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Tips for Preventing Burnout for Childcare Staff

Tips for Preventing Burnout for Childcare Staff

Tips for Preventing Burnout for Childcare Staff

Childcare providers have been working extra hard and managing a large amount of stress during COVID-19, leading to burnout and staff turnover. If you’re concerned about staff morale and retention, you’re not alone! 

In our 5 Ways to Minimize Burnout for Your Childcare Staff webinar, we gathered some great ideas from our community of early educators about how to best support staff during this time. We hope you find something new to try at your center from their suggestions below! 

How to help staff members who are approaching burnout

  • Practice active listening and implement an open door policy 
  • Treat each staff member to coffee and a snack on "coffee pop-up" days
  • Provide professional development opportunities for staff members to participate in together
  • Order surprise lunches from staff members’ favorite restaurants 
  • Organize staff outings, offsite events, and bonding activities
  • Give additional time off, or let staff leave earlier on select days of the week 
  • Hold regular 1:1 check-ins so staff can share their highlights, lowlights, and any areas they need help or support in
  • Model a positive attitude while working 
  • Implement Teacher Wellness Days so staff can have time to recharge
  • Give breaks throughout the day if staff seem tired 
  • Provide access to mental health resources 
  • Work with staff members’ individual scheduling needs 
  • Host Zoom happy hours 
  • Express gratitude during staff meetings 
  • Allow staff to go on walks during the day 
  • Create space during team meetings to share self-care ideas 
  • Cater lunches once a week or once a month 
  • Show appreciation for staff members’ specific strengths 
  • Practice group yoga after students leave for the day
  • Give small gifts that emphasize self-care, like face masks, gift cards, and healthy snacks
  • Implement a “staff buddies system” by assigning staff pairs that can check up on each other (and switch the pairs every month or so)
  • Celebrate staff anniversaries and birthdays 

How to make stress management a priority for your staff

  • Practice quick mindfulness sessions throughout the day
  • Have dance breaks! 
  • Set aside time in the morning for group meditation 
  • Play relaxing music to start the day 
  • Hold fun Friday meetings where everyone shares a reflection or hobby 
  • Set healthy boundaries with parent communications for each staff member (for example, establishing times to officially “sign off”)
  • Implement a “tap-in/ tap-out” rule so staff who feel overwhelmed can ask other staff members to step in for them while they take a quick break 
  • Create a comfortable room or space that’s separate from student areas where staff can unwind and relax 
  • Schedule 5-minute meetings to check in and laugh with each other before students arrive 
  • Protect staff break times from interruptions, such as parent communications 
  • Make sure staff are staying hydrated by using water bottles that measure daily water intake 
  • Provide workout equipment in break areas
  • Lead guided box breathing at the beginning of meetings 

How to show appreciation and respect for your staff

  • Give written cards and gift cards 
  • Set up a coffee/tea/hot cocoa bar in the kitchen
  • Share "Positivity Post-Its" in staff break rooms
  • Provide fruit platters for snack time 
  • Host Taco Fridays, Bagel Wednesdays, and/ or Donut Days at your center!
  • Highlight staff achievements every Friday
  • Send thank you emails to individual staff members 
  • Ask parents to share messages of appreciation with staff members
  • Use kudo boards in the staff room 
  • Organize monthly activity calendars with themed days 
  • Have fresh flowers at your center
  • Make birthday goodie bags
  • Give out Teacher of the Week/Month awards where the winner gets extra time off work 
  • Share chocolate
  • Ask students to make appreciation cards for staff members
  • Hold quarterly staff dinners 
  • Organize staff potlucks 
  • Give positive feedback 
  • Start a “Cheers for Peers” board 


We appreciate everything you do to keep your staff members feeling supported, healthy, and able to bring their best selves to work.

To learn more about how to prevent staff burnout, check out our blog post, Team-Building Ideas for Childcare Staff

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