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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 08-03-2011, 08:21 AM
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Default Do Parents Pay?

If you use a purchased curriculum, do the parents pay for it? For example, I'm looking into Funshine and for my 4 kids it would cost 83.00 per quarter. Which would be roughly 21 bucks a piece. One of my families consists of twins, so that would be 42 every 3 months (coincidentally they are also on state assistance, so I'm not sure if they'll be willing to pay- but it's worth a shot to ask I suppose)

So I was thinking of writing an e-mail to the parents to let them know my intentions for this fall and see if they're willing to pay for the program. I could also offer the low income family a discounted rate if they cannot afford it. But their kids are almost 3 so I think it would be good to do something like this.

So anyways, if you had the parents pay, how did you word it to them? I'm looking for some tips on how to write this e-mail.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:28 AM
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I personally think that if you are going to do preschool and curriculum then your rates should simply reflect that. If you only provide basic care and supervision without all the structured preschool activities then your rates should be lower.

I do both. Summers are basic, easy and fun while the school year is structured, full of preschool activities and curriculum. My rates reflect the difference in the type of care I am giving.

BTW, I have used Funshine in the past and like the format however, I do my own curriculum now.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:47 AM
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Yeah, well my baby is due in October so I want something that is low fuss which is why I want to give a box-curriculum a try.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:53 AM
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Aha, completely good reason to do a boxed curriculum.. (FTR, I wasn't knocking you for using a boxed curriculum...sorry if it came off that way. )

What age are the kids you are looking to buy the curriculum for?

The one thing about Funshine I will say is there is alot of cutting and gluing that you have to do. It takes alot of time and although I loved their format, I think I stopped using it because I didn't have enough time to do all the prep work.

Carol's Affordable Curriculum offers a Tiny Tots box curriculum that requires no cutting...http://www.carolscurriculum.com/
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:08 AM
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I use funshine AND do my own because they seem to stay on one topic WAY longer than I can... I think my attention span is eerily similar to the kids...but I digress...

I just added a $2 a day ($10 a week) rate increase back in January to cover the new curriculum and all the recently added State burdens...umm..I mean requirements.

I will check out Carols, too, Blackcat...does she offer separate pieces or is it also a subscription type/all or nothing thing???
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:33 AM
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Right now they are 1.5, 2.5, 2.5 and almost 3.5 (mine).

And since they all started in May, it's been kind of a free for all over the summer, just playing and going with whatever they want to do. Blocks, puzzles, coloring, play doh, not much structure at all basically. PLUS my 2- 2.5 year old twins are going from part to full time, so I think it's a good time to get something started. I'm going to talk to the parents just in person tonight I think and let them know what I'm thinking.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
I use funshine AND do my own because they seem to stay on one topic WAY longer than I can... I think my attention span is eerily similar to the kids...but I digress...

I just added a $2 a day ($10 a week) rate increase back in January to cover the new curriculum and all the recently added State burdens...umm..I mean requirements.

I will check out Carols, too, Blackcat...does she offer separate pieces or is it also a subscription type/all or nothing thing???
I think you can just order monthly but she gives discounts for 3,6 and 9 month programs. She also has some fabulous coloring packets, informational packets (daily reports/rewards) and specialty forms. She also sells really cool white noise/sound CD's like a safari themed one etc.

She offers a regular curriculum and a Christian based one as well. She splits them up into toddlers and preschool packages. I have found her prices to be comparable to other boxed curriculums.

It's definately worth checking out though.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:13 PM
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I am raising my rates in January similar to Cat's--$10/week. It's to cover the newly-added preschool curriculum as well as some MAJOR daycare improvements I want, including, but not limited to: BIG sandbox and sand, smartphone and data plan for photos and texting, awesome mirrors for the playroom, those squishy infant crawling/climbing thingys from Lakeshore, and stuff like that. Plus, it'll cover my vacations which are going to unpaid in January...but I'm not making a big deal of that.
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:00 PM
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Well both families seem go. I told them to check out Funshine's webpage. Woot
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:46 PM
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Is Funshine a little advanced for that age group 1.5-3.5? Or do they offer one for toddlers? I had thought about using them last year, but was afraid it'd be too advanced for my 2 1/2 - 3 yr olds. I ended up going with Twosteps for them (have you checked them out? Their website is www.funsteps.com) and funsteps for the 4-5 yr olds. It had very little prep work involved. Twosteps was perfect for the age group I used it for, and think it'd work really well for younger toddlers as well. I know you already mentioned it to your parents, but wanted to let you know, I charged the parents a monthly curriculum fee to cover it, and also asked them to supply the usual school supplies (scissors, glue, markers, etc). None of them complained and they all seemed to appreciate it more and take more of an interest in their child's day. I figure it was because an additional cost was attached to it, so they took their child's preschool learning more serious Whereas when they get preschool included in their weekly rate, they seem to just take it for granted and forget that their child is even doing preschool (last yr was my first year using a boxed curriculum). I'm not going to use one this year, though, and I already regret THAT decision! I almost wish I could charge the parents a "home-made curriculum fee" to cover the extra hours I have to spend coming up with my own. Not to mention the extra ink and paper involved, more craft materials, etc out of my own pocket You will not be sorry that you went with a boxed curriculum. It is very much worth it!
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post

The one thing about Funshine I will say is there is alot of cutting and gluing that you have to do. It takes alot of time and although I loved their format, I think I stopped using it because I didn't have enough time to do all the prep work.
I just recieved September's curriculum today. Funshine now has a lot of punchout materials as opposed to all the cutting. There is still some prep involved, but not as much as before.
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:20 PM
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I do Mother Goose Time. I did Funshine and just was so burned out by all the things I had to do. Tried my own and was spending 100+ a month on ink, paper, etc.

I don't charge the parents because I write it all off on my taxes. I have before just raised my rates a little to cover the costs and parents had no problem with that and it worked out great.
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:22 AM
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Funshine has "buttercups" and "fireflies". Fireflies is for the olders 3-5, and buttercups is for 6-36 months. I'm going to do buttercups, even though my son may be a little bit too old (he turned 3 in April) and depending on how they do with it, may bump them to fireflies later on. It just depends on how we like it.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:07 AM
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I don't use a boxed curriculum now, but at one time I did try High Reach Learning. This is a very hands-on, emergent learning type curriculum and you can order materials for your toddler group and your preschool group. You get a really nice start up kit, and each month you get your curriculum kit, a letter for parents, 1-2 books for the classroom, a book for each child to take home, a stuffed animal or puppet that correlates to the theme, a math manipulative and extras. It does not come with a bunch of prepared activities but gives you a multitude of activities you can do with mostly readily available materials you likely already have. This curriculum is intended specifically FOR Family Child Care. It costs about $50 per topic, and each topic can easily be extended over two months time:

http://www.highreach.com/highreach/B...Curriculum_389
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Preschool/daycare teacher View Post
Is Funshine a little advanced for that age group 1.5-3.5?
I am using the Buttercups program.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappyny View Post
I just received September's curriculum today. Funshine now has a lot of punchout materials as opposed to all the cutting. There is still some prep involved, but not as much as before.
Mine should be here today....is it going to take up my whole storage cabinet??? The shipping tracker says 9 pounds....
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:59 AM
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How long did it take to get to you? I'm thinking I may not have extra funds for another week and a half or so. Just had to pay 400 to get our car fixed.
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEG123 View Post
How long did it take to get to you? I'm thinking I may not have extra funds for another week and a half or so. Just had to pay 400 to get our car fixed.
Just give them a call and ask them...they are super friendly and VERY helpful! I don't think the shipping time is very long but I would ask just to be sure since it probably depends on how close to their shipping center you are and what it is you are going to order.

(1-800-340-8103 just in case you don't have have it.)
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:50 PM
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Oh and do you think 3.5 is too old for buttercups? It says to 36 months, and he turned 3 in april...so right now he is 40 months....never done anything curriculum like with him...
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEG123 View Post
Oh and do you think 3.5 is too old for buttercups? It says to 36 months, and he turned 3 in april...so right now he is 40 months....never done anything curriculum like with him...
Personally, I think the Fireflies is geared toward the older 4 and 5 year olds and the Buttercups one should be for kids up to age 4. I have used the Buttercups for my new 3's and a few boys who were just turning 4 and just beginning to be ready to sit still and learn. I would think you are perfectly safe to use the Buttercups with your dcb.

Both the Buttercups and Fireflies are coordinated so if you use both they are designed to match each other so all the kids are on the same topics and doing the same projects. The Fireflies has craft stuff planned for 5 days a week where the Buttercups only has planned crafts for 3 days of the week.
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:33 PM
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Awesome, thanks! I didn't want it to be too easy for him, but I'm glad to hear he should do well with it. And it's not a dkb, it's my son.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:58 PM
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And it's not a dkb, it's my son.
Oops, sorry! My bad. I don't always fully read and store; just read and assume....
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Aha, completely good reason to do a boxed curriculum.. (FTR, I wasn't knocking you for using a boxed curriculum...sorry if it came off that way. )

What age are the kids you are looking to buy the curriculum for?

The one thing about Funshine I will say is there is alot of cutting and gluing that you have to do. It takes alot of time and although I loved their format, I think I stopped using it because I didn't have enough time to do all the prep work.

Carol's Affordable Curriculum offers a Tiny Tots box curriculum that requires no cutting...http://www.carolscurriculum.com/
I just ordered CAC and I love it. It's very simple and I dont have to do any prep work. What I am doing is going over the weeks topics and checking out books at the library that go along with it. After trying all the other curriculums this is the one that will work for me. Price is right!!

OP: I would like to charge my clients for the curriculum but I know they wouldn't want to pay for it. And then if I have a really busy day and dont get to the curriculum I dont want them to feel jipped because "they" paid me to do it.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:23 AM
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In January my rate is going up to help cover the cost of the curriculam, I'm trying mother goose time this year. It will only affect those who enroll as new. The past year I've not charged for it and used Funshine Express. This month what is our living room is being moved to our basement and the living room will become a more preschool and play room area. I like that it appears mother goose time offers more than funshine.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:45 AM
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As bad as it sounds, I'm trying to go with the cheaper option right now, which works out to be about $20 for FE. I only have 3 daycare kids, so I'm not raking in the dough or anything. If we find it's not working, we'll change to something else. Thanks everyone for your tips though. I don't know if I'll raise rates, maybe once families have been here a year and just have it included in the price.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:03 PM
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I do a boxed curriculum and love the new year stuff. I'm only doing it during the school year this time because the school agers just didn't aid in doing any curriculum this summer. I don't make the parents pay extra for it and consider the amount I charge them as enough to cover it. I'm also going to laminate and save a the stuff from this school year's curriculum and use it over again for a few years. There is so much information and activities to do that I can't keep up on doing it all every day. Much of it is new to me too so I have to look at the book more often than I'd like. I'm thinking I'll figure out my own curriculum using this next year as a base model.
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