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  #1  
Old 06-16-2016, 11:09 AM
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Default What Have You Done Lately to Improve Your Care?

Bought something new. Switch philosophy on childcare (from what to what) switched ages. Changed a play area etc.

What improvements are you making/ doing?

I feel some big changes coming my way and I am just curious what others are doing.
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2016, 11:11 AM
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I stopped taking younger children and upped the age limit by 6 months (with the exception of a very good friend's child - who knows me and my black and white ways so she won't push the boundaries with policies ). That has helped greatly.

I also bought some new toys from Lakeshore with some of the late fees so WOOHOO! The Number Bots are great and so is the magnetic ramp thing.
Oh, and the little three person rocker from Aldi! That has been a huge hit.

Little things. But, they make me happy.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:23 AM
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I purchased a larger sign for outdoors and re-positioned it in an effort to re-market so to speak. I like to do some kind of "advertising change-up" every year.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:48 AM
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I have started to replace items at least once a month. I looked around one day and realized some of the outdoor ride-ons where super old and looked really worn. I have set myself a monthly budget and I'm trying to make upgrades little by little.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:00 PM
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Finished the fence and now have a completely enclosed yard.

Working on redoing the toddler playground and preschool playground areas. Ditching some older Little Tike cars for new ones and adding some other new playground items.

Also finished up some rearranging, sorting and filing stuff inside.
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2016, 12:31 PM
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I'm going through the NAFCC accreditation self-study. So far I haven't done much besides making lists of things I need to do.
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2016, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Annalee View Post
I purchased a larger sign for outdoors and re-positioned it in an effort to re-market so to speak. I like to do some kind of "advertising change-up" every year.
Smart! How big is it now? What a good idea.

I just made little glossy half sheet flyers and will be using those for advertising. It's how I'm changing it up this year. I'm excited.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:43 PM
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Smart! How big is it now? What a good idea.

I just made little glossy half sheet flyers and will be using those for advertising. It's how I'm changing it up this year. I'm excited.
it is 36x36.....It is two sided so all can see from both sides of the highway....the other one I had was 26x36 and had handprints and was very colorful, but the marketing dept at the sign co. I used (they made the first sign for me years ago) told me that to get attention, you need big bold print with no garb on it. So that is what I did.....and have tied helium balloons on it to get extra attention.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:46 PM
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Finished the fence and now have a completely enclosed yard.

Working on redoing the toddler playground and preschool playground areas. Ditching some older Little Tike cars for new ones and adding some other new playground items.

Also finished up some rearranging, sorting and filing stuff inside.
I cleaned out my shelves with all those early childhood books I have never and will never use and donated to a local child care organization to share with providers. I have been in a "chunking" mood with my daycare and my house.
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2016, 01:04 PM
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Earlier today, after speaking with my sister and nephew about a child that has caused complete havoc in my daycare for 6 months. I have been keeping her because I need the money so badly. However, she makes every day pure he** here. She was absent for a week last week due to an illness. That week was pure Heaven! So, after speaking with my sister and nephew, I have decided that tomorrow will be her last day here.

My sister and nephew made me realize that my mental and physical health as well as the overall happiness of the children in my daycare are much more important than me needing the income from one child.

To continue providing good quality care, I plan to put the overall health and happiness of the group above my need for having the income from one child that doesn't fit well into my daycare.

I have also decided to stop trying to 'fix' or 'help' families who live differently than I do and raise their children differently than I do or believe is 'right'. Instead of trying to get parents to 'raise their children properly' according to my opinion and beliefs, I am going to simply let them know that due to our differences in parenting styles, my daycare is not a good fit for their child/family.

Yes, it will lower my chances of enrolling children as I will refuse some families, but, the families that I do enroll will truly benefit from me being able to provide a calm, loving environment that enriches the children's lives as well as is enriched by the children who are enrolled.
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2016, 01:19 PM
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Lessened the amount of hours I'm available.

Told myself that I will never make apologies for upholding my policies. (Meaning NEVER start a sentence with "I'm sorry" when discussing policies or money)

Forgave myself for mistakes I've made.
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  #12  
Old 06-16-2016, 01:56 PM
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I replaced my wooden play structure with a new one.

I bought some new crafts items for the older kids.

I am going to revamp my contract and parents' handbook.
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  #13  
Old 06-16-2016, 02:15 PM
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Well our caterpillars to grow into butterflies came today. Does that count? We had two cooking lessons this week instead of one lol. I guess I haven't done anything "new" I am just always trying change up what I am doing.
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  #14  
Old 06-16-2016, 02:18 PM
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I had finished making my own curriculum and realized that it was way too jam packed with stuff so I tossed it and decided to start ALL OVER AGAIN with less to do and even more open-play and play-based activities. I plan on having it be progressive and simple so that each daycare kid can do both the same activity but at their own developmental ability and also have some personalized activities just for them to help them improve. I've decided that the bulk of my curriculum will be focused on social-emotional activities (taking turns, waiting for their turn, manners, respect, right and wrong, positive behavior etc).

I just got a new daycare kid a little more than a month ago with an IEP and some behavioral problems who has been keeping me busy and it's clear that the behavior doesn't have anything to do with his special needs, the problems have more to do with the child doing the behavior because it has worked for him to get results. I seem to be getting more and more children like this so it's time to simplify the day and focus on simple activities that reinforce good citizenship.
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  #15  
Old 06-16-2016, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
I had finished making my own curriculum and realized that it was way too jam packed with stuff so I tossed it and decided to start ALL OVER AGAIN with less to do and even more open-play and play-based activities. I plan on having it be progressive and simple so that each daycare kid can do both the same activity but at their own developmental ability and also have some personalized activities just for them to help them improve. I've decided that the bulk of my curriculum will be focused on social-emotional activities (taking turns, waiting for their turn, manners, respect, right and wrong, positive behavior etc).

I just got a new daycare kid a little more than a month ago with an IEP and some behavioral problems who has been keeping me busy and it's clear that the behavior doesn't have anything to do with his special needs, the problems have more to do with the child doing the behavior because it has worked for him to get results. I seem to be getting more and more children like this so it's time to simplify the day and focus on simple activities that reinforce good citizenship.
Is it just me or does it seem parents are getting the attitude of "my child has a diagnosis so I don't really have to do the hard work of parenting"?
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:28 PM
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Just booked a child for my last upcoming opening, January start. (Sweet parents, the first time we met, they brought pastries!)
Re-doing the tri-fold brochure that I send home with parents after the first meeting.
And then just "doing summer"! Waterplay, swimming, playgrounds, veggie & herb gardens, and fairy gardens! Yay!
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  #17  
Old 06-16-2016, 02:30 PM
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Love the responses! I will update ya all next week on what is in my brain. I have to leave for training in a bit, I am off tomorrow (yeah me) and I will be no where near the internet!
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:06 PM
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Garden beds, watching caterpillars grow(can't wait for the chrysalises!), adding a bridge to the backyard will be my next project.
I just finished redoing my handbook and contract. I've only handed one out so far though because I have to get ink this weekend and their last day for the summer is tomorrow. I now require $$ to secure a spot. Never did before, figuring everything will work out but it's starting to bite me in the butt because *I* don't have the $$ *I* need for *my* bills.
I want to take an online class again this summer but not sure what topic yet.
Oh I forgot...fairy gardens here too! I bought stuff so they could all make their own to take home and I'm going to have the older dcks make one by my tree in the front yard.
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  #19  
Old 06-16-2016, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Thriftylady View Post
Is it just me or does it seem parents are getting the attitude of "my child has a diagnosis so I don't really have to do the hard work of parenting"?
It's not just you ... and I say this because I've been seeing a lot more of the same negative behavior from children that don't have any special needs or diagnosis. I spend more of my time correcting and reminding kids of what appropriate behavior is than I do in an actual activity.

My daughter has ADHD but we as a family have put in the hard work of changing our diet, following a routine, going through individual and family therapy and being consistent in our discipline and although we have some off days she's come a long way and I've been clear with her that she shouldn't think of it as a handicap or use her diagnosis as a crutch, it just means that she has to work a little harder than other kids on certain tasks.

Then I get a child who has a physical/medical condition who happens to also have behavioral problems and a mom that means well but complains that "they" are making things difficult because "they" won't give him occupational therapy because "they" say he doesn't need it (she clearly thinks he needs it, his assessments say otherwise) and then something like this happens ...
It's lunchtime and 5yo DCB (not potty trained btw) doesn't eat ANYTHING healthy (not even fruit). The only thing I can get him to eat that's remotely close to healthy is chocolate Nutella sandwiches on wheat bread (I finally got him off of white bread) so that's what he eats every day.
DCB one day says he wants a hamburger for lunch out of the blue and then has a full blown tantrum because I won't take him to McDonald's. The tantrum lasts for about 45 minutes. DCM comes to pick up and I explain what happens. Her response, not joking:
"Aww, that's ok bubs. I'll take you to get a burger"
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  #20  
Old 06-16-2016, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
It's not just you ... and I say this because I've been seeing a lot more of the same negative behavior from children that don't have any special needs or diagnosis. I spend more of my time correcting and reminding kids of what appropriate behavior is than I do in an actual activity.

My daughter has ADHD but we as a family have put in the hard work of changing our diet, following a routine, going through individual and family therapy and being consistent in our discipline and although we have some off days she's come a long way and I've been clear with her that she shouldn't think of it as a handicap or use her diagnosis as a crutch, it just means that she has to work a little harder than other kids on certain tasks.

Then I get a child who has a physical/medical condition who happens to also have behavioral problems and a mom that means well but complains that "they" are making things difficult because "they" won't give him occupational therapy because "they" say he doesn't need it (she clearly thinks he needs it, his assessments say otherwise) and then something like this happens ...
It's lunchtime and 5yo DCB (not potty trained btw) doesn't eat ANYTHING healthy (not even fruit). The only thing I can get him to eat that's remotely close to healthy is chocolate Nutella sandwiches on wheat bread (I finally got him off of white bread) so that's what he eats every day.
DCB one day says he wants a hamburger for lunch out of the blue and then has a full blown tantrum because I won't take him to McDonald's. The tantrum lasts for about 45 minutes. DCM comes to pick up and I explain what happens. Her response, not joking:
"Aww, that's ok bubs. I'll take you to get a burger"
Oh nice, what a great way to stop a tantrum!

We feared DD had something like ADD, but her main issues were tantrums. Found out, WE were a big part of the issue. We also changed her diet, taking her off of red, yellow and blue dyes made a huge difference. And I know for a fact that made a difference because that was before DH adopted her and she still had weekend visits with bio dad. She would come home and go right into a fit of anger. I would find out they ate junk all weekend. It was like he didn't even care what eating crap did to her.
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  #21  
Old 06-16-2016, 06:05 PM
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I started enforcing late fees, and surprise, not one late parent since.

Hubby helped me make an enormous sandbox outside. Everyone plays there for the majority of outdoor time.

I'm not keeping a wait list. Too much of a hassle.
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  #22  
Old 06-17-2016, 04:12 AM
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I tossed a bunch of toys. Bare minimum is out.

I changed my hours. I used to close at 5:30. My latest contracted pick up time is now 5 but my latest pick up since the change has been 4! This has been life changing for my family. Seriously the best move ever.

I replaced 2 dcks that were causing me stress. Phew. This was the best change of all for me.

I am working on some outdoor set up ideas. My dh has been bringing home cast offs from work and I just need to figure out what I'm going to do with it and where it's going to go.
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Old 06-17-2016, 05:43 AM
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I'm in the process of creating a more natural indoor environment.

I'm transitioning to almost all (but not totally) wood toys, cloth, and other natural materials. Just bit by bit I pick up nice condition wood toys at Goodwill and rummage sled. I'm choosy, not just buying everything I see.

Also, beginning to buy high quality second hand baskets for storing toys.

I got a beautiful wood doll house - no furniture tho. Someone gave me some wood furniture. I found a wood IKEA kitchen for $6.00! I've gotten a nice wooden garbage truck too.

I'm implementing the social/emotional skills from Vanderbuilt University and becoming more aware in this area.
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:18 AM
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I haven't made any changes yet, but am thinking of transitioning to birth to three care. My hold up is that I am planning no being done in three years when our youngest graduates high school so I am not sure if I want to invest in changes to do birth to three when I am not looking long term.
In the mean time, I have made small changes in that we have changed the area of our house used for daycare this summer so my children can have their own space too.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I'm in the process of creating a more natural indoor environment.

I'm transitioning to almost all (but not totally) wood toys, cloth, and other natural materials. Just bit by bit I pick up nice condition wood toys at Goodwill and rummage sled. I'm choosy, not just buying everything I see.

Also, beginning to buy high quality second hand baskets for storing toys.

I got a beautiful wood doll house - no furniture tho. Someone gave me some wood furniture. I found a wood IKEA kitchen for $6.00! I've gotten a nice wooden garbage truck too.

I'm implementing the social/emotional skills from Vanderbuilt University and becoming more aware in this area.
Congrats! I switched over to more natural materials several years ago and still LOVE it!

Now I need to redo the back yard to cut down on plastic...

PS - I found furniture for my wood doll house on Ebay. Not cheap but not full price either.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
DCB one day says he wants a hamburger for lunch out of the blue and then has a full blown tantrum because I won't take him to McDonald's. The tantrum lasts for about 45 minutes. DCM comes to pick up and I explain what happens. Her response, not joking:
"Aww, that's ok bubs. I'll take you to get a burger"
Why . . . you MONSTER! Good thing the kid's mom showed up to take him away from the horrible care provider who wouldn't chauffeur him to the nearest fast food joint. You probably serve lean meat with whole wheat. What are you trying to do, starve the child?
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:17 PM
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Made some new sensory bottles.

Finished putting up the new toy and shelf labels in art and dramatic play.

Gave some toys I hate cleaning and my kids don't play with to other classrooms.

Used money from our latest grant to get a bunch of new floor puzzles and playground toys.

Some electronic toys that only semi-work "accidentally" got lost in the trash can after "accidentally" falling into the sink.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:57 PM
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Several months back I changed my hours from 7-5:45 to 8:15-3:15, and was slightly shocked that it's worked.

We switched to a different CPA who helped us find new ways to save money, especially with keeping track of mileage.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:35 AM
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My sweet adorable huggy just turned 2 yo twins left yesterday for the summer and they're the youngest I have(until October). So I'm taking the weekend, getting rid of booster seats, pack'n'plays, double stroller, and baby toys. I'm going to rearrange my playroom and the spare bedroom where they napped. Find all my older kids' games and put them out. Rearrange my arts/crafts supplies so they can be accessed by the SA dcks.
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:08 AM
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Recently I visited several home based preschools and traditional preschools for research - one director outside of my state but with a program I LOVE and would love to duplicate offered to mentor me!

I wrote my Parent Handbook & Enrollment Contract.

I have been researching what I need business wise and employee wise in my area and working on a business plan.

I have been researching location options both in the home as well as outside the home (since I have to move).

School wise I decided to get some specific training related to the educational philosophy I plan to offer. I am also considering getting my Masters in ECE so I reached out to a local college that offers that. I also registered for some child development classes at the local city college to refresh my knowledge of the littles --- I love school and it gives me the opportunity to interact with adults so I am looking forward to this!

I have been cleaning out materials from teaching (as well as from my own child) to see which items would also be of use to my home based preschool.

While I would love an emergent play-based program I have been looking into curriculum or plans that could help supplement or support that.
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Old 06-18-2016, 06:36 PM
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Why . . . you MONSTER! Good thing the kid's mom showed up to take him away from the horrible care provider who wouldn't chauffeur him to the nearest fast food joint. You probably serve lean meat with whole wheat. What are you trying to do, starve the child?
RIGHT?!?!
And goodness forbid I expect him to put his own velcro shoes on himself or try to potty train him. I'm such a meanie!
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:49 PM
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I started putting my dog in his crate at drop off and pick up times. It's a simple change, but it creates a more professional atmosphere and cut down on the chaos of my dog being all excited to see the parents and tying to get them to play with him/pet him instead of them being able to focus on their child/children.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:17 AM
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I am going to get my CDA. Mostly because my license is up in two years and I am DONE with in home. I love preschool and am thinking of applying with Head Start or UPK. Having some certification (even if it's only a CDA) may help getting hired and not getting bare minimum. It will be a pay cut, but my liability will also be cut, the wear and tear on my home, etc.

So those are my big changes
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:40 AM
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it is 36x36.....It is two sided so all can see from both sides of the highway....the other one I had was 26x36 and had handprints and was very colorful, but the marketing dept at the sign co. I used (they made the first sign for me years ago) told me that to get attention, you need big bold print with no garb on it. So that is what I did.....and have tied helium balloons on it to get extra attention.
That's all great to know! What a BIG sign! I hope it gets you some great, new clients when you need them.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:41 PM
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Several months back I changed my hours from 7-5:45 to 8:15-3:15, and was slightly shocked that it's worked.

We switched to a different CPA who helped us find new ways to save money, especially with keeping track of mileage.
Would you mind sharing how you're keeping better track of mileage? The money from that really adds up quickly in the tax arena!
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:22 PM
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Would you mind sharing how you're keeping better track of mileage? The money from that really adds up quickly in the tax arena!
I know you weren't asking me - but I thought I'd chime in

I hated tracking mileage - hated it!
Instead of tracking each trip as I am doing it, I look at my bank account and my business Excel sheet of profit and loss (just my expenses and income listed by month) and I can see everywhere I went for daycare by where I bought stuff. Then I mapquest the distance from my house to that location and double it for the round trip. Then I enter each trip into a spread sheet. I only go half a dozen places so its not very many places to map. I still hate it. But its easy.

Also - I love this tread. I have super enjoyed reading it.

I am not accepting infants anymore. My youngest is 10m and I can't wait for her to a solid toddler (15m or so). The days I don't have the 10m and the 19m my days are soooo easy. I do a lot of prek activities. I think I want to stick to 2-5yos. I will accept walking 1 year olds in the future if I have to, but I really don't want to do babies for a while. I have 8 kids between 2 and 6yo and only 1 in diapers! It has been a magical day
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Old 06-21-2016, 06:49 AM
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The summer tends to be my crazy time- more kids, heat, and jumbled schedules. I really have to make an effort to keep things from getting too repetitive.

Garage sale and Goodwill trips to find new toys.

Growing and releasing beneficial insects.

Taking advantage of a "slow day" to go somewhere. Usually during the summer I can't go anywhere because school agers and my own kids mean I have too many to fit in van.

Took a vacation. This job burns people out too fast if you don't make you a priority.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:35 AM
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MrsSteinel'sHouse MrsSteinel'sHouse is offline
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I am working on my CDA hope to have that finished and step up (stars) stuff done by the fall. That is the big thing for me. I HATE paperwork.

I want to redo my playroom. But priority right now budget wise is roof, windows, siding, doors... maybe insulation but, I am working on a few things. I really would like new flooring in this part of the house. I also want to change the door my kids come in but I can't do that until the renovations happen.

I am trying to figure out how I do not take SA back in the fall for before/ after school. There is just no one else to take him...

I need to advertise for one more kid but have been enjoying the 4 this summer...

I really want to create a quiet area in my playroom. So a child size couch or something but I don't want to eat up too much space.

I am working to sort through all of my childcare stuff and to reorganize. I have been getting rid of things I don't pull out. If I am not using it- it is going. I have also purchased some things to fill in gaps.

I want to store my things by theme or useage. So, all of the farm stuff is in one bin- books, games, crafts etc. I have a bin of colors- books, crafts toys etc. I would like to create lesson plans to go with each bin so I can pull out a sheet and it has all of the learning standards on there.

I need to get out and work on my yard again too...
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  #39  
Old 06-21-2016, 12:24 PM
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Stephnrich Stephnrich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist View Post
Would you mind sharing how you're keeping better track of mileage? The money from that really adds up quickly in the tax arena!

The CPA we were using told us we had to write down the odometer logs before/after every trip. That was almost impossible. I'm too lazy, and I just never did it. The new CPA explained that we only need to keep track of the mileage round trip, and suggested we just use Google maps to figure the distance. She said to even mark down the weekly trip to the bank to deposit the childcare money. I had no idea it was as that easy.
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Old 06-24-2016, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by permanentvacation View Post
Earlier today, after speaking with my sister and nephew about a child that has caused complete havoc in my daycare for 6 months. I have been keeping her because I need the money so badly. However, she makes every day pure he** here. She was absent for a week last week due to an illness. That week was pure Heaven! So, after speaking with my sister and nephew, I have decided that tomorrow will be her last day here.

My sister and nephew made me realize that my mental and physical health as well as the overall happiness of the children in my daycare are much more important than me needing the income from one child.

To continue providing good quality care, I plan to put the overall health and happiness of the group above my need for having the income from one child that doesn't fit well into my daycare.

I have also decided to stop trying to 'fix' or 'help' families who live differently than I do and raise their children differently than I do or believe is 'right'. Instead of trying to get parents to 'raise their children properly' according to my opinion and beliefs, I am going to simply let them know that due to our differences in parenting styles, my daycare is not a good fit for their child/family.

Yes, it will lower my chances of enrolling children as I will refuse some families, but, the families that I do enroll will truly benefit from me being able to provide a calm, loving environment that enriches the children's lives as well as is enriched by the children who are enrolled.
I just termed a dcb like this. I tried so hard! I won't be doing that again!! The days are so WONDERFUL now! Omg
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Old 06-24-2016, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephnrich View Post
The CPA we were using told us we had to write down the odometer logs before/after every trip. That was almost impossible. I'm too lazy, and I just never did it. The new CPA explained that we only need to keep track of the mileage round trip, and suggested we just use Google maps to figure the distance. She said to even mark down the weekly trip to the bank to deposit the childcare money. I had no idea it was as that easy.
I keep a "master mileage list" and I use Google maps
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