15 Ways to Grow Professionally in Child Care
Continuing education requirements are the minimum expectations set by the state or other governing agency. Many people are content with simply doing the minimum, but if you really want to grow in the field of child care you need to do more. Below is a list of fifteen thing you can do to improve your job performance and set your career on the right track.
- Continuing Education - I have already mentioned the importance of continuing education, but I needed to include it in this list. Continuing ed. helps us grow in our careers through classes
- Family Communication Strategies - Read a book, or a blog, or watch a YouTube video about some family communication strategies you can implement at your program
- Family Support Strategies - Network with area agencies that provide support for struggling families. Often communities have services that families are unaware exist. Do research and connect with those agencies so when one you your families needs support you can point them in the right direction.
- New Curriculum for Children’s Needs - Evaluate your curriculum to ensure that it is the best fit for every child’s needs. Look into the newest research and findings to make adjustments to your program curriculum as needed.
- Teaching Strategies for Unique Behaviors - Teaching strategies are always evolving, look into some new techniques for particular behaviors.
- Stem Training - Take a class on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Implementing STEM into your program encourages intellectual and cognitive growth in children.
- Supporting Emotional Development - Take time to learn more about emotional development, milestones and how you can help support kids growth.
- Improve Classroom Management - Read a book or a new study on classroom management. Learn what new techniques are working and what classic management styles have withstood the test of time.
- Become more Organized - This is more a life skill than a professional development skill, but it's an important skill nonetheless. Being able to organize things and ideas can help you develop in your career.
- Strategies for measurable outcomes - Many centers rely on tools such as a Sacers Evaluation or SWOT analysis. Do research and find the best strategies for measurable outcome for your center.
- Build Relationships with the District - Reach out to teachers and administrators in the district to develop a relationship the best serves the children and families you work with.
- Develop Relationships with other Professionals - Reach out to fellow directors and teachers in the area. Build a relationship that is mutually beneficial. It’s likely if you are dealing with certain situations others in the area are as well, working together on those issues can be good for you professionally and your program.
- Become a Registered Trainer - Do you have a topic of expertise? Become a trainer and present your information to staff at your center, seminars, workshops and conferences. Being a presenter gives you an air of authority within the field, it allows you to network with others and it can advance your career.
- Attend a Leadership Conference - Leadership conferences are events where community leaders come together to network and learn in a conference style venue. Most communities offer a leadership conference annually. Attending a conference allows you to meet professionals outside of the field of child care that can help your program grow.
- Join a Professional Organization - NAEYC for example has state and local affiliates, these organizations are often volunteer run and support the profession as a whole. They work to plan professional development events, conferences and seminars
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