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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

Real time child care ratios and attendance

Kinderlime is continuing to innovate on how child care centers can proactively look at ratios and attendance. We released a feature which is being loved by daycares all across the world. This feature allows daycares to look up attendance chart and find out which rooms need the most staffing.

Have you ever faced a situation where Licensing was to come in and check on whether you were keeping adequate staff and child ratios? California has severe citations for not keeping up with ratios. Here in Kinderlime we take this seriously and want to help you manage staffing. On the Sign In-Out app, directors can view how many teachers are there in the room along with the kids. They can view historical reports in 30 minute increments and schedule their staff based on how many children are present in their school.

Ratios in Child care
Ratios in Child care

Something all childcare directors love on their Kinderlime sign in out smartphone app : the live Ratio status. It’s like having your school operations in your hand. It’s so comforting to watch this when you can’t be at school that day and still see how kids and your staff are doing.

Real time ratio and attendance status on a Tablet
Real time ratio and attendance status on a Tablet

7 New Year Resolutions for Child Care Workers

Child Care Workers Resolution

 

The new year is upon us, and it is the perfect time to reflect on the past, and make resolutions for the second half of the school year. Get motivated with our 7 new year resolutions we think every child care worker should have on their list.

 

New Year Resolutions for Child Care Workers

 

1. Stay Positive

Coming back from a much needed long break can be stressful as you try and get back into a routine. However, breaks also mean fresh starts. Stay positive, and use the new year as extra motivation to make some changes.

2. Strive to Be Paper Free

You may not be able to go 100% paper free, but technology can help you get  a little bit closer. Think of a couple common documents or handouts you can make paperless such as monthly newsletters, attendance records, or child care daily sheets.

3. Think Outside of the Box

Every once in a while child care workers may find themselves stuck in a rut of repeating the same activities and routines year after year. The New Year is the perfect time to stretch your mind, and think outside of your usual routine. If you take the time to think outside of the box you never knew what new ideas you will come up with.

4. Embrace Technology

Technology is a hot topic in early education. The tech tools available to early educators are abundant, and can sometimes seem overwhelming. We suggest picking a few tech tools to try in the new year. Some of our favorite tech tools include Kinderlime’s Daily Sheet and Parent Communication app, Skype in the Classroom, and Storybird.

 5. Give Yourself a Break

Child care workers are incredibly passionate, and put their heart and soul into their child care center and preschools. However, they are not always as good at allocating time to themselves. Make it a new year goal to set aside some you time. You absolutely deserve it, and in the long run, you will be a better child care worker for it.

6. Start a Project

The start of the year is the perfect time to take on a new project. Try building a classroom garden or finally make the preschool website you’ve been putting off. Starting a project is the first step in creating something you can be proud of this year.

 7. Reflect

We are constantly looking forward, but we don’t always take the time to look back. Be sure to not only plan for the future, but reflect on all of your accomplishments this year, as big or little as they are.

Child Care Licensing: Is your Attendance Software Compliant?

Child Care Licensing

 

It’s obvious why so many schools and centers are choosing to go electronic. It saves time, money and paper. However, one of the largest concerns of going electronic is having the confidence that the software is compliant for child care licensing.

Thankfully, child care licensing is embracing electronic child care management systems. Regardless, when choosing a child care software system, there are a few features you will want to keep in mind that will ensure you are licensing approved.

 

Child Care Licensing Required Features

  • Records Authorized Signatures

Child care management apps will help with recording parent and student sign in-out times. This helps make attendance and time tracking much easier, but child care licensing typically requires more than just the time the child was signed in and out.

To remain licensing compliant you will most likely need an authorized signature. Be sure to inquire if your child care management software provides some form of licensing compliant signatures.

  • Security

Another concern of child care licensing is the security of the child care software. Most child care software companies provide an increased level of security. However, you will still want to inquire as to what security measures in particular they take to keep all confidential information secure. Licensing compliant or not, you do not want to mess around with a child care software that lacks security.

  • Access to all previous attendance records

One of the exciting features of going electronic is no more printing and storing paper sign in-out sheets. However, before fully saying goodbye to paper, investigate how long your attendance records will be stored. Do not assume your attendance records will be stored electronically forever.

  • Printable Attendance Records

Does your sign in-out software allow you to print out previous attendance sheets? Licensing may ask for a printed copy of an attendance sheet from a previous day. Be sure to check attendance sheets can be easily printed before licensing pays you a visit.

 

Child Care Licensing Bonus Features

These bonus features are not necessary for child care licensing, but they are valuable features that are beneficial to have when inspection time comes around.

  • Child to Staff Ratio Tracking

Licensing requires staff and teachers to know their child to staff/teacher ratio at all times. It may be easy for a teacher to keep track of their 12 children, but when you have multiple teachers in different classrooms, keeping track of ratios can become a heftier task.

Some child care software apps give you the capability of easily tracking the total number of children signed in, teacher to child ratios, and some software will allow you to transfer students to  different rooms right from the app. This tool will help your center constantly know which child is where and with whom at all times.

  • Emergency Messaging System

While we hope an emergency situation never arises, it is important to always be prepared. During an emergency situation your first job is to ensure the children’s safety, but the second is to keep parents updated and informed. Thankfully, some child care software apps provide easy mass texting and emailing to parents right from the app, giving you the comfort knowing that you are prepared for any situation that may arise.

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Tips to ensure you are Child Care Licensing Compliant

  • Ask Questions

When it comes to choosing a child care software, do not assume they are licensing compliant. While most child care management software options cater to licensing, the regulations do vary from state and type of center. If you are at all unsure, ask questions. It is better to ask now, then find out later your software is not compliant.

  • Do not wait till your licensing visit

The time of your licensing visit is not when you should find out if your child care software is up to licensing standards. Be sure to communicate and get approval from licensing before your visit. Not doing so will simply result in more work on your part.

 

Please contact Kinderlime for additional help on ensuring your child care software is licensing compliant.

Daycare Software Marketing Tips and Tricks

Marketing with Daycare Software

 When you decided to invest in daycare software you most likely wanted to save time on attendance and billing, or maybe you wanted to go paperless. There are many reasons you may have chosen to use a daycare software, but marketing was most likely not one of them.

Your daycare software is likely full of hidden tools to not only help with daycare management, but market your center. Here are a few tips and tricks on how you can try marketing with your daycare software.

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tips on marketing with daycare software

 

Collect Testimonials

 You may not be able to control 100% of what people say about your daycare, but you can help ensure that when a parent has something good to say, others will hear about it.

marketing with daycare software

Collecting testimonials is a powerful way to express to others how wonderful your daycare truly is. However, getting parents to write testimonials can be a challenge. Parents often have the best intentions, and would love to write a testimonial, but they want to do it on their own time, not during the busy rush of dropping off and picking up their child.

Thankfully, daycare software programs provide an easy avenue for parents to leave a testimonial. At Kinderlime, when parents sign onto their Kinderlime account to pay their daycare invoice or download pictures, they also have the option of writing a review. If you are still having a difficult time collecting reviews from parents, Kinderlime’s daycare software allows you to even set up reminders for parents to leave a testimonial. This gives parents the option to write a testimonial when it’s convenient for them.

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A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words

Kinderlime Daycare SoftwareWould you ever buy a t-shirt online without seeing a photo of the product? Chances are you would not. Typically we want to see exactly what we are buying before making a purchase. Descriptions of a product are helpful, but the first thing we look for is an image.

Daycare centers are no different. Reviews of a daycare center are an important factor, but nothing says quite as much as a photo! Daycare software makes it easy for centers to capture photos. With the Kinderlime Daily Sheets app, daycare staff can quickly snap photos of a child’s day in daycare, and share these photos with parents.

Want to take your daycare photo sharing to the next level? Post the photos you have on your daycare’s Facebook account or daycare review sites. Current and potential parents will love to see the fun activities going on at your daycare, and potential customers will love seeing what your daycare center is all about.

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The Power of Social Media

We have now collected our testimonials and have fun photos from our daycare, but how do we use these tools to quickly market our daycare to mass amounts of potential customers…for free?

Thankfully, we live during the social media age, where we can share practically anything with the world with the click of a button, at no cost. Regardless of how much easier social sharing has made marketing, it is still an incredibly time consuming task. Here are a few tips on how you can use your daycare software to take the time and pain out of social media daycare marketing:

Encourage parents to use the social share button

marketing with daycare softwareKinderlime’s daycare software knows how adding a simple Facebook share button can make all the difference. When parents log onto their Kinderlime account, they can share any photo sent to them on Facebook with a simple click of a button.

Your parent’s friends will love showing off pictures of their child, and your parent’s friends will see how much your parents love your daycare.

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Share testimonials collected from your daycare software

Collected testimonials are not just for review sites or websites. Share them on your favorite social media channels. Try making a testimonial Pinterest board, or tweet your favorites. Whatever social channel you use, you will be sure to attract plenty of new potential parents.

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Don’t stop at photos

Create promotional or fun daycare videos on Kinderlime’s Daily Sheet app, to share with your parents and on social media sites like Facebook. Videos will without a doubt catch the eye of potential customers and make your daycare center look innovative and creative.

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Stand Out

Parents have many choices when it comes to choosing a daycare, and this is not a decision they will take lightly. For many parents, this is the first time they are leaving their child in someone else’s hands. They want to choose a daycare where they know their child will be safe, happy and succeed.

With so many options available to parents, it is important to stand out. What better way than with an innovative daycare software. You may have originally invested in a daycare software to make your life as a daycare manager easier, but in some ways, you were making a statement! With daycare software you are not just the owner of a safe and fun daycare, but are innovative, creative, appreciate quality, and desire to keep parents involved. You are a daycare center that stands out!