The Essential Onboarding Checklist for Childcare

As parents drop their children off at their local childcare centre as part of the morning rush hour ritual, do they ever stop to think about the significant role childcare staff play in their children’s lives? Teacher, nurse, cleaner, counsellor, mediator, interpreter, friend…not many jobs require you to wear as many hats as that of a childcare professional.

The Essential Onboarding Checklist for Childcare

Importance of Great Onboarding in Childcare

Not surprisingly, the childcare industry is a highly regulated sector. As discussed in our article “Why Better Onboarding Means Better Childcare” effective onboarding ensures educators are appropriately qualified, trained in federal, state/territory and local government legislation, and understand and carry out their responsibilities in full compliance with the law.

But more than that, proper onboarding prepares workers for the many challenges of their role and makes them better at what they do. It improves morale, increases staff engagement and reduces staff turnover. You don’t have to be an expert to know that this means better quality care for the most precious people in our lives.

Before you onboard – make a checklist

Onboarding is an ongoing, interactive process made up of a series of formal and informal training, coaching, information sharing, goal setting, feedback, networking and social interventions. Unlike traditional orientations and inductions that last for a few hours or a few days, onboarding unfolds over the first 6-12 months of the new hire’s time with you and gives them a solid foundation for the future.

But for industries like childcare – with a lot of information to cover off and training to keep track of – it can be easy for things to slip through the cracks especially over the longer term. This is where a Childcare Onboarding Checklist can help.

What to include in your Childcare Onboarding Checklist

Your checklist should not cover off absolutely every tiny detail. (See our article “Onboarding Problems? – Keep Calm and Make a Checklist) But a concise checklist will make sure that important items never get overlooked again.

The first step is to map out all the onboarding process steps required:

Employee Welcome Pack – including welcome messages, preboarding information, provisioning tasks and employment documentation

Socialisation and Culture – Steps for introducing your new hire to their colleagues, the parents and the facilities. Initiatives to help them adapt to the way the centre operates, the working arrangements, rosters, and how you communicate. And finally (and most importantly), sharing the ethos of your centre including your principles, values and the high standards you uphold.

Performance – Setting goals early with the new employee to help focus their energies and fine tune their learning.

Compliance – Covering off regulatory items and policy and process that govern the ways staff work.

Cognology has put together a sample onboarding checklist especially for the childcare sector to get you started. Download your copy here.