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Curriculum Post any curriculum ideas, activites or projects that wouldbe helpful to our Daycare community. What is your teaching philosophy?

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Old 02-09-2011, 01:15 PM
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Default Those Of You Who Do Curriculum..(Sorry Kinda Long..)

I am wondering since we have had several threads and posts about teaching and doing curriculum. Of those providers who buy or plan a curriculum that you follow on pretty routine daily schedule, do you get paid more than the going rate for your area?

I ask because I have been in this business for some time now and every year I plan a curriculum, pay loads of money for it, spend an enormous amount of my time outside of my regular hours sorting, buying, planning and organizing my curriculum and I am seriously starting to rethink the entire point of doing all this. I advertise as a "pre-school" like others do thinking that parents are looking for all the 1,2,3's and ABC's classroom type learning and I really feel as though 99.9% of my current parents are really only looking for a loving, caring, safe environment for their child. They aren't all that concerned about the "schooling" part of it because they all know their kid will get it in Kindy or they will learn from their parents and sibs or they will possibly even pull their child from daycare and put them in an actual "preschool" center as a pp vented about.

We have a good supply of venting on here in regards to parents not caring what craft items and projects their child did during the day and leaving most correspondence and daily notes in the cubby untouched. So I am wondering what the point of doing a preschool curriculum with dck's is when we, as providers, are collectively just trying to get the parents all to pay on time, remember our house rules, drop off/pick up on time, respect us and support us as we assist their child in learning developmentally appropriate skills such as toilet training, eating healthy foods, napping quietly and using self-help skills.

Another poster got me thinking about how tough it is to fit all this stuff into one day and I have to say, why are we trying? If we are not licensed to teach pre-school and are licensed as family childcare providers, why are we all trying so hard to do so much more?

I would think in this crazy, two parent working long hours, too many extra curricular activities and all world, kids would benefit much more (and have less challenging behaviors) if we only focused on the basic necessities and just played with them. No scheduled craft time, no strict routines to follow...just on the floor, hands-on fun stuff....lots of love and nurturing. No stress over trying to get Timmy to figure out why a "b" and a "d" are not the same.....

I went to a "NO TV" childcare in December and my dck's have been playing in ways I did not know they could so I am seriously thinking about just having a "Basics Only" childcare. I don't get paid any more than the regular going rate and all the families I have enrolled in the last few years are only looking for someone they can trust who will put her kids needs (the basic ones) ahead of her own. No one has been looking for a teacher or a tutor. I still will have all the activities and supplies I always have had but it will be up to them when and how they play with them. dck #1 might paint at 9:00 am while dck #2 might not paint until 3:00 pm. No structured activity...do what you want when you want. Just meals and nap/rest time on schedule.

Two rules will apply;
1. Play nicely/respectfully.
2. Pickup after yourself.

Learning will still be part of our day, just in a completely non-structured, non-routine, stress-free manner.

I always wanted to be licensed to run an actual preschool, but I am not. I am a licensed FAMILY CHILD CARE provider. I do not get paid any more than the regular going rate set by our county. I feel this will be less stressful and eliminate my need for the curriculum drama I go through every year.

Just wondering what everyone else's thoughts are on this....
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:47 PM
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http://thoughtsofesme.blogspot.com/2....html?spref=fb

I do preschool its included in the dc price. I try to do something everyday but it doesnt always workout we at least do 30-40 minutes of projects be it preschool or arts & crafts. I use to use the funshine express and highly recommend them if you can afford it. Since my group has grown from 4-6 to 12 kids I cant afford them anymore so I use the site above and enchanted learning is good for some stuff and they are $20 for a year but you have to take the time to print it yourself from thier site. Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I am wondering since we have had several threads and posts about teaching and doing curriculum. Of those providers who buy or plan a curriculum that you follow on pretty routine daily schedule, do you get paid more than the going rate for your area?

I ask because I have been in this business for some time now and every year I plan a curriculum, pay loads of money for it, spend an enormous amount of my time outside of my regular hours sorting, buying, planning and organizing my curriculum and I am seriously starting to rethink the entire point of doing all this. I advertise as a "pre-school" like others do thinking that parents are looking for all the 1,2,3's and ABC's classroom type learning and I really feel as though 99.9% of my current parents are really only looking for a loving, caring, safe environment for their child. They aren't all that concerned about the "schooling" part of it because they all know their kid will get it in Kindy or they will learn from their parents and sibs or they will possibly even pull their child from daycare and put them in an actual "preschool" center as a pp vented about.

We have a good supply of venting on here in regards to parents not caring what craft items and projects their child did during the day and leaving most correspondence and daily notes in the cubby untouched. So I am wondering what the point of doing a preschool curriculum with dck's is when we, as providers, are collectively just trying to get the parents all to pay on time, remember our house rules, drop off/pick up on time, respect us and support us as we assist their child in learning developmentally appropriate skills such as toilet training, eating healthy foods, napping quietly and using self-help skills.

Another poster got me thinking about how tough it is to fit all this stuff into one day and I have to say, why are we trying? If we are not licensed to teach pre-school and are licensed as family childcare providers, why are we all trying so hard to do so much more?

I would think in this crazy, two parent working long hours, too many extra curricular activities and all world, kids would benefit much more (and have less challenging behaviors) if we only focused on the basic necessities and just played with them. No scheduled craft time, no strict routines to follow...just on the floor, hands-on fun stuff....lots of love and nurturing. No stress over trying to get Timmy to figure out why a "b" and a "d" are not the same.....

I went to a "NO TV" childcare in December and my dck's have been playing in ways I did not know they could so I am seriously thinking about just having a "Basics Only" childcare. I don't get paid any more than the regular going rate and all the families I have enrolled in the last few years are only looking for someone they can trust who will put her kids needs (the basic ones) ahead of her own. No one has been looking for a teacher or a tutor. I still will have all the activities and supplies I always have had but it will be up to them when and how they play with them. dck #1 might paint at 9:00 am while dck #2 might not paint until 3:00 pm. No structured activity...do what you want when you want. Just meals and nap/rest time on schedule.

Two rules will apply;
1. Play nicely/respectfully.
2. Pickup after yourself.

Learning will still be part of our day, just in a completely non-structured, non-routine, stress-free manner.

I always wanted to be licensed to run an actual preschool, but I am not. I am a licensed FAMILY CHILD CARE provider. I do not get paid any more than the regular going rate set by our county. I feel this will be less stressful and eliminate my need for the curriculum drama I go through every year.

Just wondering what everyone else's thoughts are on this....
I know exactly what you mean. I teach here and it most, not all, but most of my parents just want a safe place. I look at it like this. I am not going to change what I offer. I keep moving forward everyday. I know in my heart of hearts that these children are learning and I really dont care if their parents appreciate it or not. Some of my parents will go out of their way to tell me wow I am impressed, while others keep their kid out until midnight on a week night and then the kid sleeps all day long...
I teach becuase there is nothing better than seeing a child learn from your lessons....

If I were you, I would charge a monthly curriculum fee, even if it is only $5.00 per family. This might make you feel a little better too...???
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by happykidschildcare View Post
http://thoughtsofesme.blogspot.com/2....html?spref=fb

I do preschool its included in the dc price. I try to do something everyday but it doesnt always workout we at least do 30-40 minutes of projects be it preschool or arts & crafts. I use to use the funshine express and highly recommend them if you can afford it. Since my group has grown from 4-6 to 12 kids I cant afford them anymore so I use the site above and enchanted learning is good for some stuff and they are $20 for a year or printables.
Good luck!
Thanks, but I am a former user of Funshine Express....great company/product but I quit for the reasons I mentioned above in my post. I am well schooled on preschool activities and curriculum as I am thiscloseto completing my Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education.

I am only wondering why family child care providers are trying so hard to stuff their days so full of stuff that I am unfortunately finding is really not that high in demand. We are paid accordingly and although I do get a slightly higher rate than some of the family daycare homes in my area, it is NOT because of the curriculum I offer/teach...it is the quality of care I am offering. I know this because I have been asking and paying attention to the needs of the parents/children in the last few years.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:58 PM
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I know exactly what you mean. I teach here and it most, not all, but most of my parents just want a safe place. I look at it like this. I am not going to change what I offer. I keep moving forward everyday. I know in my heart of hearts that these children are learning and I really dont care if their parents appreciate it or not. Some of my parents will go out of their way to tell me wow I am impressed, while others keep their kid out until midnight on a week night and then the kid sleeps all day long...
I teach becuase there is nothing better than seeing a child learn from your lessons....

If I were you, I would charge a monthly curriculum fee, even if it is only $5.00per family. This might make you feel a little better too...???
That is a good idea, but I am really just trying to either be a family childcare provider or a preschool teacher that does not deal with anything but the preschool age.
As a FCC provider, I am just feeling as though for the little money we earn/are paid it is not worth all the effort we put into all these fancy curriculums and scheduled routines.

I am looking to focus more on the other thing you mentioned.....the wonderful feeling we get when a child learns something that was not pre-planned but simply learned through regular daily interaction with playmates and friends. Every activity is a "teachable moment" it just doesn't always have to come from elaborate pre-packaged curriculums that we devote hours and hours of time and money investing in....
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:08 PM
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oh i agree... I am very in to teaching on that moment.... I dont really like a lot of the preplanned stuff, a little cheesy and I don't like the fact that it does not allow for the child to create their own ideas.
I am starting to phase out a lot of the pre written and am leaning more on the stuff like reading books, teaching zoo phonics (only pay start up cost), creative free art, music, dancing, math with water and sand...things that dont require me to always have to purchse a package deal...

like today. we wrote and illustrated our own stories. We took a walk outside and observerd all kinds of things. We then came back and wrote about what we saw some fact some stories fiction. I actually got the idea from MGT but it was from almost 2 years ago. Maybe you should just try using what you have on hand and see how that worksout.
I also put a gathering list together each month and ask parents to donate things. Like jars, egg cratons, sticks, yarn, paper, and etc. Just about all of my parents get involved. I pretty much make them, as I will put thier list up by the front door and wont cross their name off until they bring it....
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:43 PM
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seriously it all depends on my mood and the kids moods. some days they would rather play all day and other days they want art. Most of the time, as long as they are well cared for none of the parents care what we do all day. Heck they are so happy that I take the kids outside so they don't have too. I find that most days I feel like a parent to 5 more kids than a provider, I do everything with them that I do with my own kids, I even bring them for haircuts, cut their nails, bake with them....
I don't advertise as a preschool, just a "home daycare" I'm a home that offers a homey atmosphere while watching children.
But I have to agree, there is not enough time in the day to do things, sometimes during the day I spend doing my stuff because thats the only time things are open or things need to be done before the evening.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:03 PM
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Blackcat, I agree that we shouldn't feel we need to buy a fancy curriculum and go all out. I disagree that children should learn to do what they want when they want. For my own sake, I NEED structure. I would follow a "basic routine", but don't advertise as "Basic Care" because it looks like it's just eat/sleep/potty kind of basic. LOL

I have a simple routine set up with lots of free play (keep in mind, I have this all ready for the future, so you don't have to take my word since I haven't given it a test run!). I have set times for snacks/meals/diaper checks/naps/outside time. I want to have a circle time where we learn a song or fingerplay and work on the basics like you mentioned. As far as no routine, I would have to stick to one. It's best for the child too.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:45 AM
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I think I was the one that posted about my frustration with parents pulling their kids out of my daycare to go to a "real preschool". I'm still frustrated (and saddened) that that seems to be the course that most parents feel is best for their child. But I've been doing childcare for over twenty years now, and over the last 5-8 years, it's a rare family that doesn't think their child will be left behind their peers if they don't attend a real preK before entering kindergarten - and the couple of years - parents seem to feel that their kids need 3yo PreK as well as 4yo PreK.


So my goal now is not to "teach" preK, but to get the kids "ready" for preK.


So rather than continuing to frustrate myself, I've decided NOT to include **formal** PreK curriculum in my childcare. In the past, I've purchased boxed curriculum, made my own weekly/daily theme based curriculum, tried to keep to a scheduled day - no more. My kids now play, play, play - we read lots of books, sing lots of songs and fingerplays, make great art masterpieces, cook in the kitchen, build tremendous block towers, play dress-up, explore nature, have no tv ever. But as we're playing, the kids are learning. I currently have 4 kids all under 2 (all turn two between March and July) who can all count to 20 that they learned from being the seeker from hours of playing hide-and-seek. They all have in their repertoires about 30 songs that they know all the motions/fingerplays - and can sing them all unprompted, including their ABCs.

I now emphasize what I call our *7 core values* at daycare: Responsibility, Honesty, Trustworthiness, Patience, Cooperation, Kindness and Respect. It's long been my belief that if children learn and practice these core values, then they'll be ready for school and will go far in life. So these values are now my "curriculum". Our days are spent "playing" and I no longer knock myself out spending hours and hours planning-out a curriculum. And I personally feel better about the start that I'm giving these little children. I feel better personally that the children ARE learning, without me spending hours and hours and hours and dollars researching, preparing and purchasing components for a preK curriculum experience.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:33 AM
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Blackcat...

I do a laid back setting for my childcare. I feed off of the kids.

Everyone has good days and bad days, and sometimes it is impossible to try get timmy to trace an A, and billy to draw a circle, and charlie to draw on the paper not on the table!

But I feel that without some form of structure, some form of routine, kids are lost. They need to know this is free time, this is coloring time, this is reading time, lunch time, snack time, etc.

I don't think every kid has to paint at the same time, but I think the children should have an option of 3 things (so that you don't have one kid painting, one throwing playdough, and one making crafts- that would be impossible to keep your house clean). This will help them to become more independent. I always include my kids in the choices we make for lunches, snacks, suppers, or what they want to wear. It gives them a sense of pride as well.

So I totally agree with everything you have said, and I believe maybe you just need to discuss with the parents you have now, whether the curriculum is why they come to you, and if you pulled that out of the day, would they continue care. But I just think you need to remember that free play all day is going to cause you ALOT more stress. You will have kids running around everywhere, destroying your house, and you will feel worse than you do now! lol.

And I also think, that children are constantly forced to grow up faster than they should. They miss out on being a child. More and more responsibilities are placed on children. My daughter when she was in kindergarten had homework! I didn't get any homework until grade 4! I didn't have to count to 100, count by 2's or count by 5's until grade 3. I think the only homework I had in grade 1 was bring home a library book every week to read. There is so much pressure, so much learning forced on the children, and now as parents we have to get our children school ready. Fine! But school ready means they are reading, writing, counting to 30 by the time they enter school. When I started school, the teachers taught us that stuff.

To me, it just seems like they are packing the school curriculum so full now, that they are pushing what the children used to learn in school onto the parents or child care providers.

Yes Timmy should know how to spell his name when he goes to kindergarten, and Timmy should know how old he is.

I went off there a little, but basically, I think it's not fair for the kids to sit down several times a day and be forced to learn. They should only be learning morals and values in the first 3 yrs of life. They should learn how to interact with others, share with others, teamwork, etc.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:58 AM
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Pammie....That is EXACTLY what I was talking about. What you call the 7 core things.....I want to focus on that and have days just like you explained in your post! Well said!


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Originally Posted by dEHmom View Post
Blackcat...

But I feel that without some form of structure, some form of routine, kids are lost. They need to know this is free time, this is coloring time, this is reading time, lunch time, snack time, etc.


So I totally agree with everything you have said, and I believe maybe you just need to discuss with the parents you have now, whether the curriculum is why they come to you, and if you pulled that out of the day, would they continue care. But I just think you need to remember that free play all day is going to cause you ALOT more stress. You will have kids running around everywhere, destroying your house, and you will feel worse than you do now! lol.

To me, it just seems like they are packing the school curriculum so full now, that they are pushing what the children used to learn in school onto the parents or child care providers.

I went off there a little, but basically, I think it's not fair for the kids to sit down several times a day and be forced to learn. They should only be learning morals and values in the first 3 yrs of life. They should learn how to interact with others, share with others, teamwork, etc.
dEHmom....Oh, I completely agree with you and I do have structure; it just isn't laid out like some of the daily routines I have seen posted recently. It USED to be but now I let the kids dictate the activity and they separate off into smaller groups. I only have 3 rooms to play in and who ever asks for an activity in one room first is how the choice is made. So, if Abby asks to play dress-up in one room, those that want to play go in there while Timmy is playing trains in the other room. I do not allow the kids to just take whatever out whenever they want.....that would be the kind of chaos you are referring to and I definately could not deal with that!!

I so TOTALLY agree with everything you said about growing up too fast and being over loaded with activities and such...

I have had more problems in the last few years with kids not having a clue how to say "please" and "thank you" or how to be respectful or have table manners or to remember to flush or any of the basics that I thought all parents taught their children as they grew. I am finding that I spend so much time teaching the kids the basic manners and such that I have NO time left for any curriculum type things.

I am sure parents would love for me to teach a boxed curriculum but honestly, they would love for me to do all the work/raise their child and still accept the measly few dollars an hour I make and then let them reap the rewards (and tax deductions... lol!) and frankly, I am done with doing EVERYTHING!

I am not stressed out or burned out....I am just sort of having an epiphany...kwim? I forgot why I am even doing this in the first place which was to have enjoy the "fun part" of children without having to do the hard part (parenting). But somehow, child care providers are really having to do so much more! Just read back on all the last few months threads and besides money...the biggest vents on here are related to manners and basic needs like sleep patterns, eating habits, weaning from paci's, bottle's, lovies, and dcp's bringing supplies, proper clothing etc. Seems we are not being teaches we are being substitute parents and I can not do both.

Most of my current parents say they love the curriculum and all but when I look at all the kids cubbies...every one of them have crafts and papers from over a week ago left in them, I send out newsletters and announcements and seems as though I always get "Oh, wait, when did you tell us that?" ummm. yeah, in the newsletter I give out evry single month!!

Bottom line is either I am doing one or the other in regards to the kind of childcare people are going to receive and I am choosing to do what is the least stressful and most fun for me and the kids and that is playing (while learning) like PAMMIE said in her post.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:22 AM
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I know you're always got the right ideas blackcat!

And it's nice because I was starting to feel less worthy as a provider reading half of all of your posts about curriculum's and stuff because I don't do that, never planned to. I started searching out some websites trying to find some stuff.

I do the old fashioned way, where I take a pen/marker and make dots to form an A a, B b, etc and get the kids to trace it.

My son learned to write his name in 10 minutes by tracing it, then copying ti below.

I think we are responsible for a small amount of academic learning with the children we care for. But we are not home school teachers, we are not professors, tuitors or anything of the sort. We are providers, here to care for children, help instill values in them, and teach them how to interact with others. Other than that, if parents want their children to be einsteins, they can home school them from years 0-5 ( or whatever age they start school).
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:30 AM
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I don't have time to read all the responses right now, but Blackcat, you might want to read about the Montessori Method. What you're describing (having the activities available but letting them choose what they do and when) sound VERY Montessori. Montessori is a wonderful approach, although it does have a learning curve for you as well as for the kids. The "curriculum" I'm slowly, slowly developing is very Montessori-based, because I love that approach.

You can have things like Tot Trays set up--simple works that the kids do all on their own--including clean up ( a HUGE part of the Montessori method is "control of error" where the kids can tell for themselves whether they've done the thing correctly, as well as cleaning up after themselves for the next person)

I'll be back later with more thoughts.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:35 AM
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I know you're always got the right ideas blackcat! Ahhh...you make me feel so good!

And it's nice because I was starting to feel less worthy as a provider reading half of all of your posts about curriculum's and stuff because I don't do that, never planned to. Oh Oh, I don't want you to feel bad.....your posts have shown what a competent and worthy provider you are!!!

I think we are responsible for a small amount of academic learning with the children we care for. But we are not home school teachers, we are not professors, tuitors or anything of the sort. We are providers, here to care for children, help instill values in them, and teach them how to interact with others. Other than that, if parents want their children to be einsteins, they can home school them from years 0-5 ( or whatever age they start school). WELL SAID!!!!
I couldn't agree more!!!
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:56 AM
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:00 AM
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I think the montessori method would work here too, I find that kids would rather play all day rather than do "work" so I have puzzles I take out, or play doh, or I have alot of educational building stuff (they don't like edu. but they are) I need to get trays. The thing monti. doesn't do is dress up and pretend play and I love pretend play.
When children get in the older grades (my dd is in grade 7 so I know) they write alot of stories and the teachers have said over and over again, the ones that were allowed to express themselves thru play and dress up (like pretending to be a vet) have an easier time writing stories than those who sat and watched tv. Obv, my own children have no issues, at this point my ds thinks he's a hamsters half the time and his sister (she's 6) is the owner of him. OMG, I wish I could tape these two together, they are hysterical.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:19 AM
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i agree with alot of the above posts.

children need "routine", for sure. but not a rigid "schedule".

the whole purpose of having a "HOME" daycare, is just that....."HOME". i want my kiddos to feel like they are at home here. not a classroom. young children, IMO, need love and comfort, and their basic needs met.

i do alot of the things pammie mentioned. much of our day is "teaching" them the basics. learning to get dressed, table manners, and toileting ARE curriculum. does it drive me nuts to spend more time dressing for the snow then the time we actually spend outside it in? yes. but its part of the learning process.

i also feel its more important to teach them how to treat each other, cope with disappointment, empathy and respect, then to make sure little susie can write the letter M perfectly.

i would NEVER buy a prepackaged curriculum. i dont even spend that much time researching on the web for building a curriculum myself. there's really no need to. they dont do worksheets either, and no TV.

i do follow the creative curriculum. (its my bible...LOL) i also use the monessori method, and reggio emilia approach. we dont have set themes, its more about what the children are interested in. very child centered and emergent.

our day typically looks like this.....

the kids arrive and are free to choose what they want to do until breakfast.

we wash up, and help prepare the food, set the table, and eat together.

diapers are changed and potty time

we gather for circle time, but those who dont want to join us are free to do something else. i will do lots of songs, ABC's and counting, flannelboard, etc during this time, but its not flashcard or rote memorization type things. more of a hands on fun approach.

then the children are free to choose an area to play....dramatic, blocks, table games, books/listening center, writing table, music, art, sand & water. there are no preset art activities. everything is out and available to them to choose what they want to create. some of you may think "what a mess she probably has" lol but when you start young, and teach them responsibility, it all comes quite naturally. even the young two year olds pick up their supplies when they are done, and sweep up the sand with little hand brooms. THAT is part of the learning process.

we spend the next 1/2 hour just getting dressed to go outside. again, part of the learning process.

when we come in, its potty time/diapers again.

we then set the table and help prepare lunch. we eat together, family style. the kids serve and pour themselves. yes they spill, but they learn to clean up. (yet again, they are learning.)

we then have story time, and nap.

when they get up, its diapers/potty and snack, all which they are fully involved.

we welcome home the SAgers, and free play until pickup.

i'm never stressed, never hurried. our days are very relaxed here. the kids are learning through everyday experiences a boxed curriculum can never give them.

i gain more personal fullfillment in seeing tommy tie his shoes, clean his own mess, or help a friend, then i would if i taught him algebra.

i am really into slow family living, and living simply. i see too many families rushing through the day, and rushing through their lives, just to "get it all done". and most of the time its just so they can have "more stuff". so while the smith's and the jones' are shoving McD's in their faces in the car on the way to their soccer/baseball/music/dance/karate all-in-one-night practices, we are at the table together eating a wholesome home cooked meal, relaxed, enjoying each others company, and getting to know one another in a new way each day.

and i strive to run my daycare the same way.


geez, i'll get off my soapbox now. sorry that was so long
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:23 AM
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i agree with alot of the above posts.

children need "routine", for sure. but not a rigid "schedule".

the whole purpose of having a "HOME" daycare, is just that....."HOME". i want my kiddos to feel like they are at home here. not a classroom. young children, IMO, need love and comfort, and their basic needs met.

i do alot of the things pammie mentioned. much of our day is "teaching" them the basics. learning to get dressed, table manners, and toileting ARE curriculum. does it drive me nuts to spend more time dressing for the snow then the time we actually spend outside it in? yes. but its part of the learning process.

i also feel its more important to teach them how to treat each other, cope with disappointment, empathy and respect, then to make sure little susie can write the letter M perfectly.

i would NEVER buy a prepackaged curriculum. i dont even spend that much time researching on the web for building a curriculum myself. there's really no need to. they dont do worksheets either, and no TV.

i do follow the creative curriculum. (its my bible...LOL) i also use the monessori method, and reggio emilia approach. we dont have set themes, its more about what the children are interested in. very child centered and emergent.

our day typically looks like this.....

the kids arrive and are free to choose what they want to do until breakfast.

we wash up, and help prepare the food, set the table, and eat together.

diapers are changed and potty time

we gather for circle time, but those who dont want to join us are free to do something else. i will do lots of songs, ABC's and counting, flannelboard, etc during this time, but its not flashcard or rote memorization type things. more of a hands on fun approach.

then the children are free to choose an area to play....dramatic, blocks, table games, books/listening center, writing table, music, art, sand & water. there are no preset art activities. everything is out and available to them to choose what they want to create. some of you may think "what a mess she probably has" lol but when you start young, and teach them responsibility, it all comes quite naturally. even the young two year olds pick up their supplies when they are done, and sweep up the sand with little hand brooms. THAT is part of the learning process.

we spend the next 1/2 hour just getting dressed to go outside. again, part of the learning process.

when we come in, its potty time/diapers again.

we then set the table and help prepare lunch. we eat together, family style. the kids serve and pour themselves. yes they spill, but they learn to clean up. (yet again, they are learning.)

we then have story time, and nap.

when they get up, its diapers/potty and snack, all which they are fully involved.

we welcome home the SAgers, and free play until pickup.

i'm never stressed, never hurried. our days are very relaxed here. the kids are learning through everyday experiences a boxed curriculum can never give them.

i gain more personal fullfillment in seeing tommy tie his shoes, clean his own mess, or help a friend, then i would if i taught him algebra.

i am really into slow family living, and living simply. i see too many families rushing through the day, and rushing through their lives, just to "get it all done". and most of the time its just so they can have "more stuff". so while the smith's and the jones' are shoving McD's in their faces in the car on the way to their soccer/baseball/music/dance/karate all-in-one-night practices, we are at the table together eating a wholesome home cooked meal, relaxed, enjoying each others company, and getting to know one another in a new way each day.

and i strive to run my daycare the same way.


geez, i'll get off my soapbox now. sorry that was so long
no soapbox...

applause!!!
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  #19  
Old 02-10-2011, 11:30 AM
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Very well said Melskids!!
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by melskids View Post
i agree with alot of the above posts.

children need "routine", for sure. but not a rigid "schedule".

the whole purpose of having a "HOME" daycare, is just that....."HOME". i want my kiddos to feel like they are at home here. not a classroom. young children, IMO, need love and comfort, and their basic needs met.

i do alot of the things pammie mentioned. much of our day is "teaching" them the basics. learning to get dressed, table manners, and toileting ARE curriculum. does it drive me nuts to spend more time dressing for the snow then the time we actually spend outside it in? yes. but its part of the learning process.

i also feel its more important to teach them how to treat each other, cope with disappointment, empathy and respect, then to make sure little susie can write the letter M perfectly.

i would NEVER buy a prepackaged curriculum. i dont even spend that much time researching on the web for building a curriculum myself. there's really no need to. they dont do worksheets either, and no TV.

i do follow the creative curriculum. (its my bible...LOL) i also use the monessori method, and reggio emilia approach. we dont have set themes, its more about what the children are interested in. very child centered and emergent.

our day typically looks like this.....

the kids arrive and are free to choose what they want to do until breakfast.

we wash up, and help prepare the food, set the table, and eat together.

diapers are changed and potty time

we gather for circle time, but those who dont want to join us are free to do something else. i will do lots of songs, ABC's and counting, flannelboard, etc during this time, but its not flashcard or rote memorization type things. more of a hands on fun approach.

then the children are free to choose an area to play....dramatic, blocks, table games, books/listening center, writing table, music, art, sand & water. there are no preset art activities. everything is out and available to them to choose what they want to create. some of you may think "what a mess she probably has" lol but when you start young, and teach them responsibility, it all comes quite naturally. even the young two year olds pick up their supplies when they are done, and sweep up the sand with little hand brooms. THAT is part of the learning process.

we spend the next 1/2 hour just getting dressed to go outside. again, part of the learning process.

when we come in, its potty time/diapers again.

we then set the table and help prepare lunch. we eat together, family style. the kids serve and pour themselves. yes they spill, but they learn to clean up. (yet again, they are learning.)

we then have story time, and nap.

when they get up, its diapers/potty and snack, all which they are fully involved.

we welcome home the SAgers, and free play until pickup.

i'm never stressed, never hurried. our days are very relaxed here. the kids are learning through everyday experiences a boxed curriculum can never give them.

i gain more personal fullfillment in seeing tommy tie his shoes, clean his own mess, or help a friend, then i would if i taught him algebra.

i am really into slow family living, and living simply. i see too many families rushing through the day, and rushing through their lives, just to "get it all done". and most of the time its just so they can have "more stuff". so while the smith's and the jones' are shoving McD's in their faces in the car on the way to their soccer/baseball/music/dance/karate all-in-one-night practices, we are at the table together eating a wholesome home cooked meal, relaxed, enjoying each others company, and getting to know one another in a new way each day.

and i strive to run my daycare the same way.


geez, i'll get off my soapbox now. sorry that was so long
OMG MELSKIDS!! That is what I was talking about! That is pretty much EXACTLY what we have been doing here but I was busy trying to squeeze in the boxed curriculum too and it wasn't working out very well...I felt "unfulfilled" as a provider and felt the kids weren't getting 100% of anything.

Your day is what we have been doing since we turned the TV off FOR GOOD in December and I am finding that after years of trying to get it all in, I have had more calm, loving, real, quality fullfilling moments in the last few weeks than I have had in all the last 16 years put together!!

So by all means stay on your soapbox because I think you are right! I have been looking for exactly that approach and have waivered back and forth between reading threads about FCC's that are offering 'high quality preschool classrooms for all ages' and FCC's that are doing it like Nan, which I am finding I am closer and closer to all the time.

I also struggle with the fact that I am 12 credits shy of graduating with my Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and I have to say I am having alot of internal conflict about some of the things they are teaching now days. I agree whole heartedly with the knowledge I have gained about cognitive and physical development...it is some of the methods they are teaching in other areas that I am having issues with. Like the whole necessity of a full 'school' curriculum for toddler's and pre-schoolers.....(this is kind of like the thread that got heated a while back about the actual long term benefits of schooling the under 5's group.)

I guess when I look back on what things my children got or didn't get when they were daycare age....I am most proud of them as adults now that they are both respectful, dependable, honest and productive human beings who have wonderful manners. I vaguely remember when they learned to write the whole alphabet or who learned algebra first. I have no idea if they know the periodic table of elements and I doubt either of them can name all 44 presidents. But I do know the self-help/life skills that alot of this new generation of people are missing, were taught to my kids.

Wow, this thread has been like a therapy session for me! Thanks ladies...I needed that!!
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:38 AM
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Well said melskids.

I wish I could let go completely, but I can't. The word 'preschool' is mandatory in advertising in my area or you just wouldn't get kids.

My daily routine sounds very much like yours only I have themes. EX: Right now and probably next week we are totally into Valentines Days with a twist; today we've been talking about real hearts and how they work; yesterday we got into a whole conversation about friendship and what it means to be a friend, kwim?

Couple weeks ago it was penguins ~ they couldn't get enough of penguins and the kinds of penguins and walking like penguins and sliding like penguins. LOL, it was pretty fun. I just choose the theme and give them materials and they just do the rest.

I have friend who is a kindy teacher and it never ceases to amaze her how many kids come to her not being able to zip a zipper or tie a shoe; they have no self control or table manners.

I often wonder when these simple life skills lost their importance?
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:44 AM
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I went looking at the montessori sites and I think i'm going to start doing more than the box stuff (which is still fine and art is a must because its all about being creative) i'm just amazed how little kids know in the "daily life skills" like zipping up a coat or how to put a hat on. I also find that many kids don't know how to "problem solve" their parents are always solving their problems, like our riding cars, I let them figure it out on how to get in rather than I just go and do it.
I also think art needs to be implemented, so many kids just don't know how to be creative, I have kids who color trees pink and orange and a kid who will tell them that they are wrong, I see nothing wrong with it, to each his own.
this weekend I will look more into motessori, I did post on the boards what others do. I will gaurentee that most do montessori style and don't even realize it. (oh if I want to be certified, its almost 7000 dollars)
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:17 PM
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I went looking at the montessori sites and I think i'm going to start doing more than the box stuff (which is still fine and art is a must because its all about being creative) i'm just amazed how little kids know in the "daily life skills" like zipping up a coat or how to put a hat on. I also find that many kids don't know how to "problem solve" their parents are always solving their problems, like our riding cars, I let them figure it out on how to get in rather than I just go and do it.
I also think art needs to be implemented, so many kids just don't know how to be creative, I have kids who color trees pink and orange and a kid who will tell them that they are wrong, I see nothing wrong with it, to each his own.
this weekend I will look more into motessori, I did post on the boards what others do. I will gaurentee that most do montessori style and don't even realize it. (oh if I want to be certified, its almost 7000 dollars)
Is the certificate of certification guilded in gold bullion or something!??!? Holy smokes! (I don't think my whole B.S. degree costs that much.)
and yes, tha tis what I want to teach...those missing life-skills and foster individual creativity.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DCMom View Post
Well said melskids.

I wish I could let go completely, but I can't. The word 'preschool' is mandatory in advertising in my area or you just wouldn't get kids.

My daily routine sounds very much like yours only I have themes. EX: Right now and probably next week we are totally into Valentines Days with a twist; today we've been talking about real hearts and how they work; yesterday we got into a whole conversation about friendship and what it means to be a friend, kwim?

Couple weeks ago it was penguins ~ they couldn't get enough of penguins and the kinds of penguins and walking like penguins and sliding like penguins. LOL, it was pretty fun. I just choose the theme and give them materials and they just do the rest.

I have friend who is a kindy teacher and it never ceases to amaze her how many kids come to her not being able to zip a zipper or tie a shoe; they have no self control or table manners.

I often wonder when these simple life skills lost their importance?

they lost their importance when parents started worrying about their kid being "smarter" and more advanced then the "normal" crowd. its part of having to have everything bigger and better. don't even get me started on "your baby can read" type parents lol

all of my parents choose me because of the type of program i run.
and all the kiddos leave for Kindy more then ready.

i throw some themes in there too. for example, i have lots of valentines activites out right now. pink and red paint, heart stamps, books about friendship, a post office in dramatic play to mail valentine's, things like that. but two of the boys are "stuck" on trains. for months. lol so we're still "studying" those as well.


i also wanted to add, that when some of the parents do choose to send their kiddos to a formal pre-k, i'm OK with that too. i don't feel insulted in the least. i actually prefer 0-3 anyway
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:24 PM
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Pammy Pammy is offline
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Please does anybody know of a good Preschool curriculum that is cheap and has everything...a theme colors numbers letters recipes and games?? Please help me!!!
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:07 AM
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Blackcat, I bought the letter of the week download we looked at. $15 and I love it. It gives me stuff to post on my wall, to advertise (more to the parents) what we are emphasizing this week. I have a poster with Ee on it, a green frog, a triangle, and the number two with two kites, a bible verse, and all of those things in Spanish (I had to get those myself, they were not included)
It also has some games, puzzles and stuff to play with in the theme you can pick and choose.

We have a schedule and structure to a degree. Throughout the ENTIRE day, the kids might spend 20-30 mins doing what would be considered something preschool. I provide open ended crafts, puzzles and games.
Yesterday, we played with blue and yellow paint in a plastic baggie to mix. While we were outside, we spent a few minutes looking for triangles, we sang a song about the letter E and its sound. We talked about the weather.
At lunch everyone got two pieces of carrot, and two pieces of cheese stick. We talked about everyone having two shoes.
None of it was "circle time", sit down and color this time, etc. I spend maybe half an hour on Sunday changing my board, and we are done with prep.

I agree with you. My parents typically shrug when I tell them what I do. "They will get it over time," they say. And they appreciate not always having a ton of junk to take home that they then feel they must keep. I just send stuff once in a while.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:14 AM
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Please does anybody know of a good Preschool curriculum that is cheap and has everything...a theme colors numbers letters recipes and games?? Please help me!!!
Check out LOTW (this version)
I have always used free and just found my own stuff, but I really like what this has. And it is cheap, downloadable, has lovely pictures to post or give to kids. There are no worksheets or really coloring pages. Not sure about recipes..I would have to look.
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  #28  
Old 09-11-2013, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
OMG MELSKIDS!! That is what I was talking about! That is pretty much EXACTLY what we have been doing here but I was busy trying to squeeze in the boxed curriculum too and it wasn't working out very well...I felt "unfulfilled" as a provider and felt the kids weren't getting 100% of anything.

Your day is what we have been doing since we turned the TV off FOR GOOD in December and I am finding that after years of trying to get it all in, I have had more calm, loving, real, quality fullfilling moments in the last few weeks than I have had in all the last 16 years put together!!

So by all means stay on your soapbox because I think you are right! I have been looking for exactly that approach and have waivered back and forth between reading threads about FCC's that are offering 'high quality preschool classrooms for all ages' and FCC's that are doing it like Nan, which I am finding I am closer and closer to all the time.

I also struggle with the fact that I am 12 credits shy of graduating with my Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and I have to say I am having alot of internal conflict about some of the things they are teaching now days. I agree whole heartedly with the knowledge I have gained about cognitive and physical development...it is some of the methods they are teaching in other areas that I am having issues with. Like the whole necessity of a full 'school' curriculum for toddler's and pre-schoolers.....(this is kind of like the thread that got heated a while back about the actual long term benefits of schooling the under 5's group.)

I guess when I look back on what things my children got or didn't get when they were daycare age....I am most proud of them as adults now that they are both respectful, dependable, honest and productive human beings who have wonderful manners. I vaguely remember when they learned to write the whole alphabet or who learned algebra first. I have no idea if they know the periodic table of elements and I doubt either of them can name all 44 presidents. But I do know the self-help/life skills that alot of this new generation of people are missing, were taught to my kids.

Wow, this thread has been like a therapy session for me! Thanks ladies...I needed that!!
I am right there with you blackcat!!!
I feel like I'm trying to do it all but there just isn't enough time- I have done boxed curriculums- but my heart isn't in it... I want to play with and nurture the kids- not treat them like they are kindergartners! I want to teach in the moment when the opportunity is there.
Yesterday we played with play dough. And my 3 dcb used scissors to cut hair- he worked so hard and was so proud- and I loved every second! So much better than cutting out a square for a worksheet-
I felt like I had to do "pre-school" but parents don't see it as pre school anyway because I have a small group. They see pre school as a teacher with students in a desk. I don't want that- so if that's what they want- let them take them there...
I will focus on being a great human being- and when they are kind to someone who needs it or act accountable for something they did- that is where I will find my pride in my work. Not when they count to 100-
This has been a great thread for me too! Thank you
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  #29  
Old 09-11-2013, 05:51 AM
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My State (who pays me nothing, offers no insurance or benefits, btw) says I have to meet "early learning standards". These books are a couple hundred pages each with HUGE posters I am supposed to hang around my HOME.

I am being bullied to offer "curriculum" (paid for by me and trademarked by whomever the state recommends).

Wonder what their cut of the profits are??
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  #30  
Old 09-11-2013, 06:20 AM
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That is a good idea, but I am really just trying to either be a family childcare provider or a preschool teacher that does not deal with anything but the preschool age.
As a FCC provider, I am just feeling as though for the little money we earn/are paid it is not worth all the effort we put into all these fancy curriculums and scheduled routines.

I am looking to focus more on the other thing you mentioned.....the wonderful feeling we get when a child learns something that was not pre-planned but simply learned through regular daily interaction with playmates and friends. Every activity is a "teachable moment" it just doesn't always have to come from elaborate pre-packaged curriculums that we devote hours and hours of time and money investing in....
Black cat I agree with you on this also. The children still learn everything they need to know while playing. My daughter learned all her numbers 1-10 playing on our playroom hopscotch rug not through a planned activity. The children take part in the art more if I just randomly pull things and leave them out to explore on their own. My 3 yr olds would play outside all day if I allow it.

Over the last few weeks I have thrown all my lesson plans out the window and the only scheduled activites are breakfast, lunch, nap and snack and my days are much more enjoyable.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:02 AM
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NAFCC just endorsed a curriculum called Gee Whiz that might be interesting to check into for those of you that are looking for something. it has a $12 a month fee and you print off what you need or want.

Those of you that like the play based curriculum, check out HighScope. It is world renown and what most head start programs use, at least in Michigan. Also if you are in Michigan most R&R Associations and Great Start Trainings are promoting the classes for free.

I am combining both.
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  #32  
Old 09-11-2013, 10:28 AM
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I am an FCC and have been going back and forth on whether to purchase a curriculum or not and have been researching the different curriculum's that are available. I have decided that I am not going to purchase a curriculum, but do my own. Here, you don't really get paid more for doing one and to me, everything that you said from purchasing to planning to implementing and everything in between is not worth it. And also, my families all said that they chose me because I am not a preschool and they like the fact that we don't just do preschool activities all day, that we actually do things according to what the children like and it's more of a home atmosphere.
With that said, I am mostly play based, but some activities are minimumally (sp?) led by me. I do have some structure because I believe children need some structure. I also have a schedule, but if something goes over, we don't immediately stop to do the next thing.

I do have circle and this is my "preschool" part of the day-which is only 15-20 minutes. In circle we:
Have a weekly theme and have Fun Friday's, usually corresponding to the theme.
Have a letter, color, and shape of the week
Count to 20
Read books
Sing songs
My children are all 2.5 and under and usually they will sit at first, but then they go off and do something, but I continue to do circle. I have had parents of children remark on how their child just started counting at home, and the child rarely will sit in circle. They do get things even if it seems that they aren't listening!

We do art a few times a week, sometimes it corresponds with the theme, sometimes not. And my art is usually process art. Sometimes I will cut out a shape, but they glue, paint, etc. things where they want them to be.

We also work on self help skills, which to me, are so vital for kids to practice/learn!

Other than that, we play and learn through our play. I observe some of the time and I interact some of the time.

Anyways, with all that said, IMO, I don't think that to run a great ffc you need to have a curriculum that is made for you. I think that you can make your own, specific to your group, and it can be just as good, or even better than some of them out there! I'm not saying that some of the curriculum that you can buy is bad, but I don't think you really need it, especially if you want to run a fcc that isn't labeled a preschool per say.

Some parents are looking for a preschool environment, and some for a more home-like environment. It's possible to mix the two, but you are always going to have parents who want one or the other. You can't please everyone.
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  #33  
Old 09-11-2013, 10:59 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is online now
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I am wondering since we have had several threads and posts about teaching and doing curriculum. Of those providers who buy or plan a curriculum that you follow on pretty routine daily schedule, do you get paid more than the going rate for your area?

I ask because I have been in this business for some time now and every year I plan a curriculum, pay loads of money for it, spend an enormous amount of my time outside of my regular hours sorting, buying, planning and organizing my curriculum and I am seriously starting to rethink the entire point of doing all this. I advertise as a "pre-school" like others do thinking that parents are looking for all the 1,2,3's and ABC's classroom type learning and I really feel as though 99.9% of my current parents are really only looking for a loving, caring, safe environment for their child. They aren't all that concerned about the "schooling" part of it because they all know their kid will get it in Kindy or they will learn from their parents and sibs or they will possibly even pull their child from daycare and put them in an actual "preschool" center as a pp vented about.

We have a good supply of venting on here in regards to parents not caring what craft items and projects their child did during the day and leaving most correspondence and daily notes in the cubby untouched. So I am wondering what the point of doing a preschool curriculum with dck's is when we, as providers, are collectively just trying to get the parents all to pay on time, remember our house rules, drop off/pick up on time, respect us and support us as we assist their child in learning developmentally appropriate skills such as toilet training, eating healthy foods, napping quietly and using self-help skills.

Another poster got me thinking about how tough it is to fit all this stuff into one day and I have to say, why are we trying? If we are not licensed to teach pre-school and are licensed as family childcare providers, why are we all trying so hard to do so much more?

I would think in this crazy, two parent working long hours, too many extra curricular activities and all world, kids would benefit much more (and have less challenging behaviors) if we only focused on the basic necessities and just played with them. No scheduled craft time, no strict routines to follow...just on the floor, hands-on fun stuff....lots of love and nurturing. No stress over trying to get Timmy to figure out why a "b" and a "d" are not the same.....

I went to a "NO TV" childcare in December and my dck's have been playing in ways I did not know they could so I am seriously thinking about just having a "Basics Only" childcare. I don't get paid any more than the regular going rate and all the families I have enrolled in the last few years are only looking for someone they can trust who will put her kids needs (the basic ones) ahead of her own. No one has been looking for a teacher or a tutor. I still will have all the activities and supplies I always have had but it will be up to them when and how they play with them. dck #1 might paint at 9:00 am while dck #2 might not paint until 3:00 pm. No structured activity...do what you want when you want. Just meals and nap/rest time on schedule.

Two rules will apply;
1. Play nicely/respectfully.
2. Pickup after yourself.

Learning will still be part of our day, just in a completely non-structured, non-routine, stress-free manner.

I always wanted to be licensed to run an actual preschool, but I am not. I am a licensed FAMILY CHILD CARE provider. I do not get paid any more than the regular going rate set by our county. I feel this will be less stressful and eliminate my need for the curriculum drama I go through every year.

Just wondering what everyone else's thoughts are on this....
For me, I find that in my area the majority of parents look for an educational child care arrangement unless they have family to help them with child care. In my city we definitely see a difference in child care cost when an educational approach is offered vs when it's not.

In my city all daycare centers offer some type of educational program (preschool, Montessori etc) and their rates start at $130/week for half day programs ( Mon-Fri 9am-1pm) not including yearly registration fees. Full day programs cost more (around $200-$230/week). Before/after school costs are around $70/week.

FCC programs that have some sort of preschool program cost around $160-$175/week for full-time care. I plan my own preschool program and charge on the lower end of this scale ($165/week) but I don't a lot of worksheets or crafts. I do free art, free play etc. in a relaxed way but it's planned and with a purpose.

Each month we work on certain things and have themes and even though I plan each day most of the activities are pretty much what we'd be playing with even if I didn't do "preschool". For example, this month we are working on the letter A, the colors red and green, the circle, the number 1 and our community helper is the police officer. Today we painted with red and green paint, are having apples (red and green, apples are circles) at each meal, made red apple scented play dough which I encouraged the children to roll up into snakes to look like the number 1, our dramatic play area has police officer props and costumes, our library has books relating to what we are learning etc. For me planning the month the first time takes time but I will save my plans and reuse them next year or I will plan next year a little differently and keep both years worth of plans to reuse them and rotate them each year.

Other FCC that don't offer preschool charge around $100-$125/week depending on their location. That's considerable less than what I can charge and I don't offer a full-blown "preschool" program.

I also find that even many FCC offer preschool many of our clients prefer to send their children to "real preschool" anyway. I have a 3yo DCG that comes to me before and after preschool even though I offer an educational approach because her parents were looking for child care that supported learning in a more relaxed way. I see more and more of this.

Here where I live if I didn't advertise myself as educational or as having some sort of preschool program I wouldn't get much interest and especially not for what I charge even though it's a fair deal.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:59 AM
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Well, I feel like I am still on summer break right now I fully planned to have a plan for this week .. but well, it is hot out so water play afternoons have been in effect. We have been reading lots because I got like 40 books from scholastic right before I left for vacation. Counting, singing, welcoming back our friends. I feel like since I got the twins (after Christmas...) I haven't gotten a thing done! They tear things off the walls and board so I haven't been doing elaborate boards.
I do enjoy a good theme, so do the kids... hopefully, next week will bring that I just feel like it takes me all day just to get the necessities, like pottying done! I keep thinking the twins will stop dumping and settle in one of these days... I love them, they are just a handful! They can never be unsupervised for a moment! They are 2 1/2.
Right now I have just turned 4 yr old, two almost 3 yr olds, 2 1/2 twins, and 1 1/2 yr old. I also have another almost 4 yr old and another 1 1/2 yr old that rotate days. So I always have to be aware of items that 1 1/2 yr olds shouldn't have and twins will put in their mouths. They are still very fixated on everything going in their mouths!! Which means that things that I would love to just "have out" can't be out.
OK done with my vent.
Blackcat, I can see where your heading My compromise is that when I can I sneak in elements of "preschool" with older ones. So some mornings I will have 4 yr old and almost 3 yr old girl and we will work on a "project" or play a game, or file folders. Or if they are the last ones here I will do something "special" with them. I keep things handy I am working on making felt pizza parts so I can set up a pizza shop but there again probably not when the twins are here... but they don't get here until 10:30 most days.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:11 AM
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I also struggle with the fact that I am 12 credits shy of graduating with my Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and I have to say I am having alot of internal conflict about some of the things they are teaching now days. I agree whole heartedly with the knowledge I have gained about cognitive and physical development...it is some of the methods they are teaching in other areas that I am having issues with. Like the whole necessity of a full 'school' curriculum for toddler's and pre-schoolers.....(this is kind of like the thread that got heated a while back about the actual long term benefits of schooling the under 5's group.)
I am finding myself concerned for the same reason. I have only three credits left (an internship class) and looking at the requirements for that, I am a little concerned. It really does seem they are pushing curriculum for younger and younger kids. Between that and the new "Parent aware" stuff, I feel like I am being pressed to do "something" even with the tiniest.

That has never been me. I let them help cook, teach them to put on their shoes, turn the underwear right side out, and be nice to their friends. I let them smell the spices and taste the pickle juice and use the colored chalk to paint their friends face (assuming it is ok with the friend.)
They leave here exhausted and smiling and "played hard" dirty, and return clean and ready to go with play clothes.
I am with you all the way, but I do feel some concern that we are a dying breed (though this thread gives me hope.)
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:13 AM
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I do a mixture but because I want to only enroll 3 and 4 year olds, I do have to run a "preschool" in order to get parents to enroll. And in our state, if you have 4 y/o's and want to be more than 3 stars on the rating scale, you have to use Creative Curriculum which I do anyway. But true Creative Curriculum is child led, child centered with minimal teacher input. The environment is arranged to allow the children to explore and learn. I have tons of theme boxes and we rotate through based on what the children are interested in.

I change out items in the classroom based on what skills the children need to focus on. I have boxes of puzzles and rotate them based on what we are talking about so that they lead to further discussions. Books are rotated regularly, manipulatives, sensory table, science center, etc. are all rotated. The art center is open all of the time and there are a ton of materials for them. But I also will change what is available based on what we are learning. For example we are talking about the color green right now so the paints available last week was only regular green, light green, and dark green. This week I took the greens out and put in blue and yellow. I didn't need to say anything because the first person who used the art center said that the greens were gone but look I can make green when I mixed the blue and yellow. So through discovery, they figured it out.

I also tell parents at the interview that learning letters, shapes, colors, numbers, etc are all great for Kindergarten but what Kindergarten teachers really want to see are social skills and self help skills. We work on a lot of self help skills. Children are allowed to struggle and learn to put their shoes on before we go outside. I don't intervene unless asked and even then I don't do it for them, I walk them through the process and assist. The children are expected to learn to use their manners and say please and thank you, to take turns, to share, and to be polite and respectful of the other children as well as the adults. They are expected to clean up after themselves and most usually do it readily. They serve themselves at lunch time and use their manners at the table. They learn to sit on the carpet criss cross applesauce with their hands in their baskets when we need to like the times we come together as a group. They need to be able to sit without rolling around and having their hands and feet on each other. These are all important "preschool" skills that take time to master and are part of what we work on.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:14 AM
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Oh and Blackcat if I had land I would so do the whole "outdoor" childcare!! If we could just live in the woods all day I would so be there!
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:13 PM
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I completely agree with you. I cant imagine trying to run my childcare with so many structured activities. When do they get to just play and be kids. My son is 11 and when he was small we rarely did much formal teaching. He learned to read by (age 4) music and videos. I believe they learn so much better if they are let explore on their own. Sure plan fun things but dont put so much stress on trying to be the perfect provider. Love the kids and give them a wonderful place to explore on their own
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Old 09-15-2013, 03:59 PM
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I myself have wondered the same thing many times. It seems that no matter how hard I have worked providing/planning "curriculum", parents pull their kids to send them to preschool around 3 years of age anyway. What I have found for myself is that using a curriculum of sorts makes things more fun and interesting for the kids which makes me feel better about the care I am providing. Another biggie is that it keeps things fresh for me. After 24+ years I need something to hold my interest as well and bring some variety to the days. I do use a curriculum kit but I pick and choose what we do from it. I don't stress about trying to get everything done everyday.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:23 AM
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Please does anybody know of a good Preschool curriculum that is cheap and has everything...a theme colors numbers letters recipes and games?? Please help me!!!
Pammy, thanks for joining the NE group! I used Carol's Affordable Curriculum one year. It was the only time I purchased a ready-made curriculum. It's substantially cheaper than anything else out there, and pretty cute, too. A few things I thought were a little dorky, but the kids liked them! What's awesome about it is that ALL MATERIALS are included (no printing-ink is so expensive!). So, I liked it. Can get it even cheaper per kid if you partner up with a provider friend to increase the number you order.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:34 AM
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I am wondering since we have had several threads and posts about teaching and doing curriculum. Of those providers who buy or plan a curriculum that you follow on pretty routine daily schedule, do you get paid more than the going rate for your area?

I ask because I have been in this business for some time now and every year I plan a curriculum, pay loads of money for it, spend an enormous amount of my time outside of my regular hours sorting, buying, planning and organizing my curriculum and I am seriously starting to rethink the entire point of doing all this. I advertise as a "pre-school" like others do thinking that parents are looking for all the 1,2,3's and ABC's classroom type learning and I really feel as though 99.9% of my current parents are really only looking for a loving, caring, safe environment for their child. They aren't all that concerned about the "schooling" part of it because they all know their kid will get it in Kindy or they will learn from their parents and sibs or they will possibly even pull their child from daycare and put them in an actual "preschool" center as a pp vented about.

We have a good supply of venting on here in regards to parents not caring what craft items and projects their child did during the day and leaving most correspondence and daily notes in the cubby untouched. So I am wondering what the point of doing a preschool curriculum with dck's is when we, as providers, are collectively just trying to get the parents all to pay on time, remember our house rules, drop off/pick up on time, respect us and support us as we assist their child in learning developmentally appropriate skills such as toilet training, eating healthy foods, napping quietly and using self-help skills.

Another poster got me thinking about how tough it is to fit all this stuff into one day and I have to say, why are we trying? If we are not licensed to teach pre-school and are licensed as family childcare providers, why are we all trying so hard to do so much more?

I would think in this crazy, two parent working long hours, too many extra curricular activities and all world, kids would benefit much more (and have less challenging behaviors) if we only focused on the basic necessities and just played with them. No scheduled craft time, no strict routines to follow...just on the floor, hands-on fun stuff....lots of love and nurturing. No stress over trying to get Timmy to figure out why a "b" and a "d" are not the same.....

I went to a "NO TV" childcare in December and my dck's have been playing in ways I did not know they could so I am seriously thinking about just having a "Basics Only" childcare. I don't get paid any more than the regular going rate and all the families I have enrolled in the last few years are only looking for someone they can trust who will put her kids needs (the basic ones) ahead of her own. No one has been looking for a teacher or a tutor. I still will have all the activities and supplies I always have had but it will be up to them when and how they play with them. dck #1 might paint at 9:00 am while dck #2 might not paint until 3:00 pm. No structured activity...do what you want when you want. Just meals and nap/rest time on schedule.

Two rules will apply;
1. Play nicely/respectfully.
2. Pickup after yourself.

Learning will still be part of our day, just in a completely non-structured, non-routine, stress-free manner.

I always wanted to be licensed to run an actual preschool, but I am not. I am a licensed FAMILY CHILD CARE provider. I do not get paid any more than the regular going rate set by our county. I feel this will be less stressful and eliminate my need for the curriculum drama I go through every year.

Just wondering what everyone else's thoughts are on this....
I do a preschool program with my kids for several reasons....

I do it to add excitement to our day
give us something to talk about
I believe parents do want and value this in childcare. I don't charge extra and pay for it out of my pocket. My rates are what I feel are fair.
I don't take on a big group of kids to make tons of money
I like the small group care that brings a sense of family away from family or extended family, security for the kids
I do what works for the day and look for a balance.
I believe in exposing kids to many experiences. Is the two year old going to understand everything about the Letter "C" No, they might only understand the concept of C is a letter, or C is the first letter of a friends name, or C and Cat look good together. It's exposure. Parents are so busy when they get home, they don't read to the kids or expose them to much anything except the TV and anything that equates to my kid is so cute.
I feel play is vital and if we are having a great play day we go with that.
I believe all kids learn differently and exposing them is key to learning opportunities. I believe basic skills are all high priority. Learning self control skills is key to a great start with kindergarten and that sets them up for years of schooling. Teachers want to see kids coming into K ready to learn, that can do basic skills, academics is the least of importance, they want to see kids that can listen, follow simple directions, get along with peers. I feel if you teach a bit of that in small scale setting doing some of what they will be asked to do for K they will be ahead of the game and eager to learn.

I did my own preschool program last year and it was a ton of work prepping and putting together. I loved every minute of it. This year I wanted to simplify a bit and went with a bought Curriculum MGT. I am loving it. It has every day laid out for me, shows what the kids are learning, subjects covered etc... and gives me enough to pick and choose what will work for the day with my kids. If I do it all, great. If I don't. I don't fret. I would like to say that I am a balance of child led and adult led. If my projects don't look like the sample, no biggie. We cover a lot, learn new songs, look forward to little surprises, like what is going to happen today for an activity. I was the same way when I did my own program. Some kids want more, some kids need less. I go with the flow and am able to do this with a small group.

I am not a teacher with a degree but I am an awesome preschool teacher! I don't advertise as a preschool. I do more because I want to do more. I want my days to be full of opportunities and experiences. I want something to look forward to doing with my kiddo's, other then just play- we do play and we do that well too. Loving, caring, safe is top priority and a given here. I like a little structure, because true life is not one free for all, all day. I really strive for a good balance. I know when I am off balance and need to revamp and that is when I look outside the box again and start again. I love what I do and that is why I do it.

Best- Hope this helps you BC-
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:39 AM
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I do a mixture but because I want to only enroll 3 and 4 year olds, I do have to run a "preschool" in order to get parents to enroll. And in our state, if you have 4 y/o's and want to be more than 3 stars on the rating scale, you have to use Creative Curriculum which I do anyway. But true Creative Curriculum is child led, child centered with minimal teacher input. The environment is arranged to allow the children to explore and learn. I have tons of theme boxes and we rotate through based on what the children are interested in.

I change out items in the classroom based on what skills the children need to focus on. I have boxes of puzzles and rotate them based on what we are talking about so that they lead to further discussions. Books are rotated regularly, manipulatives, sensory table, science center, etc. are all rotated. The art center is open all of the time and there are a ton of materials for them. But I also will change what is available based on what we are learning. For example we are talking about the color green right now so the paints available last week was only regular green, light green, and dark green. This week I took the greens out and put in blue and yellow. I didn't need to say anything because the first person who used the art center said that the greens were gone but look I can make green when I mixed the blue and yellow. So through discovery, they figured it out.

I also tell parents at the interview that learning letters, shapes, colors, numbers, etc are all great for Kindergarten but what Kindergarten teachers really want to see are social skills and self help skills. We work on a lot of self help skills. Children are allowed to struggle and learn to put their shoes on before we go outside. I don't intervene unless asked and even then I don't do it for them, I walk them through the process and assist. The children are expected to learn to use their manners and say please and thank you, to take turns, to share, and to be polite and respectful of the other children as well as the adults. They are expected to clean up after themselves and most usually do it readily. They serve themselves at lunch time and use their manners at the table. They learn to sit on the carpet criss cross applesauce with their hands in their baskets when we need to like the times we come together as a group. They need to be able to sit without rolling around and having their hands and feet on each other. These are all important "preschool" skills that take time to master and are part of what we work on.
you sound a lot like me- What works for you in the sitting department of not rolling around keeping hands and feet to themselves. I have a hard time with this. Need some ideas to foster this growth-
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:48 AM
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My State (who pays me nothing, offers no insurance or benefits, btw) says I have to meet "early learning standards". These books are a couple hundred pages each with HUGE posters I am supposed to hang around my HOME.

I am being bullied to offer "curriculum" (paid for by me and trademarked by whomever the state recommends).

Wonder what their cut of the profits are??
I like

I don't agree with all the bull poo they try to throw down our throats as being the right way and only way of doing things.

I am a great preschool teacher with out a degree. I teach basic skills and throw a bunch of learning ops, and experiences in there.

I like being my own boss! That is why I have my own business. I don't want to be bossed around by someone that sat in a meeting deciding what the right way is of doing something when you can do something about ten different ways and get the same results and have patience learned in getting there.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:17 PM
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Why? Mainly because the state is pushing the preschool down our throats, star ratings that are linked to subsidized payments, quality score ratings, parents being brainwashed into educational chide care, and I'm not tallking early childhood development, they want a full blown curriculum by the minute even for 3 month old children. And they still send them to centers by the age of 2, that is mostly the trend in California .
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:08 PM
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I am at the same point. I am stressed to the point of tears and overload trying to make everything perfect and fit everything into our schedule. And I always feel like I am failing.

The kids certainly don't have a great time when I am that stressed, and I definitely don't.

At bare minimum I am going to ease up my schedule so I and the kids are happier.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:24 AM
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I am at the same point. I am stressed to the point of tears and overload trying to make everything perfect and fit everything into our schedule. And I always feel like I am failing.

The kids certainly don't have a great time when I am that stressed, and I definitely don't.

At bare minimum I am going to ease up my schedule so I and the kids are happier.
Blandino-

Are you your own boss? I think this makes a difference. If your not, you have protocol that you have to follow and own up to. I don't have that pressure. I am my critic and I hold myself high to what I do because I love it. I don't sit on my fanny all day and do nothing- I am constantly trying to figure out ways to make my daycare better and what I can do with these kiddo's while they are in my care. When you are doing something because you want to do it, it makes a big difference then when it is being pushed down your throat to do. Just as some kids don't do well with a regular structured day in school. I don't either. I like keeping things real and balanced at least aiming for the balance. I think we are complex little people and people and one way of doing something is not the answer as the states are trying to push onto us. I see tons of people that are book smart but lacking in several other areas- I see this so much when I go to trainings.

You would be smart to ease your days so that both you and the kiddo's are not stressed. I know that is hard to do when your following someone elses guide lines of what is "right"

best-
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:34 PM
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Why? Mainly because the state is pushing the preschool down our throats, star ratings that are linked to subsidized payments, quality score ratings, parents being brainwashed into educational chide care, and I'm not tallking early childhood development, they want a full blown curriculum by the minute even for 3 month old children. And they still send them to centers by the age of 2, that is mostly the trend in California .
I know this particular response is 2 months old but I just wanted to clarify that CA is not enforcing a preschool type setting for infants, in fact the State is pushing the CA foundations. For infants it is solely developmental and encourages positive social interactions. Even for preschool age children the CA Preschool Foundations are all about learning certain things but how you teach these things is up to you. They just want some type of a curriculum ... that does not translate to worksheets even though sadly a lot of preschools go this route. They're about a positive learning environment and development reflecting age-appropriate competency through "Encouraging play-based active learning" <--- straight from the Preschool Frameworks (Volume 1).

The CA Foundations will all be tied in with the QRIS program. Here are the Foundations themselves.

What the kids should know:
California Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations PDF

What the "teacher" should know:
California Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework PDF

And just for reference, here is where you can find the preschool foundations (all three volumes in PDF) and the Frameworks.

California Preschool Learning Foundations

California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:34 AM
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we dont do curriculum we are a play based center. The kids are let explore, imagine, do art figure out on their own what THEY want to do. We do no formal learning. We use the surroundings to learn counting and letters. Set up a learning environment and let them have at it. http://www.playcountsdenitadinger.blogspot.com/
http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/643130139044874/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7y6...&feature=share
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:39 AM
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I have been providing a boxed curriculum for the last 5-6 years. When I first started I was using Funshine Express and really liked it. I was charging an extra $25 a month from parents and they had no problem paying it. The last couple of years I have switched my preschool curriculum to Early Start Fun Learning. The parents like it more because it is more kid friendly. With Funshine I had to make most of the crafts myself because it was to hard for the kids. With my new curriculum it is easy for the kids and all the projects look like the kids made them not me. I don't charge extra for this curriculum because for the last couple of years with the economy changing parents don't want to pay extra for anything. What I can tell you is that when I get a call almost every single parent I do talk to asks me if I provide a preschool curriculum and that they are looking for that in a daycare. So, I do feel pressure to provide that. Because I am a Family Child Care and take care of different age groups it's hard to focus on preschool daily. I am not a center so do the very best I can. So far everyone seems happy. Plus its a nice addition to our day to do some school work.

Hope this helps Black Cat
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:15 PM
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Most parents see daycare as a business transaction. Service provided and paid for. It's so much more. There's a huge emotional attachment taking an infant all the way through to preschool years- you spend more time with that child than their own grandparents. I often find parents don't get it- but the children do! All the spintaneous I love yous and amazement in their eyes as they learn and laugh - it's a magical job! Look to the parents for payment - look to the children for appreciation !

In MA a curriculum is required for family childcare educators. Simply done I cover common core concepts in every theme and incorporate several themes per month. For example Arctic animals... Stories based on the Arctic, science with ice and water and small figures, polar bear math - matching numbers, polar bear hokey pokey- put your polar bear paws in, etc babies enjoy songs, poems movement (usually in my arms) and stories. Hopefully a am nap coincides with a messy table project- if not then its time for baby to enjoy sensory play in highchair- maybe "paint" with squash - safe if baby decides to eat - as I simultaneously watch the messy station. Daily I provide a sheet listing meals served, stories, fine motor, gross motor, craft/theme and individual interests(areas they were interested in most). I never watch tv however when our theme allows it I love a 5 min bbc you tube video on our topic- live polar bears video in their environment - awesome learning tool. Some children will learn quicker than others - it's the exposure to authentic learning environments that prepares the children.

I provide quality care but I am not a babysitter - I rarely sit - and really hate being referred to as one. In my opinion your rates should reflect the high end of daycare center fees. In a home the curriculum is tailored to specific children enrolled.

I pride myself in knowing the children that enroll as babies and leave for kindergarten Are prepared for the next phases of education. Parents have brought their children to formal prek at 4 and I'm very happy for them. I know I've done well and I am sad to see them go. Some children need a larger group of children. Home care of 6 and then attend kindergarten with 25 can be difficult.

Best of luck!
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