As a director or approved provider, it's normal to feel the pressure of everything being on your shoulder. It quite often is.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
A new year or term is a great time to start thinking about your priorities.
Are there some things you're doing that aren't worth your time? Things you could be better at? Or maybe things that someone else would be better at?
There are a range of consultants and services out there to help childcare centre managers, leaders, directors and providers, whose role is to make your job easier.
As a software provider to over 3,000 early education services, we've met a few of these consultants along the way and we thought we'd share the most common forms of support you can look for in the day-to-day runnings of your service.
1. A&R/Compliance Support
If you're expecting a call from ACECQA any time soon, it may be a good idea to call in a consultant who could help ensure you get the rating you deserve.
Did you know that Exceeding services have higher occupancy AND charge higher fees?
Getting a good rating in your assessment is very important for family perceptions as well as business performance. And it doesn't hurt to spot-check-proof your service just in case.
If you're looking to get the rating that reflects the efforts of your team, you can call on consultants to offer all kinds of support such as:
Mock Assessment & Rating Audits
Ongoing A&R Training and Consultancy
Dr. Brenda Abbey from Childcare By Design offers this kind of support by conducting audits, diagnostic reviews and NQS assessments.
Another unique form of compliance support is the use of remote Early Childhood Teachers, supplied by On Call ECT, that allows you to meet compliance requirements through ECT ratios.
2. Leadership Support
Let's face it. It's been rough for everyone these last few years. And poor leadership is only going to make matters worse.
Leadership is such a huge topic in early childhood. With all of the responsibilities that need to be fulfilled, a leader can inspire teams to do their best work, and keep spirits and standards high.
Many consultants who specialise in leadership offer things like mentoring programs, professional development and 1:1 support for those Aspiring to Inspire others.
One example of leadership support is the 1:1 mentoring offered by Sprouts Consultancy.
3. Business Management Services
Many directors and providers get into the sector to provide high quality education. And sometimes the business acumen is a secondary trait.
Whilst we all want to focus on the education, we can't ignore the need to keep our businesses running with employees being paid and the lights kept on.
If you're in the same shoes as lots of other providers - finding yourself spending too much time on the business side, overspending, struggling to make ends meet - it might be time to call in a business expert.
Examples of business management services to childcare businesses include:
Real estate consultants (buying and selling)
Financial management (inc. payroll and rostering)
Another type of service that can be offered on the business or admin-related front is CCS & Service Approval, which is offered by Angelicare.
4. Marketing Services
The opposite side of making sure you're not overspending - are you maximising your occupancy?
If you're not getting enough families through the door, tours booked, or leads coming in, it probably makes sense to outsource your marketing.
Examples of marketing services include:
Social media management
Website development and design
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - i.e. ranking higher in Google
Overall marketing strategy
Think you can do it on your own? If you want to brush up on your own marketing skills, download the Childcare Enrolments Playbook.
5. Professional Development
Ongoing professional development is important for keeping high standards in your team, and there are many PD services out there.
2 companies who spoke at the OWNA Meetup and offer these kinds of services are:
6. Admin Support
Spending too long on admin? Family accounts too much trouble?
OWNA offers administration support in the form of OWNA Accounts Administration - where we take care of family accounts, invoicing, enrolments and more.
Keen to take the tedious management of family accounts off of your workload?