How to Handle a Crisis at a Child Care Center


As a child care center owner or director, you never know when something could go wrong at your child care center and turn into a PR nightmare. The most important thing for your staff is learning how to handle mistakes or problems professionally and with the right attitude. Kris Murray shares an example of this discussing Southwest Airlines here.

Another great example of this can be learned from a child care center that was a part of our beta testing process. The child care center had a parent come to pick up her child and his friend from the center after school one day. She took the children home for dinner and thought nothing of the situation. This was, until the mother of her son’s friend came to pick her child up from daycare. She was frightened and upset when she learned that another parent had taken her child home from child care without informing her.

At the end of the day, all of the children were safe and it was a prime example of miscommunication. The child care center knew that this had potential to be a PR disaster in the community and got out in front of the situation before it got out of hand. Each teacher and staff member had to know what to say to parents to ensure that they all felt their children were still in safe hands and this one-time event would never happen again.

Hiring staff members that can handle high-stress situations and approach them with a good attitude are hard to find. Murray recommends, “Let your people know how to handle tricky situations, tell them your expectations up front and set and follow policies so everyone gets the same information. Period. If you’re constantly making exceptions to the rules or your processes, your people won’t know how to respond.”