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  • 18 Sep 2017 8:44 AM | Kate Young (Administrator)


    Naptime can be a rough time

    Transitioning from playtime or even lunch into naptime can give teachers fits.  There is so much confusion, and the kids are grumpy because they are tired.  I have an easy way to make it better: READ

    And not just short picture books that you read at other times of the day...chapter books.  Let's take the lunch to naptime plan.  Once the children are sitting down to eat, talk about what happened in the story last time.  It has been almost 24 hours, at a minimum.  They forget.  Some of the children fall asleep before you stopped reading.  They missed things.  This way everyone is on the same page, so to speak.  Ask them what they think will happen next.  I had one 2 year old who often suggested, "dinsaaarz will be 'der."  This also gives the kids something to talk about at meal time (YAY!  learning social skills!).

    As the children clean up from lunch and go to the bathroom (hand washing, teeth brushing, toilet/diapering) stand outside the bathroom with the book.  If there are pictures, share them if asked.  This is often a big hit with Pooh books, although there were also good pictures in Little Bear and The Littles.

    When most of the kids are on their mats/cots, ask if they are ready for the story.  A chorus of "yes" generally erupts at this point.  Settle down in your accustomed place and begin reading.  If kids ask to see pictures, reply that right now they are building the pictures in their heads.  "Close your eyes and build the picture in your head."  They can look at the book after rest time is over, if that works for you.  Depending on the age of the class you will read between 10 & 30 minutes.  Find a good stopping point and place your book mark.

    During that time, the calm voice telling a story will have relaxed the children & with the eye closing to build pictures, many of them will have drifted off.  There is less of the talking to the kid in the next spot, getting up for water or the bathroom and an overall calmer transition.

     

    Mother and daughter reading togetherHave you ever wondered about the benefits of all of that reading aloud before naptime? Not only does this bring you a calmer transition, it also helps with self-regulation, language development, literacy & imagination.

    Although reading to a child before bedtime is great, a team at the University of Sussex in England last year found that reading before afternoon naps is actually the most opportune time to enhance a child’s learning. Their research found that reading before an afternoon nap not only helped children to retain words better but also helped them to retain a greater number of words.

    So, rather than just putting on music or giving them quiet toys to play with, take time to read to the children. Whenever possible, do so before afternoon naps. By starting this practice early and building it into a fun and anticipated tradition, the children will gain benefits that last a lifetime.

    At what age should you start?

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s never too early to start reading aloud to children. As soon as a child is born, you can and should begin the practice, so that the child can become absorbed with books.

    An advantage in school

    Reading aloud with children not only creates a bond between the two of you – which is a side benefit – but it gives each child an important advantage. By age 3, children who have heard fewer words – whether though reading, talking or singing – may be at a disadvantage compared to children who have heard a greater number of words, and which may lead to a disadvantage in school. That was the finding of a study, “Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children,” conducted by Betty Hart and Todd Risley.

     

    Great!  But what do you read to them?  Sometimes this is a road block.  How do you know what books are appropriate & will interest them?  A good place to start is to think back to books you loved when you were first learning to read.  I was a lover of all things Pooh, books by Syd Hoff, Captain Cat & Danny the Dinosaur in particular, and Another is to look at books or series that have been made into TV shows or movies.  I will write another post with a list of books I suggest and a bit about each of them.  Look for it soon.

    To get the post with the chapter book reviews & suggestions subscribe to this blog.

    Share your happy tales with us

    Does your class have a favorite selection of children’s books that you enjoy reading aloud together before naptime? Share your happy tales with us on our Facebook page.


  • 03 Sep 2017 7:41 PM | Kate Young (Administrator)

    Top 10 Ways to Empower Children

    Date: August 28, 2017Author: Carrie Casey0 Comments

    As a teacher working with young children, you have millions of opportunities to empower children & foster good self-esteem.  Every day in the early childhood classroom self images are being built by the child’s successes & failures and by what they see and hear.

    Many of the challenges that plague children are the result of low self-esteem. Teenage pregnancy, drug usage, poor grades, fighting, depression, and even suicide can be the result of low self-esteem. A child with high self-esteem will enjoy life more and have a more successful childhood. Children with high self-esteem are likely to grow into adults with high self-esteem.

    Grow a child’s self-esteem and confidence:

    1.      Draw attention to the child’s strengths. Let the children bask in the glory of being good at something. Whether the child’s strength is school, throwing a fastball, or playing Go Fish, let them know that you notice how great they are at it.

    2.      Teach children how to deal with failure. Explain that it happens to everyone and is part of life. Help each child to examine what went wrong in her approach and how to improve. Encourage children to be persistent until success is achieved.

    3.      Give children choices. Just be sure to control the options. Suppose a young child is getting dressed for school. Instead of choosing the clothes for the child, allow him to have a few options. Choose a few different outfits and then allow the child to choose between them. You’ll have a well-dressed kid that feels empowered because he chose his own clothes.

    4.      Allow each child to fit in at school. The idea of Spiderman pajamas at school might seem bizarre to some, but if that’s what all the cool kids are doing, let it go. It can be difficult for adults to remember the importance of peer acceptance. Allow the children to find their own way to fit in.

    5.      Allow children to struggle a little. It can be hard to resist the urge to provide help at every opportunity. However, it can be great for a child to learn how to deal with struggle. Ensure that the struggle ends successfully! Give each child the opportunity to be successful without adult intervention.

    6.      Be reasonable in your praise. Your 3-year old student knows her drawing of a butterfly isn’t the best butterfly the world has ever seen. Instead, offer a comment like, “I love how you used so many colors in the wings.” Be sincere with your praise.

    7.      Allow each child to overhear you complimenting them. For example, the next time you’re talking to another teacher in front of your class, mention something positive about one of the children. He’ll be sure to hear and feel on top of the world.

    8.      Avoid comparing one child to another. All people are individuals. Comments like, “Why can’t you be as neat as your friend?” cause more harm than good.

    9.      Spend time alone with each student. It’s one way of showing that every child is important to you. Children know you could be doing a lot of other things, but you chose to spend time with her instead.

    10. Be encouraging. We all require support from time to time. When a child is struggling, provide encouragement and support. Let them know that they’re not alone. Consider what you would’ve liked to hear as a child and allow that to be your guide.

    A child with a healthy level of self-esteem will be happier and perform better in school. As an early childhood professional, you have a strong influence over your children’s self-confidence. Making your children feel good about themselves is one of your greatest responsibilities. Pay attention to the little things each day, because that’s what your kids are doing!

     

    There are countless opportunities to make your child feel better or worse about himself. Be proactive.


  • 28 Aug 2017 1:26 PM | Carrie Casey (Administrator)


    The most request article published by the Harvard Business Review is on Monkey Management.  All Directors become familiar with managing monkeys, even if they don’t know that they are doing it.

    Below is an excerpt covering Monkey Management from our  book:

    Management Time:  Who’s Got the Monkey?

    By William Oncken, Jr., (former CEO, The William Oncken Company of Texas, Inc. and Donald L. Wass (former President, The William Oncken Company of Texas, inc.) (Adapted from an article in the Harvard Business Review as an analogy that underscores the value of assigning, delegating and controlling.)

    In any organization the Director’s bosses, peers, clients and staff – in return for their active support – impose some requirements; just as the director imposes some requirements upon them where they draw on his support. These demands constitute so much of the director’s time that successful leadership hinges on an ability to control this “monkey-on-the-back” input effectively.

    Why is it that directors are typically running out of time while their staff is typically running out of work?  In this article, we shall explore the meaning of management time as it relates to the interaction between directors, their bosses, their own peers, and their staff. Specifically, we shall deal with three different kinds of management time:

    Boss-imposed time –to accomplish those activities which the boss requires and which the director cannot disregard without direct and swift penalty.

    System-imposed time– to accommodate those requests to the director for active support from his peers. This assistance must also be provided lest there be penalties, though not always direct or swift.

    Self-imposed time– to do those things which the director originates or agrees to do. A certain portion of this kind of time; however, will be taken by staff and is called, “staff-imposed time.” 

    The remaining portion will be your own and is called “discretionary time.” Self-imposed time is not subject to penalty since neither the boss nor the system can discipline the director for not doing what they did not know the director had intended to do in the first place.

    The management of time necessitates that directors get control over the timing and content of what they do. Since what their bosses and the system impose on them are subject to penalty, directors cannot tamper with those requirements. Thus their self-imposed time becomes their major area of concern.

    Directors should try to increase the discretionary component of their self-imposed time by minimizing or doing away with the ‘staff’ component.  They will then use the added period of time to get better control over their boss-imposed and system-imposed activities. Most directors spend much more staff-imposed time than they even faintly realize.  Hence we shall use the analogy of a monkey-on-the-back to examine how staff-imposed time comes into being and what the superior can do about it.

    Where is the Monkey?

    Let us imagine that a director is walking down the hall and the he notices one of his teachers, Jones, coming up the hallway. When they are abreast of one another, Jones greets the director with, “Good morning.  By the way, we’ve got a problem.  You see…”

    As Jones continues, the director recognizes in this problem the same two characteristics common to all the problems his staff gratuitously brings to his attention.  Namely, the manger knows (a) enough to get involved, but (b) not enough to make the on-the-spot decision expected of him. Eventually, the director says, “So glad you brought this up. I’m in a rush right now.  Meanwhile, let me think about it and I’ll let you know.” Then he and Jones part company.

    Let us analyze what has just happened. Before the two of them met, on whose back was it?  The teacher. Now whose back is it on? The director. Staff-imposed time begins the moment a monkey successfully executes a leap from the back of a staff member, to the back of his superior and does not end until the monkey is returned to its proper owner for care and feeding.

    In accepting the monkey, the director has voluntarily assumed a position subordinate to his staff. That is, he has allowed Jones to make him the subordinate by doing two things a subordinate is generally expected to do for a boss: the director has accepted a responsibility from his staff, and the director has promised a progress report.

    The staff – to make sure the director does not miss this point – will later stick their head in the director’s office and cheerily query, “How’s it coming?” This is called, “supervision.”

    Or let us imagine again, in concluding a working conference with another staff, Johnson, the director’s parting words are, “Fine. Send me a memo on that.”

    Let us analyze this one. The monkey is now on the staff’s back because the next move is his, but it is poised for a leap. Watch that monkey. 

    Johnson dutifully writes the requested memo and drops it in his out-basket. Shortly thereafter, the director plucks it from his in-basket and reads it.  Whose move is it now? The director. If he does not make that move soon, he will get a follow up memo from the staff. This is another form of supervision. 

    The longer the director delays, the more frustrated the staff will become (he’ll be “spinning his wheels”), and the guiltier the director will feel (his backlog of staff imposed time will be mounting).

    Or suppose once again that a meeting with a third staff member, Smith, the director agrees to provide all the necessary backing for a fundraising campaign he has just asked Smith to develop.  The director’s parting words to her are, “Just let me know how I can help.”

    Now let us analyze this. Here the monkey is initially on the staff’s back, but for how long? 

    Smith realizes that she cannot let the director ‘know’ until her proposal has the director’s approval.  And from experience, she also realizes that her proposal will likely be sitting in the director’s briefcase for weeks waiting for him to eventually get to it.

    Whose really got the monkey?  Who will be checking up on whom? Wheel spinning and bottlenecking are on there way again.

    A fourth teacher, Reed, has just been transferred from another classroom in order to launch and eventually manage a newly created after school program. Thedirector has said that they should get together soon to hammer out a set of objectives for the new job, and that “I will draw up an initial draft for discussion with you.”

    Let us analyze this one, too.  The staff has the new job (by formal assignment) and the full responsibility (by formal delegation), but the director has the next move.  Until he makes it, he will have the monkey and the staff will be immobilized.

    Why does it all happen? Because in each instance the director and the staff assume at the outset, wittingly or unwittingly, that the matter under consideration is a joint problem.  The monkey in each case begins its career astride both their backs. All it has to do now is move the wrong leg, and presto the staff deftly disappears.

    The director is thus left with another acquisition to his menagerie. Of course, monkeys can be trained not to move the wrong leg. But it is easier to prevent them from straddling backs in the first place.”

    This is just the beginning.  Now that you have seem some monkey scenarios, you need to learn the 5 rules to managing monkeys.  This is one of our favorite manager trainings to do.  Identifying, quarantining and managing monkeys is one of your most important jobs, if you want to get any work done.

         For your Monkey Management Training call Carrie at (512) 748-4788  


  • 14 Aug 2017 2:06 PM | Carrie Casey (Administrator)

    Are you waiting for the perfect time to launch your grand plan? We don’t like to wait in line, but we’re more than content to wait for some other things.Diets are commonly started on a Monday, or the first of the month, or the first of the year. It’s rare that someone chooses to start a diet right this very minute.

    The same mindset applies to starting a business, going back to school, learning to play guitar, writing a book, or having a difficult conversation. We believe that challenging objectives require optimal conditions.

    The idea that perfect conditions are necessary is flawed:

    1. Life is much too short. Eventually, we all run out of time. No one can wait forever. That doesn’t mean to be impulsive and throw all caution to the wind. It does mean, however, that it would benefit you to act soon.
    2. Life will always get in the way. Waiting for the right moment is like saving the money you have left over at the end of the month. You’ll never have any time to spare, just as you’ll never have any money left over.
      Make time for the important things you want to do or accomplish. The longer you wait, the harder it can be to get started.
    1. Waiting is passive. Each day is filled with unique moments. It’s not necessary to wait until the perfect storm of opportunity, convenience, and motivation finally occurs. You can create special moments whenever you choose. Plenty of good moments are happening each day, but you’re failing to make the most of them.
    2. You don’t learn anything while you’re waiting. You’re not enhancing your skills or gaining any experience when you’re inactive. Make the most of right now and you’ll be better prepared for the future.
    3. Avoid regret. Do you really have the time to spare? Those that wait too long are filled with regret at the end of life. Do you want to look back on your life and think, “If only I would have …”
      Few things are worse than regret, especially when you’re no longer in the position to do anything about it. You might still be able to climb a mountain or learn to play the piano at the age of 80, but it might be easier when you’re 45. You’ll also have more time to enjoy it!
    1. Taking action results in a more exciting and fulfilled life. Taking action and failing is better than doing nothing at all. Even in failure, you’re learning, taking risks, and living life to the fullest. You’re better prepared for the future and gain a new perspective.
      Make your life interesting and fulfilling by deciding that right now is a good enough time to get started.
    1. Waiting results in a lack of control. While you’re passively waiting for the perfect situation to occur, you’re giving away control of your life. One common symptom among those with depression is the belief that they lack control over their lives. Why wait? Take action now to create the life you want and take back your control.

    Become button

    Valuing yourself will result in valuing your time. When you value your time, you’ll begin to make the most of it. Every moment is important because you’re important.Avoid waiting any longer for the perfect moment to finally arrive. Get started today and create your own moments!

    REGISTER NOWEnroll

  • 14 Mar 2017 1:01 PM | Carrie Casey (Administrator)

    Making the decision to care for children in your home is just the beginning.  Whether you have a Registered Family Home Or Licensed Child-care Home can make a huge difference in how much money you earn.

    Making the decision to care for children in your home is just the beginning.  Whether you have a Registered Family Home Or Licensed Child-care Home can make a huge difference in how much money you earn.

    Running a Registered Family Home can be an excellent way to work in childcare & control your earnings.  I suggest it to people all the time.  No extra overhead, you select your students, you don't have to drive anywhere.  If you have all your slots filled the $$$ is better than as a teacher at a center.  It can be great.  


    It can also be very limiting.  You are frequently the only person in your program that can property conjugate verbs.  Lack of adult conversation can result in you driving your family members crazy when they come home at the end of the day with the need to have REAL conversation.  I know my husband was not amused by how much I expected him to interact when he got home.  He had already used 950 of his 1000 words for the day at work, and I was wanting way more than he had to give.  (If that reference didn't make sense to you, grab a copy of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and all will become clear.)

    There is also a real cap on how much you can earn.  If you want to care for 2 babies, Texas standards will only let you have 4 other children during most of the day, and 2 school-aged kids in the afternoon.  Not everyone feels comfortable with the same number of children, These numbers are just an example.  If I charge

    • $140/week- infant  
    • $140/week- infant  
    • $120/ week - toddler
    • $100/ week - preK
    • $100/ week - preK
    • $ 35/ week - after-schooler
    • $ 35/ week - after-schooler
    • free  my after-schooler
    then I earn $670/ week, which is not too bad.  If you are only open 40 hours a week you are earning over $16.75/hour.  Many in-home programs are open from 6:30-6:30, which brings your pay down to $11.16/hour.  Still not bad for a job that lets me get paid while staying at home and spend time with my child.


    Here is the question: would it be better for me if I could earn more $$$ and have someone else working with me to share the work and increase my job satisfaction?


    In most cases the answer is YES.  I don't really want to work 60 hours a week.  Do you?  You can hire someone to work at your program for part of the day.  In a Registered Family Home (RFH), this does not change you ratios, just your stress level and job satisfaction.  Some of your tuition simply goes to making life better, or reducing your hours.  That is something I invested in, myself.

    If you are in a Licensed Child-care Home (LCH), the story is a bit different.  You can enroll more children.  Your total of children can go from 8 to 12.  If we had the same children as before (2 babies, 1 toddlers, 2 preK, 3 schoolers for $670) and a second staff person, you could add 4 more children for a possible $480.  If you paid a person to come in for 8 hours starting at 7:30 for at $8.00, you would have a bit of extra money ($160 before tax).  You may have to hire 2 people and shift the hours around a bit, depending on when your children arrive, but I would take that extra $8000 a year along with less work and someone to talk to and share work with.  

    The other thing to consider is your food program revenue.  Many in-home programs use the USDA food program to increase their income.  If you add 4 more children each month and you would increase your food program check by an average of $300 a month or $3600 a year.

    OK, I got a little too into the numbers there, but the point is this:  If you went from a RFH to a LCH, you could make you life better financially, reduce your stress and have more fun doing what you love to do!  


    Now your thinking, "But that has got to be hard to do or costs a bunch of money."  NOPE.  The only real difference is that you, the person who stands to benefit, has to become a licensed Director.  The easiest and quickest way to do that is to take a class with TexasDirector.org.  Classes start at $475 and can be completed in as little as a week.  You can complete the class at home, on-line.  $475 for an increase in income of more than $11,000 per year.  Yes please! 



  • 21 Feb 2017 8:31 PM | Carrie Casey (Administrator)


    When someone introduces themselves, do you remember his or her name? Is it important to do so? If you are like most people, within five minutes you will be scrambling to remember who you just met. You can improve your success rate in remembering.

    Is remembering a person’s name necessary? After all, most people forget within seconds of being introduced. Why even bother going through the trouble?

    To answer that question, ask yourself if it makes a difference when others remember your name. Knowing someone’s name shows that you took the time and that you care. It is a personal touch in the communication process.  What about if you are planning on having a relationship with that person for several years- looking to enroll at a school.

    This skill is also key in networking.  To read more networking tips, click here.

    This is one of the tenets of the classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. The book was written in the early-to-mid 20th century. It remains a big selling item to this day. Although the stories are rather dated, the concepts are eternal. Remembering and using someone’s name will get you noticed.

    When you refer to people by their name, you instantly set the conversation to a comfortable and personable tone. It’s familiar and friendly. The people who you refer to by name are quite appreciative that you not only remembered their name but that you use it often.  When you are on the phone with a potential or enrolled parent, use their name throughout the conversation.  

    If you aren’t good at remembering names, here are some tips.

    • First, when introduced, say the person’s name as soon as they say it. For instance, if the person’s name is Sally, say, “it’s nice to meet you, Sally.” Try to use her name quickly again as you converse with her but try not to do this in excess. Make it as natural as possible.
    • You could also state that you know someone with the same name as the people you meet. This can get them talking about why they were so named (after the mother, father, etc.) When the conversation is complete, use the name again. Using the example above, you could say, “it was a pleasure to speak with you, Sally.”
    • It’s a good idea to keep a notepad with you at all times for when you meet new people. Shortly after your conversation ends, take a few seconds to record the person’s name so that you can refer to it later if necessary. Try to remember without the notepad, but you have it for reference, just in case you forget.

    Use these tips to help you remember names. You will brighten peoples’ day when you not only remember but use their names.


  • 16 Feb 2017 4:47 PM | Carrie Casey (Administrator)

    What is a Mentor Coach and Do You Need One?

    Athletes have coaches. Many entrepreneurs and professionals have mentors. They're really the same thing. A mentor coach is a coach for your growth. Most of us weren't formally taught how to grow successfully. A mentor coach can help you to figure out what you want to do with your life, set goals, and achieve them. They have experience in helping others to live fulfilling lives.

    A mentor coach wears many hats:  

    1. A mentor coach is a cheerleader. Life is easier when someone is in your corner. When you know you have support, it's easier to take risks and chase after big goals. You always have someone on your side when you have a coach.  *Your coach will also push you. They've seen plenty of clients attempt to avoid hard work and stressful situations. They'll know when you're playing games and push you to succeed.  
    2. A coach provides guidance. It's not always easy to make good decisions, especially when you're stressed or fearful. And let's face it, some folks just don't make good decisions, period. A coach can help you to make wise decisions. * A friend can't always be objective or completely honest, but your coach can. You'll hear what you need to hear from your coach. 
    3. A coach helps you to determine what you want to be when you grow up. It doesn't matter if you're 18 or 68. A mentor can help you to determine what the next step of your life should be. If you're feeling lost, a coach might be the answer.  
    4. A coach will help you to find balance. Coaches are aware that there's more to life than just money or a perfect classroom. They emphasize keeping things in balance. Health, professional success, relationships, finances, spirituality and leisure activities are all part of a well-balanced life.  
    5. A coach is not a therapist. Therapists deal with past issues and traumas. Coaches work from the present moment and into the future. A mentor won't help you get over a past loss or deal with the fact that you were bullied in junior high. A coach can guide you toward building a more desirable future.  
    6. A  coach isn't required to have any training. There are organizations that certify coaches, mentors or trainers, but they aren't necessary to hang out a shingle and make a living in these areas. Be sure to vet anyone you're considering hiring. Since the barriers to entry are so low, there are plenty of coaches that aren't good at what they do. * Pay attention to reviews and schedule an introductory session to see if a particular coach is a good fit.  Choose carefully.


    Do you need a mentor coach? A mentor coach won't solve your challenges, but they can help you to help yourself. If you need a steady hand to guide you and a cheerleader to support you, a mentor coach can make a big difference. There are good mentor coaches and bad mentor coaches. If you're looking for a mentor coach, ensure that you find a good one.


  • 12 Feb 2017 3:08 PM | Carrie Casey (Administrator)


    Kate and I (Carrie) have been teaching people how to direct childcare programs for 15 years. Did you ever wonder

    Where did you come from, where did you go?

    Where did you come from, Cotton-Eye Joe?

    Sorry.  My Texas roots are showing.  Every time I tried to just type where did we come from, that song just popped into my head.  Anyway...

    Back in 2001 we were both working side gigs with a non-profit organization, focusing on helping women grow their businesses.  I was providing training and support to Registered Family Home providers and small child care centers.  Kate was administering a grant focused on job opportunities for low income  women.

    They approached me to write a curriculum for a Director Credentialing course, but said they wanted to have an academic teach it.  That didn't make sense to us.  Why not have the instructor be someone who has actual experience in the field and an academic write the text?  How could they answer questions that came up in class?  They wanted to ensure that the text hit all the points that a new Director needed to know, and so they wanted a "practitioner" to write it.  OK, I can get behind that.  I decided if I was going to create the materials, I darned well wanted to teach it!  Kate agreed, and we set off to create what is now Texas Director.

    Cousins 2009.jpg

    We researched, compiled our knowledge, filled out paperwork, and found a place to teach the first class.  We talked through everything that we wished we had known when we started from marketing tips to insurance to classroom arrangement techniques.  Writing the book was much harder than we thought it would be.  We were literally finishing it while we were teaching that first class.

    We tweaked it during each class for the first year.  Sometimes it was just that we noticed a place where we needed to add punctuation, but other times we realized that we had not explained a key point well enough.

    We knew that adults retain information better if they have short activities after each topic.  So, we had a quiz or work product that corresponded to each area. When the new Director was done learning about goal setting and all the ways they can use that tool to improve their center, there was a goal setting worksheet to go through to cement the knowledge and give a chance to practice the skill.

    Everyone who has ever worked in pre-k knows that to really learn something, you have to actually do it.  You can teach Tommy that his name is spelled T-O-M-M-Y and show him the letters, demonstrate how you write it, but he won't be able to sign-in in the morning until he holds the pencil and tries.  It will be a mess the first time, but he won't master it if he hasn't tried once.  That was the core of our teaching and evaluating philosophy.

    It still is today.  A lot has changed in 15 years, but that concept and our commitment to making sure our Directors have what they need to start their careers off strong hasn't.  If you or a friend is thinking about becoming a Director, let us help you.  You won't regret it.

    My time with Texas Director's has been life changing! Your company
    helped me really take charge of my career and give an amazing 
    learning experience to lots of children, including my own daughter.
    I have been working with children for over 17 years and obtained my Directors License about 10 years ago! I have had the privilege of working in so many different types of centers.

    From the credential program and trainings you provide, I have learned the aspects of a great 
    Center! - C. Monk


  • 13 Jan 2017 6:06 PM | Carrie Casey (Administrator)

    A colleague asked me ,”Why should someone wanting to be a childcare Director in Texas choose Texas Director to help them?”  It is a good question.  One I had 20 or so answers to, but it all comes down to one thing: We will be there for you.

    Kate and I started providing training and other services to Directors and teachers in 1998.  That means it is possible that one of our new directors was enrolled at a center that we helped that first year.  It blows my mind.  We listened to our peers and found ways to help them get the information and services they needed.  We created trainings based on what other Directors said they needed.

    Director Credentialing

    One thing centers needed was a way to get new Directors qualified to lead a program.  There were a couple of training groups that offered classes for new Directors over the course of a week, in a hotel in one of the 5 large cities in Texas, once or twice a year.  So if you lived in Lubbock, you had to take a week off from your center, drive to Dallas and stay in a hotel for that week.  That was not what we wanted as Directors, so we created a 2 weekend class, which worked better for the folks we talked to.

    After doing those for a few years, Kate started exploring online learning and took Texas Director to the internet.  We were the first ones to offer online Director Credentialing.  We have 100% online classes, mixed online and live, and 100% in person classes.  Directors told us they needed different options, so we provided them.

    Folks are telling us they need their new Directors to be qualified within the month. With our online and personalized courses, we have that handled.  They are designed to be able to be completed within a week if you push hard or a month at a steady pace.  Our Weekender course which combines online and in-person classwork is also designed to be finished in a month, but is only offered 6 times a year, currently.

    Over the years other credentialing courses have come and gone.  What do you do when the company who gave you your certificate goes out of business?  For many folks, the answer has been to transfer your credential to Texas Director.  We allow folks to test in and join our membership if their company disappeared or they aren’t happy with the service and training they received elsewhere.  We will be here for you.

    College

    Some folks prefer the college route.  Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) issues Directors licenses to those who have related college experience or degrees.  Is this the best option for you?  Do you want material specific to running a child care center?  There are not many college courses in that vein.  You can find 20 classes that will help you run a classroom, which are great if you don’t have those skills but not many on center wide operations.  If you come from the classroom, you will want information about marketing, staffing, communication,  financial management, and business law.

    Do you want to be a Director in less than a year?  If you need 3 business classes and 3 child development classes, you are probably looking at at least a year of college before you are qualified, presuming you are also continuing to work.  I will be 100% honest with you, DFPS often gives waivers for folks using this method to be come licensed, but I have a question for you: Do you really want to be running a center without knowing the basics of child development, classroom management, being a boss, taxes, legal issues and marketing?  Will that set you up for success?  Will your professors be available after class for you to problem solve when things go sideways.

    I like college.  I have been a lot.  I take all kinds of classes that looked interesting or could teach me something I needed/wanted to know more about.  I have 2 degrees as does Kate.  (Hers are more impressive than mine.)  We hope you take college classes.  I am just not sold on it being the best way to get your Director’s license.

    CDA

    The last way DFPS licenses new Directors is with a Child Development Associate (CDA) and 2 college courses in business management.  The CDA is a wonderful, nationally recognized certificate showing proficiency as a classroom teacher.  To earn it you must have learned a fair amount either through workshops or college courses.  You have to have completed a 360 evaluation of your ongoing performance in the classroom and had an outside evaluator observe you working in your classroom.  I’ve always strongly encourage my staff to work towards earning their CDA.  If you are wanting to move from the classroom to the Director’s office, this may be a good option for you, but it has one big drawback.  You have to renew your CDA periodically, which means you must be working in a classroom.  As soon as your CDA lapses you are no longer a licensed Director.  Is it in your center’s best interest to have the Director working as a classroom teacher while running the center?

    We’ll Be There for You

    We love working with and for Directors, both in getting them started and in growing with their business.  No matter what happens, we are here to offer you support.  We create training materials, handbooks, and customized plans based on what a Director needs.

    When hurricanes hit the coast our directors called us and we worked with them to get their centers taken care of.  When a center lost its lease unexpectedly we helped them find another location.  When a Director was threatened with a law suit, we were there.  When a Director wanted to open a second and then a third location we were there to help her.  When a center was having unacceptable staff-turnover, we were there.  When you need us, we will be there.


  • 07 Dec 2016 3:16 PM | Carrie Casey (Administrator)


    Did you know that it typically costs a child care program at least five times more to obtain a new family than it does to retain a family?

    And, for each one percent increase in family retention, that transforms into a seven percent increase in profits?

    So, what does that really mean for you?

    It means customer retention makes a lot more sense (and cents) than customer acquisition.

    As a general rule, directors don’t feel comfortable with marketing. You go to all the expense and effort of attracting a new family and having them register and that’s something to be grateful for. But if it stops there and you let the family walk away without some plan in place to keep the relationship going, it’s a real waste. It’s not just one lost customer, it’s lost revenue and referrals that might have been.

    A better tactic is for directors to focus more of their time, energy, and resources on nurturing and developing that relationship instead of being content. If you provide continual great service to satisfied customers then they’re going to refer others to you as well.

    It just makes sense to focus more effort on marketing and selling to the people who already have given you money at least once. Instead, most directors continually focus their energy on trying to get more new families.

    Of course, it takes work to build that relationship and obviously it's one thing to get them, it's another thing to keep them, and still another thing to keep them satisfied. How do you do that?

    By continually providing them with the information and resources that they need. It’s really as simple as that and it's a worthwhile use of your energy.

    Here are some ideas for building on that relationship whether for an online or offline business:

    • Throw in an unexpected bonus when they sign up for your program.
    • Follow up with a thank you note or phone call. And at the same time see how they’re doing with your program and get feedback on what other services you can provide.
    • Send out a physical newsletter or an autoresponder series of emails and ezines to continue sharing helpful tips.
    • Connect with them on social media and refer them to other beneficial resources.

    Successful marketing is all about making your customers feel special and well cared for.

    Take advantage of this opportunity to have us set up your first Parent Survey or your Newsletter on MailChimp. Click here to go to our FACEBOOK PAGE and tell us TODAY, why you need our HELP!

    Let's connect,

    Kate Young

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