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Strategies For Preventing Child Care Center Director Stress and Burnout

by Syretha O. Storey
November/December 2020
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/strategies-for-preventing-child-care-center-director-stress-and-burnout/5025676/

In 2014, CNN identified child care center director as one of the most stressful and underpaid jobs in America (CNN, 2014). An informal poll of directors validated CNN’s claim. One hundred twenty-four directors were asked to complete the Workplace Stress Scale (The Marlin Company, 2009). Of those who answered the eight-question survey, 77 percent said they experienced stress at work; some 44 percent said it was moderate, 31 percent said it was severe and 3 percent rated it as dangerous. 

What makes managing a child care program so stressful? The work of a child care center director is wide-ranging and, at times, complicated. It is no wonder that the respondents of the survey reported varied sources of stress—each reflecting a different aspect of a director’s job. The most commonly reported causes of stress were:

  • Recruiting, hiring and retaining qualified staff;
  • Unreasonable parent demands;
  • Time constraints (getting everything done each day);
  • Meeting regulatory requirements;
  • Scarcity (e.g., lack of funding, resources, staffing, and so on);
  • Maintaining a healthy work-life balance;
  • Compensation;
  • Increases in children’s challenging behavior;
  • Maintaining program quality; and,
  • Administrivia, or the tiresome but essential details that must be performed in running an organization
  • Giving the current staffing crisis in early childhood education (Podolsky, A., Kini, T., Bishop, J., & Darling-Hammond, L., 2016), ...

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