Why working in childcare can cause stress
Working in childcare can at times be stressful. There is a lot of pressure placed on both managers and practitioners which can cause stress. People often describe stress as pecking as it doesn’t seem to go away. Stress is a health issue that affects many people; it is often left undiagnosed and people will often suffer months of stress.It is important that managers are aware of the effects of stress on themselves and the rest of the team. As we know working in childcare brings many responsibilities and often there are many challenges and difficulties to overcome. The pressure on maintaining high standards can be a contributing factor of stress as people strive to provide high standards.
Sometimes the working environment can be a contributing factor, especially for those managers and practitioners who operate as a pack away setting. The thought of having to get everything out and put it away at the end of the day can be a constant pressure and strain.
Some people consider the fact that stress is brought on by managers putting undue pressure on people, this can be done by setting unachievable targets. The purpose of supervisions and appraisals are to establish achievable goals.
Working in childcare can be tiring especially working long hours for not many pennies and then having to go home and do it all over again. As many of us know it is not unusual for practitioners to work a 10hr shift, then go home and deal with family responsibilities, e.g, cooking the tea, helping children with homework and doing the washing, etc.
When people in childcare hear the word Ofsted this can bring on instant stress and it is important to help employees prevent this from happening. People will often react to an Ofsted inspection a week after the event once they have digested all the information and reflected on the experience.
Did you know that a little stress can be good for people? It can help them become motivated and achieve their targets. However, too much stress can cause health issues which will start to interfere with work and home life. People react to stress in different ways. Therefore, it is important that managers can identify the sources of stress and to help find the means to minimising these.
How to recognise stress;
If people go through too much change in such a short time span, this can cause stress. Many people are unable to cope with change and this often triggers stress.
The warning signs of stress vary from person to person they can include;
- Changes in emotional life or behaviours
- The increase in tension
- Small annoyances seeming unbearable
- Lose appetite or always eating
- Not wanting to go into work
- Sometimes shutting themselves away from others
To help those employees who are suffering from stress managers should give praise, encouragement and reassurance that they are doing a great job. Managers need to work in close collaboration with people who are showing signs of stress and help minimise the causes. Employees should make a list of the causes of stress in the workplace and share this with the manager; this will allow the managers to identify the causes and put strategies in place to minimise these.
Team building activities after work are an excellent way to get everyone together; some people may prefer exercise classes or relaxation activities. The purpose of these team building activities is to help practitioners relax and unwind and concentrate on something else for a short period.
If you notice someone suffering from stress, talk to them and offer your support.