Child Care Archives - Kinderlime

11 Ways to De-Stress Over the Holidays

It’s that time of year to de-stress! You’ve managed, taught, and enabled students to learn and grow all day for months and now you get some time away from the stress. It’s time to enjoy that much-needed, and well-earned, break. You may have plans to lounge on the couch, binge watch your favorite show, or go on a trip somewhere warm. Whatever the case, these tips may offer you some new ideas. If not, they will at least remind you of what’s to come!

  1. Do something you enjoy but never have time for during a regular week. Go to your favorite store during the middle of the week to avoid the long lines. Take your dog on a walk while it’s still light outside. Make yourself a cup of hot cocoa/coffee and enjoy it before it gets cold. Go skiing. Read your favorite book. It’s the little things. Reading to De-Stress
  2. Catch up on sleep. We’d bet that you’ve dreamed of taking naps or sleeping in on a Monday. Well, now is your chance to fully embrace these dreams and make them a reality!
  3. Binge watch your favorite show. Netflix recently released their most watched TV shows of 2017. You could watch one of those or catch up on one of your favorites. Or go get your Hallmark Channel on! The movies can be pretty incredibly cheesy at times, but they’re great at spreading love and holiday cheer. There’s nothing quite like getting cozy on the couch or in your bed and watching TV to get your mind off of grading and lesson planning.
  4. Visit somewhere new. A new place nearby to eat in. A mini-road trip to a park or a neighboring city. A flight to somewhere you’ve never been before. You don’t need to indulge on a lavish trip to Hawaii to enjoy the benefits of travel and experiencing a new place. De-Stress & Relax
  5. Spend time with family, but also remember to take some time for yourself. For most of us, holidays are about spending time with family and loved ones. While important, it can also drive you a bit crazy. Have a day or two marked in your calendar where you can block off the whole day. Maybe even turn off your phone that day. Make it a day for you and only you. Here are a few great ideas for how to spend those few days away from email and family.
  6. Keep time spent on work to a minimum. If you feel like you need to get some lesson planning or project work done in order to start the new year fresh, please do — but remember that the second half of the year has fewer vacation days!
  7. Keep some music going in the background. Who doesn’t like a little music in their life? Whether you are doing chores, cooking dinner, or reading, music can help create ambiance for any occasion. It is also a proven tool to help reduce stress and anxiety
  8. Don’t be afraid to say no. This is your time off. If you don’t want to do something, don’t feel obligated to say yes at every opportunity presented. Be selective with how you spend your time. 
  9. Get out of your comfort zone. Be playful. Try some laughing yoga. Laughing yoga might look cringeworthy to most of us, but it may be just the thing some of us need to get out of our comfort zone. At the very least you will have a VERY interesting story… Freedom & Dancing
  10. Create and share a gratitude list with your loved ones. How often do you share your appreciation for your family, friends, and loved ones? Tell them what they mean to you. It will make their day and help spread the holiday spirit of giving.
  11. Volunteer. It may not sound relaxing, but volunteering, especially around the holidays, can make you feel more connected and more involved with the community. You gain perspective and a sense of accomplishment. Not only are you giving back to those less fortunate, you are in many ways showing them that when things aren’t going well, there are people who care. 

If you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed this holiday season, please know that this happens to many people. Know that you are an amazing, unique individual with a lot to offer the world. You matter. Here are a couple articles that could help you; Stress, Depression and the Holidays: Tips to Cope, Mayo Clinic; Holiday Depression and Stress, Behavioral Health Services North. If it is more severe, please call the Samaritans 24-hour hotline at (212) 673-3000.

More Resources

“What Do Teachers Really Do During The Holiday Break?” by Lisa Hollenbach

“10 Fun Ways to Rest, Relax and Recharge Over Winter Break” from ClassroomDirect.com

“Top 5 Ways to Really Relax These Holidays (Without Alcohol or Yoga” by Lisa Cox

“9 Ways to De-Stress This Holiday Season” by Leta Shy

“7 Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress” by Connie Bennett

Common Objections to Childcare Software

There are many reservations when it comes to switching to a more technology-enabled childcare software. Here are a few common ones we hear:

“We have always done it this way.”

This is one of the most detrimental sentence any business, across any industry, could utter. Without innovation and tech adoption, you could be wasting days worth of time every year using an old system to perform tasks that could take mere minutes with new technology.

“I’m not tech savvy,” OR “I’m worried my staff isn’t as tech savvy.”

Grandma-Cookies-Childcare software

We have many customers who thought the same thing before using Kinderlime. We understand technology is not easy for everyone. However, that should not stop you from thinking about a childcare software as learning how to use one could make your work much, much easier. Because of this we create many help articles and YouTube videos to help walk you through our system and apps. We are also available for live training webinars for you and your staff if you should need additional help. Our aim is to create a system that is as easy and intuitive as possible.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

“What if the parents don’t like it?”

Today, almost everyone has a smartphone. Everyone except my grandparents, who still use a rotary phone. There is an app for just about everything. Parents use their phones to pay bills, shop online, engage in social media, play games, and much more. You are simply asking parents to download an app tied to your program allowing them to engage in their child’s day.

Parents will be able to see when their child was signed in or out and by whom. They’ll know which classroom their child is in when coming to pick them up. Parents will also receive and pay their weekly/monthly bill directly from their phone. And, for those with younger children, parents will be able to actively engage in a child’s day through daily sheets, updates, and photos shared by the teacher. By using this app, you are simplifying their interactions with you. Here is a quick rundown of the Parent App.

“I don’t want to spend the money.”

This ties back to number 1. Yes, a new solution will cost money. Everything costs money, unfortunately. A small monthly or yearly fee could save you and your staff up to 10 hours every month. You, or your staff, could use that time to work on other projects or to jumpstart your social media channels. If a system reduces administrative work on billing and inputting sign in-out or daily sheet data, you need to ask yourself: Is that worth the trade-off?

Kinderlime offers a free 14-day trial so you can test the value of the solution before committing to it.

“We have a system. Why would we switch?”

Great! You are already ahead of most programs in this space. If you like the system, find it affordable, and believe it works well for your program, then there’s no need to switch! However, if you are experiencing some issues or would like to see a demo of our mobile-based solution, you can request one here.

“Paper is great! I love paper!”

I don’t think anyone is going to believe you…

Drowning in paper - childcare app

Do you have any other common objections to childcare software or childcare apps? If so, please feel free to share with us! We will address them in a following blog article and would be happy to address any of your concerns directly.

10 Thanksgiving Treats for Kids

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday that can be sadly overshadowed by the gift-giving season. My foodie friends, fear not! We at Kinderlime have collected ten Thanksgiving-themed treats for your students. Click on the links to view the recipes, and enjoy!

Thanksgiving Treats for Kids

  1. Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Bites.

    Recipe and image courtesy of Delish.
    Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 15 minutes  Servings: 48 pretzel bites

Thanksgiving treats for kids - pumpkin spice pretzel bites

If you thought the time for pumpkin spice was over, think again! One bite of these pretzels, and you’ll want this spice to stick around for a while yet. You can also try coating the pretzel bites with other flavors for more variety with your snacks.

  1. Sweet Potato Bites.

    Recipe and image courtesy of Delish.
    Prep Time: 5 minutes  Cook Time: 20 minutes  Servings: 6-8

Thanksgiving treats for kids - sweet potato bites

Make everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving sweet potato dish bite-sized and easy for small hands to grab. The children might not even notice they’re eating vegetables.

  1. Apple Pie Bites.

    Recipe and image courtesy of The Blond Cook.
    Prep Time: 17 minutes  Cook Time: 12 minutes  Servings: 8 apple bites

Thanksgiving apple pie bites

After trying the original recipe, switch out the fruits and the spices for some other great flavors. Our favorites include banana and walnut, pear and gorgonzola, and buttered pecans.

  1. Apple Cranberry Fruit Salad.

    Recipe courtesy of Tastes Better from Scratch.
    Prep Time: 8 hours (refrigerate overnight)  Cook Time: 3 minutes  Servings: 5

Thanksgiving Cranberry Apple Fruit Salad

Don’t be daunted by the hours of prep-time — you’ll be asleep for most of it!

  1. Cranberry Fluff.

    Recipe and image courtesy of Num’s the Word.
    Prep Time: 10 minutes + chill time  Cook Time: 0 minutes  Servings: 10

Thanksgiving Cranberry Fluff

If fruit salad isn’t your style, try some fluff. Cranberries can have a very tart flavor, but this recipe uses a not-too-sweet cream mixture to even out the tartness and make everyone want to come back for seconds.

  1. Cinnamon Apple Cream Cheese Dip.

    Recipe and image courtesy of Three Olives Branch.
    Prep Time: 5 minutes  Cook Time: 0 minutes  Servings: 4

Thanksgiving Cinnamon Apple Dip

This Cinnamon Apple Cream Cheese Dip is a sure-fire way to get your students to eat their apple-a-day.

  1. Kid-Friendly Mac and Cheese.

    Recipe and image courtesy of Living Well Mom.
    Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 30 minutes  Servings: 12

Thanksgiving Homemade Mac N Cheese

Who doesn’t love a good mac n’ cheese? It can be made flavorful or plain, depending on your students’ tastes, and one batch can feed the whole group.

  1. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    Recipe and image courtesy of Six Sisters’ Stuff.
    Prep Time: 5 minutes  Cook Time: 10 minutes  Servings: 24 cookies

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

With only three ingredients and a ten-minute bake time, we’re sure you’ll love making these cookies as much as we do.

  1. Turkey Cupcakes.

    Recipe and image courtesy of Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons.
    Prep Time: 10 minutes + decorating time  Cook Time: 17-20 minutes  Servings: unknown

Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes

If you say it out loud, turkey cupcakes might sound a bit odd at first — but after one look, your students will be gobbling these down!

  1. Cornucopia Cookies.

    Recipe and image courtesy of Chelsea’s Messy Apron.
    Prep Time: 2-3 minutes per cookie  Cook Time: 0 minutes  Servings: unknown

Thanksgiving Cornucopia Cookies

These cookies have just a few ingredients and require almost no time to make. Try having your students make the recipe themselves by setting up a cookie-making table. I’m sure they’ll love both making and munching on the mini-cornucopias.

We hope you try out at least one of these recipes and see what your students think. If your childcare is part of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), you can also keep track of your students’ meals by using our CACFP meal tracking features. Use Kinderlime to generate an accurate and fully-compliant report so that you can receive the aid you need for giving your children these wonderful meals each day.

Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with good food and loved ones!

 

How to Manage your Student-Teacher Ratio

,Sign In-Out Pad

Most daycares, childcares, and afterschool programs still use paper and pencil to record the total hours worked by their employees. When I worked at a daycare, I recall having to fill out a paper timesheet every day for checking in, checking out and transitions. Often I, along with other staff members, would forget to check in on the timesheet. By Friday, I would be so dazed that I could barely remember what I had for breakfast, let alone the exact time I came in and left throughout the week. So I would fill in estimated times, rounding to the nearest quarter-hour. Now, that didn’t affect me much, but for an owner or director with multiple staff members, this could end up costing hundreds or thousands of dollars a month!

If you’re in the same boat, it’s time to make your life easier by incorporating a little technology.

Staff Timeclock

It’s important to know how long your staff works each day and each week. Not only so you can pay them appropriately, but so you can track expenses and accurately plan out your budget for the next year.

Our staff timeclock feature enables staff to punch a unique 4-digit code in order to track their time down to the second. This is done via the same pinpad that parents use to sign their children in and out. Each timestamp is tracked in real time on the administrator’s dashboard for added visibility. Here are a few timeclock and payroll tips for your program.

Staff Timeclock Dashboard

Student-Teacher Ratio

As an owner or director, you may constantly be looking for opportunities to save. With more insight into your classroom ratios, you can cut down on costs every week.

Student-Teacher Ratio Graph

Depending on what type of program you run (daycare, preschool, or after school), the required ratio ranges from 1:5 to 1:20. Our system allows you to track the raw data, as long as the students and teachers/staff are properly signed in and out. You can then use this data to determine how many staff members you need at your childcare at any given time of day.

As children begin to funnel out of their rooms at the day’s end, you can check our Student-Teacher Ratio feature. You have the ability to calculate the ratios across all classrooms and determine which need to be adjusted. If you see a classroom that has dwindled down to four children, yet still has two teachers present, you can send one of the teachers home for the day. Over time, you may see a similar pattern occurring in specific classrooms and can schedule your teachers accordingly.

If you’re interested in tracking student-teacher ratios but don’t know where to start, request a demo with us. Learn how Kinderlime Childcare software can help save you time, cut operational costs, and make running your program much, much easier!

8 Frightfully Fun Costume Ideas for Teachers

Who says kids get all the tricks and treats on Halloween? Try one of these costumes with some fellow teachers (or on your own) to give the kids a spine-tingling surprise!

1) Silent Movie Stars

Black and White

2) Riley’s Emotions from Inside Out

Inside Out
3) A Windswept Pedestrian (no wind involved)

Windy

4)  Your Favorite Disney Princess
Disney Princesses
5) Witches from Hocus Pocus


Hocus_Pocus

6) Your Favorite Candy

Candy

7) Classroom Supplies (if you couldn’t get enough of them!)

Classroom Supplies

8) The Rainbow Fish

Rainbow Fish Costume

We hope these ideas get your cauldron bubbling! Allow parents to share in the fun by sending pictures and messages throughout the day using our parent communication app. All of the pictures can be saved in the photo gallery so you can preserve these memories or include the best moments in your seasonal newsletter.