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JJPlaycare 08:01 AM 05-11-2010
Do you guys buy the Buttercup set for your younger children? OR Do you just by for the Firefly age group and not include the younger kids in the craft portion or what?

Is this something you do Everday? If so what do you do with the kids materials that are only at childcare part time and won't be using all the materials everyday as they aren't in childcare everyday?

Is it pretty simple to use and to follow the directions each day? Does it pretty much plan out your entire day/month for you? I have been doing my own thing, but I am getting sick of taking time away from my family in the evenings to make sure I have everything set up and ready for daycare and I was just wondering how much work this program is and if it is worth it?

Do you do this program all summer long as well? I was looking more at the 9 month program and taking the summer off, how much do you think you spend each month on this program? About $10.00 a month per child?

Do you need to buy anything else for this program or is it all included in the packets for the month?

For those of you who use this program, do your daycare kids still leave your care to attend a preschool program? I just have a feeling that I would spend all of this money on this program for each of the kids and they would still go to Preschool (just because that is what you do, sort of thing) How does it work for everyone else?

Do you just pay for it or do you charge the parents the $10.00 exra each month to cover the cost of the curriculum?

Sorry for all the questions I just REALLY want to know that it is worth it before I buy it! Thanks for any advice you can give me! Megan
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JJPlaycare 08:03 AM 05-11-2010
Ha! I knew I would think of more questions.....

For those of you who do it through the summer do you buy the SA version for school agers?

Also is the buttercup, fireflies and SA version all similar for what you are doing each month, so you aren't doing a hundred different things each day? Do they all correspond with eachother?


Thanks Megan
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misol 08:17 AM 05-11-2010
Originally Posted by JJPlaycare:
Do you guys buy the Buttercup set for your younger children? OR Do you just by for the Firefly age group and not include the younger kids in the craft portion or what?

Is this something you do Everday? If so what do you do with the kids materials that are only at childcare part time and won't be using all the materials everyday as they aren't in childcare everyday?

Is it pretty simple to use and to follow the directions each day? Does it pretty much plan out your entire day/month for you? I have been doing my own thing, but I am getting sick of taking time away from my family in the evenings to make sure I have everything set up and ready for daycare and I was just wondering how much work this program is and if it is worth it?

Do you do this program all summer long as well? I was looking more at the 9 month program and taking the summer off, how much do you think you spend each month on this program? About $10.00 a month per child?

Do you need to buy anything else for this program or is it all included in the packets for the month?

For those of you who use this program, do your daycare kids still leave your care to attend a preschool program? I just have a feeling that I would spend all of this money on this program for each of the kids and they would still go to Preschool (just because that is what you do, sort of thing) How does it work for everyone else?

Do you just pay for it or do you charge the parents the $10.00 exra each month to cover the cost of the curriculum?

Sorry for all the questions I just REALLY want to know that it is worth it before I buy it! Thanks for any advice you can give me! Megan
Great questions. These are all things I've been wondering myself so I'm looking forward to the responses.
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TGT09 08:23 AM 05-11-2010
I buy just the FireFly program because I only have one 16 month old and she isn't here consistently. From my understanding you can only buy the SA program in the summer months. I will be buying the FireFly program and the SA program all summer long. My SA's need some extra assistance so I figure this will help them too.

I love it. The only thing you have to supply that isn't included are basic craft supplies once or twice a week. Scissors, glue, crayons, markers, paint, etc... There are multiple things each day that you might need to supply but most of the time it's random around the house things. Each week corresponds with one theme. There is a book list for every theme that you can get from the library. I don't charge for the curriculum because I don't think my parents really care too much (tbh) but it helps me to keep the kids entertained and I like feeling like they get something out of being here. I do it on average 3 times a week because my kids aren't consistently here together. Some days, I only have 1 toddler and he will like to do his own things i.e. drawing, reading.
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Carole's Daycare 08:47 AM 05-11-2010
I order Buttercups for my infant toddlers, and include my "slower " young two's as well. I use Fireflies for all my 2 and up. Buttercups isn't really a "daily" curriculum like Fireflies- it includes materials and activities for a quarter/season, and you just work those concepts into your day whenever it fits. Since babies learn by repetition, of course the more often you do it the better. My understanding is that there are some changes coming up in terms of the amount/type of activities for Buttercups. Funshine Express always is evaluating their product, but I know they are working with professional educators, curriculum developers & evaluators her in MN to make sure it meets state requirements/recommendations for the upcoming (currently voluntary) QRS program. The last I heard from a child development teacher at our college who is on that committee- the only thing they were in need of improvement is in the area of cultural diversity. I use it and am not sure where or how they could incorporate more- perhaps more visible multiculturalism in their displays,books and book lists. They seem to include as much as any of the other ones available in MN.
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originalkat 08:47 AM 05-11-2010
I only have 2-5 year olds in my program so I only use the Fireflies curriculum. But if I did have toddlers I would use the Buttercups one as well. As far as what I have read, all three programs correlate together but are not exactly the same. For example this Spring
Buttercups
March theme - Bunnies: correlates with Fireflies theme Bunches of Bunnies
April theme - Weather: correlates with Fireflies theme April Showers
May theme - Flowers: Correlates with Fireflies theme May Flowers
Buttercups has one Theme per month and Fireflies has 3 themes per month.
I do not have any experience with the schoolage supplement though.

I market my program as a preschool so none of my kids leave to go to preschool. So the money I put into the curriculum is well spent IMO. But, if parents were not going to keep the kids in your program for preschool then I would not waste the money.

Most of the materials you need for the curriculum are included. You do need basic supplies like crayons, markers, paint, scissors, glue. But things like pipe cleaners, paper, glitter, stickers, cotton balls etc... are all included in daily kits for each craft (about 3 per week).

I only do the program September-May and take the summer off. It gives us all a break and we start fresh each new school year.

I do not do all the activities in the lesson plan book. There are LOTS of great ideas for every day but I just scan through and highlight the ones I am going to use and do not worry about the rest.

Mondays we usually do a coloring page for the letter of the week. I cut off the top portion because my kids arent ready to write their letters yet so they just color the pictures and we talk about the sound.
Tue-Thur we usually do the crafts included for the week
Friday we usually do the enrichment worksheet that goes with that theme.

I pay for the curriculum myself but it is worked into my tuition I charge anyway. If you have 6 kids it works out to about $10 per child. However, if you have fewer it will be more than that per child. Check the website for specifics on price.

Also, if you are on the fence, you can order a sample kit for $19.99. You wont get EVERYTHING but it will be enough for you to see if you like the way it is put together. I think there are 3 themes you can choose from on the sample kits.

Hope this info helps you make a good decision for your program!
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Carole's Daycare 09:18 AM 05-11-2010
I use the school age supplements along with a "Summer Bridge" workbook with daily academics designed to "bridge" between grades with lots of review for the appropriate grade level. Many school agers lose so much of their skill over the summer. They do coordinate in theme between Firflies & the SA etc, they just offer a higher level of difficulty etc for the crafts. For my regular full time kids I do not charge for curriculum. For part timers or for summer only- I do add the cost of curriculum. Thus far I've had no problem with my preschoolers older siblings being willing to pay to have curriculum for the summer.
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DBug 11:14 AM 05-11-2010
I have a different group of kids each day (max of 6 each day), and they all use Funshine to some extent. I don't do all of the activities either, each morning I go through and pick what I want to do.

Every day each child does a craft (9 mos up to 4 years). I don't get the Buttercup supplements because so far I've been able to adapt just about every craft, even for the babies. We all do the circle time activites together (babies on my lap or right beside me), but only the 2's and up do the worksheets. I did order the supplementary alphabet and number worksheets, so we do one each day. For the ones who are still working on fine motor skills, I help them with the tracing (and any cutting, of course).

I don't get the suggested books (I use what I've got), and so far I haven't decided on using the SA supplements. Since it doesn't cost too much, I may just go ahead and do it.

For me, it's been totally worth it, and I'm paying more for it because of the shipping, exhange and customs to Canada. I know the parents are very impressed, but I don't charge them extra for it. Besides keeping your crayons, glue, paint, construction paper, etc (the basics) stocked, there's no extra costs.

None of my kids go to preschool, but if they did, I'd still be doing Funshine with the ones still here.

Occasionally I do have extra worksheets or crafts if a child is away. I save them up and give them to another daycare provider, who uses them for her kids, without having to pay for it. It works well for her, since money's tight right now, and then I don't have the problem of storing the leftovers on the off-chance that I'll use them later.

There's not too much prep involved, except for getting organized each month. It takes me about 2 hours when the shipment arrives. I like to have each day's activity, craft, worksheet and visual in a folder. I keep them in order in a big basket in the kitchen, so I can just grab the stuff for the day without searching for it. So when it arrives, I sit down and do all the cutting, laminating (if needed), and sorting, and put it in folders, and it's all ready to go! I have two sets of 31 folders. Each folder is numbered, so the number corresponds to the day. That way I can have the next month's folders filled, and still be working through the current month.

Definitely give it a try. It makes life soooo much easier!!
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My4SunshineGirlsNY 09:18 AM 05-12-2010
I think I am going to give this a try..I have seen Funshine Express come up many times on here and I never read their site to see what it was all about. I feel so unorganized like what I am doing isn't teaching the kids much. I only have selective crafts and my ideas are terrible. I need a boost!!

I have a small daycare right now, I have a 17 month old and my nephew at just about 2 years old...plus my 4 year old daughter that could use the Fireflies program....then I have 2 school age daycare girls and my own school children.

The only bad thing is I would only order the Fireflies for 3 kids (which I have to order 4) and with shipping included it looks like I pay $60/month which for the 3 I would use is $20 per child per month.

With a small daycare, I don't make much as it is, but I really need to simplify my life and make sure I hold up to being a registered daycare by teaching the kids...so to me it looks well worth it.

Now I can't wait to order (probably Friday) and receive the materials..how long does it take to get to you? If I order now do I have to wait for June's supplies?
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originalkat 10:10 AM 05-12-2010
They will send out June's Curriculum just as soon as you order. I am in Kansas and it takes about 4 days to get here.
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Unregistered 07:31 PM 05-13-2010
I'm a little confused about the age breakdown. I noticed that for school year 2010-2011. Buttercups is for ages 6 months - 3 years and Fireflies is 3-5 years. Previously it was, BC up to 24 months and FF 2-5. Since there has been a change in the age group will you buy buttercups for your 2 year olds for the upcoming school term or will you keep them on Fireflies?

I have a 22 month old that can say her numbers 1-14 and identify her numbers 1-10. She knows and can identify all shapes up to and including octogon, hexagon, crescent, squiggle etc., knows her colors etc. My question is will she benefit from Buttercups? or is she a Firefly?

Please help.

P.S. I ordered my sample kits but haven't received them yet.
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originalkat 12:42 PM 05-14-2010
Hmmm. I had not realized that they changed the ages. However, I do agree that my 2 year old can not do a lot of the projects in Fireflies. But, I dont buy buttercups just for him.
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TGT09 12:46 PM 05-14-2010
Fireflies includes a lot of cutting. I'm kind of glad they switched the ages because I agree both of my 2 year olds have issues sometimes. I even had to cut out an included craft last week because there was no way either one were going to be able to do it.

However, come fall...I will contine with Fireflies because I will have two 3 year olds by then.
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kpa0627 01:13 PM 05-14-2010
I just checked out their website and they still say Fireflies is for ages 2-5. Am I missing something?
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TGT09 01:20 PM 05-14-2010
Yeah, I was listening to unregistered when I responded. I just got off their website too and I see the schedule for '10-'11 but I see nothing of age changes.
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Unregistered 03:33 PM 05-14-2010
On the website's home page click on Curriculum kits (heading) and you'll see the changes. Please confirm so that I know I've not lost my mind. And if indeed I haven't can someone make a suggestion about the issue I mentioned in my previous post. Thanks alot.
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originalkat 04:42 PM 05-15-2010
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
On the website's home page click on Curriculum kits (heading) and you'll see the changes. Please confirm so that I know I've not lost my mind. And if indeed I haven't can someone make a suggestion about the issue I mentioned in my previous post. Thanks alot.
Yes, I see it. In some places it says the old ages. And where you described, it says adaptable for 3-5 year old for fireflies.
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