"Our parents love seeing their kids throughout the day on the Parent App."

Neena Locke
Childcare Director

How To Be a Childcare Leader During a Crisis

March 31, 2020

As a leader, you will face many difficult situations and seasons. It is how you handle these seasons that define you as a great leader.

Maybe your business has taken a massive hit, and you don't see a way out. Sometimes, it is inevitable, and there may be nothing you can do. However, in most situations, your way out is based on one thing, MINDSET.

The truth is many leaders see growth and success in times of hardship. Their secret? They were able to do what it takes to stay in the game. 

Today, I want to talk about facing difficult situations as child care leaders. Here are four things you can do to set yourself apart from others and thrive during these uncertain times.

1. Communication is Key 

In difficult times communication is so important. How and what you communicate sets the tone for your team. Here are a few tips shared by Inc. that I think are great!

  1. Be Transparent
  2. Communicate Frequently
  3. Get ahead of the issue
  4. Bring Perspective
  5. Communicate solutions, not just issues
  6. Let people know how you are caring for your own people

When you communicate effectively in a time of crisis, it will help you and your team stay productive. Take ahold of the situation and set the tone for your whole center by communicating openly in these seasons. 

2. Look for Opportunities

Whether enrollment is down or an economic crisis is imminent, there is still room for opportunity. Sometimes in these seasons, you need to think outside the box. Just because things aren't going the way you thought and the numbers aren't lining up, doesn't mean it needs to stay like that. 

Finding ways to pivot or shift your business plan and adapting to the demands of changing markets is a great way to create opportunities. A great place to start is by asking yourself, "Is there an opportunity in my space that others are not seeing?" 

Get creative, and don't be afraid to experiment with new ideas.

3. Put Your Fear Aside 

When you as a leader, show that you are panicking, it can cripple your team. Although you may experience several sleepless nights, do your best to put on your "brave face". You will see a positive response from your team, and they play a very important role in the health of your business.

Take a step back and prepare to deal with reality, don't feed into your fears. Surround yourself with people who are upbeat, positive, and that can help you make wise decisions. 

Fear provides no benefit for you or your childcare business. When you put aside your fears and take control of the situation, that puts you in a much better position to be an effective leader. 

4. Prepare for Growth

This point may have you scratching your head, in fact growth may be the last thing on your mind, and that is completely understandable. However, as you adjust, and if you make changes that help pull you out of this crisis, you will need to make sure you are ready for growth.

Continue to ensure your processes are up to date, and ensure you and your team are prepared to handle the growth. 

Do not settle for less than growth. Continue to invest in your center, staff, and families. Think of ways you can serve them like never before. Plan and expect growth in every season!

Final Notes

As a leader, you can't often predict what each day will hold. All we can do is take it day by day and invest in the things that matter most. 

"The true mark of a leader is the willingness to stick with a bold course of action — an unconventional business strategy, a unique product-development roadmap, a controversial marketing campaign — even as the rest of the world wonders why you're not marching in step with the status quo. In other words, real leaders are happy to zig while others zag. They understand that in an era of hyper-competition and non-stop disruption, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something special." - Bill Taylor

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