Saturday, August 5, 2017

Child Care Checklist

 Child Care Checklist
5 page Google Doc, may need to open your Google account to print
 This checklist:

1. Gives parents a chance to determine what THEIR desires, expectations and absolute must-haves are for the child care position for which they are interviewing providers

2. Gives a good checklist for comparing providers they interview, rather than relying on memory or in-complete notes

3. Gives parents a more thorough checklist of interview topics than they probably would have come up with on their own, especially first time parents.

4. Provides providers and centers a checklist to see where their strengths lie, and where they could possibly improve their program to be more competitive, or to be more clear in presenting their program to potential clients

5. Provides a comparison tool for checking out your competition and rating it against your program.

This was a quick put-together, so feel free to comment with additions, deletions, questions, suggestions.

Parents are always asking me what makes a great child care situation. I can't answer that, because every family, every care giver, every family situation and every child is very different. I do believe that the best situation will be a marriage of beliefs and philosophies on child rearing between a child care provider and the parents/guardians of the child. 

I think that personality matches are also important, that all parties feel open to be themselves and express their opinions and concerns freely.

Beyond that, there are some key elements that most parents would like to see in their child care situation. 

At this time, it should be standard that home providers get at minimum:
  • 10 paid vacation days
  • 5 paid time off [PTO] days for sickness or appointments
  • Paid major holidays 
Child care, especially home care, is a long, stressful day. Most providers are open a minimum of 50 hours a week and put in 10-20 hours a week in addition to that on cleaning, maintenance, shopping, curriculum, etc. It is VITAL that they have time off to re-charge and get away. 

Without it being paid, many providers will not take time off, and it is to their AND YOUR CHILD's detriment if they do not get some down time. I TRY to submit my time off a minimum of 3 months out so that my clients can make other arrangements. 

I personally don't take MLK or President's day, but other providers take their birthday, their child's birthday, Good Friday, etc. Our business, we can do that! When my brother was doing care, his contract had that he got off on Halloween every year, his favorite holiday.

Here in Kansas, regulations have become so restrictive that it is nearly impossible to get back-up providers who can come in while we go to doctor or dentist appointments. PTO days are becoming a necessity. 

My contract basically states that the clients have read and agree to my Policies & Procedures.

I belong to a child care marketing group. I don't need to market mine, I'm full for 3 years with a wait list at this point and have clients trying to plan pregnancies around my future openings. But I love to mentor others, and I do have some corporate marketing experience, and friends and clients with marketing backgrounds. One of the key aspects to marketing is knowing your strengths and weaknesses and those of your competition

Hopefully, this checklist will help parents and providers better assess a child care situation.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Drafting Tube Blocks - FREE

I am lucky enough to have a client who is a mechanical engineer and another who does CAD drafting, along with another that has a brother who is an engineer. So, I have a ready supply available of these HEAVY duty cardboard tubes that drafting paper comes on. 

Any architecture or engineering firm will most likely be willing to give you these for FREE, just call and ask.

These come in various lengths and are thick and sturdy, so they can stand up to the very destructive 2 year old boys I currently have with me.

I took the tubes and cut them with a standard saw blade on my chop saw at 1 inch intervals. I think I will color code them by size and mark the inches on each one. I think they will take earth tone natural stains well, to keep with the Reggio philosophy of more natural elements.

I purposefully did 20 units at 1" for numeracy teaching and exploring. 

How many did you get on your arm?

I did 1"-10" for counting and graduating, matching, estimating, unit measuring, and graphing teaching. 

Which one does that match?

I did more 2" and 3" for skip counting, fraction and multiplication teaching.

I cut several at 45 degrees and they really seemed to like those for toppers.

They started to figure out the logic/reasoning and physics pretty quick.

I kept the length at a max of 10 inches. This makes them difficult to use in any "stick" manner like a sword or bat. Not that they can't be used to hit, but it would be awkward and lack force.

A finer saw blade or slower cut would have made them less ragged. I didn't clean up the edges. You could with a wood rasp, but I found that the rough edges helped the pieces to stick together better. It also provided an extra sensory experience and fine motor activity as they picked at the edges.

6 tubes provided enough to fill a laundry basket. I will probably add an extra 2 tubes worth, but want to see how they play with them to determine the sizes we need before I make any more.

And if they get mutilated, well, there are plenty more where these came from, for FREE. Yay!
Tags: blocks, tubes, toddlers, preschool, daycare, child care, gross motor, fine motor, center, kindergarten, homeschool, frugal,