is another skill that takes time and learning. In early childhood professionals tend to give too many chances and put up with adult attitude and behavior that would never be accepted in the business world. Having said this, a proper day care director should try every reasonable thing to keep every child, parent and staff member in the center. If it just cannot work, then try to counsel them into some other job or to some other kind of center. Most of the time this works. Keeping your mind on the bottom line of how will this affect the center as a whole can help a day care director balance the wants of the few against the needs of the entire program, and makes them a more responsible director.
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