How To Make Sure Your Early Learning Centre Stands Out From The Crowd

Running an early learning centre can be tough.

In an ideal world, you’d hang out your shingle and be inundated with loyal families, clamouring for your services.

But the reality is somewhat different, isn’t it?

We all know there are lots of centres out there competing for families. And we know that they vary in quality.

So how do you stand out in the crowd? How do you ensure that you create a business that provides high-quality care?

Because getting a reputation – for all the right reasons – is important.

You might not realise it but:

– 85% of your potential customers use the internet to research your company before they decide to make a purchase
– 79% of your potential customers value personal and online recommendations in their search for a reputable company
– 86% of people are willing to pay more for a service from companies which feature higher reviews and rating (source: Public Relations Institute of Australia)

So having a great reputation is critical. But how do you gain that great reputation?

You implement simple strategies that work. Here are a few ideas.

Invest in People

It goes without saying that you’ll hire well-qualified people who are a good fit for your business. But if you want to stand out from the crowd, you can’t afford to stop there.

Early Childhood Education and Care is a people based business, and your team are the greatest assets in your business.

It’s essential you cultivate your skills – and those of your team – through ongoing training, professional development and personal growth. It’s the best investment you can make, and one that can have the greatest impact.

Ask for Input

Ask everyone associated with your business what they think.

If you encourage your staff to come up with ideas for improvements you’ll be amazed at how great their ideas are. You don’t have to watch Undercover Boss to know the value of consulting the people who actually do the work.

Try running a competition and provide a reward for the best ideas each month!

More importantly, ask parents to evaluate your services, and then use that information to develop an improvement plan.

Utilise the Competition

Rather than seeing competitors as competition, make them irrelevant. Learn to create a business that’s so different to your competitors, people will always choose you.

Some early learning centres different themselves by the educational programming, hiring part-time art teachers, or music teachers. Some extend their hours to make their services different. Some have facilities that make attending their centre a joy for the children.

But differentiation doesn’t have to come at such a high price.

Differentiating yourself can be as simple as creating a team you’re proud of, being an exceptional leader, and creating strong relationships with children.

Mix With The Best

The best thing you can do to make your early learning centre stand out from the crowd is to mix with like-minded professional carers who are also building outstanding businesses.

As Jim Rohn says:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

And it’s true. That’s why many influential people spend time together because they learn and grow from those friendships.

And that’s why we put together a Day With The Best. Because we want to mix with Australia’s leading experts, and we want you to join us.

The Day With The Best is set to become Australia’s foremost Professional Development Event for Early Childhood Educators.  Here’s what some people had to say about the 2016 event:

I’m so glad I was lucky enough to come. I can’t wait to implement it at work –  A. Barnes Kool Kids Nerang

The only dissapointing aspect was I could not attend all workshops!   – L. Bateman g8 Education

Thanks for an inspiring, thought provoking day. I enjoyed every moment. – T Eichmann TCS

Reserve your interest in the Day With The Best 2017 by leaving a comment below.

 

5 Parent-Wrangling Secrets Every Childcare Professional Should Know

It can be challenging.

Maintaining strong relationships with parents. You know it’s critical, but that doesn’t make it easy.

Parents are so emotionally invested in their children they can’t always see straight.

Using a few simple strategies can make all the difference, so here are 5 strategies to strengthen your relationship with parents.

1. Stop, Look and Listen

Whenever possible, stop what you’re doing and look at parents when they’re talking to you. This communicates that you’re really listening to what they have to say.

Let the parent finish speaking and then check your understanding by paraphrasing what you heard.

Paraphrasing can seem a little strange at first, but it’s actually reassuring for the speaker. It shows you’ve heard them, and it helps clarify their thoughts. They can hear what they told you and confirm it’s correct.

2. Get Curious

Try to understand the parents’ perspective, even if you don’t agree with what they’re saying.

You can do this by getting really curious about their thoughts and feelings. You might try saying something like, “It sounds like that was frustrating.”

It’s also useful to use open-ended questions to ask for additional information if you need it. Open-ended questions give people a chance to expand on what they’re saying rather than just saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For example, “What did you mean by saying he was mucking up?”

3. Respond, Don’t React

Often when we’re rushed or busy we say things in the heat of the moment. It’s OK to pause and consider your response first. It’s also OK to defer the conversation until you both have more time.

Get used to using ‘I’ messages. They keep you focused on how you’re feeling about the situation, rather than blaming, or focusing on what you want parents to do.

It’s important to keep your comments in the present. Don’t bring up issues from the past. If the issue keeps happening, move on to finding a solution.

4. Address Problems Now

We often have to raise concerns with parents, and it’s never easy. But problems don’t go away by themselves, so it’s important to address them before they escalate.

The most important thing is to be open and honest with the parents. Explain exactly what the issue is and why it might be a concern.

Check what parents think about the issue and whether they’re concerned about it. Ask if they experience the same kind of issues at home.

5. Work Together Where Possible

When you’re looking after children it’s natural that there will be concerns from time to time. Whenever there’s an issue, it’s important for you to work with the child’s parents, as a team.

Try to show an interest in the parents’ welfare as well as their child’s after all, the problem is likely to impact them too.

Offering solutions is a consultative process. Ask for parents’ opinions and then brainstorm as many solutions as possible. Once you’ve got some ideas, jointly evaluate the pros and cons of each solution to find what works.

 

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7 Surprising Reasons To Start A Career In Childcare

It’s hard isn’t it?

To know what career is ‘right’ for you. What’s going to fit you, your skills, your talents and your interests?

The career you choose needs to be fun and flexible, and grow with you. You should be able to use it to see the world.

You should be able to work it around your personal goals like having a family, or starting your own business.

And it should be rewarding, so you get a great sense of accomplishment. That way your work becomes far more than a job and much more than a career.

It becomes a passion. Something you love to do every day.

And you know what? A career in childcare can offer you all of those things.

Really.

And here are some more surprising reasons to start a career in childcare:

1.  You Get Paid To Play

You get to spend your day surrounded by children – teaching them, playing games with them and reading stories. You foster their social skills and entertain them.

If you love being around kids, this is the place for you! You have the opportunity to watch them grow and help mould them into the people they’ll become.

2.  Your Career Grows With You

Depending on your qualifications, you could be a playground supervisor, a nanny, a child care worker, a child care manager, or an early childhood educator.

And that’s not all. The great thing about working in the childcare industry is that you could even end up as an entrepreneur, operating your own business!

3.  You’re Always In Demand

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the use of formal child care has been increasing since 1999. More people are using qualified carers to look after their 0-12-year-old children, and fewer people are using informal care provided by family and friends.

The childcare industry continues to grow and qualified child carers are always in demand, so you’ll always be able to find work.

4.  You Get To Be Your Best

It used to be seen as “just childcare” but it’s seen as the specialised career it really is. That’s because you need qualifications so you know and understand children and their development.

There’s opportunity for constant learning about children, people and communication. So you get the opportunity to stretch yourself and be your best!

5.  You Can Take It Anywhere

Interested in travel? Child care workers are in demand all over the world so you can use your qualifications to help fund a working holiday or travel overseas.

As a childcare worker, you have the potential to work as a nanny or child care professional and travel anywhere you like. Pretty cool, huh?

6.  You Have Flexibility

One of the best things about working in childcare is that there is a great deal of flexibility for both full time and part time roles. If you have children yourself, this is a great bonus.

You can work your career around further study or other outside interests. Not many careers have this level of flexibility built in.

7.  You Have Fulfilment

A lot of people struggle to find satisfaction and fulfilment in their work, but not carers.

Working with children is rewarding because you get the satisfaction of looking after people who really need you. And children know how much you care, and show how much they love you too.

“Working with children has been the best decision I’ve ever made.  … the best fun and the people are really friendly and the kids are adorable.”

– Tommi, 2015 School Based Trainee

Interested in a Career Change?

Start your career in Children’s Services today and become an early childhood educator.

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How To Find The Right Childcare Training For You (Even If You’re Overwhelmed With Choice)

Which one is best?

So you’ve decided on a career in childcare, but how do you find the right training?

There are a lot of people out there offering training in early childhood education and care. So how do you choose the one that’s right for you?

You want professional training and the inside scoop from childcare sector specialists.

You want training that comes with strong support – trainers who are more like supportive friends.

You want training that gives you confidence as well as nationally recognised qualifications.

Sounds like you could use a checklist!

We’ve listened to a lot of students and we’ve put one together for you. It’s a checklist to finding the perfect training for YOU!

Here’s what to look out for:

Flexible Enrolments

You don’t want to have to wait for an annual intake to start, you want to start training now. And that’s what flexible enrolments offer you.

The best training colleges offer you the ability to enrol today and be in class tomorrow!

Childcare Sector Specialists

Look out for training by specialists, the colleges that only offer training in children’s services.

Why are these the best? Because you won’t come across a trainer who is spread too thin from teaching hospitality, or health and fitness, or aged care. You’ll be taught by people who specialise in childcare.

Awesome Trainers

What makes an ‘awesome’ trainer?

People who don’t teach from a textbook. Instead, they give you real life examples and inside knowledge so you know what you’re doing and you’re not drowning in theory.

And they’ve gone to the effort of writing the curriculum ‘inhouse.’ They don’t give you a textbook. They give you the most up to date resources written by the industry for the industry.

Look for trainers who are experienced in the industry – people who have worked in childcare themselves.

Clever Credentials

It may seem obvious, but make sure you sign up to the amount of training you want, and that you get the qualifications you need.

Great training organisations offer CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, and enable you the flexibility to study for your CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care later. This allows you to get the qualification you need to start working in the industry, and the flexibility to build on your training later.

Great training organisations offer you a pathway of education from that point onto a Bachelor’s Degree.

Super Support

There are trainers and there are trainers …Am I right?

And the best trainers are the ones who coach and mentor you so you achieve amazing results and get the BEST out of yourself. Always check out the support and testimonials from other students when you’re looking at a training course, so you’re not left hanging.

Convenient Locations

No one wants to spend forever travelling to their training college.

Look for training that’s offered in several locations so you can find something close to you. That means you can spend less time commuting and more time doing what you love.

Great training organisations know the value of class backed up by centre based training but also know some students prefer to study from home so they offer the BEST in e-learning.

Student WOW!

Student WOW is hard to find, but you can find it if you look hard. So, what do you look for?

Training organisations who see your learning as a shared journey between the two of you. Trainers who make learning both rewarding and fun. And training that supports you with practical placement experience where your trainer is in contact regularly and sees you in the workplace to not only assess, but to guide and mentor.

For new entrants to the industry this ensures when the time comes to work part time or full time in the industry you have the hands-on experience and are ‘industry ready’.

Start Today

Now you know what to look for, you can find the perfect childcare training provider for you.

Your fabulous new career could be only a click away.