Why Working In Childcare Can Cause Stress
Working in childcare is like any other job as at times it can be stressful. There is a lot of pressure put on to childcare practitioners, managers and childcare setting owners which can cause a lot of stress.
Stress is a health issue that is often left undiagnosed, and many people will suffer months and months of stress. Childcare managers and owners must be aware of the effects that stress has on not only themselves but also the impact it has on their team.
Working in the childcare industry brings many challenges, and with those challenges, there will always be problems and difficult situations to overcome. The pressure to achieve high standards and then maintain those high standards can be a significant contributing factor to high levels of stress in the workforce.
If your childcare setting is a place where you have to unpack and pack everything away at the end of each day, this can put constant strain and pressure on the childcare staff.
Lots of childcare staff believe that the stress is created by childcare managers who are putting too much pressure on their team, and this is down to managers and owners setting entirely unachievable targets. The managers need to set achievable short term goals that if met will pave the way to hitting the bigger goals.
Working in the childcare sector is tiring and coupled with the long hours and then when work has finished to go home and deal with their own families and children is going to be tough, challenging and stressful.
One of the most stressful words any childcare worker will hear is Ofsted and this in itself will bring on massive stress and pressures, and the childcare provider must help its employees to stop them from feeling like this.
Stress Is Not All Bad
Stress is also a good thing, and I thrive off a bit of stress. The pressures of work and targets make me drive hard and stay motivated because when I hit my goals, the feeling is fantastic. However stress effects people in different ways and in some people it can cause a lot of health issues which can interfere with their work and personal lives. It is essential that childcare managers can identify what is causing the pressure in their team and find ways of reducing the cause.
How to recognise stress;
Stress varies from one person to another, but there are a few warning signs, and they can include;
- Aches/pains & muscle tension/grinding teeth
- Panic attacks/nausea
- Aggressive/anger outbursts
- Extra sensitive to criticism
- Negative thinking
- Social withdrawal
- Insomnia or waking tired
Managing stress in the childcare environment is essential, and managers and owners should give encouragement and praise to their team regular and even when things are looking desperate, try and find the positives and concentrate on them.
Childcare managers need to work harder with those members of the team who are showing signs of stress and do their best to reduce the causes. However, a good way of letting the managers know what is stressing staff out is to get the employees to write down the possible causes and put plans in place to combat these problems.
Team building activities and games after work are, and a great way to get the staff together, whether it is going out for dinner or some staff prefer to do sport and exercise classes. These team-building exercises are to help childcare practitioners unwind and relax and take their mind off work for a short period.
If you notice someone suffering from stress, then talk to them and show your support as you never know you may need that support down the line.