Work/Life Balance for Child Care Professionals
We spend countless hours training for how we can best meet the needs of young children. Early childhood educators train on quality, on interactions and environments, we learn new approaches to implementing art, music, dance. We jump into the standards of learning in our state to ensure the measurements are there in our programs. All to prove to the world that early childhood education and child care are valid and important to the future of children in our world. The whole time we are investing in our profession, we are not taking time to invest in ourselves, leading to burn out. YOU Can Stop The Burn Out!
Are You Headed for Burn Out?
It’s a Friday evening, and your friends are all headed out for dinner. They ask if you want to join them, but you remember that your class needs more glue and construction paper. So before you get to dinner, you stop by the store to pick up some more supplies. On Saturday, you go to a craft store with some family members only to find some great things for your classroom. On Sunday, you drive by a second-hand store that has some housekeeping items out front. You pull over to see what deals you can find for your classroom. Child care is not a 9-5, Monday-Friday job.
It is an education profession. This means our lives are intertwined between professional and personal. Regardless of your position, likely you spend your days and evenings thinking about your classroom or program. But what happens when this intertwining becomes overwhelming and no longer something you enjoy? Could you be headed for professional burn out?
What is Professional Burn Out?
Professional burn out is a level of stress that occurs around a profession. Characterized as a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. Burn out isn’t a medical diagnosis, but it definitely can lead to conditions such as depression and anxiety. In early childhood education, since the 2021 there have been over 100,000 professionals who have left the field. Also, in a recent survey 75% of those remaining have said they want to leave the profession in the next 5 years. Professional burn out in child care is related to the gender of the field, pay in the field, and lack of recognition from supervisors.
How to Recognize When You Are Headed for Burn Out
A great way to see how you are feeling is to simply ask yourself “How do you feel?”. Before you get up in the morning, ask yourself “Do I still love going to work?” How do you feel when you ask these questions? If you find yourself being cynical or wiped out, you are headed for professional burn out. Another sign that you are headed for burn out is your physical well being. If you find yourself exhausted all the time, or dealing with sleep issues, you are stressed. If you feel completely wiped out and / or are having trouble sleeping, it could be burn out.
Sometimes the burn out is about the place you work, but if you feel “broken” in your field, it could be that the stress has overwhelmed you.
Work/Life Balance to Prevent Burn Out
Work/life balance is when we balance our responsibilities. This is easier said than done for many early childhood and child care professionals because of the nature of the profession.
If you feel you are headed for burn out, there are a few things to do so YOU can stop the burn out:
- Set boundaries. Create a schedule for yourself and stick to that boundary.
- Don’t be afraid to unplug. We are connected all times of the day through technology. Take the time to unplug and regroup doing things you love.
- Find a job you love. If it is your current job that is adding stress in your life, perhaps it is time to find a job you will enjoy more.
Remember there is no one size fits everyone answer to burn out. The most important thing to remember is that you matter. What you do with children is imperative to their growth and development. If you agree that children deserve the best, then you must also recognize that children deserve the best in you. Take time to do your stress check, and make sure you are still in love with the job you are doing.
Working with children can be challenging, rewarding, and let’s face it…. Stressful! But with confidence, proven techniques and strategies you can start each day with the knowledge and understanding ready to succeed.
Join us each session as we tackle a new area of professional development. Perfect for all educators to build confidence and strategies to support their work every day.
Schedule and Topics
- Monday, December 5, 2022, 1 pm EST- New staff, LOADS of nerves
- Monday, December 12, 2022, 1 pm EST- Health, Safety and YOU!
- Monday, December 19, 2022, 1 pm EST- The Importance of Play
- Monday, January 9, 2023, 1 pm EST- Scheduling Routines
- Monday, January 23, 2023, 1 pm EST- 100 Languages of Children
- Monday, January 30, 2023, 1 pm EST- Oh Me, Oh My! Circle time has gone Awry!
- Monday, February 6, 2023, 1 pm EST- Hot Buttons: How will YOU React?
- Monday, February 13, 2023, 1 pm EST- Time Management and YOU
- Monday, February 27, 2023, 1 pm EST- YOU Can Stop the Burn out: Work-Life Balance for Child Care Professionals
Drolette, E. (2020). Strategies for preventing teacher burnout in early childhood education. Exchange. https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/files/ccic/pdf/articles/strategies-for-preventing-teacher-burnout.pdf
Hough, D. (2019). Easy steps to helping early childhood educators avoid burnout. Harvard Education. https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/ed/19/01/5-easy-steps-helping-early-childhood-educators-de-stress
Moden, N. (2022). 45% of early childhood educators report high burnout and stress. Dive Rive. https://www.k12dive.com/news/early-childhood-educators-experiencing-high-burnout-stress/633709/
Rogers, M. (2021). Bound for burnout: Early childhood educators swimming. The Sector. https://thesector.com.au/2021/10/25/bound-for-burnout-early-childhood-educators-are-swimming-against-a-gendered-micromanaged-tide/
Sanfilippo, M. (2023). How to improve your work-life balance, today. Business Today. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5244-improve-work-life-balance-today.html
Missed the live YOU Series trainings? Find the full YOU! New Teacher Training Series and more professional development for Early Childhood Educators and Directors on ExperienceTraining.org