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Old 07-08-2013, 02:26 PM
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Leanna Leanna is offline
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Default Supplies ettiquette

Annually I spend a lot of money for supplies for my day care. I purchase new toys, art materials, print photographs, print newsletters, pay for all special activities including weekly music lessons for the group, and supply the general supplies food, tissues, paper towels, hand soap, etc. Well, I am in a bit of a financial tight spot and am trying to find ways to trim without sacrificing any aspects of the program. I was thinking of hanging a giving tree in the entryway. Each month I would print some needs on individual leaves. If families felt like donating an item they could take a leaf and bring in the item. (Some of my thoughts were a box of tissues, baby wipes, new markers, recycled materials such as newspaper (to cover the art table) and paper scraps (for the collage tray), and those little special extra items that don't seem like a lot but add up over the course of he year. I feel this way families can choose whether or not to participate and I won't be burdening anyone. Part of me still feels guilty for asking because child care is so expensive as it is AND I feel doubly guilty because I am raising my rates (for the first time in five years but still) for Fall as it is. What do you think?
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:50 PM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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My parents all have a list of things I can use for arts and craft stuff... things like empty containers, jars, cotton balls etc...

I also require my families to bring one box of tissue and one refill package of wipes on the first of each month for each child in care. I started this last year instead of raising my rates....parents LOVE it and most of them bring MORE than enough....

I have a gigantic stash and use wet wipes for everything so I can only image how much that requirement saves me per year.

I think a giving tree is also a great lesson for the kids to learn about charitable giving and partnering with people you work with
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:51 PM
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Oh and another way I cut costs last year was to go electronic. I e-mail ALL correspondence to families now and require a reply so I can document they received it. Saves me a ton on paper and printer ink.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:11 PM
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2grls4us 2grls4us is offline
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I like your idea of the giving tree. I have only a few families and I have them each bring food or milk items when they can to help keep my costs down. Now would be a great time to start your tree with the back to school sales. That way even those that feel they may not be able to give will be able to. Like markers are usually $3 or more last night were a little over $1 at Walmart.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:08 PM
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Cradle2crayons Cradle2crayons is offline
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I think that is a great idea!!

I ask my parents to bring things in from my supply list as well. I only have five kids between two families but they are good about helping.

The most common things I get are tissues, wipes, printer paper, craft supplies, markers, crayons, and construction paper.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:12 PM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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The giving tree is a cute idea. Right now all I do is have a page on my website with a list of things that we could use if the parents want to donate. There's lots of inexpensive things (that add up if I buy them all myself) and not all are things that have to purchased. For example I love when my clients bring me toilet paper and paper towel cardboard rolls (once they are empty), empty baby food jars, paper and fabric leftovers etc. We love using all that stuff for collages. My clients will also donate their kids old toys. If I can clean them up and use them (they're safe for all ages) then I will, otherwise I donate them and claim them on my taxes (my clients know this). They know it helps keep daycare costs low so they enjoy doing it.

I'm also lucky enough that most of my clients buy me school supplies when the back to school specials start so I usually get enough glue, crayons, markers, paper etc to last me a year or most of the year. I would definitely ask for donations from your clients. It might take a bit to get traction but you'd be surprised how much stuff you can get. A DCD brought me a bag of baby toys (good quality) so I was able to replace some of my older ones and another DC provider has offered to buy the bag of my old baby toys for $10, which I was going to donate. A total win/win for everyone all around.
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