# 24 Shine as an Educator – Fill your vacancies fast!!

Early Childhood Educators


It’s the start of the year and that resounding question early childhood educators seem to ask
each other is…
“How are you going with numbers this year, are you full??”
Now depending on how you are actually going, will reflect the emotion connected to this
question…
There definitely seems to be a little extra rumblings, questions and advice seeking this
year then years gone by, on filling vacancies and attracting new families which has led
me to this podcast today.

My Question for you today is…


Is your business full to the brim, if so what do you plan to do about it?? if not what do
you plan to do about it??
A couple of interesting questions right here – but what do I mean by them??
Well either way you have a choice and actions that need to be taken. And I’m going
to delve into this a little more. Firstly with the business debate of having a full business
and then the plan to get your business full and building up a valuable waitlist.
I share a discussion I have with a male business graduate, they really do have a different
take on business then often early childhood educators. I hope you find it interesting!!
His solution once I explained my predicament, was, raise your prices AND hire someone
to help!! DER Sometimes the most obvious answers are the ones right in front of our
noses they just feel like the scariest to take.
So if your business is full, you really do have steps to take.
Now lets look at if you are struggling to attract clients, this can be taxing on our
emotions as well as our families well-being and security and a serious strategy needs
to be put in place.
HERE ARE FIVE TECHNIQUES; I have found the most effective in promoting my business…
# Having an active Facebook page and the ability to use Facebook adds when needed,
# CareforKids.com.au, just the free registration,
# Business card swapping with local business,
# Self promoting on excursions with shirts and hats,
# Asking parents to spread the word when a vacancy is coming up,
NOW ON TOP OF THESE FIVE I have a sign on my gate, newsletters and leaflets, some towns
have childcare vacancies sites, or buy swap and sell sites are worth the time to
advertise in too.
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
If your City, suburb, town or rural setting is particularly light on for children? A
united effort may be needed! Creating open days, an event to raise awareness of
your services, or be very strategic about the scheme you join. Some schemes are a lot better
then others when it comes to waiting lists, self promotion and care for their educators.

My Challenge to you…


Really look at your business with a business cap on!
How do you need to take ACTION?
If you are chock a block full? When the time comes to raise your prices, be brave,
raise them and if you need help, hire it!! I still work long hours but I have a cleaner that
comes in for 3 hours and I have cut back to four days – do what works for you and
your family.
If you are wondering how you are going to make ends meet, desperate to fill vacancies
and make a real go of it? Make an ACTION plan, implement every one of the steps I
have listed above, do them over and over, and ask in the forums for more ideas.
You can make this work with consistent calculated steps.

Top Tip…Shine


Continue to promote yourself and your business at every opportunity!!
A great way to do this is create a promotional plan for your business for the whole year.
This way you have an action plan to follow, you can increase it if you have vacancies but
will build a wait list if you don’t.

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#23 Shine as an Educator – Programming keep it SIMPLE!!

Early Childhood Educators


I am watching a spectacular storm roll in, across town and heading this way – Lightning,
thunder and the beautiful fresh smell of rain – but it hasn’t hit yet so we will see how
we go.
Last week I blogged about the three most popular 2015 podcasts with Shine as an
Educator… I was excited to see that the clear winner was
#09 Shine as an Educator – Programming, Play based learning!
Yayy, this was just awesome as programming is definitely – without a doubt – my
focus area!! Programming is the area I receive the most questions.
Where I get the biggest buzz from helping, brain storming, problem solving, and
putting into place a plan that works for educators. Where educators, you tell me
don’t you agree, feel the biggest relief when finally having a plan in place
that works REALLY WORKS 🙂
Now I will place a link in the show notes to the rest of the blog if you would like to
check it out…

But tonight I wanted to share a few more tips for programming that you can take away.


If you are a new educator, or even an experienced educator coming back from some
time off over Chrissy, where do you plan on starting? What is the very first step?
What should we actually do?

Educators tell me they find programming difficult,

they have it all in their heads but putting it on paper with the right wording is hard…


My suggestions is to start with jottings. Writing three short sentences that help us get out
of our heads what we are trying to say or where we would like to go with the experience.
Then coming back to them later and deciding if the jottings need expanding or could
they be left like that?
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
I also speak about this in my blog Programming with Confidence and I will share three
of my tips from this blog…


So 3 tips to stop the confusion – where to start your program???…


1. Keep it simple to begin with, small steps that you are comfortable with and are
able to manage moving forward. Write short jottings or notes often less is more when
we are starting…
2. Create environments/setting/experiences that are age appropriate and seriously
again less is more!! Overwhelmed children will lead to children flitting from one
experience to the other with no real learning or value taking place. Write down
and celebrate the achievements children make when exploring these settings.
3. Find yourself a ‘Buddy’ an experienced educator that you can bounce ideas off.
Everyone needs a little extra support when starting something new – use this opportunity
to build a great network around you both online and if possible in the flesh too.
So a little recap – Keep it Simple – Less is more – Create and Celebrate – Find a buddy!!

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

# 22 Shine as an Educator – This almost closed my business!!

Early Childhood Educators


How has your week been?
I hope your year is starting off with a positive bang?
Next week the children will be back at schooling our little ones will be back to their
routines and oh how I am looking forward to some normality and to have a creative,
fun, routine back – bring it on!!
Now I wanted to chat to you about the bizarre amount of educators that are closing
their doors?? Have you been a little shocked? I have genuinely been surprised and
a little saddened at the number of educators announcing they are changing professions,
taking time off or moving to long day care.
The reasons have been vastly varied from simply educators having enough of um
How to put this – customer service – (read dealing with difficult parents) to the genuine
hardship some educators find themselves in when not being able to attract enough
children to have their services full.
Now there is a natural evolution of workers in any industry but i believe this is at much
higher levels in child care.
I will say, In my opinion, Family Day Care and Child Care options, where parents can
work with their children, offer an amazing opportunity. But whether its an opportunity
parents take up for a short time or with a much longer time frame in mind, is totally
up to them and I make no judgement at all – I offer a congratulations for giving it a
go and a encouraging word to do what works for you and your family.
But I would also like to add if you are struggling as an educator, for any reason,
– do something – don’t become a statistic!! If you would like to build your business
so it works for you, reach out and find someone to help you!! Support is so very
important especially in a profession such as ours…
#22 podcast art
###
Now I am going to share with you an incident that quite nearly shut my business down
this year, I am not sure that I have shared it before but if so I apologise and I think it is a
story worth telling again. Take it on board as a warning, how easily a miscommunication
can damage our businesses.
I had one of my wonderful parents who has been an awesome family to care for decide
that because my Lach was going to school this year I must be finishing up and maybe
going back to the office to work.
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
I am sure I have mentioned, I worked at our scheme office before Lach was born for
several years?
Well this parent, bless her, decided to share with my other parents that she believed
I was not continuing with Kathy’s Family Day Care once Lach went to school.
Well how fast does Chinese whispers go especially when unknowns to me whispering
around for a few weeks!!
Finally one of my other parents arranged a meeting to discuss my closing date and
she was very sorry but she couldn’t wait for me to announce it officially any longer
and although they were devastated, needed to know would I recommend somewhere
else and what date to start her daughter elsewhere?
OMG!! and other choice words!!
Where had this come from?? Who else had found alternative care for the year coming?
I quickly contacted each of my families and clearly, kindly, firmly explain – I am an
educator – This is what I do!! I have no intention of closing my business for at least
three years. I love working from home with the children and I will very much enjoy
meeting the school children off the bus, including my Lach when he starts school
next week.
I seriously could not believe it – I loved my families for trying to be respectful but
this could of had a serious impact on my business and my families income.
So what can you take away from this…
# Never underestimate the importance of clear communication
# Even when families don’t ask your plans tell them what you are looking forward
to next year so they know you will be here
# Look for the positives, we have a heap of fun but we work damn hard too
# We are trained professionals and this is what we do 😀

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

# 21 Shine as an Educator – Is it worth it?

Early Childhood Educators



Today I have three very random things to chat to you about… Three things I earmarked
to share with you but that don’t necessarily go together, but any how why not, if they
help you in your business then they are worth chatting about!!

SR for blog 21
So I am still not back with the children, working as yet 🙁
1. Here is an important question, have you asked yourself… How long could you cope
off work, if you broke something like an arm or a leg, or even had a serious illness?
And a follow up questions, do you know your schemes policy on coming back to work
once you are feeling able?
2. Now my second discussion point for today was to ask you – If you offer Welcome
back packs, to your families, coming back into care after the holidays?
I saw an awesome welcome back pack this week in one of the educator forums. I realised
it is something I haven’t ever considered creating for my families but I love the concept.
Do you?
3. My Third sharing today is to ask what experiences you offer for water play? My Lach
simply loves water play, he has since he was a tiny baby and so have I.
Even while the children have not been here, we have made sure he has had the
opportunity to explore, play and have fun with water.
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators

I share examples of the water play we offer regularly and is suitable for most ages.

#Water walls
#Shallow water trays
#Foil Rivers
#Dye mixing boxes
Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 11.11.59 pm

And then a little rant on Is it worth it?

Do you find that you question whether an experience is worth the effort?? And a little
behindmy thinking on why I go ahead with a particular experience!!

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com