While we all enjoy a little spontaneity and flexibility in our days, one thing is for certain – you can make life easier with systems and procedures.
This definitely applies to the way childcare centres are run – having systems in place reduces stress for educators, management, families: everyone! They are also vital for a successful operation of a centre, and can save money, time and headaches.
Systems and Procedures in Centres
Just about every element of the average day in a childcare/early learning centre needs to run to a schedule with a system in place to govern it. With so many children to guide and nurture, effective systems are a must for a centre that runs smoothly and successfully. Systems and procedures are also important for your NQS Rating – in fact, Standard 1.1 and Standard 7.3 specifically outlines the need for systems and processes in various areas of centres’ operation.
Here are some suggestions for systems and procedures to make sure your centre is set up to meet its full potential:
- Checklists – these are a fantastic way of tracking necessary tasks and systems on a daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly basis. So simple, so effective
- Ensure educators have set days/times for planning and documenting children’s progress and a system of how to do this eg a book, template etc
- Document all systems and procedures – a folder with standard operating procedures and guides for everything should be informative and accessible
- Display procedures where possible: for example, have a script taped near the phone for answering calls and what to do with new enquiries etc
- Transitional songs are an excellent element to add to your daily routines – whether it’s for packing away toys or washing hands.
- Depict systems for arrival with clear images, steps and flowcharts around the centre. Eg reminder to put bag in its spot upon arrival, packing up bedding etc
For Parents and Families
- Create a system for arrival and pick-up to ensure children’s safety and minimal disruptions to the other children
- Provide families with a calendar of events well in advance to allow for adequate planning time (for centres and families)
Systems and Procedures in Life
Identifying patterns and turning them into systems can make your life less effortful and more enjoyable in a broader sense too…
With any systems and procedures, there should be an element of flexibility – it’s important to assess regularly and be open to change if something could be done better in some way. The goal should be to empower through effective systems and make life easier with more time for the fun things!