Being intentional with your calendar, in both your child care business and personal life, can make all the difference in the world. It will help you go from being unorganized, scrambling, and sometimes even dropping the ball altogether, to a place of being calm, cool, and collected!
To help you start planning intentionally, I have compiled a list of tried and true steps and tips for you to use that will help you map out your calendar. I personally recommend revisiting and mapping out your calendar quarterly, but whether you map out your month, quarter, or year ahead, there are tips that can be applied to all levels of planning!
How to begin:
FIRST, plug in any of your major events that you do every year. These could be things like graduations, holiday events, art shows, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day events – anything that you know is going to happen come rain or shine.
Once you have these events established, you will need to determine the five W’s for them all:
Who is responsible for making it happen? Having one person in charge of an event does not mean they do all the work – it means they are the one to hold accountable, and they are responsible for delegating and following through with the organization of it.
What needs to be done or delegated? Are there food and drinks involved? If so, what kind? All decorations and activities for the event need to be planned out and written down on paper. Who will order the food, pick it up or have it delivered? Who is responsible for decor, activities, or any other part of the event? Planning this all out well in advance will save time, money, and the stress of trying to find things at the last minute.
WHERE is the event going to happen? Is it in a classroom, outside, in the hallways, lobby, or gym? If it’s outside, is there a backup plan in place in case of inclement weather?
WHEN is the event taking place? Decide the date, time, and length (all day, half day, drop off or pick up time only?).
WHY is the event taking place? If you are spending time and resources on an event there should be a why behind having it. Is it to boost staff morale, parent morale, marketing efforts, good will, or just for plain fun? Being clear on your why will go a long way in making it a successful event!
SECOND, now that you have plugged in all of your events into your calendar, it’s time to plug in all of your meetings. It is important to have staff meetings on a regular basis for consistency. When planning your meetings, you should also plan your agenda for them as well.
During your staff meetings, what training topics will you cover? Who will provide training? What needs to be ordered in advance? What will be your fun activity or ice breaker? Who will organize it? Will you provide food? Go through the same steps above to plan for your food and any supplies that are needed. You should go through and make note of the same five 5’s we already covered.
THIRD, plug in Gratitude Activities – Showing gratitude to your team is one of the best ways to reduce turnover. We all mean well, but sometimes time just gets away from us and we don’t show enough of it. Challenge your leadership team to do something special each week and try to make it different for each person. Personalized, intentional cards and thoughtful gifts mean so much. Again, go through the five W’s of planning.
FOURTH, plug in FUN! This is one of the best ways to keep morale high, but often falls by the wayside. BUT if you intentionally PLAN for fun when mapping out your staff meetings, it is sure to happen. Use the Oddball Holiday Marketing Calendar we offer for fun and funny holidays to play off of! There is a crazy and fun holiday almost every day of the year so pick a few of your favorites and have a blast! Don’t forget the five W’s!
LAST BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST, make sure that you plug in your one-on-one time with your team. Although you may not need all five W’s to make this a success, just getting it on your calendar will help tremendously!
To help guide you through planing out your calendar all year long, I have provided you with a downloadable Ultimate Planning Guide Worksheet worksheet that you can use throughout the year to plan out all of your centers events! This is also a great planning tool to share with your directors and event planning committee as well to help assist them with their planning processes. And if you don’t already have your team involved in your event planning processes, you should reconsider including them in on the fun; letting your team voice their fun ideas and delegating special roles and tasks to them will keep them feeling bought-in to your business and feeling extra valued and appreciated by you.
Wishing you a year filled with planning and lots of fun!