How to Throw a Valentine Party for Very Young Kids

Throwing parties for kids should be as simple as possible. A valentine party is no exception. The easier you make it on yourself, the more fun you can have. We do very simple little parties at Little Sprouts because it makes it so much more fun!

I go easy on the decorations and focus on what we are going to do. I ask each family to bring a treat to share. That takes care of the snacks and I don’t have to cook for days. Another reason to let kids bring the treats is because this is another great way to get parents involved in the daycare. Parent involvement is a big key to a successful childcare business. Click here to see more ways to get parents involved.

I like to have the party in the morning so people aren’t trying to pick up while our festivities are going on. You can do whatever works best for you. I usually do one craft (usually a gift for parents), one game, and the snacks at each of our parties. I like to play music to get us all in the mood for fun.

valentine party for kids

Valentine Crafts:

Valentine Hugs

One craft I love to make is a hug. I trace the kid’s hands and cut them out. You can let them cut them if they are older and can handle the scissors or you could simplify the craft by giving them pre-cut hearts. Then I give them a long strip of paper and show them how to accordion fold it. Fold it over, up and then down until you have a long strip of accordion paper. Then attach the hands or hearts to each end. It’s a big hug for mom and dad. Kids can adorn this any way you’d like them to. You can give them stickers, crayons, markers, paint, or whatever you’d like to decorate the hands or the arms or both and let them have at it in their own creative way.

Valentine Cards

Any valentine is made wonderful by making cards for mom and dad. I like to have small doilies, cut out paper hearts, stickers, crayons or markers or both and whatever else I have handy in valentine colors for kids to glue onto the cards. I usually write what they ask me to on the card and then let them have creative control of the process.

Valentine Collage

Valentine collages are another great process art project kids can do with the same supplies as above for the cards. You can just give them a piece of construction paper and let them create a piece of art work they will enjoy sharing.

I love process art. I think letting kids design their own things builds their confidence and lets them enjoy learning to be creative with the art supplies. Different mediums to explore is a great way to teach your budding artists how to manipulate supplies to make things they love and believe in their abilities.

Valentine Mosaic

Cut out a big paper heart and let kids do collage art on it. You can also give them cut pieces of colored tissue paper or construction paper in valentine colors and let them cover the heart with those. This is another great fine motor skill building idea.

Valentine Playdough

Clay or playdough art is super fun in valentine colors. You can help them make hearts and let them air dry or dry them in the oven. You can poke a hole in the top of the heart with a pencil so they can hang them up at home. Tie a cute piece of yarn or ribbon to make a hanger.

Valentine Heart People

Heart people are another fun idea. Show the kids how to make accordion strips they can use for arms and legs. Give them a cut-out heart and let them make a face on it. I love wiggly eyes for this. They’re so cute! Help them glue the arms and legs onto the heart to make it into a heart person. Mom and dad will love receiving this.

Valentine Painting

You can have the kids paint in valentine colors all over a big sheet of paper and then cut hearts out of the pages when they dry. They look so sweet with all the fun patterns. This is a great one for finger painting. Finger painting also gives the kids more sensory experiences as well.

Valentine Games:

Ball Games

I love to set up the bowling game in the hallway (since it’s like a bowling lane) or get out the ball toss game for the valentine party. Kids love trying to win games with their friends.

Ring Toss

I have a couple of ring toss games that are a big hit for the kid’s parties. You can also make some with soda bottles and paper plates, just cut out the middle. If you made the games, you could make them in holiday colors for an extra fun twist.

Twister

Playing twister with toddlers and preschoolers can be a real hoot. They love to try to do the steps. It’s also a great lesson to teach them colors (and don’t forget to talk about circles). This is a wonderful gross motor skill builder.

Pin the Lips on Mrs. Valentine

I like to make a pin the tail on the donkey type game. I cut out a huge heart and draw on eyes and a nose. I like to make long eyelashes and such. Then I cut out several sets of lips from construction paper and put tape on the back or glue dots so kids can play the game. So funny and fun.

Catch My Heart, Valentine

All you need for this one is two red, pink or purple, or whatever color you have, bean bags. If you don’t have some you can put beans or rice in a sock and tie it. Two teams of two can play at once. They line up and throw the bean bag. If their partner catches it, they take a step back and throw again until one team gets “out”

Active Valentine Games

You can do a contest with two jump ropes and see who can jump the longest. Two hula hoops for whoever can hula the longest would be fun too. Whatever you have that kids can compete against each other is lots of fun!

There are so many things you can do that don’t cost any or much money. I love having a simple party. The kids love it just as much as they do some outlandish bash that costs you a ton of dough to put on. The important part of celebrating anything is being together and making memories.

We decorate paper lunch sacks and I write the kid’s names on them if they don’t know how. You could use shoe boxes or whatever you have on hand. Then I text a list of the kid’s names to parents and ask them to bring valentines for their friends. This is a super fun thing we all remember from our childhood and I still love thinking about it today. I have a rule, if you bring one for one person, you have to bring one for everyone. The same goes for birthday parties or whatever around here. It’s all of us or none of us.

The kids have a ball sharing their valentines and putting them in everyone’s “boxes”. It’s one of the highlights of our party day. Everyone loves sharing love with their friends. Valentine’s day is a great time to build relationships, bond with friends, and talk about the importance of friendships. Click here to see more ways to celebrate friendships.

After we do our activities, I divide up the snacks the parents send and let the kids have a little of each one. Anything leftover that is wrapped can go home in their valentine bags. Anything that isn’t wrapped can be saved for snack over the next few days. It makes the special moments last a little longer.

 


I love making a simple plan so the party day is fun instead of overwhelming and chaotic. I encourage you to focus on relationships rather than complicating things by having to have a lot of fancy decorations and perfection. Just relax and let it be a fun time for all.

Check out some other great posts about Valentine’s! Click on the links to go straight to them.

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How to Throw a Valentine Party for Very Young Kids

Throwing parties for kids should be as simple as possible. A valentine party is no exception. The easier you make ...
Read More

Mom, You Rock! 11 Ways to Stay Awesome!

This isn’t what I signed up for. Motherhood is not what I expected. Being a mom is much harder than ...
Read More
Payment policies for childcare, family chilcare, home daycare

How to Make Payment Policies for Childcare

Payment policies are super important. It’s even more important to set your payment policies BEFORE you need them. You and ...
Read More
How long will seeds last in storage? Where and how can seeds be stored?

How Long Will Seeds Last in Storage?

I don’t know how many times someone has asked me how long will seeds last in storage. It’s a good ...
Read More

Mom, You Rock! 11 Ways to Stay Awesome!

This isn’t what I signed up for. Motherhood is not what I expected. Being a mom is much harder than I ever dreamed. Are those thoughts that have run through your mind? I think all parents have thought about this a time or two in their life. It seems like we know everything about parenting until…we try to do it.

Being a mom is hard

Motherhood is not pretty. It’s not for the weak. It’s not for the faint of heart. Motherhood is the toughest job you’ll ever love. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Phases pass, but each one brings a new set of challenges you never thought possible.

Motherhood is also the greatest blessing, the most indescribable thing. You can’t understand until you’re a mom, but it’s like the Grinch, your heart grows sizes. It does, I swear. There is no way to fathom how much you can love until you hold your child.

You get plenty of advice. Everyone who has never tried to parent your child knows exactly how to do it and everything you are doing wrong. Your husband’s grandma thinks the way you hold the baby will make her bow legged and learning impaired. Your mother in law thinks you should let your baby suck Dr. Pepper from a straw at 4 months when the Dr. said no soft drinks before one. Everyone has plenty of advice on what they think you should be doing.

Have you ever heard any of these? If she doesn’t crawl before she walks, she’ll never learn to read. (Really, she never crawled and taught herself to read at age 4) You should put cereal in her formula to keep her full. (Did the Dr. not get a degree to learn how to teach parents to take care of a baby? I’m pretty sure he did!) You need to this, you need to that, it never ends.

mom, you rock

Follow your own instincts, mom

Guess what? You don’t need to listen to any of it. When you are a young, insecure mom who is not sure if she’s doing anything at all right, all of this advice can be overwhelming.

Mom, you rock! You are doing a great job. When they plopped my freshly born baby on me at age 21, I was absolutely sure I would never be able to keep her alive for a week, much less a whole entire childhood. To say I was overwhelmed is the understatement of a life time. I had NO idea what I was doing. It wasn’t for lack of love, I really wanted to do a good job. I cried myself to sleep more nights than I can count over thinking I was not doing anything right.

Someone told me she wasn’t sure I could take care of my baby. For some reason, this woman never liked me. I really don’t know why. I tried so hard to be good to her and her family. Her words cut me like a knife. I am painfully shy, I have severe social anxiety. I guess for some people that’s a sign of weakness or something. I’m not sure, but I do know that I let every haunting word she ever said to me devastate me beyond repair.

When someone attacks your mothering, mom, let that go in one ear and out the other. Don’t you DARE listen to that negative talk. Guess what? Whether your child is biological or adopted, God made YOU and only YOU to be your baby’s mom. It’s your job to do your best. It’s your job to follow the instincts He gave you to care for your child. 

You know in your heart what is right for your child. That Spidey sense you feel about that person you are raising, mom, that is your maternal instinct. Believe it, follow it, and listen to it. No one else has it but you.

You are unique and special and the best mom your child has. Remember what a blessing you are to them. Even now at 45 years old, when I get sick, guess who I want? My mommy! Was my mom perfect? No. Was yours? No. Will you ever be perfect? No. Just be you, and give it your best shot. You are doing great!

Give moms your loving support

Friends, when you are dealing with a mother’s heart, please try to remember it’s a very fragile thing. Moms need to be encouraged. They need to be built up and given confidence in what they are doing. Obviously, all parents and people need this, but moms carry a lot of the pressure in the family and my heart is tender toward them because I am one. If you have advice to offer a mom, PLEASE give in kindly.

When you see kids acting up at the store, how about helping mom get her groceries on the belt instead of judging her and giving her cold stares. She is just as overwhelmed as her screaming toddler. I promise she is.

Mom, please remember that no one else knows what it’s like to raise your child. If people give you stares or say things about your parenting skills or your child’s behavior, shrug it off. They aren’t qualified to judge you. Even if they are a parent, they have not tried to parent your child.

Yes, you are going to make some mistakes. Yes, you are going to be a total rock star at some things. Yes, you are going to be medium at some too. You just do you the best way you know how. All your child needs is your love and acceptance.

No moms are perfect

After 24 years of worrying sick about how much I was screwing up or sucking at motherhood, my daughter stands in front of me and I am in total shock and awe of what an extraordinary human she is. Your child will survive teenagerhood. You will most likely not stroke out before the terrible twos are over. It’s all going to be okay. Doing the best you can figure out how to do is all you can do.

I have a few suggestions to help you along the way:

 

  1. Pray, A LOT. God is always there to help you. He will never let you down. Let Him know what you need.
  2. Read your Bible. It’s full of great advice for all of life. Parenting can be improved by spending time in the Word.
  3. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST!!!!!!!!! I cannot stress this enough. You cannot take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself first. You need to be the best you can be to be there for everyone you are caring for in your life. Take breaks when you need them.
  4. Learn to say no. If your plate is full and you are overwhelmed, trim back some of your responsibilities so it’s more manageable.
  5. Ask for help. Dad can help. Grandparents can help. Your childcare provider is a great place to ask for advice. Those ladies have seen a lot of personalities and dealt with a lot of behaviors. They are trained, use that knowledge. In life, no one can make it totally alone. Everyone needs help sometimes.
  6. Ask your doctor. They do know stuff too.
  7. Trust your instincts. You were born to know what to do. It may not always be your first thought our come easy, but it’s there.
  8. Remember to have fun! You have a lot of responsibilities, but don’t fall into the trap of letting everyone else be fun guy and you be grouchy mom. Let loose and get in on the fun too!
  9. Plan ahead. A lot of the overwhelming parts of motherhood can be tamed by laying out clothes the night before, planning menus for the week and things like that. You can get ahead of the game and feel less like you’re drowning. Click here to see how to organized your way to a better day. 
  10. Don’t compare yourself to other moms. You are unique and you aren’t meant to do things the way they do.
  11. Don’t forget to leave lots of time for snuggles and cuddles. They are the best! Leave the electronics alone for a while each evening and connect everyone face to face.

Don’t forget mom, you are the only you there is and you are awesome! Keep up the good work.

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mom, you are awesome

How to Make Payment Policies for Childcare

Payment policies for childcare, family chilcare, home daycare

Payment policies are super important. It’s even more important to set your payment policies BEFORE you need them. You and everyone you are serving in your business needs to have a good idea of what to expect from the business relationship. You as the provider are in charge of this business and you are the one who can make it a success or a failure.

The number one thing I see providers doing is not running their childcare like a business. Providers, in their nature are lovers and givers. They are big-hearted people who want to help people. If you give people discounts because you feel sorry for them and then you can’t pay your bills, who are you helping? That’s not good for that family because you as a stressed-out provider who can’t pay her bills, are not going to be giving your best in care for their children. Payment policies will help with this tremendously.

daycare-policies-for-payment

Guess what else? You WILL end up resenting them. You’ll see them with a new tattoo or on Facebook at the zoo or a concert and you’ll be saying, I can’t afford a concert because I didn’t get my full pay from them and then just look at them living it up! Stick to your payment policies.

Another thing I have found after 21 years of providing care. If you give people a break, they will expect more and more breaks until they because a source of stress for you. It’s your business, treat it like a professional business.

What kind of payment policies should you have?

No pay, no stay. If you have a family that constantly doesn’t want to give up your paychecks, you may ask them how they would like working at a job where they had to chase their boss around and beg for money. I bet they wouldn’t keep working for that person. Will you? Parents can forget and asking for a check occasionally is understandable. People are busy and can get distracted. If you care for someone’s children 40-50 hours a week, they SHOULD make you and your paychecks a priority!

I have seen so much burnout because of this problem. Don’t let it be a problem. It’s up to you to make sure you get paid. If you have trouble asking for your money because it’s embarrassing, send parents a text. Another idea is to make a payment board and put everyone’s name on it and mark it off when they pay. People are more likely to pay when they don’t want to be the one who didn’t.

Tom Copeland says to say; “I need a check from you” so you don’t have to say give me my money. Maybe there is wording you can use to make it easier for you. Your pay should not be negotiable to parents. They either pay, or they don’t have childcare.

payment-policies-for-childcare

Get paid in advance.

Parents should pay for care before it is given. For example, you can have all of your parents pay on Friday for the following week. When I arrange payments, I allow each family to choose their paydays for me. The key is, they HAVE to stick to it. If you say every other Friday, then it’s every other Friday so I can budget my money to pay my bills.

Many providers don’t like parents paying at different times and they have everyone pay on a set day, such as Monday. If you want to set one day that everyone has to pay, it’s your business, do it. You are in charge of your business. Run it like one and you will be happier day to day.

What about time off?

You should never allow parents to not pay when their children are absent. I have seen providers give a free week every year. I have also seen them scrape to pay their bills that week. If kids are sick or families go on vacation, it’s not up to you to fund that. They pay for the spot and there shouldn’t be any surprises.

What about paid holidays?

Do your parents get them at their jobs? I’m willing to bet most of them do. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be paid for your holidays. New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and even the day after, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are all days you should not have to take unpaid. You can have it in your contract and your parents will know ahead of time. Take that time for you and enjoy it.

What about your time off?

This one is negotiable. I take a lot of time off because I’m old and I need it. I found out years ago that I am able to be an awesome provider if I give myself breaks. When I take no time off, that’s great for the parents, but not as great for the kids. I am grouchy, tired and stressed out when I don’t rest. I take at least 15 days per year off, usually more. I have in my contract 15 days is the least.

Many providers get paid for their vacations and I think that’s great. It’s a good idea. I want to treat people how I would want to be treated so I just don’t. They may have to pay another provider during my absence or any number of things. I plan my vacation days for the year in January and my parents know all year when I will be closed. If they don’t have back up they need to use a center for care. I am just one person and I need days off.

I know at the beginning of the year that I won’t be paid those days so I can budget ahead of time. It works for me. I put money back each week so I will have money for when I’m off. You need to do what works for you. I have seen many providers say they charge more per day to cover their days off so they can put money back. Not everybody is a saver, so if that won’t work for you, then charger for your days off. You need to do what you need to do.

Follow the rules.

Obviously if you keep DHS subsidy kids, you can’t charge them for any of your days off. If they are on a weekly rate, you may get paid if they don’t miss too much, but other than that, you are at the mercy of DHS. Please don’t charge them. It’s illegal and I don’t want you to get in trouble.

I know it seems harsh to talk turkey about money, but being stressed out about money is the number cause for burnout in childcare and in life. Make your money work and you will make your business work. Most caregivers are not made for the business side. They are nurturers. You have to be both in this business or you won’t last.

Taking care of your interests is the best way to have a long successful career. Be the best you you can be by taking care of these problems before they arise. You need to have a signed contract that lays these guidelines out for your families or you will always be chasing your tail. Run your business with your head and you will have plenty of energy to give your heart to the kids.

Click here for more information about writing contracts and policies.
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How Long Will Seeds Last in Storage?

How long will seeds last in storage? Where and how can seeds be stored?

I don’t know how many times someone has asked me how long will seeds last in storage. It’s a good question. I know seeds of grain have been discovered in ancient tombs and they actually germinated when planted. Isn’t that amazing? Thousand-year-old seeds are still alive?

There are many ways to store seeds, and some are better than others. If you want your seeds to last in storage the longest time possible, you definitely have to go to some effort to keep them dry. Keeping them out of the light is a good idea as well. Let’s start with how seeds work.

Anatomy of a seed

Nerd ALERT! Each seed has life inside of it. There is an embryo that is alive, an outer part and the covering or seed coat. If a seed becomes over heated, the embryo inside it dies and that causes failure to germinate. The embryo must be protected.

When a seed is moistened, the seed coat cracks or dissolves and the moisture goes inside of the seed. The outer part surrounding the embryo feeds the embryo. When moisture gets inside the seed, the embryo begins germination. After it sprouts a tiny hair like tail, it begins to absorb or “eat” the outer part. We’ll call it the embryo’s lunch box. Each seed is perfectly designed by God to have everything it needs to begin life.

Now as the sprout grows, this tiny hair like root begins to grow and anchor the plant. As it continues to grow it begins to form it’s first two leaves. Next it forms more leaves that are called true leaves and more roots. Once it gets to this point, it requires nutrients from an outside source. If moisture gets in your bag of seeds, it can make the germination process begin before you want it to or know it is. That is another way to cause seed failure. You may not even know your seeds had already germinated and died in their container.

germinating seeds in the window

Where is the best place to store seeds?

There are many good places to store seeds. Keep in mind that seeds freeze in nature and freezing does not harm them. If it did, there would be not vegetation on earth after winter. We know in spring, seeds come to life from all over and everywhere. God makes cool stuff and He knows how to make it all work. I’m always in awe of Him.

Seeds can be stored in the freezer and will last really well if they are. If you store them in the freezer you have to be super careful to make sure no moisture gets inside of them. I suggest putting them in glass jars to freeze. That is the most airtight container I can think of. The best tip for freezer storage is when you take them out to look at them, plant them, or check your supplies, leave them in the CLOSED jar until the whole thing comes to room temperature and is dry on the outside. If you open the lid during the process, moisture can get in.

Another good place to stores seeds is the refrigerator. I recommend again, using glass jars for the same reason. Also, remember that some produce such as apples puts off enzymes that can harm certain seeds and keep them from growing. I know apples prevent bulbs from sprouting for sure. So, make sure to keep them in separate areas of the refrigerator.

Seeds need to be kept cool and dry, so if you aren’t going to store them in the fridge or freezer, another good place is under the bed, on the floor of a closet, or other places low to the ground inside the house. Heat rises, so the floor is always cooler than any other place in your room. Low spaces at room temperature are perfectly fine places to store your seeds. I store mine under the bed in a flat tote inside of zip lock bags. I have had great luck with this method.

Keeping them out of the light is a good idea as well so if you’re not going to store them under the bed or in a closet, I would suggest a container that is not clear. Another great tip is to use those silica packs that come in new shoes, purses and other products in your seed storage area. They absorb moisture, so instead of throwing them away, drop one into your seed storage container.

storing seeds

How long do seeds last in storage

Each seed type has a different expected viability timeline. Some seeds such as onions last only a very short time. Other seeds such as greens can last many years. One time my neighbor found some zinnia seeds in an old shed that he put in there 15 years before. They were in the heat in regular paper seed packets. He planted them and quite a few of them actually germinated. If you are in doubt, just plant them, what’s the harm?

If you are really concerned about viability, you can check germination rates before you plant. Moisten a paper towel and wring it out until it’s just damp. Place a few seeds on the towel and set it inside a plastic bag or container so it won’t dry out, check it once every 24 hours, making sure it’s still moist, and see if any of the seeds sprout. Then you will know if they are good or not.

When I have seeds that I don’t need and weren’t able to give away, or seeds that I don’t know how old they are, I like to just plant them. We have a field next door to our garden, what’s the harm if tomatoes or broccoli grows wild over there? It gives something great for pollinators and animals to use and they look pretty. Much better than that old 8 food Johnson grass. Herbs and wildflower seeds are especially great for this. We put our old spent flower seed heads over there as well.

kids planting seeds

Seeds of the month club is an awesome way to get seeds throughout the year for a super good price. You get 8 packets the first month and 4 every month after for as long as you have your membership. My kids and I LOVE getting our seeds every month!

seeds of the month

Here’s a chart of expected times that seeds last in storage. Of course, there are many variables that could make a difference, but these are the average.

Beans                                    3 years

Squash                                  4 years

(Winter, summer, pumpkins, etc.)

Tomatoes                              4 years

Corn                                     2 years

Onion family                         1 year

Greens and Lettuces             4-5 years

Melons and Cucumbers         4-5 years

Cole Crops                            3-4 years

(Broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, etc.)

Peas                                     3 years

Okra                                     2 years

Click here to view a chart for seed storage times. 

I would recommend buying good quality seeds at a reputable place. Super cheap seeds from the dollar store many times are already dead when you get them. Even if they are 3 for a dollar, save your money and get yourself some good seeds!

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Starting Over

Sometimes we need to start over, sometimes we want to, sometimes it's out of our control but growth is good!

Starting over sucks. BUT, new beginnings can be a time of fresh rejuvenation and sweet sweet renewal. There is always a silver lining in every situation even when it doesn’t feel like it. Did you lose your job? Did your blow your diet? Did your marriage or relationship fall apart? Did you face a health crisis? All of those things can seem like life threatening things, but guess what? They aren’t.

There are so many times in life when it feels like we can’t go on with the changes we face. It’s okay to stare down the dark hallway of despair and be afraid. What we can’t do is stay there. You can’t let your situation keep you stuck forever. What can you do to pick yourself up and try again? Isn’t it too hard?

You are the most valuable asset in your life.

Remember that YOU are the most valuable asset you have. Do you feel worthless because someone said you are or because you lost a job or made a mistake? Do you feel like no one will ever love you? I have felt that way many times, but that is a LIE! You can be your worst enemy or your best asset. If you make a mistake at work, guess what? Everyone does. There are plenty of skills and talents you have to offer. I don’t know you but I KNOW that God didn’t make a mistake when He made you. He has a plan and a purpose for your life. If someone told you that you’re nothing without them, guess what? They are a big fat liar and you don’t need friends like them. You are NOT unlovable. God loves you. He made you and He delights in you.

New beginnings in life.

Not ever situation is as bad as it looks.

Think about the presidency. We have a new president-elect. He may not be the nicest person or the best choice for our country, but we can look at the good in him and be excited that we are starting over. He knows how to handle money. He cares about America and wants it to be great. He is going to do the job for free and save us a few bucks. Do I think there is a crap ton wrong with him? Heck yes!

When I found out he was elected, I was devastated. Crushed really. I don’t like a whole big lot of what he stands for and I’m scared about the future and what will happen. I also didn’t think we had better choices. But guess what? The president is not all powerful, the congress, supreme court, and states have power too. He doesn’t get to tell us how to treat people. We can still show respect and kindness. There are many good things we could find in our scary situation.

I think it’s a call to action for us to make sure we spread love and joy in this country. We need to start doing it double time now!

Look at the good in your situation.

Your life changes can be like this. There may be a crap ton that is bad about them, but there are also good sides to every situation. About 15 years ago, my husband got fired from his job. He makes the majority of the income for our family. I make nearly nothing. We were in a real pickle. We had a house payment, car payment, and tons of other payments along with utilities, food and supplies to pay for. Guess what else? We survived.

When it first happened, I thought I was going to die. I was so afraid. But God reminded me that He will never leave me. Guess what? Through a series of events, he got a job doing what he’d ALWAYS wanted to do. He hated what he did at that job. Even though he’d been there 10 years and got fired on his birthday, it was still a relief to get the heck out of there. He is a good man and just went to work to take care of his family. He never complained.

Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly

Starting over is hard.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Starting over is HARD, I know it is. But it’s good to clean out your heart and mind sometimes and make a fresh new beginning.

Over 20 years ago, my family moved to the town we live in. We had grown up on the other side of the state. It was comfortable and familiar. We moved here so my husband could do an internship to finish college. Our theme for the first year was, “nothing good ever happens in this town”. We said it all the time. We hated it here. It was painful. But it wasn’t long before we found things and people we loved. I can’t imagine moving away from here, I love my city, my state and my country. A new beginning was necessary for us to build our life here.

When someone dies or leaves, when someone doesn’t want to by my friend anymore, when I lose something I love or care about or when I have to take another path, it hurts. It hurts in a way it feels like it will never stop. It takes time to process this. Give yourself a break if you have trouble focusing or doing everything right for a while. Love yourself anyway.

Love yourself.

Forgiving ourselves for our mistakes is often the very hardest part of making it through a change. But forgiveness of ourselves or others is paramount for living the best life we were meant to live. God doesn’t want you to live a life of anger, bitterness or fear. He wants you to thrive. He wants you to depend on him 100%. He wants you to love Him. He wants to give you good things.

God has a plan for you. It’s for something good. He doesn’t give crappy gifts. He doesn’t make crappy people. If you are down on yourself or something about you, you are dissing what He made and He doesn’t like it. Get after living a life of love. Love for yourself. If you are facing a situation where you have to start over, look that sucker in the eye and do it. It’s okay to lament for a while. Even feeling sorry for yourself is okay. You just can’t live there forever.

microgreens sprouting

Look at yourself.

If everyone around you is wrong and a big loser, maybe you need to look at yourself and see what you could change. Maybe you’re the one with the problem. Starting over is something everyone has to do. We have to get used to something being different than it was. We have to make a new normal. Let it be one that is better for you. You can live a fuller, happier life if you face the changes and embrace them.

Life is not easy, not one bit. But you can do this. You’ve got everything it takes to thrive. Believe in yourself and you’ll be on the path to a better life in no time. God’s got your back and He won’t ever let you down. He’s a good good God.

Do you want to read some other real cool new beginnings that will encourage you? Click on the links highlighted below. You’ll love them!

starting-over

Contracts and Policies for Childcare

Contracts and policies are so important for your childcare business. If you don’t treat your business like a business, it will not run as well as it should and you will probably end up burning out. If you are having trouble establishing your paperwork for your business, read on and find out how to develop it in a systematic and simple way.

Contracts deal with time and money, policies are rules about other things. Contracts must be signed if you change any part of them, policies can be changed as you wish. The contract is a legal binding document, the policies just help spell out expectations. Tom Copeland has some great advice on writing a contract, click here to check it out.

Let’s start with contracts and handle policies next.

What does your childcare contract need to cover?

Your business rules can be whatever you want them to be with the exception of any type of discrimination. Think about what is most important to you and set your business up with those rules. Click here to see what many seasoned childcare providers think are the most important rules.

Your contract should state your name, the parent’s names and the children’s names childcare is being provided for.

Your contract should state the days and hours you are open and which of those hours care is available for this family. Some providers are open something like 12 hours a day, but only watch each child for a certain number of hours such as 9.

Your contract should state any holidays you will be taking and whether they are paid or not. It should also include vacation days for you and whether those are paid or not. It’s a good idea to get paid for some of your days off if not all of them. Most parents have paid holidays, why shouldn’t you? 

The contract should state what parents owe you. Weekly fees, field trip fees, art fees, transportation fees or whatever fees you are going to charge need to be outlined in the contract. It should also state when they are to pay you. I allow parents to choose their paydays for me but they have to stick to those days. There is no saying, I want to pay once a month and then coming in and saying, I’m going to pay for this week. We have to sign a new contract and AGREE that we are changing payment dates.

Your contract SHOULD state that parents have to pay a week in advance for care. You should stick to this rule, it will save you so much trouble in the future.

Your contract should state what parents are responsible to provide and what you provide. My contract says parents are responsible for diapers, wipes and a change of clothes.

Your contract should introduce your substitute and for what situations that person would be left in charge of the kids. No one should come to pick up and find someone they don’t know watching their children. 

The contract should state how the care provided will end. My contract states that two weeks’ notice is required to terminate it. Parents are responsible for paying for two weeks if they decide not to finish care. My contract also states that the first two weeks are a trial period for parents, provider and child. That way if I decide a family is not a good fit for my business, the contract will end.

Your contract should state that you are a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse and sex trafficking behaviors. This is something that should be handled up front and having it in your contract is a great way to get it out there.

Discrimination-make sure you state you do not discriminate for any reason and make sure you don’t. It’s not okay to choose clients by race, sex, religion, national origin, or disability. This is illegal. My contract states, children will not be discriminated against for any reason.

It’s a good idea to disclose something that may be of concern to parents. My DHS worker suggested I disclose our pets and our religious beliefs. I think this is a very wise idea. We always have cats, so the interview is a good time to talk about that in case someone has a child that is allergic to cats. I have watched children of pagan parents, atheist parents, and agnostic parents. I am a Jesus loving Christian but I disclose that in my contract so no one is taken by surprise. You would be amazed at how well we worked it out. I told them up front we pray, the kids learn about God and Jesus, etc. They were fine with it and dealt with it in their own way at home.

Being open and honest is the best policy in any situation. If your husband is at home 24/7 and helps with the daycare, parents have a right to know that. If he works odd hours and sleeps during the day, they should know that too. If you have grown kids that visit or live in the home, have a friend over to visit, or anything like that, it’s important to disclose it. Anything you think might be of importance to a parent, it’s best to let them know up front.

Signatures should be on the contract, both of the parents if possible and yours.

Please make sure you don’t include rules in your contracts and policies that you are not willing to enforce. What this does is show parents you are not serious about any of your rules. If you’re not willing to make people pay a late fee, take it out of the contract. The things in the contract should be very serious and always enforced.

Keep your contract as short as possible. Parents are much more likely to read a shorter contract and to pay attention and take notice of what is mentioned there. Policies should be as short as you can make them as well.

Contracts and policies have similar purposes, but some differences. The remaining items you want to communicate to parents will be in your policies.

Does your state have any rules about what has to be included in your policy book? In Oklahoma, we do. Click here to see the requirements and a sample of my policy book.

Some of the things childcare policies should include are:

Discipline and guidance procedures.

Procedures for the day. Let parents know anything about how you run the business that would be of importance to them. You can’t expect them to always have their child their by 9 am if you don’t let them know that is your rule.

Your outdoor play policy. I take the kids outside to play, weather permitting, any time it’s between 40 and 90 degrees, that is in my policy book. Also, kids get dirty here. We garden, we play hard, it’s a dirty job to be a kid. So, I let people know that in advance.

Your daily schedule or activities kids will participate in regularly.

Your inclement weather policies. How do you deal with dangerous weather? Do you close on snow days? Parents need to know what to expect.

Your training and education.

Emergency contact numbers.

What are the reasons you would chose to terminate care? Those should be explained in your policies.

Emergency and disaster plans should be in your policies as well. Parents should be informed on what procedures you will take in caring for their child should a disaster or emergency occur. Where might you relocate to? Where will you shelter? What supplies do you have in place for children’s safety?

I have a form at the end of my policies for parents to sign they have read and understand the policies. I feel that covers me from any extra problems later with someone saying, I didn’t know anything about that.

What do you do if someone does not want to follow your contract and policies? This is a big indicator that your business relationship with this person is not going to work out. You need to tell them it’s not a good fit and you cannot provide care for them. If they cannot agree to your rules, they will not respect your business and the way you run it. It will not turn out well, I promise.

Making sure your business is being run like one will help you gain respect and appreciation from your parents. Having contracts and policies in place will show families you are serious and want to give high quality care to their kids. If you act professionally and show your parents respect, they are much more likely to respect you. If you are giving and receiving respect from your parents, you are much less likely to burn out and hate this job. You will enjoy your work and be successful. That’s what I’d really like to see for everyone.

Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll answer them if I can. I’d love to help you make sure your business is all it can be. Let your contract and policies work for your business and you!

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Making Gifts Look Amazing

Inexpensive, adorable gift wrap ideas!

Gifts look so much more special with some personal touches and cute wrapping. I am not the queen of cuteness when it comes to wrapping, but I found some great things to help me win this year.

christmas candy gifts

I love giving!

I LOVE giving. I love to give any time of the year to everyone. Gifts are my favorite part of Christmas. I love to help make people’s lives easier and more blessed through something I could make or buy for them. Christmas is a super fun time of year. I used to stress out about it, but I have learned to let old feelings go and make new traditions. I’ve learned to focus on time spent with loved ones and making memories and not on the hustle and the bustle and the people fighting over sales at the store.

decorative-boxes-for-wrapping-christmas-gifts

Christmas is what you make it.

Christmas just like any other day is what you make it. You can have the feelings you want by just adjusting where your focus is. If the giving stresses you out, cut your list down and simplify. If the cooking stresses you out, order some pizzas the day before and heat them up on Christmas. It’s a time for love and joy not perfection and stress.

pretty-christmas-wrapping

I LOVE rustic wrapping. Brown paper, twine, mason jars, raffia and other things that look like Laura Ingalls would have received her gift in them are really my cup of tea. I love coming up with great vintage looking wrappings for my gifts.

I also love cute shaped boxes. I love giving treats like a cupcake or cookies in a cute container that shares the Christmas spirit. Festive wrappings are the bee’s knees.

homemade gifts

Wrap according to your style.

Oriental Trading has great prices on their tissue paper, wrappings, and ribbons. I love using curly ribbon. It has a hundred uses and one roll will last forever. These rolls they have are 500 feet. It’s good quality ribbon for adorning your holiday packages in a ton of cute ways. Making curly bows, tying up packages, and even making hair bows for little girls are all great ways to utilize this stuff.

Oriental Trading Company offered me some Christmas wrap in exchange for my honest opinion about them on the blog. All opinions on the wrap are completely my own.

oriental-trading-wrap

Tissue paper can make your gifts shine too. I love to get a big multi pack of tissue and use it throughout the year. You can stuff it in your gift bags to make them look more festive. You can fluff it up in a basket to make your basket items at the right height or to keep them in place and add a pop of color. You can wrap an article of clothing in it inside your gift box. It’s super versatile.

Buy wrapping that can be used for many seasons.

I prefer gift wrapping supplies that can be used any season. I love taking a festive black and white polka dot paper and tying it with a big red bow to make it look Christmassy. You can use the same paper and tie it with a white bow for a men’s birthday gift earlier in the year. You can use the polka dot paper to wrap a child’s toy gift and make a bow out of multi colored curly ribbon that a child would love.

gift-wrap-for-many-seasons

Check out Oriental and all of the affordable gift wrapping options they have. There is tons of cute stuff there that can make wrapping your gifts and making them look special so much easier.

My daughter makes bows for packages from wrapping paper or even brown paper sacks. They are so cute, here is one she made for fall gifts. I love it! Click here to check them out.

upcycling gift bows

I love to use peach baskets that I buy my peaches in to make my gifts look old fashioned. They look so adorable all full of love and joy.

packaging laundry gift

Make your Christmas packages look extra special. 

It just takes a few minutes to make a package look extra special. An extra ribbon, some cute containers, or a pretty bow make your gifts look thoughtful and personal. Click here to see some more gift-wrapping ideas.

Any post on this blog may contain affiliate links which pay me a very small commission for items you purchase using the links but costs you nothing extra. I can help defray a small percentage of the cost of producing the blog to share information with you.

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Inexpensive, adorable gift wrap ideas!

 

How Can I Be a GREAT Childcare Provider?

Would you love to know the magic formula for keeping daycare families and having a thriving home daycare or family childcare provider?

What’s the difference between a good provider and a great one? Great childcare is a blessing to families and it’s rare. How can you grow your business and cut down on stress in your life? What are you doing to make sure your business is successful in the future? Would you love to know the magic formula for keeping daycare families and having a thriving home daycare?

providing-great-childcare

Word of mouth is by far the most important part of growing a successful childcare business. What are people saying about the care you provide? Have you gone the extra mile to let parents know you love their kids? Do they know you care about them?

People often times ask me, what is your secret? Why do you never have openings? Why does everyone love you so much? What do you do differently? The honest truth is I don’t know what I do differently, I just know what I do. I use my instincts to be the best provider I can be. I care for my families, not just the kids. To me, the whole family needs me.

I try every day to provide great childcare. Some days I do and some days I suck. That’s no reason to stop trying. Parents need support and advice, older siblings need to know their little brother or sister is safe, and everyone needs to know you have their best interest at heart. 

how-to-provide-great-childcare

I hear providers all the time talking about how the kids aren’t the problem, the parents are. To some extent it’s true, but if you really care about your parents, they won’t be disrespectful to you. Parents know when their kids are getting great childcare and when they are not. You can really help yourself have easier days and help your reputation by being kind to your parents. I promise, it’s good business sense.

Parents are not out to get you; they only want the best for their kids. Be open and let them know that’s what you want too, and they will be on your side. Every day will be easier. Make sure you are up front with them. People can sense when you aren’t being genuine. No one likes being lied to. I have been a parent using childcare before and the most important thing to me was KNOWING my child was safe. My provider made sure I did and I never forgot that. Parents who are nervous or scared aren’t trying to be annoying, they need to be comforted by you as their provider. 

Also, please remember, if someone leaves or doesn’t chose the care you provide, it may just not have been a good fit. Not everyone is meant for everyone else. Different people have different ideas and procedures and that’s good because different families have different needs. All people have good inside but it doesn’t always match someone else’s good.

Here’s another big secret. As hard as I try to provide great childcare, NOT EVERYONE LIKES ME or the care i provide. They just don’t. Everyone won’t be a good fit no matter how hard you try or how much you care. Check out what a group of parents had to say about good childcare and great childcare.

great-childcare

According to parents surveyed a good provider is:

Reliable and on time

Trustworthy and honest

Follows rules

Takes care of kids

Provides food

Provides attention

Meets basic requirements

Has an illness policy

Does what they say they will

Likes children

Knows about child development

Helps kids mature as appropriate

Joyful and happy

Structured and has rules for children and families

Has a clean home

good-providergreat-provider

According to parents surveyed, a great provider:

Above all is honest with parents

Teaches manners and how to handle problems in a positive way

Serves quality meals (not just junk food)

Provides structure

Loves what they do

Knows how important the job is

Keeps kids safe, doesn’t put them in harm’s way

Is interested and committed to the profession

Stays informed on issues and regulations

Is educated

Values parents and children

Is involved with parents and invites parents to be involved in the program

Communicates, gives honest feedback, and empowers parents

Honors parental wishes and respects their decisions

Give opinions and advice when needed

Goes the extra mile

Loves kids like their own

Takes time to send pictures of kids at daycare

Talks to parents about their child’s day

Feels like leaving kids with family or friend

Puts kids before money (meaning, the kid’s needs are more important than the paycheck)

Doesn’t lie to please parents

Is constantly improving and learning

Develops a positive environment

Has a professional handbook

Knows DHS rules well and follows them

Nurtures children emotionally, nutritionally, socially, and academically

Only practices developmentally appropriate practice

Is strict with parents for the good of all children in care

Is an advocate for children both of the parent and the other kids in care

Sets consistent boundaries

Has compassion

Gives time to play

Communicates with parents to empower them

Is warm and welcoming in the mornings

Builds trust

Cares about cleanliness

Treats the job like it’s more than just a paycheck

It’s their calling to provide childcare

Has an even temperament

Is available to parents

One thing I would add that no one mentioned is a great provider can balance the parent’s needs with their own so they can support the whole family, not only the child in care. It takes a village.

chilcare-good-or-great

Deal breakers

Parents polled shared the following bad experiences that were deal breakers for childcare:

Kids weren’t safe

There was no outside play

There was no art

The TV was constantly on or kids watched TV all day

Provider played on phone all day

Environment was unclean

Environment was disorganized

Provider lied or was dishonest

Environment felt institutional

Children seemed unhappy

Parent didn’t think their children would fit in

Teachers seemed unhappy

Children were picked up with dried snot on their face, that no one had cleaned all day

Environment had odor of poopy diapers

Negative feedback was given daily

Provider seemed vague

 

No call, no show

Parents interviewed shared these reasons why they scheduled and interview and either didn’t hold it or chose not to use the provider after they showed up:

No sick policy was in effect, sick kids in one room, well in another

Provider insulting kids during interview

Parent found out personal info that made them uneasy

Outside of home needed general maintenance and upkeep, looked junky

Environment was not clean

Security seemed lacking

Provider seemed superficial or dishonest

 

Ladies (and gentlemen), the most popular complaint I hear and heard from parents is caregivers not being honest. They want to know the truth about how their kid’s day was, they want to know the truth when they ask you questions. If you did something wrong, fess up to it. People respect you so much more when they know you are truthful. You don’t want parents lying to you, so don’t lie to them. Respect goes both ways.

Parents also commented that many people think daycare is bad because some are bad but it’s not true. There are good providers, but it’s not what people focus on. People prefer to see the negative, it’s just human nature.

A provider’s point of view (previous childcare provider):

“The pay versus work doesn’t seem as great as parents think when they are paying it. You begin work before they do and end after they do. Not to mention that many things come out of that pay like food, art supplies, utilities, etc. It really has to be a calling. It has to be more than just a paycheck.”

That my friends, is truth! If you are struggling to fill spots or have a hard time figuring out what parents want, look over these lists occasionally and see if there is something you can change to make your business more successful. If you are going to be a childcare provider, it is the most important job in the world, be a great provider! If you don’t want to be a great provider, do something else. It’s not worth it.

Great providers are a gem, click here to see how to find a hidden jewel in a provider.

If you are worried that your home is not up to par, try going outside for a few minutes in the evening and then stepping in the door and taking a big whiff. If you smell foul odors, your parents do too. If you don’t know if your house looks clean enough, step out on the porch and look around what parents see as they arrive. Is there something you can put fresh paint on or a few nails that need to be hammered in? Is there anything attractive and nice to look at? As you come in the door is there filth and trash all over the greeting area? If you need to be a clutter bug, do it in the back room or your bedroom. Let your entry area be your best foot forward. It will make a world of difference, I promise.

I don’t have anything nice, and my house is not perfect, but I have had many people step in and say, it looks so clean. Make sure that’s what people see upon entry. If you don’t know, ask a friend to come over and look. They can tell you what people will notice that you don’t because you see it every day. A few minutes of tidying before you open will make a big difference. If you don’t want to get out the vacuum every night, get a cracker beater like they have in the church nursery and do a quick buzz by the front door each evening after care. Take pride in what you’re doing, you’re a WORLD CHANGER and anyone can be a great provider if they really care about what they’re doing.

What do you think makes a great provider?

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Would you love to know the magic formula for keeping daycare families and having a thriving home daycare or family childcare provider?

The Ultimate List of Christmas Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Do you love finding Christmas gifts you can make yourself? I do. I love the idea of giving something that I made with love. It’s a beautiful thing to put time and thought into your gift and your own energy from your own hands.

Here is a great list of things you can make yourself that your friends and family will love. 

Edible Gifts

Homemade Granola (kids can help with this one too!)

Soup Mixes in a Jar 

Monster Cookies

Cafe AuLait Mix

Cowboy Cookies in a Jar

Taco Seasoning Mix

Homemade Seasoning Mixes

Gifts You Can Sew (with free patterns)

Felt Christmas Tree Decorations

Bandana Bib

Poncho Shirt

Handmade gifts you can sew for Christmas

Espadrilles (Shoes!)

T-shirt Scarf

Gift Bag

Gifts for the Home

Repurposed Retro Office Chair

beforeandafter-, handmade Christmas gifts

Peppermint Candles

Birdseed Ornaments

Mason Jar Candles

Grapevine Wreath

Windowsill Herb Garden

homemade Christmas gifts

Cinnamon Scented Ornaments

Texture Painted Magnets (kids can make)

Wrapping Paper

Fabric Mache Bowl

Upcycled Hose Wreath

hose wreath for Gift

Mason Jar Gifts (Spice Jars, Lamps, Soap Pumps, etc)

Almond Extract

Vanilla Extract

Coiled Rope Baskets

Wooden Dominoes

handmade-christmas-2013-wooden-dominoes-tutorial

Beeswax Candles

Christmas Ornaments

wonder woman ornaments

Cookbook

Personal Gifts

Gift vouchers (with free printables)

Peppermint Winter Snow Body Scrub

Lip Balm

Honey and Oat Soap

Clay Essential Oil Diffuser Necklaces

diy-clay-essential-oil-necklaces-pin

Soap Pouch

Lemon Lime Bath Salts

Gilded Holiday Mug

Warm Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Personalized Books

Dotty Tote Bag

Infinity Scarf

Healing Salve

For the Kids

Story Blocks

Stilts

All Natural Playdough

natural-playdough-recipe

Take Along Finger Puppets with Stage

Velcro Dot Craft Sticks

Quiet Book

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Homemade Coloring Book

There are so many things you can make for others that show you love and care about them. Putting thought into homemade gifts you can make yourself makes the Christmas season or any time of giving a whole lot more personal and fun!

Don’t forget to pin for later.

the-ultimate-list-of-christmas-gifts-you-can-make-yourself

8 Rules You Should Have for Your Family Childcare Home

When you open a new family childcare business in your home, it’s hard to know what will work and what won’t. If you start your business and add rules, it’s much harder than beginning the business with your rules in place. You can have them already in your contract or policies depending on where they belong and you will save yourself a whole lot of headaches.

Contracts have to do with time and money, and policies have to do with everything else. So if it’s about pay or hours, etc., it belongs in your contract.

I have asked some tried and true professionals what they feel the most important rules are, and I am going to share with you what they said. Make sure you take care of yourself when it comes to your business. You will never be able to please everyone or do things everyone’s way because they all have their own opinion. Make sure you set your daycare up for you. You’re the one who has to do it.

Remember to be ready to say no when you have to. Parents are just people and they want things to be as easy as possible for them. Who could blame them? You have to remember they aren’t trying to hurt you or make your life harder, they are only trying to make life easier for themselves. We are all doing our best.

Establishing your rules and talking them over with prospective families BEFORE you enter into a business relationship with them will make your life so much easier. Before you start your business, put some time and thought into how you want to run it.

Tried and true rules from experienced daycare providers:

You make the rules, not the parents, it’s your business. I totally agree with this one. Like I said before, if you let everyone influence what rules you have, you will go crazy because everyone does not want the same things. You’re in charge, make sure your families know that.

  1. No outside food or drinks. This is a great rule. If kids bring stuff in, the other kids want it. It’s not nice to eat donuts in front of the other children when they are having cereal. Who would like that? They may even bring something like a peanut butter cookie when you have a child who is allergic to peanuts. It’s a safety issue. What if they drop a piece of that cookie on the floor and the allergic child eats it? What if they “share” while you are answering the door or changing a diaper. rules-for-your-daycare-no-outside-food-or-drinks
  2. No toys from home. This is a big one I hear people talking about. Personally, I don’t care if they bring outside toys. I let them play and tell them they have to share. If they don’t, I put it up. It’s no problem for me, but I totally get how people wouldn’t want that. It can cause problems. Also, if the child loses the toy or it gets broken that can cause problems. I let my parents know it’s not my responsibility to keep up with the toy. If you bring it, you may not take it back home, the chances are 50/50. I hear most providers saying this is a big rule for them though and it makes a ton of sense. Do what you think will work for you. no-toys-from-outside-of-daycare
  1. No pay, no stay. Obviously you are working for a living. You are not doing this job for your health. You have to protect your paychecks. So make SURE parents pay in advance and make sure you don’t allow children to stay before payment is made. People will give you every sob story in the books, but is their comfort more important than yours? Do you need to pay your bills or are they optional? Do you want to work for free? Make sure you are respected on this. It matters! Don’t let it slide. payment-rules-for-family-childcare
  2. Your hours are your hours. If you are open 7-5 Monday through Friday and someone wants you to add 15 minutes early or late, don’t do it. People will keep on doing this until you are working 24 hours a day if you let them. You have established hours to protect your personal time. If your parents work from 8-5 and their boss wanted to add 15 minutes to the end of the day, they would not want to do that. Set your hours at what works for you and stick to it.
  3. Nap time is not optional. Can you let little Johnny stay awake for nap time so he’ll go to bed earlier? NO. First of all, little Johnny NEEDS a nap. Children require more sleep than adults and it’s important that they rest in the middle of the day. It recharges their batteries, helps them learn more and let’s their bodies grow. Secondly, it’s not fair for a parent to ask you to keep one child awake when the others are all trying to sleep. I can tell you from watching over 80 children, it does not work. The one who is up cannot be quiet. Oh you think they can? I promise, they cannot. Nap time helps you as the provider to recharge your battery too. This is a HARD job with so many demands and you’re doing it for at least 10 hours a day. YOU NEED A BREAK and that two hours helps me keep up with all of my paperwork and chores AND helps me reboot for the second part of the day. NAP is a must. And don’t allow children to pick up during nap either, it’s a huge disruption and usually wakes all of the children up. It’s no Bueno.
  4. Don’t let parents bring sick kids. I know they need to go to work and they will give you every sob story in the book. I know it’s hard on parents when kids are sick, but if they bring them to you sick, then all the other kids get sick and so do you. Then you either have to work sick or close and they miss work anyways. All of your other parents will be mad at you too. Make your sick policy and stick to it. Click here to see more about why you shouldn’t allow parents to bring kids to daycare sick. 
  1. Expect parents to respect your privacy. Your home is your home as well as your business and your personal space should be respected by the families you serve. Tell parents what areas are available to kids and those areas are free reign for parents as well, but also let them know your personal boundaries and ask them to respect them. (Parents should be allowed access to all areas of your home where care is provided)

Establishing your rules before you open helps your business run so much more smoothly. You will be so glad you did once you get your business up and running.

Be sure to pin for later.

8-rules-you-should-have-for-your-family-childcare-home

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