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Evaluating Your Staff

If you are an administrator, director, supervisor or owner of a child care facility you will be evaluating care givers. Aside from being useful in determining promotions and dismissals, evaluations can provide useful feedback and measure professional growth. They may also result in new ideas and insights.

Used properly the checklists and performance appraisals you'll find below can aid communication between staff and administration as well as clarify your expectations.

Many find it useful to provide new staff with a copy of the evaluation checklist so they know what is expected of them and can measure their own progress.

It is wise to have a set time for evaluations such as after an initial probationary period and then annually thereafter.

It is a useful technique to have the staff complete their own evaluation form first. Comparing your ratings to their own will reveal areas of agreement and discrepancy.

Below are some sample criteria for evaluations that you may modify for your own use. All listed criteria are to be rated F (frequently), O (occasionally) or N (never):

Overcoming Stress

While we all experience stress to one degree or another, those who learn how to deal with it avoid the many negatives that stress can bring on. Studies in the late 1990's by both Human Resource News and the National Study of the Changing Workforce found that 36% of us feel drained or "used up" by the end of the day. Worse yet, many reported feeling tired before the workday began.

The effects of on-going stress range from chronic aches and pains to creating a fertile breeding ground for illness. These illnesses can range from the common cold to heart attacks and strokes. It can sometimes be a matter of life and death to win the battle against stress.

In order to beat stress you must be able to identify the symptoms and change destructive patterns of thought and action.

What Difference Does 5 Minutes Make Anyway?

If your school is like the majority of us, you have been working incredibly hard to stay afloat the past 3-4 years. The fact that you are still here is to be congratulated. But each and every one of us will benefit from continuing to cut costs everywhere we can.

Whenever I talk to school owners about payroll costs they assure me they have cut payroll costs down to the bare bones. I'm going to challenge that assertion today.

I bet most of you have staff that clock in and then go to the restroom before going to their classroom. I bet many of you have staff that clock in 5 minutes before their scheduled start time and then clock out 5 minutes after their scheduled finishing time. I bet some of you have staff that will go to the restroom at the end of their shift before clocking out.

If I'm right, and your staff members only use two of these ploys each day, you are looking at 10 minutes per day, per staff member of non-productive time for which you are paying wages. What does that amount to each year? If you have 8 employees and your average hourly wage is $8, and we assume those extra 10 minutes do not put your employees into overtime, the annual cost works out to be:

Building Your Staff's Self Esteem

Child care workers seldom get the recognition they deserve for the valuable work they do. There are many simple ways you can let your staff know how vitally important they are.

Make youyself as approachable as possible by maintaining an open door policy for your staff.

Listen to them openly and respect their opinions. Respect breeds respect in turn, and a feeling of well being.

Recognize their achievements such as completed courses, positive feedback from parents, volunteer efforts in the community, etc. Post the appreciation where everyone else can see it as well.

Involve your staff in new developments. Ask them to coordinate the changes if they are up to the challenge, and ask for their honest feedback on the changes. Additionally, you just may get a fantastic idea or two that hadn't occurred to you.

Below are some more simple ways to boost your staff's self esteem and morale. None of these will cost you a cent, but will pay great dividends.

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