Life can be challenging, and notably, the last couple of years have been very difficult for many as we have undergone disruptions to lives, work, and communities due to the pandemic.
Educators were swift in adapting to new protocols to protect children while continuing to support families in accessing, nurturing, and engaging early childhood education. All the while, these same educators were facing their own stresses and uncertainties, as we all did when faced with these unprecedented times.
As we heal and grow together as families, communities, and colleagues, wellbeing is a powerful tool.
While it has always been crucial in the early childhood sector for children and educators, it now needs a renewed focus.
So, how can we foster personal wellness and enhance the wellbeing of educators to bring teams together? Here are just a few strategies to incorporate at your early childhood service.
Strategies for educator and team wellbeing in childcare
Boost health and natural immunity: As we all go through such stressful times, it is especially important to look after our own health. Natural medicine and vitamins are widely available and in most cases a safe and easy way to boost health and wellbeing, especially our immune system. Vitamins D, C, B, and Zinc – these have always been considered to be a greeting tool in helping with low immunity, stress, and cold and flu-like symptoms; talking to your GP is always recommended. You may wish to discuss with your educators sensible eating, exercise and the use of vitamins, to help keep them healthy.
Advocate unity: Advocating for transparent conversations with your team and keeping healthy relationships is a priority that has never been more important than now. We all might have different opinions, however, staying united and supporting each other has always been the core value of early childhood settings. During these challenging times, we must remember that we are role models for our children and our actions must demonstrate, and be in line with, our teaching.
At the end of the day, we must remember that humanity and core values are the foundations of our society.
Encourage growth and development: To grow and evolve is natural, and educators who are supported in growing in the workplace are happier and more fulfilled. Help them to explore their passions in early childhood education, encourage professional development and further training, to help your educators reach their full potential.
Facilitate bonding: To work together effectively your team needs to know one another. This will contribute to their sense of belonging and in turn their sense of wellbeing in the workplace and beyond. Organise staff retreats, bonding sessions and light-hearted times to make connections that don’t always revolve around work.
Reduce stress: Work can often be a source of life stress, but often it is unnecessary. For example, short deadlines, high demands, inflexibility – there are lots of things that add stress to our lives and often they aren’t vital. See where you can reduce pressure for those around you and yourself, to enhance wellbeing.
The mental health and wellbeing of educators impact staff retention, quality of care delivered to children, not to mention the personal overall wellbeing of the individuals themselves. With this knowledge, we as an industry must consider how we can do better.
To maximise the support you offer to your team of educators and to enhance their wellbeing and connection as a team, take a look at our award-winning Bonkers Beat programs. These programs are proven to foster and build a strong sense of wellbeing and fulfillment for those working in the early childhood education setting. Plus, there are so many other benefits for services to gain through the Bonkers Beat programs. Find out here.