When asked “what does winter mean to you?” some people may think of cosy blankets, dark evenings and cups of tea. However, when asking a Centre Director, they probably think of sickness, casual educators and chaos. Of course, in an ideal world, a Centre wouldn’t need to book casual educators, but unfortunately in the early childhood industry, this is not often the case.
Here at anzuk Education, we are always thinking of different ways we can help Centres run as smoothly and efficiently as possible, even when sickness strikes. These are our top tips to best utilise your casual educators.
- Inform your team- It may sound simple, but ensuring your permanent staff know what is going on is so important. Simply letting them know the name of a casual educator/ the reason they are in, allows a more stress-free transition and a friendlier, more welcoming experience for the casual.
- Provide information- Where possible, ask the permanent member of staff to provide handover notes for the casual educator. Simple tips on the routine, daily plan, where things are and challenging children, go a long way to support casuals!
- Point out children with challenging behaviours- Introduce the casual educator to children with challenging behaviours, make them aware of what behaviours they may display. Also, potentially buddy these children up with an educator for the day to ensure a smooth process.
- Ensure the routine is on display- Use timetables to display the daily routine and provide the casual educator with clear information about the structure of the of the day.
- Use pictures of the children- For example, on the nappy changing chart, use pictures of the children rather than just names. It is very difficult and very daunting for a casual educator to know the names of all the children after such a brief time. Simple methods such as using laminated photos of the children as well as their names can help the casual educator to be involved in processes efficiently without having to ask for constant assistance.
- Assigning roles- During ‘difficult’ times, such as lunch time and rest time, ask the room leader to assign a role to each educator. This will ensure all necessary jobs are completed in a stress-free environment.
- Maintain strong relationships with your agency- By providing feedback on each casual educator that comes to your service from an agency, the consultant will build up a much better profile of the type of educator that suits your individual service. This not only benefits the team, but also the children, parents and ensures a positive experience for the educator.
- Seek feedback- Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your casuals about their experience. Most casual educators have been to many services and will see lots of great ideas. Think about creating a simple feedback form that a casual can fill out at the end of their day to tell you what they enjoyed or how their experience could have been improved.
Our aim is to always provide the best support to each of our Centres and educators which we achieve through building relationships and understanding individual needs. We pride ourselves on consistently providing high-quality educators on our journey to ensure exceptional education experiences can occur every day.
Get in touch today for a chat about how we can support you with your casual needs.