Open Discussion Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

Staff Retention

  • 1.  Staff Retention

    Posted 24 days ago
    I am researching successful methods of retaining high quality staff in the early childhood education field for a training I am writing. Would appreciate any ideas that have been used to reduce the amount of staff turnover in programs.

    Thank you,


    ------------------------------
    [Nancy] [Oates]
    [Preschool Specialist]
    [YWCA of Northwest Ohio
    Child Care Resource and Referral]
    [Lima] [Ohio]
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 24 days ago
    Hi Nancy!

    From my experience, retaining staff begins with the selecting and hiring process of the planning stages. Most administrations are in a hurry to hire someone to fill the position instead of allowing time to sort through possible applicants who may or may not fill your needs. Your selections should be based on the mission, philosophies, and goals of the organization. If you hire right, from the start, turnover is not as likely to occur.  Orientation which includes going over the policy handbook and job descriptions can help prevent staff from leaving. Knowing the learning preferences and needs of your staff will help you coach and mentor your staff to increase job performance rather than letting them go will help retain the staff. Recognizing what they do well, and coaching the staff on low performance issues will help the staff members feel important and valued.

    Judith Behrens-LaRue

    __________________________________________________________________________________
    I am researching successful methods of retaining high quality staff in the early childhood education field for a training I am writing. Would appreciate any ideas that have been used to reduce the amount of staff turnover in programs.

    Thank you,


    ------------------------------
    [Nancy] [Oates]
    [Preschool Specialist]
    [YWCA of Northwest Ohio
    Child Care Resource and Referral]
    [Lima] [Ohio]

    ------------------------------
    Judith Behrens-LaRue
    ECE Education Coach/Mentor
    Bradenton FL
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 23 days ago
    Ditto what Judith said- it starts at the beginning!  We have a very thorough vetting process- social media screens, references, 3 interviews...we also state right up front and repeat throughout the hiring process that we are only looking for long-term commitment and a minimum of the school year when hiring.  This seems to weed out the people who are just looking for 'a job'.

    Once we have staff hired, we do a lot of staff appreciation throughout the year and try to find ways to give little 'extras' wherever we can---sometimes everyone gets an extra small bonus, pizza or donuts in the break room, etc.  We also publicly celebrate staff anniversaries at staff meetings and they get gifts depending on how many years they are celebrating- anywhere from a coffee cup to a coat to a customized teacher tote bag.  We also do an annual staff picnic in June and staff dinner in September (our company's anniversary).  We've found that people who love to teach will stay in the profession, but these little extras make them happier to be teaching here.

    Another big part of staff retention is the environment- places that are full of gossip, drama & cattiness, or negativity are not pleasant places to work.  We try to nip these things early to prevent the discord from spreading & offer time for staff to meet outside of the classroom to resolve issues or conflicts, provide extra support when needed or just giving people a chance to sit down and talk with leadership so things don't get bottled up inside.  A happy environment goes a long way!

    Hope these ideas help!  I'd love to hear what other places do too since we can always do better.

    ------------------------------
    Sharon Bligh

    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 19 days ago
    Sharon,
    Thank you for your wise words and useful information. Your mention of the work environment is one of the items I am focusing on. I love all your ideas for celebrations. I have found that people in the education field don't celebrate their accomplishments, no matter how small. Thank you for that reminder!!

    ------------------------------
    [Nancy] [Oates]
    [Preschool Specialist]
    [YWCA of Northwest Ohio
    Child Care Resource and Referral]
    [Lima] [Ohio]
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hi Judith,
    Thank you for your wise words! I plan to definitely have a focus on administrators supporting their staff and what that looks like. I appreciate your input.


    ------------------------------
    [Nancy] [Oates]
    [Preschool Specialist]
    [YWCA of Northwest Ohio
    Child Care Resource and Referral]
    [Lima] [Ohio]
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 23 days ago

    This is a great topic for administration.  We have been working on this the last 8 months hard core, some of the ways in which I am working on this with my staff is by becoming a team.  I pull my staff in and listen to their ideas and thoughts on matters.  My goal is that if they are a part of their planning then they will take ownership and feel important. 

     

    My staff are all educated adults and I believe with all my heart that they do not need babysitters, they need trust and help to accomplish their jobs.  I am finding a happier staff with more willingness to pull the extra weight and do their best. 

     

    I love my job and as a team we are making a difference.

     

    Sincerely,

    Robin

    Robin Van Haitsma, BS, MFL

    Director

    Office: 1046 River Street | Kalamazoo, MI 49048

    Ph. 269.345.7243 | Fax. 269.492.0909

    Hours available M-F 7:00a – 6:00p  (Varies)

    Find Us Online

    Donate! | CCC on Facebook | CLC on Facebook

    www.communitylearningcntr.com             

    The CCC/CLC is an equal opportunity employer and service provider

     






  • 7.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 22 days ago
    After leading a cooperative nursery school for nine years where there was very limited turnover, I found that as usual one of the critical keys to retention is relationships. Once you have hired a new employee, how much they trust you and the other teachers is critical to retention, in spite of the fact that the salaries in early childhood centers are on the whole not spectacular.

    Another key that others have mentioned as critical to retention is the hiring process: planning carefully for it prior to interviewing candidates. You should be clear on the philosophy that drives practices in the school/center. Develop interview questions that reflect the practices that are associated with the school's philosophy so that you hire a candidate that will be a good "fit" for your center. This will help you distinguish one candidate from another. Make sure that what you require in the educational and experiential background of candidates matches what you expect from teachers who you hire. As others have said, try not to hire in a rush just to fill a position.

    Once you hire a new teacher, make sure that there is a strong induction process in place so that the new teacher develops a full understanding of the school, the families, and the children. Include in your induction process a mentoring process where an experienced teacher acts as a mentor, a person who models the school's expectations for ethics and practices within the classroom and who the new person can go to with questions.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger
    Associate Professor Emerita/ Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/ New Jersey Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 20 days ago
    I agree with this wholeheartedly.  In terms of teacher turnover during the past two years, it has been busy.  A Senior director retired, and a new director with a business manager was hired.
    Finding out how someone relates to your school's philosophy is key before hiring them.  In the style of Reggio Emilia, teachers should have some background in it, or have a creative approach to teaching.  I wanted to work in a preschool where that is the predominant pedagogy.
    Retention of staff and the openings for new positions should be carefully considered as you stated in your article.  Very interesting.  Thanks.


    ------------------------------
    Maggie Moffitt

    Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool
    Westport, CT
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hi Nora,
    Thank you for your reply and wise words! I will be sure to touch on the keys points you have offered as they are part of my main focus for administrators.

    ------------------------------
    [Nancy] [Oates]
    [Preschool Specialist]
    [YWCA of Northwest Ohio
    Child Care Resource and Referral]
    [Lima] [Ohio]
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hi Robin,
    Thank you for sharing your experience and successful methods. I appreciate your input!

    ------------------------------
    [Nancy] [Oates]
    [Preschool Specialist]
    [YWCA of Northwest Ohio
    Child Care Resource and Referral]
    [Lima] [Ohio]
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 21 days ago
    In my director workshops,  I suggest creating an ongoing referral system that has staff get continuous yearly bonuses for children that they personally recruit to the school.  On the average,  each child (out of diapers) brings in $1000 a month for full time 5 days a week. That means $6000 every 6 months,  $12000 every year. Consider giving a staff member $500 every 6 months that child attends and tuition is current. The school still makes $5500 every 6 months on a child they wouldn't have made a penny on since they would not have even known about the school without the teacher inviting them. Preschools are everywhere and salaries are standard amongst early childhood. Now you have a teacher that can leave anytime and now she has brought in 6 new students over the past few years and makes an extra $6000 a year while the school makes an extra $66000 ($12000 yearly tuition- $1000 referral bonus x 6 kids). If it doesn't make sense because it's not the norm,  it will make dollars and raise your rock star teachers salaries.

    Ron Shuali, M.Ed.

    ------------------------------
    Ron Shuali, M.Ed.
    Shua Life Skills
    Highland Park NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 11 days ago
    Ron,
    Thank you for your reply. When I ran this idea past my team for our Business Summit they were extremely interested in it. I appreciate you sharing your information here. I'm hoping administrators will see your post and take time to really think about it. Great business idea!!

    ------------------------------
    [Nancy] [Oates]
    [Preschool Specialist]
    [YWCA of Northwest Ohio
    Child Care Resource and Referral]
    [Lima] [Ohio]
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 11 days ago
    Aloha! I work at a school where we have (5) various locations across the island. At my school in particular. We have the least number of staff turnovers I think is because we are a very special group of educated women. Our experience, ages, interests and personalities vary. But we all have the same beliefs. And that is that we are there everyday for the children and families we serve! We put our heart and soul into our children and our work. We strive to provide the best education and care we can so that our children and families feel confident when their child graduates and moves on to Kindergarten. We are NAEYC accredited. We are voted "Best of the Best" preschool every year because of the dedication we put into our work with young children. When times get tough. We always find a way to help each other thriugh it. And we feel that it's the one special quality we all share that not many of our other Preschools have. That's why our location is among the most favorite and most successful as far as least staff turnovers.

    In order to be successful. You need to work as a TEAM. There's no "I" in team. And this is a motto I often share with my Pre-K (4/5's) children. I firmly believe in team building and we work on this together in my classroom everyday.

    ------------------------------
    Jodi Yamasaki
    KCAA Preschools of Hawaii
    Honolulu HI
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Staff Retention

    Posted 9 days ago
    I agree that you definitely need a team approach. When you hire, you are looking for teachers who exemplify and have a common philosophy and understanding of children's development that drives their approach to the classroom. The one caution that I have with not having any "i" in teamwork is that this can lead to "groupthink", where individual teachers do not express their thoughts if they diverge from the team's thinking.

    I am also betting that one of the factors that makes your school exemplary is what enables teamwork - trusting relationships that are built from the leadership and practiced by the leadership in their interactions with teachers and other staff.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger
    Associate Professor Emerita/ Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/ New Jersey Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park NJ
    ------------------------------