Childcare provider burnout is when an educator loses passion and energy for working with small children in daycare centers, but remains in his or her position in the field. It is common in the daycare industry yet there are simple ways to combat daycare burnout.
We asked the OwnADaycare Facebook Fans: What are some things that daycare providers can do to relieve stress and “take a break”? Here some great tips from our readers that help fight daycare burnout:
- I had a wonderful trainer tell me that I needed to take 15 minutes a day to do nothing…not reading, not watching tv, on the computer, phone. NOTHING except sitting. The days I do that, my day goes much smoother and I feel happier.
- I always take at least one day off during the month, especially when school starts i go and eat lunch with my son at his school and spend the day just taking care of me either just relaxing or going shopping, during the summer it seems harder for me to take time off because i have more kids.
- When I start feeling burn out, I step away from anything child care related during my off time. Read, relax, etc.
- I take a few personal days here and there. I just explain it like, when the parents want a day from work, they take one. When they want a break from kids, grandma takes them for a day, so it is only fair to allow a child care provider to do the same. It is one of the downsides against the MANY upsides of having a child in a family daycare. Also, I am addicted to walking. If I had a bad day, I walk once the children are gone and my husband gets home.
- Start your day with prayer. The day goes smoother and kids seem calmer.
- I make sure that I have 12 days off a year. 1 week vacation and 7 random days, usually around a holiday. Lots of times these random days turn into 3 day weekends. Also not being at full capacity all year long.
- I nap, and I vent by writing down stuff kids did that weren’t acceptable. And I do communicate to the parents some things they need to fix (well, present it nicely, like, a goal to reach, so the kid will know how to behave in front of others, sort of thing).
- I run every morning!! Works wonders!
- Even if you can’t take a day off a month, do try to take some time off once in a while. ALL of the parents do that….even teachers. Or close early once in a while. Tell them you have an appointment (they can imagine what that might be) and take some time to do something fun with your own kids or just by yourself. Then for times you can’t take some extra time, do something to work time for yourself into your time off….go for walks, take a zumba class, go out to dinner at a nice place. Or find relaxing things that don’t even take that much time. Find books you like to read and read at naptime or games like crosswords or suduko. The key here is to take care of yourself so you can take care of the kids!
- Little things throughout the day help me with burn out. During nap time I read the newspaper, get on FB, read a book, watch tv. Throughout the year I take lots of extended weekends, at least 4 weeks of vacation (paid & unpaid), observe all federal holidays and take personal days off. It’s in my contract so the parents like it or move on. I make no apologies and feel no guilt!
- I started taking a yoga class 2 or 3 times a week. It has helped a lot with my stress level and that hour of peace and quiet is so very soothing and rejuvenating, not to mention the flexibility I’m gaining. The yoga class taught me that it is just as important for me to schedule “Me Time” everyday as it is for the children to have healthy meals and engaging activities – we’re all happier in the end. I enjoy my yoga class, 1 hour/day, nearly every day, the bathroom is mine to share with some candles, a cheesy romance novel, some bubble bath and a glass of wine; every day I eat one ounce of smooth dark chocolate and every day I enjoy dinner with my family gathered around the table.
- I found that cleaning my house was hard to do and caused stress to get it done so I hired someone to come in and clean for me. You have more time to take a break in the afternoons and cleaning is not what you waste your weekends on. I also meet other caregivers in the park or at playgroups for a chat with an adult during the day. This helps to vent on a regular basis. Sometimes, I realize that I’m just stressed and that they are just kids being kids.
- Burnout is one of the most common problems in daycare. I get burn out all the time. I have found that it helps to not take on more than I can handle. I am here alone all day, no assistant, so I don’t take more kids then I can handle. I also found that taking time at nap time really does help, eat your lunch, read, watch my soap, play games on FB. Those things help me relax. Then about 1/2 hour before they wake, I get ready for the afternoon.
- One weeknight a month, I meet with another provider; we go out to a very nice dinner and talk about stressful stuff, ideas etc. We order dinner keeping in mind that we want leftovers the next day for our lunch during naptime. Many times we have so much fun!!! The wait staff usually ask us what our special occasion is… we reply.. no kids, work or spouses night. we are having a mommy time out. Plus we get such awesome service. One month we ended up with a huge discount and extra meals in a take home box& dessert we each paid only a bit over $5 plus a very nice tip.
- I hire a sub with a guarantee of 10 hours per week so if I need a break I can utilize her. Mostly she is used for dentist/doctors’ appointments but twice a year I go get my hair done.
- I was so burnt out but now I just tell the parents in advance what day I’m taking off and I got a helper that I can trust to watch few hours a week so I can get out of the house.
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