As an owner, director, or administrator of a preschool, daycare, or child care center you want to hire and retain the best teachers and workers you can. How do you attract the right applicants? It can be tricky but with a solid, clear, and enticing job description it could make the process so much easier. We’ll cover the elements that make your daycare / preschool teacher job description stand out from the rest.
When writing any job description, it’s important for your center’s personality to shine through, so be sure to keep job postings short and conversational. There’s no need for a detailed description of the history of your center, so keep it brief and provide insight to who you are throughout your post. Be sure to replace formal phrasing such as “required qualifications include” and “our ideal employee” with more relaxed wording such as “you’re good at” and “you.”
Along with keeping the tone conversational and the language short and sweet, there are several important components of a winning child care job description: While some of these may look similar to all job descriptions, there are unique ways to write each to attract the best candidates.
- Job summary
- Day-to-day responsibilities and expectations
- Skills or qualifications
- Your story and vision
Let’s take a look at each component.
Your job summary should be honest and compelling. The most effective early childhood job descriptions are accurate and give a very brief overview of the care center and the expectations for the role. Emphasize something that makes your business unique. It could be a perk, your methodology, the work environment, continuing education opportunities, or how you want to impact the community. Be honest but personable. While it isn’t quite a profile on a dating site it also isn’t a user manual for a refrigerator either.
It is okay to list accreditations you may have or are working towards and even how long you’ve been in business. If you are a newer daycare or preschool you can emphasize your own credentials.
You can customize the description further depending on the role. So a daycare director job description might talk about the other great staff you have, technologies and software, or upgrades you may have that would make the job easier and more exciting. Maybe you just invested in an engagement platform like tend.ly that they are familiar with or will give them more insight into their center. Maybe you just expanded your facility, upgraded your playground area, or added a new sensory wall. We know not all child care centers are created equal. Directors will want to know what they are walking into. Conversely, if it is a child care assistant job description you would want to focus more on the teachers they would be working with and could learn from.
Without going into a long debate on the merits of one teaching methodology versus another, you can talk about the type of teaching system and curriculum you use. You’re more likely to get candidates that either share your views or are interested in learning more. It can also lead to good interview conversations.
This section is the most important part of a job description. It is important to outline how the job functions within the center and what the day-to-day expectations are. Don’t sugar coat it. This is the chance for candidates to evaluate whether or not they’re capable of doing what you need them to do (and deciding if they’re interested in in the job).
While you do need to make sure candidates know what you expect, you also need to make sure you are setting realistic expectations. Can a single person truly achieve those expectations without burning out?
Some of the items you may want to include would be the number shifts, typical work times and duration (daily or weekly), and key required tasks throughout the day.
With that said, leave room for creativity. People enter this field because they love to teach – it certainly isn’t for the money. Allow room for their passion for teaching and caring for children to come through. Don’t just think it is assumed. Say it in the job description. It tells a candidate that you recognize and appreciate the dedication and love for teaching that is at the core of any great child care center.
Skills and Qualifications
While the skills and qualifications section should cover required certifications and education levels, it should also include desired personality traits and abilities. This can range anywhere from having a welcoming and warm disposition to creative problem-solving skills. Whether or not there is a clear measurement to these traits, a candidate who believes they possess them is more likely to apply, helping you locate the candidates you want. This section is usually in the form of a list, but can also be presented in a short paragraph.
Are you looking for a unicorn?
When writing a child care educator job description it is easy to get carried away. Be careful not to write qualifications that no one could live up to. 30 years experience, two PHDs in Early Childhood Development from Harvard and Child Psychology from Berkeley, board member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the author of a best-selling book on socio-cultural impacts on early learning, and of course former special adviser to the White House and the Department of Education. They would have been perfect but hadn’t quite locked up the lifetime achievement award yet. So close! Oh well, I guess we’ll keep looking.
Your Story and Vision
Searching for great employees is not an easy job, but when you can attract qualified early childhood educators to your center it can make all of the difference in the world. It is important to realize that the best and most talented applicants typically have choices of where they can work. One of the ways you can stand out is briefly telling the story of where you want to go. Is it opening many more centers? Is it achieving a higher accreditation? Maybe it is measured in parent satisfaction or how well children are prepared as they enter kindergarten. Whatever it is, make sure that story and purpose is clear. A job description for any daycare or preschool teacher is as much a sales pitch of your center as it is a way to quality and find the best educators. People want to be inspired and feel good about where they work. Make sure you post a job description that is true to you and your child care philosophy. Clearly define the day-to-day tasks, describe the required skills and qualifications, and tell your unique story and vision. It wont be long before you wont have to search for the best workers, they’ll find you.