Many ECEs are hesitant to employ social media in the daycare classroom. There are concerns about privacy, finding the time and negative feedback. ECE Debbi Sluys is a childcare center director and firmly believes that with the right policies, transparent communication and 10-15 minutes a day, ECEs should use social media for the following reasons:
- Relationships. Staff can use Facebook pages to connect, share programming ideas, encourage and support each other. It can also be the first impression for a potential staff member or a parent who can view “a day in the life” of the childcare.
- Staff retention. Social media is a great way to highlight staff milestones.100 likes for an employment anniversary is like receiving 100 pats on the back. Administration can provide immediate positive feedback. Shared & published professional development builds pride and loyalty in the staff.
- Advertisement. It is useful to promote your business by paying for a sponsored post vs. the alternative of radio or paper advertisements. These can be tailored to geographic and age specifications.
- Strengthens Teamwork. Have 1-2 social media administrators to ensure a common voice, but use many contributors. As the educators forward photos, videos & short write ups to ensure that all aspects of the child care are represented, shoulder the responsibility and create a sense of belonging & pride in their work.
- Advocacy & life-long learning. New milestones and success stories can be shared on Twitter and LinkedIn which raises the profile of the daycare centre. It also provides opportunities for learning from leading experts in the international early years’ community.
- Outreach. Tweet chats provide connections to other like-minded early years advocates with thought provoking ideas and concepts. Check out #leadershipshine the last Wednesday of each month from 7:30 – 8:30pm.
Debbi Sluys is an RECE & Director of a not for profit child care organization with four locations in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada serving 450 children. She has a passion for leading her team and is a speaker on how social media has positively supported her child care organization.