Thu 18 Jan 2018
Reputation is important for any business, however, in the personable and community-driven service that a nursery provides, a sound, excellent reputation is vital.
If a nursery’s reputation is wanting or poor, child vacancies won’t be filled, and the nursery will battle to be sustainable and remain open.
Continuity of care is important for children, and nurseries are needed for parents, especially working parents. A local nursery closing can sometimes impact a community in a big way. There are the job losses to factor in too.
Reputation is key.
The best marketers of a nursery are those who know it well, the parents, the staff, and of course, the children.
Children cannot fake being happy and content in an environment. They cannot fake a close relationship with their key worker. When visiting a nursery, observe the children. Even if non-verbal, their actions and behaviour speak volumes.
Parents deal with a variety of teaching and assistant staff, as well as office and managerial staff. They work in close partnership with the nursery team on a daily/weekly basis.
They are an important mouthpiece for a nursery, recommending their nursery to friends and family, or conversely, sharing a bad experience, which could deter prospective parents from enrolling their child at that nursery.
Staff are a nursery’s biggest asset and are walking billboards. They market the nursery whether they’re buying a baguette for lunch at the local patisserie, or on the tube. Even if not in uniform, local parents know local nursery staff.
When out and about with the nursery children, whether at the local library choosing library books, or playing in the park, nursery staff are observed and ultimately judged by people in the local community.
If a community member is unhappy with the way a child is being cared for in any way, they can call the nursery office, the local authority, or Ofsted, to voice their concern. The nursery will then look into the complaint, internally investigate, and deal with staff where necessary.
Certain high expectations are required of nursery staff, as they have a most important job, that of ensuring the safety and well-being of the children in their care. They need to be of high calibre, reliable, safe, honest, and importantly, playful.
Children need to be surrounded by adults who value them and want the best for them, and, apart from family and friends, nursery staff fall squarely into this area, as they spend valuable lengths of time with children every week.
Recruitment is important. Apart from meeting the necessary statutory and regulatory requirements, reference checks, qualifications and having relevant experience, they need that extra something special.
They need a nurturing and caring personality, that deep love and respect for children and childhood, plus that burning desire to help children grow and develop at their individual pace.
Nursery staff play a pivotal role within a nursery and bear a certain responsibility for the reputation of their nursery.