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Unfortunately I am experiencing some staffing difficulties, we all know childcare doesn’t pay the best money so a lot of my staff members have decided to leave and become Nannies, as they feel this is less pressure and the younger girls seam to want more freedom, so to parents it looks like we experiencing a high turnover of staff, but because we are a large nursery with 30 nursery workers (not including domestic staff) loosing 4 members of staff isn’t really a lot.

Obviously we have had a few concerns from parents, which is totally understandable as we are looking after the most precious person in their lives.

We are based in a very small community and once one parent has a concern they all seam too. I was just wondering if anyone has experienced this before and how they dealt with it. Maybe if anyone has a template letter they may have sent to parents?

 

I've only just taken over at the nursery, I'm trying my best but always seam to be hitting a wall at the moment, and i feel this is because the old manager was very clicky with the parents, and because she left on bad terms she hasn't made my life easy!!

 

any help would be much appreciated

Thanks for your help

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Hi nickynoodles, as I haven't done so yet, I'd like to welcome you to the forum. :o

 

Staff leaving is a tricky issue as you have noted.

First I would like to suggest that you deal with management issues in ways that reflect you, and try not to address them in a way that you think parents expect you to due to previous experiences with the last manager. In other words, start as you mean to go on to 'make your mark'. ( I hope that makes sense)

 

I would suggest you do an exit form for every staff member that leaves. You also need to ascertain whether the staff member wants their reasons to be shared publicly or not, respecting their right to confidentiality.

If the staff member is ok that others know why they are leaving then ask them to let their key childrens parents know and if replacements are known to have the 'leaver' reassure the parents about their replacement.

 

If staff do not want their reasons for leaving to be public then you need to think of ways to communicate with parents about the 'business' of daycare in a factual way. This could be in your initial prospectus, maybe under the keyworker section or the staffing section a paragraph such as: We have a good staff retension history, however the childcare profession has many opportunities and at times some staff leave to follow a career path in different avenues, we support this by having transition systems in place to ensure the least impact on parents and your children.

 

Also, if you do an end year newsletter you could include a small staff turnover data info like; Yr 08-09 - 1% of staff leaving to pursue a Nanny career. 0.1% staff leaving to become teachers, (hopefully) 0% staff leaving through employment issues and 98.9% staff retention. xD

 

The above are long term ideas, in the short term, not sure if a letter to parents about current leavers will help or 'pander' to their 'understood' but 'unnessesary' anxieties. Maybe this is a time where you can forge 'personal' relationships with these parents, to take time yourself to speak to each parent individually, in a positive, Sally is leaving but let me introduce (tell you about)..........he/she is looking forward to working with you and (childs name) she.....describe her assets. Then ask any questions/concerns.

This will enable you to get to know how individual parents deal with change and will further your relationship with the parents.

Basically asserting a positive feeling that you manage the staff, the staff don't manage you by forcing you to be reactive all the time, you will be seen as positive and pro-active.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Peggy

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Ooh goodness Nicky!

Perhaps an informal social evening would be better? Let everyone relax in your company and that of the other staff - bit late to organise a halloween one but maybe you could manage a bonfire night one - bring and share type of evening. PR is vital to what we do and you need parents firmly ON SIDE. Another social evening at Christmas - a meal out for mums or whoever and staff - you'll have to get booking though as places get full

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Thank you Peggy and Cait it's much appreciated, thanks for all the ideas, i've now got some thinking to do now, i've got a great deputy and some very loyal staff who have been with the company for many years so i will talk to them to see if i can get a better understanding of of the parents.

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Would it be possible also for the leaver to introduce relevant parents to the new keyperson over the time they are working their notice? That way if the parents are quite attached to the leaver, they may feel reassured by her handing over as it were.

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