Nurturing Staff Wellness
The 2.2 million people that work in child care and education settings across the U.S. shape the lives of our children and future generations. Yet, the health, mental health, and wellness of these employees is often overlooked.
Supporting our early childhood workforce while they shape the lives of our children is critical. Healthy teachers embody the healthy behaviors that we want to pass along to our childern. NHSA has developed a staff wellness toolkit filled with resources and information to help Head Start programs and other organizations build effective wellness programs to support the child care employees in their community.
Staff wellness programs reduce rates of employee absenteeism, lower health care costs, and worker's compensation claims, and increase productivity and employee morale. Everyone will find different pieces of this toolkit useful. Feel free to focus on the elements that meet your program's needs.
The Quality Improvement Cycle
Improvement cannot come without proper measurement and evaluation of a program. The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle will help you identify a problem, plan an intervention to address the problem, measure and study your success, and improve your program based on these results.
If you have successfully identified a problem statement to address with your staff wellness program and are ready to jump in, use this PDSA worksheet to guide your efforts.
If you ever get stuck, use this sample PDSA worksheet to help you understand the process and push forward to success.
Each part of the toolkit can be used as a standalone reference point for developing and implementing a unique intervention.
- Step 1: Seek Support from Program Leaders and the Community
- Step 2: Assign a Wellness Leader and Establish a Wellness Committee
- Step 3: Collect Data to Guide Efforts
- Step 4: Develop a Plan
- Step 5: Implement the Plan
- Step 6: Create a Supportive Environment
- Step 7: Evaluate Your Program
In addition to the step-by-step guide, check out these tools and templates as well:
- Essential Components Checklist (and sample)
- Community Resources Checklist
- Sample Health Assessment
- Sample Interest Survey
If you're interested in a program that has already implemented a staff wellness program, download a case study from the Neighborhood House Association and LiveWell San Diego's initiative.