Staff Retention Strategies

Taking care of children is difficult, but it’s a little easier in a positive work environment. A structured onboarding process will set team members up for success. Show them the culture of your program and make the expectations clear from the jump. Employees who are passionate about their work–and feel supported in the workplace–are less likely to experience burnout and leave their jobs. It’s impossible to stay motivated all the time at any job, but there are things programs can do to keep up morale. Consider chipping in for a gift card on birthdays or finding ways to acknowledge work-related contributions and accomplishments. Demonstrating flexibility and understanding when things get difficult also goes a long way. Manage stress as best you can by modeling healthy behaviors (like work-life balance) and validating employees’ experiences. Showing appreciation and sensitivity will make staff members feel valued.

Aside from providing emotional support, programs should encourage staff retention through compensatory supports. These include wages, benefits, paid planning time, paid time off, educational assistance, or performance-based bonuses. Provide the wage or salary scale when hiring, during evaluations, or upon request. Benefits refer to services and goods provided by the employer at no cost or at a subsidized cost for the employee. Some of these benefits include child care, medical and dental insurance, life insurance, and a retirement program. Paid time off is paid time for staff to use for vacation, when sick, or for other personal reasons. A program might offer educational assistance in the form of professional development beyond the required training hours, a stipend or grant to pursue higher education, or a scholarship program. Your Texas Rising Star assessor will evaluate how many compensatory supports your program provides and assign a score accordingly.

Stop and Reflect

What supports does your program provide to its employees in an effort to retain them?

What support do you need from your Texas Rising Star mentor to help you retain reliable staff members?


Texas Rising Star has one measure related to staff retention. Click the links to learn more about these measures. 

    • P-PM-01: Program offers staff formal compensatory supports to encourage staff retention.


Employee Retention Strategies that Work

You’ve hired talented staff—but how can you ensure they stay at your program? This article outlines several strategies to keep staff happy, engaged, and productive.

Age group(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool, School-age
Resource Type: Publication
Human Resources Systems to Recruit and Retain Responsive Staff

This webinar explores how the strengthening of certain Human Resources (HR) practices can directly support a culture of safety for children and families. It examines the issues and costs of staff turnover and offers research-based retention strategies. Explore how cultivating teamwork and autonomy can drive engagement.

Age group(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool, School-age
Resource Type: Webinar

View more resources

Practice and Improve

Teacher Education and Compensation Helps (TEACH) Early Childhood® Texas Scholarship Program

T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood® Texas Scholarship Program is an educational scholarship opportunity for early childhood educators who work in the licensed childcare setting across Texas.  These comprehensive scholarships enable early childhood educators to take coursework leading to credentials and degrees at local community colleges and universities in Texas. 

Age group(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool
Resource Type: Toolkit
Teacher Referral Form

Here is a template of a form current program staff can use to refer prospective employees and receive monetary compensation. Program leaders can implement a similar referral program as a type of compensatory support to encourage staff retention. The document will download automatically.

Age group(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool, School-age
Resource Type: Template

View more resources by clicking the link for each measure in the Define section.