CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JAN. 11, 2015
version 2, draft 2

What Communication Skills Are Important to a Daycare Director?

A daycare director’s duties may vary depending on the capacity of the center. In larger centers, the director spends a lot of time in the office overseeing decisions pertaining to staffing, budgeting and curriculum, whereas they may even attend to support-staff duties in smaller daycares. Therefore, directors need not only be qualified and responsible, but also have strong communication skills to facilitate proper administration. Here are some of the communication skills important in ensuring quality care.

Marketing

Daycare directors are responsible for establishing their center’s identity as the ideal place for child care in the community. Most of the time, they are the only force behind creating awareness to increase the daycare’s enrollment. Marketing should not only consist of flyers and newspaper advertisements, but also involve networking with local organizations and community leaders. Successful directors interact with the community to cement a good reputation for their centers.

Tact

A daycare director is responsible for communicating with parents pertaining to sensitive information, including bills that are past due. In such a situation, they must carefully explain to parents with unpaid bills that they may not receive further childcare services until the bill is settled. These discussions require tact, because the directors must relay accurate information without offending the parent. Furthermore, it may also prevent the parent from giving negative reviews about the daycare to interested members of the community.

Management

The communication skills essential in management include raising employee morale and keeping them motivated throughout. Daycare centers with staff members who enjoy what they are doing find themselves with lower turnover rates. Directors must therefore ensure that their physical presence at the daycare not only inspires an increase in the staff’s level of competency, but also motivates them to spread their cheer to others. In their absence, they should designate their managerial responsibility to a staff member with similar inspirational skills. Ultimately, daycare directors must also learn to express their concerns with regard to employee performance in non-condescending ways that still boost employee accountability.

Empathy

Daycare directors must understand that their constant interaction with children requires them to be more empathetic. They should not shy away from talking directly with the children either to give comfort or show discipline, if necessary. By developing strong bonds with the children, they can establish a sense of security that makes it easier for the children to repeatedly attend the center. Additionally, directors must also create a relationship with the parents. Parents tend to be emotional should the directors need to make decisions regarding their children without their consent. Consequently, the directors will need to explain the rationale behind their decisions to the parents in an empathetic manner. Similarly, a relationship with the parents is important when the directors need to reach out and show appreciation in their involvement with the center. Ethical standards must be observed while maintaining a good rapport with the center’s parents and children.

Conclusion

A childcare director’s communication skills automatically set the tone for activities at the center. Maintaining good communication with either the staff members or parents means exercising an open-door policy. Being available to talk at all times will enable proactive measures that can progress the daycare center.

Image Source: St. John’s Hornets

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