How to alleviate staff burnout in the ECEC sector
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How to alleviate staff burnout in the ECEC sector

by Freya Lucas

November 09, 2023

As the end of the year approaches, more early childhood education and care (ECEC) providers are experiencing burnout. 


With fewer staff, lower pay, and more responsibilities, stress is at an all-time high. Alleviating this stress starts with recognising the signs of burnout and implementing manageable changes to help avoid it. 


In this article, we’ll walk you through some common signs of burnout and how you can manage it with tangible strategies and techniques. 


Signs of Burnout


Recognising that your staff are burnt out can help you get ahead of it and start making changes to eliminate it. Here are a few signs that your employees may be experiencing burnout.


Physical Signs


  •       Feeling tired
  •       Headaches and pains
  •       Change in appetite


Emotional Signs


  •       Detachment
  •       Decreased motivation
  •       Self-doubt


Behavioral Signs


  •       Isolation
  •       Calling off work
  •       Withdrawing from responsibilities


How to Help Educators Avoid Burnout


Schedule a form of movement


A quick session of yoga, light stretching, or walking throughout the day can help stimulate the brain and reduce stress. Blocking off times in the morning, during breaks, and in the afternoon for light movement can greatly reduce staff burnout.


Institute more breaks


Upon hearing staff members were overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated, childcare providers implemented schedule changes to include more breaks for staff members. Even an extra 5-10 minutes per day can make a huge difference in your staff’s performance.


Create new roles


To help motivate staff and reduce responsibilities, try creating new roles within your centre. Some providers have instituted program coordinators, floaters, culture clubs, and more to make a positive change within staff roles. 


Offer food and prizes


Depending on your budget, try setting up a free lunch, special snacks, or a small raffle to show staff appreciation and make their day a little brighter. These simple events can help improve your team culture and help manage frustration at your centre.


Show appreciation


There are a number of ways to show staff you appreciate their hard work that don’t have to be expensive or complex. These could be theme days, contests, and recognition boards.


The best way to avoid burnout is stopping it before it happens. Focus on building a strong company culture, building relationships with staff, and automating processes to save employee’s time. 


‍This piece first appeared on the Kangarootime blog and has been reshared here with permission. Access the original here

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