One of the key challenges in delivering the government’s 30-hour childcare pledge is the ‘shrinking’ childcare workforce. With training providers noticing a significant drop in applicants for childcare apprenticeships and employers reporting that they’re struggling to fill level 2 and 3 vacancies, it’s now more important than ever to keep staff retention high at your setting. So, we’ve come up with 7 ways to help you do just that!

1. Become a career mentor

Provide high-performing employees with a clear progression route so that they know exactly how they can carve out a career within your business. Nothing is more demotivating than being in a role where you feel you’re stagnating and there’s no way forward.

2. Promote from within

When a vacancy is created, have a policy of promoting from within before advertising the role outside of the business. This will let staff know there’s a route for progression and you can capitalise on the existing skill set and knowledge you already have within your team.

3. Have a focus on developing knowledge

Regardless of their role, all employees want to feel valued and one way to show this is to invest in regular opportunities to train them. Encourage employees to use new software, learn new skills or expand their knowledge in other ways, such as by taking a short course.

4. Recognise individual achievement

Awarding a simple “Employee of the month” certificate can work wonders to show staff that, as an employer, you go the extra mile to recognise their hard work and commitment. Why not display these certificates in the entrance of your setting so parents can see them, too?

5. Help staff bond with each other

Organise activities where staff can socialise with each other outside of work, as often as possible. This will help form stronger bonds between colleagues; making teamwork more effective – it will also mean staff are less likely to find a reason to move on.

6. Celebrate regularly as a team

When you’ve achieved a team milestone – such as completing a project or successfully getting through your Ofsted inspection – take the time to celebrate by bringing in some cakes and sweet treats to share with your staff.

7. Ask staff to take on a challenge

Create excitement in your setting by asking staff to take on something which would normally be beyond the scope of their usual role. This could be something which has an impact on the overall running of the business, such as how to increase occupancy without spending money or ways to make your setting “greener”.

Having an employee who feels happy and engaged in their job is worth their weight in gold – not only will they help keep team morale high with their positive attitude, but they’ll also be less likely to want to leave your setting. Try implementing these 7 steps today to ensure your staff retention rate stays as high as possible!

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