Six Practical Tips to Create A Functional Childcare Team

February 01, 2022

On a scale of 1 – 10, how functional is your childcare team? Can you say you have found your dream team? If your answer to either question is negative, it is time to face the truth – you need a functional team.

Teamwork is the most important thing I have learned in my 20+ years of experience. Once you get into childcare, you will quickly realize that it takes a team to grow here. Sadly, this team doesn’t come by putting many people together and calling them a team. You could have so many people in your team and still be lagging. What you need is a functional team, not just any team.

That brings us to the question – how do you create a functional childcare team? Truth is, there is no particular answer to the question. Like any other industry, building a functional team doesn’t happen overnight. You must make a deliberate effort to grow your team, which in turn leads to growth in your center. To help you through this, I pieced together six vital tips that helped me.

  1. Proper onboarding

Without proper onboarding, you are already setting up the team to fail. The onboarding stage goes beyond introducing new staff members to their colleagues and showing them around. This is the time to communicate expectations and values. You need a team member who not only shares your vision but your values too. This is also the time to clearly lay down the rules and responsibilities. Without clear instructions, team members may never know what is truly expected of them and how best to tailor their skills. It is not too early to discuss goals, values, tasks, mission, and vision.

  1. Effective communication

Communication is key, irrespective of the type of relationship/partnership. For any relationship to grow, each party must be ready to effectively communicate with others. This is even more important in a childcare setting where all hands have to be on deck. From communicating ideas to effective reporting, teaching the children, and relating with parents, it is your responsibility to ensure smooth communication (both verbal and written) at your center.

  1. Emphasize partnership and trust

Trust is the very foundation of every relationship and partnership. While you do not expect them to become best of friends, you should incorporate trust and partnership among every team member. A team cannot function as a unit without trust. They cannot maximize their performance if everyone is hoarding information and doing it alone. As the leader, be prompt at resolving conflicts and getting the team back on track. Do not ignore little rifts. A simple misunderstanding could lead to great loss. Be proactive and make sure your team members are indeed partners, not just a collection of individuals.

  1. Invest in professional development

What most people fail to understand is the truth that professional development is not for the employees alone. Think about it. Investing in their professional development makes them better and smarter in the necessary skills, which eventually leads to more productivity. At the end of the day, you will see that investing in your employees is the same as investing in your business. You are not actually doing them a favor. Instead, you are promoting your business and retaining the best-trained staff in that industry. For your team to function as expected, be ready to get them to the level they ought to be.

  1. Keep the team motivated

Motivation is the fuel that keeps your dream team happy and working. Granted, they are there to make things easier for you, however, you may lose them if you don’t make life easy for them too. How? There are multiple ways to keep your team motivated; from showing that you care to investing in their professional development, rewarding good performance, and even cutting bad fits loose. A good salary and fair work hours are also great ways to motivate your team. You cannot expect the best from your team if you do not give them your best.

  1. Success starts with good leadership

The most important thing to take from this is the understanding that everything I outlined above is in your hand as the director. The leader of a team automatically defines the fate of the team. The success of your team depends largely on you. If you want to build effective communication, partnership, and trust among team members, you must be ready to lead by example.


Team building is, no doubt, demanding but it is just as rewarding. For any business to grow, the leader ought to be willing to grow the team too. Be sure to invest resources and effort and you will eventually get your dream functional team. Good luck!

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