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  #1  
Old 12-03-2010, 01:45 PM
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kendallina kendallina is offline
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Default Nature Preschool? Or Summer Camp Preschool? Or...

I was going to post this in the preschool curriculum thread, but I don't want to hijack...

I run a preschool-only 4 days/week. Most children only come 2 days/week. I need to find a way to run in the summer. I think at this point most parents are assuming that I'm going to take the summer off, but I can't afford it. I also think most parents wouldn't pay for just normal preschool during the summer as they would want their children to have many outdoors experiences.

Most of my clients have a stay-at-home mom or dad, so it's not like they need the care. So I'm trying to find a way to market the program as an enrichment program/summer camp/ or I would love to do a nature preschool program like someone else mentioned.

The problem is, I rent a townhouse with a shared yard that is completely bare and I can't put anything permanent out there. I also don't have much of a patio or safe sidewalk area for bikes...ugh.

My first thought was that maybe I could do 1 day/week where we all meet at the park and parents drop their kids off and pick their kids up there (it's only 3 hours and I can't transport more than one). I'm not licensed (don't have to be in Ohio), so there are no problems there.

What else could I do that would be considered an enrichment or something different? I could do water days, of course with sprinklers and a small pool and water table. But, I don't think the parents will pay for just that...

I know you smart ladies can help me come up with ideas...
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:53 PM
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Or maybe I could even host weekly 'themes'. Like, "How Things Work" or "Science exploration" and each week I may have different children enrolled. I used to work at a school age program that worked like this...

hmm...Just trying to think outside of the box...
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:55 PM
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You could do "field trips" where the parents drop off and pick up...I'm thinking various parks, the zoo, the library, a trip to the fire station, a museum... Parents pay any admission fees, of course. That way the kids get a bunch of different experiences, and the parents get a few hours "off" each week.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:05 PM
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yup, i'd do exactly what afterschool mom said - field trips where you meet the parents at the site. the only thing i would do is have the costs of the fees built into the parent's weekly fees. they're going to want to know what they'll be paying each week.

you could go to a movie, swimming, do a couple park (free) days. we have a gymnastics place that will do mini lessons for groups. you could go out for pizza/arcade.....there's a million things. i don't think the parents care as long as the kids are having fun and they don't have to do it!

i worked for a summer program and we did 2 field trips and 3 swim days per week. the field trip schedule was made out in advance - so u might call and set appointments so you can make up a calendar. also, you need to have a backup incase it rains - even if it's your house.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AfterSchoolMom View Post
You could do "field trips" where the parents drop off and pick up...I'm thinking various parks, the zoo, the library, a trip to the fire station, a museum... Parents pay any admission fees, of course. That way the kids get a bunch of different experiences, and the parents get a few hours "off" each week.
That's a good idea. The program that I run now is 3 hours in length, but that doesn't mean that I have to do 3 hours. Unfortunately everywhere that's fun to go is an hour away...zoo, museums. But, my little town does have some awesome parks and a library, of course.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by QualiTcare View Post
yup, i'd do exactly what afterschool mom said - field trips where you meet the parents at the site. the only thing i would do is have the costs of the fees built into the parent's weekly fees. they're going to want to know what they'll be paying each week.

you could go to a movie, swimming, do a couple park (free) days. we have a gymnastics place that will do mini lessons for groups. you could go out for pizza/arcade.....there's a million things. i don't think the parents care as long as the kids are having fun and they don't have to do it!

i worked for a summer program and we did 2 field trips and 3 swim days per week. the field trip schedule was made out in advance - so u might call and set appointments so you can make up a calendar. also, you need to have a backup incase it rains - even if it's your house.
Good ideas! I can't really do swimming, since I'll have 5 kids with just me. But I love the gymnastics mini lesson idea...and the movie idea too.

Hmmm...keep it coming ladies!

I could do special guests as well...

Ugh, I wish my town wasn't so small, we don't have a ton of options. We do have a university, though. They have an art museum we could visit. Any other ideas on how we could utilize a university??
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:15 PM
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well, it depends on where you go swimming. i had either 9 or 10 kids with just myself...can't remember which. the pool was small though. we have a "splash pad" in my town that's free and it's really cool - and i live in a small town. there are also a lot of neighborhood pools (not in subdivisions) that are usually small and free - and nobody cares who swims there bc they don't "belong" to anyone really. we have one. i bet u could check around and find a place bc that's what kids REALLY wanna do all summer is swim.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:38 PM
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How about a field day? Obstacle course, sack races, jump rope (you can lay the rope on the ground for those who aren't quite ready to jump), hot potato with water balloons... Or you could introduce a different sport each week and teach the kids some fundamentals of each. Baseball (with plastic bats and wiffle balls), football, basketball, soccer...if you don't know anything about them you could google a few simple rules.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kendallina View Post
Or maybe I could even host weekly 'themes'. Like, "How Things Work" or "Science exploration" and each week I may have different children enrolled. I used to work at a school age program that worked like this...

hmm...Just trying to think outside of the box...
I've thought of doing this very thing since I had planned on just taking teacher's kids, giving them summers off unpaid. And then doing an every other week or only 3 day a week program during the summer of mini camp. The only preschool age camp around starts at age 4 (by April 1) but there are a lot of 3 year olds who could handle a mini camp program. Only catch for me was numbers. My limit is 6 and with 3 of my own that count during the summer what kind of program could I run?
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