Quality Child Care – 10 Essential Factors To Look For

There are many reasons why a parent chooses to put their precious child into a quality child care centre. Whatever the reason is, there are some essential factors you should take into account when you are looking at your possible options.

1. Certification – the first thing you should be ensuring is that the center has up to date certification. Do not be embarrassed to ask the latest inspection report which has been undertaken by the relevant agencies. This will put your mind at rest that all the necessary checks and balances have been complied with.

2. Child ratio – having too few staff can put your children at risk, but having too many staff will mean higher fees.

3. Help with Childcare Costs – check to see that the staff have qualifications which are relevant to the area they are working with. For example, it would be beneficial for staff working with the babies to have some nursing experience, whereas for the older children teacher training would be more helpful.

4. Environment – is the environment appropriate for the age group who are using it?

5. Child development and learning – there are many areas of development which need to be taken care of in a child care center. These include physical, intellectual, emotional, social and creative developments. One example would be, does the center get the children to participate in game and activities which help to develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

6. Nutrition – a quality child care center will ensure that the children are provided with nutritious snacks and meals at appropriate times throughout the day.

7. Child safety – this obviously plays a very big part when choosing your child care center. Is the center hygienically up to standard? Are there safety gates where required? Is the playground equipment well maintained and supervised? What are the procedures in place in case of a medical emergency? Once again, do not be afraid to ask questions of the staff and take a look at the relevant documentation.

8. Continuity -a more recent development is for quality child care to be provided for your children right from baby through to after school care. Many centers these days will provide different centers all on the same property, e.g. a baby center, an under two center, a preschool center and then another center which provides care for school age children, both before and after school. This system has many advantages. For parents, they know that their child care requirements are taken care of for many years to come. The children can move seamlessly from one center to the next, already being familiar with the staff in their new environment. This is a very family oriented approach and one which parents will love and find very convenient.

9. Is your involvement encouraged? A quality child care center will make the parents feel involved in their child’s day care experience by having regular events to which parents are invited, and making them feel welcome at any time.

10. Observe – one of the best things you can do is just to spend time at the child care center and observe. Look at how the staff interact with the children when they don’t think they are being watched. Look to see the children are happy.

This article only gives a brief overview on essential factors to be aware of when selecting a quality child care center but we hope it gives you a good starting point.


by Erin Brough

Daycare Marketing Plan – A 6 Step Outline

Your day care marketing plan is a section of your business plan which offers readers with a description of how you will communicate your services to prospects and convert them into real customers, as well as what you will be communicating. A marketing plan includes the 4 Ps (Product/Services, Promotion, Place, and Price) as well as key partnerships and a customer retention plan. Use this outline to provide needed structure to your marketing plan.  

1) Product/Services 

Give readers a clear and complete understanding of what services your day care center will provide through a short description and a chart or menu of options, if appropriate. Be clear as to what the basic services and what are considered add-ons.  

2) Promotion 

Spend the most time on the promotion section, which should detail your choice of marketing tactics based on the implicit rule that each must be useful at reaching your customer target market. List each marketing tactic (such as advertising, public relations, direct mail, etc) along with at least a few sentence explanation of how the tactic will be used.  

3) Place  

“Place” in the marketing plan means how services will be delivered to customers and is not just a description of the location. Include an understanding of how you will sell to parents, whether online, on the phone, through in person appointments, or through a combination of these.  

4) Price 

It is more important to give an overall explanation of how pricing decisions will be made than to list all of the prices in detail. Individual prices mean little to readers without an understanding of the value to the customer and the prices charged by competitors. Show your understanding of where your pricing will fit in the range of other options parents have in your community.  

5) Partnerships

Focus on quality rather than quantity here, describing one or two key partnerships that you will build with existing area businesses or services. Partnerships should only be included if they will lead to significant benefit for your company. To be believable to readers, it must also be clear what kind of significant benefit the parter receives. For example, a viable partnership deal could be offering discounted pricing to a large area business who, in turn, handles the legwork of selling to their employees. The business would have the benefit of being able to say they offer discounted childcare to attract the best employees.  

6) Customer Retention 

In a perfect world, your customers would only leave when families move away or children age out of day care. Of course, this will not always be the case. Nonetheless, pay attention in this section to what you will do to keep your customers. For example, seek to build customer identification with your day care center through long-term projects and parental involvement. Customers may be uneasy about switching to a new day care provider when they feel personally invested in yours.


by


Infant Nutrition in the Childcare Setting



Infant Nutrition in the Childcare Setting

Infant Nutrition in the Childcare Setting.

rated:

viewed:12565

Child Care Program



Child Care Program

Moraine Valley Community College can prepare you for a career in early childhood development.

rated:

viewed:578


Daycare Marketing Plan – A 6 Step Outline

Your day care marketing plan is a section of your business plan which offers readers with a description of how you will communicate your services to prospects and convert them into real customers, as well as what you will be communicating. A marketing plan includes the 4 Ps (Product/Services, Promotion, Place, and Price) as well as key partnerships and a customer retention plan. Use this outline to provide needed structure to your marketing plan.  

1) Product/Services 

Give readers a clear and complete understanding of what services your day care center will provide through a short description and a chart or menu of options, if appropriate. Be clear as to what the basic services and what are considered add-ons.  

2) Promotion 

Spend the most time on the promotion section, which should detail your choice of marketing tactics based on the implicit rule that each must be useful at reaching your customer target market. List each marketing tactic (such as advertising, public relations, direct mail, etc) along with at least a few sentence explanation of how the tactic will be used.  

3) Place  

“Place” in the marketing plan means how services will be delivered to customers and is not just a description of the location. Include an understanding of how you will sell to parents, whether online, on the phone, through in person appointments, or through a combination of these.  

4) Price 

It is more important to give an overall explanation of how pricing decisions will be made than to list all of the prices in detail. Individual prices mean little to readers without an understanding of the value to the customer and the prices charged by competitors. Show your understanding of where your pricing will fit in the range of other options parents have in your community.  

5) Partnerships

Focus on quality rather than quantity here, describing one or two key partnerships that you will build with existing area businesses or services. Partnerships should only be included if they will lead to significant benefit for your company. To be believable to readers, it must also be clear what kind of significant benefit the parter receives. For example, a viable partnership deal could be offering discounted pricing to a large area business who, in turn, handles the legwork of selling to their employees. The business would have the benefit of being able to say they offer discounted childcare to attract the best employees.  

6) Customer Retention 

In a perfect world, your customers would only leave when families move away or children age out of day care. Of course, this will not always be the case. Nonetheless, pay attention in this section to what you will do to keep your customers. For example, seek to build customer identification with your day care center through long-term projects and parental involvement. Customers may be uneasy about switching to a new day care provider when they feel personally invested in yours.


by


The Best Child Care Provider – Leave Your Kids in Great Hands

Child care can be a very stressful subject for some families. Leaving your beloved child in the care of a stranger can sometimes put a parent on edge. Susie from down the street might not be the best choice when it comes to watching your 2 year old while your at work. Luckily there are services and networks that bring qualified caretakers and families in need a nannies or babysitters together.

The screening process for choosing a babysitter can be long and exhausting, and many people do not have that kind of time. That is another reason why an online care provider might be right for you! Reputable caregiver services provide background checks on individuals on the other end of the spectrum. As well as keep a detailed record of references. Another great service is the marketplace setting, where you can post jobs needed, or search for people in need of work. And unlike Susie from down the street, these candidates have come pre-screened and highly recommended.

Some care providers not only specialize in babysitting but also have elder care, special needs, pet, tutoring, and house sitting specialists!

If there is ever an emergency situation which puts you in an immediate need of child care there is also a safety net for you. It is called care-on-call, a short notice option that lets your browse local sitters who are, you guessed it, on call!

Between the free background checks and pre-screening, and the wide variety of services that are offered, online care giving services are a busy parents best friend.


By Julian E Hooks

Preparing Your Child For Infant Day Care Tips

Infant day care can be a life saver for you, but for your child it can be a bit confusing and even a little scary. If you have been off work since the birth of the child, it can be a truly heart-wrenching experiencing to even fathom leaving the child with mere strangers. But since most families don’t have the financial resources for one parent to stay at home to raise children, day care is a part of the process of raising children that must be addressed. Getting your child ready for infant day care services is tantamount to a successful transition for both you and your infant.

Children are resilient and in most cases, depending on the stage of development, they can easily transition from being home with their parents to going to a child care provider with a little preparation. But this, of course, depends on the infant. Some have separation anxiety and don’t want to be left at all. Others will just blend into the day care setting with ease. There are a few key steps to take to prepare your child for infant day care.

Tips for the First Day

The first day of day care will be a bittersweet one. You are likely anxious to get back to your ordinary routine and start bringing money home again, but you will feel terrible about leaving your infant, who may be crying after you or clinging to you. These tips will help you prepare for the first day, and hopefully the following days will become easier.

• Allow the infant to stay with relatives or friends a few times prior to being placed in the day care setting. This will help the child to adjust to being away from home in a place that is somewhat familiar to them.

• Bring the child’s favorite blanket or toy to day care with them so that they will have a piece of home in unfamiliar surroundings.

• Gather everything that you will need for that first morning the night before. This may include a change of clothing, formula, pacifiers, diapers, and any ointment that you use on the child’s diaper area. Not having to pack everything on the first morning of day care will keep you from rushing around and making the situation even tenser.

• Write down your infant’s schedule, including the times when they like to nap, eat and more. Let the day care provider know how long the child typically naps during the day so that they will know what to expect.

Don’t appear nervous to the child, and no matter what you do – don’t cry. Even the most apprehensive parent must put their game face on so that the child doesn’t become alarmed when the parent leaves. Children are very intuitive and they can easily pick up on body language. Do not make a big deal out of them going, make it appear to be a normal occurrence. Your confidence will put them at ease.


By Marcia Fischbach

Operating a Daycare Center – Tips and Ideas to Make Your Child Care Business Prosper

Operating a daycare center can be a profitable venture especially for those who love to take care and teach children. If indeed you have the passion to teach kids, you can make money by putting up a daycare center.

Like any other business, starting a daycare center requires a lot of effort and resources. One important consideration is your budget. You have to make sure that you do have enough resources to start the business. This does not only mean having the building for your child care center, but you have to make sure as well that your child care facility is in a location that is safe and accessible to parents as well.

You also have to make sure that you can provide the best services to your clients and make sure as well that you can provide the facilities and amenities needed to take care of children while their parents are away.

In operating a daycare center, you have to keep in mind a few important considerations to make your operation successful. Here are a few of them.

1. Get a good manager or director. If you do not want to manage the center personally, you can also hire someone with the expertise and skills needed for child care. Of course, you can manage your own daycare business but you can also hire someone to focus on the task. Make sure you have a manager that takes care of your clients well and introduces your business well to your target market.

2. Plan your marketing and promotion. Of course, one essential part of starting your business successfully is to make sure you have a working plan on how to market and promote your business. Especially if you are just starting, it is important that you have to invest efforts on how to market your business. Explore cost-effective advertising and marketing methods and don’t forget to explore the many advertising methods online as well. Internet marketing is very useful these days, thus try to grab the opportunities to market your business online as well.

3. Make sure you have what parents are looking for on a child’s daycare. Of course, parents want the best for their children and you have to show them that you can take care of their child the way they want to. Have a little research on what facilities and amenities you can provide for the kids and carefully plan your programs as well.

4. Get the right personnel for your daycare center. Of course, to help you make your business progress, you have to make sure that you have the right person to teach and take care of the kids. You have to make sure as well that your business is licensed as well as your care providers so your clients can be assured that you have quality services that you can provide them.

5. In operating a daycare center, you also have to make sure you have carefully planned your center’s daily activities, as well as activity ideas that suit every age level of the kids in the center. Of course, you also have to prepare for emergency situations and make sure that your daycare can also handle such challenges.


By Carolyn Anderson