Staff Scheduling & 3 Ways to Get More from Your After School Program
– July 11, 2016
After school child care programs provide a vital service, filling the gap between the end of the school day and the end of parents' workdays. A good after school program offers children a safe place to socialize with friends, get a jumpstart on homework, and even continue their academic learning with fun, engaging members of staff. For a site manager, the task is to discover how to provide the best program for children while also maximizing staffing and budget.
The key to any successful after school child care program are the individuals leading the students in the program. Without proper staffing, children cannot get the most out of the program and staff are overwhelmed in trying to provide even basic services to the children (not to mention requirements about child to staff ratios). There are a few tips to keep in mind when contemplating staff scheduling needs for your after school program.
First and foremost, you must be realistic. How many children does your program have signed up and when do they all arrive? Onsite programs often face an influx of all program attendees at once when the school day ends, while other programs might face staggered arrivals as children are bussed to the site from schools with different finish times. You'll need to be flexible enough to ensure appropriate staff numbers are in place during peak hours for the program.
Secondly, give your staff a voice in the scheduling process. Giving your staff the chance to provide input in the staff scheduling process results in positive feedback from your team members and a conflict-free schedule. On top of that, staff are more likely to bring a positive attitude into the workplace, be present during program hours, and engage further with children and each other when they have a say in scheduling.
Three Tips for Getting More Out of the Program
After school child care programs aren't just daycare for children: They provide an opportunity to continue the learning experience in a safe, sociable environment for children to enjoy until their parents can pick them up after the workday. It's important to build a program that provides the maximum benefit for the hours and dollars poured into the program by the staff and individuals schools or districts.
The challenge facing all site leaders is how to get more out of the program in both of these areas. Consider the following tips to help get the most out of your program:
- Collect and Analyze Data: If you want to build a better program, collect and analyze data about the effectiveness of your current programs. Measure that information against the goals and expectations of the program to identify areas that can be improved. Be as detailed as possible and analyze data from individual sites, days, programs, etc.
- Don't be Afraid to Collaborate: Encourage your staff members to collaborate with one another to share information and concepts they believe are working for children in the after school child care program, and which items might need changing. Doing so may require changes to your staff scheduling to ensure that staff have the time to collaborate and share their knowledge to help contribute to a stronger after school program.
- Make Use of Free/Affordable Web-based Programs: Digital tools give your program immense bang for the buck, providing your staff with the tools they need to help children get the most out of your after school program.
Stand out Amongst the Competition
Improving your after school program will help stand out amongst the competition, but it's about more than just winning over parents. The goal of any after school child care program is to provide the best opportunities for children at affordable rates for parents. Eleyo's cloud-based program management tools can help you improve and maximize your after school program, with better staff scheduling and assistance in building a program that provides the best social and educational value for families.