Working toward receiving Accreditation involves everyone that is connected to your childcare business including: the children, the parents, staff members and you. Change can be very difficult for some people and this is why it is vital that you plan to create positive change.
Here are five steps to creating positive change during the accreditation process:
1. During the application and self-study process, send a letter to the parents informing them of your decision to become Accredited. In the letter be sure to list all of the benefits of becoming Accredited so that parents can see the value in the change. Furthermore, send home weekly or monthly newsletters about the changes that are being made in your program in order to become an Accredited facility or family home childcare program.
2. For those of you that have staff members, hold a weekly meeting to discuss changes that need to be made, praise the employees for their efforts in the process and plan to reward performance. Rewarding performance can include, staff luncheons, teacher resources give-a-way, gift cards, etc. What ever you do, let the staff members know that becoming Accredited provides them with professional standards that assures that they are providing the highest quality of practices to young children in their care. Moreover, in many cases, once you become Accredited, your facility may receive an increase in subsidized childcare fees. Furthermore, you may decide to increase your rates to increase the salaries of teachers that may have furthered their education, during the Accreditation process.
3. Children seem to adapt very well to change in the event they are informed ahead of time. During the Accreditation process, you may need to add materials or equipment to your classrooms or play areas. Before making changes, inform the children of the changes at circle time. Also, be sure to invite the children to help you or the teachers make the necessary changes to the classroom. You may find that this will turn into a class project. After all, it is their play space!
4. It is vital that you are mentally prepared for the process, because you are the Leader during the entire process. I remember when I received my first self-study; I was overwhelmed at all the information that was in the packet. In fact, I took an entire weekend to review the self-study and made copies for my staff. I suggest that you implement changes one week at a time and celebrate every improvement to make Accreditation an enjoyable process.
5. Getting the Community involved. Your childcare business is an asset to your community and you want to let other business leaders and people in the community know what is going on in your business. This can be done several ways:
- Send a letter to the businesses informing them of your Accreditation process and inviting them to be apart of the Process. They may want to donate what you need.
- Notify the local schools. It is a great idea to let them know that there is quality childcare available to families in the community.
- Post a banner in your window or in front of your center (if allowed by the local ordinance) that reads, (WE ARE GEARING UP FOR ACCREDITATION!) This banner sends the impression that your home or center is dedicated to excellence in the business of childcare.
I hope that this post has inspired you to take the Accreditation process one week at a time and most of all….Create Positive Change for Quality Care!
With Quality Care in Mind,