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Building a Positive Culture in Child Care Centers

Child care centers play a pivotal role in shaping young children and their development as well. When discussing child care, we often hone in on the experience that children have at a given center but it’s easy to forget about those providing that experience to them. Children aren’t the only ones in child care that benefit from a nurturing environment. The staff that care for these children need a positive culture to thrive and provide the best experience possible for every parent and child that walks through your door. Let’s explore the importance of cultivating a positive culture in your child care center and some practical ways to go about achieving it!

The Importance of Positive Culture

Culture can be used as a buzzword in a lot of businesses but in reality, a positive culture is truly essential to happy employees and great results. But what exactly is ‘culture’ in this context? In a child care setting, your center’s culture should encompass your core values, beliefs, attitudes and practices that guide you and your staff every day in your decisions, as well as interactions with children and parents. This helps create an environment where children are safe, supported and valued which is crucial for their early development. It also helps your staff’s job satisfaction, usually leading to a higher retention rate, lower rates of burnout and better performance overall.

Elements of a Positive Culture

Now, let’s take a look at some of the key elements found in a positive work culture.

Respect and Inclusivity for All

Inclusivity and respect for diversity in all of its forms lays the ever-so-important foundation for a positive culture in your child care center. Staff, parents and the children you educate should feel valued and respected regardless of their culture, background or abilities. This helps promote empathy and acceptance among your staff and students and the benefits can expand into their lives beyond your child care center.

Open Communication

Effective communication is an essential part of any successful child care center. Without it, your staff will be hard-pressed to build trust and collaborate successfully. Encourage open communication among your staff to foster more transparency, stronger problem-solving skills and a higher level of mutual respect for one another.

If you’re looking to elevate communication at your child care center then the Jackrabbit Care Staff App is a must-have! Learn about all the ways it can benefit your staff and center here.


Teamwork makes the dream work! At the end of the day, you and your staff are all on the same team and it’s important to reinforce that through the encouragement of collaboration, shared decision-making and acting as a support network for each other. 

Recognize Achievements

You don’t have to wait until Teacher Appreciation Week to celebrate your staff. Recognizing and celebrating achievements is essential to keeping morale and motivation high among your staff. Whether it’s acknowledging someone reaching a milestone, celebrating a life event, or having a successful month in their role, there’s no achievement too big or small. 

Strategies for Cultivating a Positive Culture

With some of the most important elements of a positive culture in mind, now we can take a look at some actionable strategies you can take to help you reach them and achieve that culture at your center.

Create a Set of Core Values

Like we said before, core values are part of what influences you and your staff’s decisions and interactions with others each day. Needless to say, they’re important to have when you’re trying to build a positive culture. Set aside some time to really think about what kind of values would fit your center best and influence your staff to help create a better experience for everyone involved. If you’re at a loss of what your core values should sound like, check out Jackrabbit Care’s here.

Establish Expectations

Make sure that expectations regarding behavior, communication and conduct are clearly defined for all staff members, parents and children. Though each may have their own code of conduct in place it’s important to make sure each group is aware of the expectations you have for them. Establishing ground rules and guidelines helps ensure consistency and accountability for all.

Lead by Example

By modeling positive behaviors and demonstrating empathy and respect to others, you as a leader help set the pace for positive interactions between staff, children and parents. Treat others as you’d want to be treated, and encourage others to do the same.

Promote Professionalism

Encouraging professionalism among staff helps foster a culture of excellence and commitment to quality care. Try to emphasize punctuality, adherence to your dress code, and ethical standards to reinforce a sense of pride in your employees.

Seek Out Feedback

This is where open communication really comes into play. Solicit feedback from staff, families and even students to help identify areas of improvement and begin taking the steps to adjust where necessary. Create opportunities for feedback like surveys, a suggestion box and an open door policy when it comes to talking out issues. Remember, not all feedback will be constructive but don’t shy away from the feedback that is. It’s an opportunity to better your center and create an even more positive culture.

Though it can take a little planning and reflection, building a positive culture in your child care center is truly something that benefits everyone involved. If your staff feel respected, valued, heard and like they belong, they’ll pass those positive feelings on to your students and parents through their interactions with them and help your center stand out like never before making a positive culture positively a must. 

Looking for even more ways to help your staff and yourself feel positive about work? Try out Jackrabbit Care for free!

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