Both staff and parents will know which days are recognized holidays in our program through our staff and parent handbooks. Yet, even on days we are open, we sometimes have very few children. There will probably be quite a few parents who do not work on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, etc. or at least may only have to work half days. Knowing which children will be in care and when will help us to ensure that we have enough staff, but also allow as many staff as possible to have that time off work.
Similarly, we generally have some staff members who want to work every possible hour and some who would prefer to not work. Hopefully, staff members who want time off have already submitted vacation requests well in advance, so we can approve or turn down their requests in plenty of time for them to plan accordingly. While we will send staff home as numbers start to dwindle, having a plan in advance will also allow our staff to better plan their holidays.
The simplest way we have found to figure out which parents will actually want/need to use our services during the holidays is to ask them directly. We provide each parent with a survey that indicates which of their children will be in care on which days and at what times. We then know how many employees we will need to have on-site during those times. Ideally, we can provide time off for those who want it and work hours for those who need it.
If you don’t already have a Holiday Attendance Survey, you can find ours here.