Developing good business processes is a key component to having efficient operations in any preschool. For faith-based preschools, well-documented procedures are even more important, because they ensure that the ministry's vision is clear and implemented correctly.
Parents, church leaders, and the community often hold faith-based centers to higher standards than secular environments. For example, does your center have policies about the safe use of social media? What about a modest dress code for teachers, administrators, and staff? Does the policy need to address behavior, use of language, or discuss the need to adhere to certain viewpoints?
Having clear policies helps avoid confusion and makes it easier to address challenging situations. More importantly, when combined with processes and procedures, your center's operations become more efficient and require less administrative time.
The popular business book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber offers a great approach to improving business operations–document everything your business does as if you are creating a franchise.
This effort, regardless of whether you plan to operate additional locations, ensures there are clear policies, procedures, and processes for every aspect of the center. These documents become the guidebook and the go-to resource for how to run the business. Good documentation makes employee transitions easier and also streamlines growth.
Just because church and center leaders have a vision for daily operations does not mean that employees understand or fully support that vision. Written policies can help ensure that the top-level vision is communicated to all employees and that everyone knows how daily activities are conducted.
Developing good business processes can also cast a light on inefficiencies and generate new ideas and better ways of doing things. For faith-based centers that answer to a parent organization, clear documentation also ensures the staff understands that the center's mission involves more than childcare and academics.
How do you develop policies and procedures? It can be a daunting task for a business owner or center director, but you don't have to go at it alone. Start by asking employees to help–get the staff involved in documenting what they do and how they do it. Let them know that the goal isn't to micromanage or second-guess their job, but rather to get a better understanding of what they do and apply consistency across the organization.
You can also look at books, such as Preparing for Disaster, The Anti-Bullying And Teasing Book for Preschool Classrooms, and The Grieving Student: A Teacher's Guide, for ideas on procedure topics and specific actions. Most employees will welcome the opportunity for input and recognition, and you may find one or two who particularly embrace the challenge and can serve as leaders in organizing policies.
Good documentation isn't a guarantee of success, but it certainly improves the odds and results in more efficient operations, ultimately freeing up more time to focus on education and your center's faith and academic goals. Be sure to browse our resource books for a variety of helpful tips and information that you can implement in your preschool center.
This Insights & Inspirations article was submitted to Kaplan Early Learning Company by Grow-Right. To learn more about Grow-Right, we invite you to visit: http://grow-right.org.