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    Early Childhood Education

    Solving last-minute and long-term substitute teacher needs.


    Big help for little kids. Going above and beyond compliance.

    Child Garden Montessori is a private school for children from the ages of six weeks through six years, located near central Minneapolis.

    Facing higher turnover and a rise in last-minute absences, the center didn’t have a consistent or reliable source for its short- or long-term substitute teachers and classroom aides. Then it found a proven partner in Teachers On Call—a Kelly Education company.

    The challenge.

    Child Garden has a capacity of 246 students, and a staff of 55 full- and part-time employees. The center was seeing an increase in staff turnover while local demand was growing for qualified, caring early childhood educators. The center’s usual methods for finding substitute teachers were simply no longer keeping up.

    It soon became difficult to find full-time people, much less a pool of substitute teachers and classroom aides who were ready to fill last- minute absences. The school offers an all-day program for working parents, who are extra-sensitive to any risk of disruption. To operate at full capacity and maintain its state-mandated teacher:student ratios, directors at Child Garden realized they needed expert help.

    “Kelly Education via Teachers On Call has done a wonderful job of providing consistently clear and open communication, and their substitutes have gone above and beyond in fulfilling the needs of Child Garden Montessori. When I call with any questions or concerns, I feel I have their full attention and support. Their service is professional, and their online management website is very user-friendly.”

    - Patrick Lenihan, operations manager at Child Garden Montessori

    The solution.

    Child Garden had long been contacting Kelly Education through our subsidiary, Teachers On Call, but mostly in the event of emergency. Then center directors began to work with the team on a more robust talent strategy for short- and long-term substitute talent.

    Kelly Education quickly built a sequestered pool of specialized talent, who met state licensing requirements and were prepared to work on short notice. The pool was screened to ensure caring, compassionate people who were all committed to excellent child care and education. Kelly Education brought deep expertise, while recruiting year-round. The team refined its process to manage last-minute absences, and to provide consistent service as an extension of the center’s HR staff. They set up an online absence management tool for more seamless, efficient delivery of qualified talent.

    The result. 

    In the first year of implementing the new talent strategy, we filled 1,100+ positions at the center. The next year, activity jumped to 2,900+ fills, as the center was enabled to operate at its full capacity. Online scheduling streamlined multiple requests—some days, for as many as 20 substitute teachers.

    Meanwhile, parents were less exposed to turnover, long- term positions were now filled with reliable, caring substitutes until a full-time hire was made. In fact, the client was so satisfied with some substitutes, they hired them to fill those same full-time roles.

    Article commissioned by Kelly Education and written by District Administration.

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