Child care burnout is real. With the long hours, little pay, and unpredictability with children and their parents lead child care providers to become burnt-out. As a child care administrator, burnouts are bad because it can often lead to employee turnovers. If burnouts are common in your child care center, consider the following to lower the chance of burning out in the future.
What Is Burnout?
Burnout is seen as extreme physical and or mental exhaustion caused by stressors such as work. According to Care.com, symptoms of burnout with child care providers could be shown as unclear work roles (duties, hours, expectations, boundaries), loss of control, long hours, insufficient pay, loss of interest, mood swings or irritability, isolation, lack of motivation, frequent days off, as well as the addition of personal life stressors. If you or one of your coworkers/employees are showing some of the burnout symptoms, it’s important to know that there are ways that burnout can be combated.
How Do I Combat Burnout?
One way to decrease the amount of employees suffering from burnout is to set specific boundaries and know stress limits. Having clear shift times can prevent employees from working over 40 hours per week. A survey done by Care.com shows that over half of child care providers work more than 40 hours a week, making it harder for them to take the time to care for themselves. If keeping employees to only 40 hours a week leads to holes in the care schedule, consider adding additional help. Some repetitive areas of the workday may cause large amounts of stress for employees. These areas could be snack time, potty training routines, morning transitions, etc. Finding solutions to these high-stress problems can ensure a smoother day for providers.
Burnout can often come from a lack of appreciation. Showing teachers that they are truly appreciated by parents, administrators, children, and even coworkers can make someone’s day instantly better. Having student’s work easily accessible to be seen allows parents to see what their children were taught that day. Creative or time-intensive projects may lead to words of appreciation to the teacher. The administration team could also provide regular teacher appreciation events such as providing a special lunch, teacher of the week/month incentives or even hosting a get together after work. Having an event where teachers can interact with one another outside of work will also help build a better bond between coworkers, and can lead to fewer teachers feeling overwhelmed alone.
Encouraging vacation or time off can give teachers the time to take a break from all things school-related. Some teachers that work well above forty hours a week feel that if they’re gone, their students will not be cared for as well as when they are there and are afraid to take time off. Everyone needs a break eventually.