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KIDBIZ Resources - early Childhood & Child Care Training

Articles

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February 2013

Did you ever have one of those days with your children where you just wish you could hit the restart button? Start the day over and this time avoid all the chaos or bad moods? We've all experienced those times when the children are just a little out of control, a little louder than we'd like or not paying attention to what they should be doing. While a restart button isn't positioned clearly on your child's back, ready for use, there are ways to find it.

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November 2012

At a training I presented this year, I got talking with a group of providers that were asking where I get all my energy and ideas for fun stuff to do with the kids (answer: not sure, love of kids and maybe a little undiagnosed ADHD!) One of them made the comment that they wish they had a "Pocket Pat" app where they could check it on days the kids are going nuts or it's raining and their bored and I could help them figure out what to do. I love this idea, and soon after attended a training for presenters on how to provide help to their audience through short video on YouTube, and that clinched it so I called my daughter (you didn't think I was going to navigate YouTube on my own did you?!) and we got to work on it.

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October 2012

Fall is knocking on the door and it's time to open that door and run outside to discover all we can about this wonderful world we live in! While everyone agrees that giving children hands on experiences and exposing them to a variety of environments is great for brain development for them, many providers are afraid to take the plunge because of the potential headaches it will cause for their brain! How can anyone take a large group of kids out and about and not go crazy? It's actually much easier than you may think. With some pre-planning, a little organization and a positive attitude, you'll be out your door before you know it and opening up a entire world of learning possibilities for the children in your care.

Download now (pdf)

August 2012

What a MAGICAL conference! In case you missed it, the NAFCC Conference in Atlanta had the BEST keynotes I think we've ever had (see their info below), super sessions including meetings with federal level representatives, lots of hot topics, leadership training, fabulous curriculum workshops, and Zumba and Yoga too! The board did a flash mob to Barry Manilow's "One Voice" that had people in tears. Everyone logged some major mileage for the Pedometer Challenge. We revealed the new Standards, and new membership benefits with Child Care Daily App and Aflac. Wow, what a week! It's taken me until today to fully recover and unpack! DO NOT miss it next year!!! We'll be in Arizona at a beautiful, family friendly resort and if you think this year was special wait til you see what we're cooking up for next year!

My article today is based on a portion of the Association Leadership training I did at preconference. It's part of my new Leadership series of half and full day trainings perfect for board retreats or preconference sessions. 

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June 2012

The Art of Conversation (Excerpt from Chapter 6 of Tea Party Celebrations)

The core of the tea party, and the most fun! The conversations at tea parties can take on whatever goals the teacher may have in mind. However, politeness, manners, and respect for others will always be at the core of these conversations. Making comments and asking questions such as "How was your day?" "I really like that color dress on you." "So how did your soccer game go this weekend?" "Did your Grandma come up from Florida to stay with you yet?" In other words, model for the children how to ask each other about what is important to them: who they care about and the things they care about that happened to them. Teach them to listen. To care. To reach out to each other and show how important their friends are to them through their words. If you are just beginning to hold these types of tea parties, teachers will need to model lots of the conversation, but rest assured, the children will pick up on your tone and purpose and recreate it in their own words.

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May 2012

Advocacy in early care and education can seem daunting to providers. We often don't connect ourselves to this part of our field. We see it as something that the state or national organizations will be doing, we assume they are fighting the fight, we assume there are legislators who "get" what we do and will protect it, we feel caring for children, protecting quality care and supporting families who need this care is such a obvious thing, something that any policy maker would understand and therefore support. But then we get hit with a new policy. Or the organization that supports us through training, technical assistance, or grants lose their funding and shut down. Or the family we love and care for tells us their subsidy is being lowered, or cut, and they can no longer afford to stay. And it's too late. Or is it?

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April 2012

Just returned from Alaska - what a GREAT place to do child care! There's conversations these providers have that in 25+ years in this field I've never heard before, such as: "We couldn't play outside yesterday because the bears were in the backyard again." "We took a walk to the park last week but had to take the long way to get back home because the moose came into the park and we couldn't get past them the same way." Or "I took the kids outside to play, but when the 4 yr old ran out she only got about 10 feet away from me and she sunk into the snow and disappeared!" I think it would be a blast to deal with these issues! Thanks to all the great providers at the Alaska Family Child Care Association Conference, can't wait to come back again!

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March 2012

When I was new to the field of family child care, I joined a support group that was filled with providers who had joined national organizations and received national accreditation. You would think this would have inspired me to follow suit, but at the time, I just couldn't find a reason to spend so much money on a piece of paper. I knew I was offering high quality care, I didn't feel I needed the validation. I was pretty sure my daycare parents wouldn't even know what it meant, so why bother with all the paper work? I was full, had a pretty decent wage, and felt appreciated by the parents. As a business choice, it didn't appear cost effective.

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February 2012

Everything is so much more fun when dressed up! The more options you have for children, the wider the range of possibilities for them to "try on" a particular personality. Dress up has been shown to help children empathize with others as they take on the role of someone other than themselves. It gives the shy child an opportunity to be a superhero, the sports fanatic girl a moment as a princess, the child struggling with simple math to be a genius scientist. It also provides a multitude of opportunities for children to use their creativity and problem solving skills as they create their own ensembles.

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January 2012

Pump Up Your Contract
I am often contacted to consult with a child care business owner, whether family child care or center, to help them with a particular issue they are encountering. And about 95% of the time, their solution has something to do with their contract, or as I call it: The Parent Handbook.

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December 2011

Dusty's Run Home
Whenever we went out riding, there would come a time when my pony would run home. Dusty, my spunky Shetland pony would get tired of the ride, or bored. He was a stocky little guy, pure muscle and covered with such a thick grey-brown coat that we often referred to him as our big teddy bear. His course, thick mane stuck straight up in the air around his face, giving him a striking resemblance to Albert Einstein. He often gave us the impression he was much too intelligent to be bothered with our simple little girl musings.

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November 2011

Invitation to Lead
At the 2012 NAFCC Conference in Las Vegas, the board gathered for a day of training and at one point went around the table to share their stories of how their journey to their leadership position began. As story after story was told, a theme began to emerge: at some point in their career, someone had reached out and encouraged them to take that step up to the next level.

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October 2011

Play Isn't Just For Kids!
There's a great book I read recently, “Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results” by Lundin, Paul and Christensen. It's a story about the Pike Place Fish Market, and how the guys there took a mundane job, make it fun, and completely changed the attitude and atmosphere of not only the employees, but the customers that visit there. A very inspiring book, it was a gift from the NAFCC President, Calvin Moore.

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September 2011

Educating Parents
 We spend many hours planning for the education of the young children in our care. However, sometimes the person needing the education is the parent. Many parents, and particularly first time parents, have no real understanding of what quality care is, or why it's important for their child. One of the biggest complaints of providers is they feel that parents don't appreciate all their efforts towards high quality. This real issue might be that they simply don't recognize it. And that's something you can change.

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August 2011

Memories
 
We often take time to capture memories for the children in our care: we send photos home, newsletters with stories of their day, things they've created, awards for their accomplishments. But what about our own memories?

As someone who spent 20 years caring for children, I realize that it's something that defined a large chunk of my life, and there are many memories of this that I cherish. My only regret is that I wish I had taken as much time and care preserving my special moments as I had for the children.

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July 2011

Is there a Leader in You?
Having just taken a leap into a leadership role, I began to think about what my goals as a leader will be and also what I would want to look for in others to help the organization grow more leaders. Brenda Ives, a consummate leader, once told a group of state presidents at the NAFCC conference that the day you take your position is the day you should start looking for your replacement. What she meant is that it takes time to grow leaders, so start right away so their ready when their time comes.

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May 2011 Newsletter

Fabulous Fieldtrips
Summer is knocking on the door and it's time to open that door and run outside to discover all we can about this wonderful world we live in! While everyone agrees that giving children hands on experiences and exposing them to a variety of environments is great for brain development for them, many providers are afraid to take the plunge because of the potential headaches it will cause for their brain! How can anyone take a large group of kids out and about and not go crazy? It's actually much easier than you may think. With some pre-planning, a little organization and a positive attitude, you'll be out your door before you know it and opening up a entire world of learning possibilities for the children in your care.

Download now (pdf)

April 2011 Newsletter

Tea Parties Teach: It's not just for little girls anymore!
At Patty Cake Preschool, my home child care business for 17 years, Friday was Tea Party Day. Unlike the stereotypical little girl party, the Patty Cake Preschool Tea Party was so much more! Tea Party day was about using your creativity and science skills as a baker, your imagination and small motor skills to create costumes and an interesting table, and your social skills to spend time with friends in a respectful, interesting and fun way. There was no gender requirement for any of these activities! You can implement this fun, interactive activity as well and see for yourself how it not only pulls everyone together, it touches on every aspect of a child's development along the way.

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March 2011 Newsletter

Featured Article
MISEDUCATION: Preschoolers At Risk
One of the top books that shaped the profession of early childhood for readers of Exchange magazine was reportedly "The Hurried Child" by David Elkind. Back in 1988, when I took my first early childhood teacher course at a local technical college, I was asked by our instructor to read "Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk" also by David Elkind. And the book changed my life, and most certainly shaped how I contributed to the profession of early childhood.

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February 2011 Newsletter

Featured Article
Inspiring Staff

When we consider what we hope for from our employees, what we often envision is someone much like ourselves! Yet every employee will be different, not only from us, but from each other as well. So how do we, as employers in the field of early childhood/child care, ensure some continuity in the work of our employees.

To answer this question, first consider what it is that is important to you. List your priorities. Go deeper than the basics of "quality" or "safety". Be specific: "To inspire a child's creativity" or "To model positive social skills." Find your top 10. Think of every aspect of being a teacher: "Keep counters clear of clutter" or "Speak respectfully to other teachers and parents."

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January 2011 Newsletter

Featured Article
SETTING GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR 

Everyone wants to improve the quality of care they provide, and we all hope that doing so will also increase how quickly the openings get filled, and possibly even our incomes. But those words, "raise quality" are quite ambiguous. What do we really mean when we say them? Exactly how long will it take? What will it cost? Answering these questions is how you do the real work of setting goals and achieving them. It's when you turn your dream into achievable and clearly defined steps. Let's illustrate with a few goals.

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December 2010 Newsletter

Featured Article
BABY BLUE

Thoughts of the unborn child never failed to bring a smile to his face. His heart felt the collision of sadness and joy, but by the time the emotions reached his face, the joy always won out.

It had been two years, Troy thought, yet every time he rode the mower, especially that first time each spring, he remembered Baby Blue. It had been a beautiful Wisconsin afternoon in April. No flooding like the year before, just occasional gentle rain that lead to an early necessity of mowing the grass. Troy had always looked forward to this day each year. The long strip of grass that separated the highway from his bar gave him plenty of time while mowing to enjoy the view. Surrounded by forests and hills, it never got old. And the certainty that he would spot a white tail deer, wild turkey and probably a couple of eagles made him eager to start the job. Not all of his work was this enjoyable though.

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November 2010 Newsletter

Featured Article
Giving It Your All

When I closed the doors to Patty Cake Preschool four years ago, the families I provided care for were shocked. Many colleagues were too. I was often asked why I would want to close at a time when my business was successful (the last 4 openings I had were filled by people who planned pregnancies around when they would come up and paid to have me hold them for as much as two years), I was having a great time teaching children the way I knew they could learn best (by teaching the "3 Cs"), the children loved me, the parents loved me, I loved what I did every single day without a hint of burnout. So why close? The reason is that I made a promise years ago to myself, and the children I care for, to ALWAYS give 150% to them, to never, for a moment, offer anything less than top notch quality care.

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October 2010 Newsletter

Featured Article
Creating Lesson Plans

This article is Part Two of a Curriculum and Lesson Planning series, if you missed the first article, read it in the September KIDBIZ Newsletter in the archives at www.patriciadischler.com

You've created a curriculum that best fits your business and your philosophy of teaching, now that you know WHAT you want to teach the children, it's time to do the real work and make a plan for exactly HOW you will teach it to them. These will be your lesson plans. Typically done one week at a time they will show the specific activities that you will offer in order to promote the children's growth towards the specific goals you have outlined in your curriculum.

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September 2010 Newsletter

Featured Article
Curriculum Planning

The mention of curriculum usually produces one of two reactions in providers. Either they cringe thinking they could never develop one of their own, or they give you the name of the one they bought somewhere. The best curriculum is actually somewhere in between the two.

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August 2010 Newsletter

Featured Article
Business Administration Scale: Part Three - Marketing & Public Relations

Marketing is an essential tool for any child care business. It's what gets word of mouth going and in this business, it's what will make or break you. The ninth item in BAS is Marketing and Public Relations. This covers everything from the tools you use, how the quality of your business is reflected in the public eye, how involved you as a provider are in your community and how organized you are with your marketing efforts.

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July 2010 Newsletter

Featured Article
BUSINESS ADMINISTRATORS SCALE: PART TWO – Using the Parent Handbook to Meet Standards

The Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care by Teri N. Talan and Paula Jorde Bloom is the newest addition to the ever-popular line of child care assessment tools produced by Teacher's College Press (otherwise known as BAS). It is designed to complement the Family Child Care Environmental Rating Scale (FCCERS), covering the business side of running a quality family child care business. It is being used by many states Quality Rating & Improvement Systems as the assessment tool for verifying a provider's level of competence on their Quality Rating Scale. My first book, From Babysitter to Business Owner, was used as a resource in creating BAS, specifically in the areas of parent communication, marketing and creating a Parent Handbook. Given that, I thought I could offer some insight and examples for providers who are looking to increase their scores.

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June 2010 Newsletter

Featured Article
BUSINESS ADMINISTRATORS SCALE: PART One – Work Environment
For the next few months I will be running a series of articles highlighting the score item areas covered by the assessment tool: Business Administrators Scale for Family Child Care. I will be providing guidelines on meeting and exceeding these qualifications. Child Care Center Staff: please read these too! The qualifications for FCC are very similar to those for center care and the tips in the articles can help you to set improvement goals for yourself and your classroom as well.

Download Now (pdf)

Fabulous Fieldtrips
By Patricia Dischler

Summer is knocking on the door and it's time to open that door and run outside to discover all we can about this wonderful world we live in! While everyone agrees that giving children hands on experiences and exposing them to a variety of environments is great for brain development for them, many providers are afraid to take the plunge because of the potential headaches it will cause for their brain! How can anyone take a large group of kids out and about and not go crazy? It's actually much easier than you may think. With some pre-planning, a little organization and a positive attitude, you'll be out your door before you know it and opening up a entire world of learning possibilities for the children in your care.

Download Now (pdf)

May 2010 Newsletter

Featured Article
Business Administrators Scale: Part One - Professional Development

For the next few months I will be running a series of articles highlighting the score item areas covered by the assessment tool: Business Administrators Scale for Family Child Care. I will be providing guidelines on meeting and exceeding these qualifications. Child Care Center Staff: please read these too! The qualifications for FCC are very similar to those for center care and the tips in the articles can help you to set improvement goals for yourself and your classroom as well.

Download Now (pdf)

April 2010 Newsletter

Featured Article
MOVING YOUR CHILD CARE BUSINESS
You've worked hard to establish a reputation in your home town, your enrollment is filled, the phone rings with little effort, and then you and your family make the decision to move. How do you start over in a new town? Does it mean starting all over? Do your benefits go back to the beginning to reflect being a new provider in town, or can they reflect your experience? What about your rates? What will determine if they go up or down? How can you begin marketing? How do you establish yourself as a new business, but an experienced provider all at the same time?

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March 2010 Newsletter

Featured Article
NEWSLETTERS
At Patty Cake Preschool, each month I sat down at my typewriter and wrote a newsletter to share with my daycare families. (Yes, I said typewriter, for you young kids out there it's a computer with no batteries and no screen, you stick a paper in it and put letters directly onto the paper when you type! Yeah – no printer, cool huh?!) I followed this ritual for 17 years and at times it was something I looked forward to as I had some exciting news or story about a child to share, other times I would sit for long minutes staring at the blank page and trying to force some words to appear. But eventually, I'd begin, and each time when I finished I'd feel a sense of accomplishment. Not because I had finished the task, but because in doing it I had relived the previous month's activities with the children. I could now see in black and white (nope, no fancy fonts or colors on a typewriter either!) the legacy I was leaving. My imprint on this world – one month of opportunities to make a difference in lives of children and families and how I took those opportunities seriously.

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April 2009 Newsletter

Featured Article
JUST WHAT I WANTED!

Last week my eight year old daughter, Amanda, announced I could no longer use her CD player and headset when I go jogging. I had been using it after she left for school and she decided she wanted to bring it to school to use on the bus now. I tried some negotiation first: I could use it one day, she could take it the next. This lasted only through one day of my turn, then she wanted to end the deal. “Get your own Mom!” I was told as she stuffed it in her pink Princess backpack, flipped her thick blonde hair and skipped out the door to the bus. She had drawn the line, and now I was left with no choice but to comply.

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February 2009 Newsletter

Featured Article
HAVE YOU HAD YOUR HAIR DONE LATELY?

Has your child care business been experiencing a slump in enrollment? Would you like to hear your phone ring more often, or start a waiting list? Successful marketing of your business can lead to all of this and more, and it starts as easily as getting your hair done!

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March 2009 Newsletter

Featured Article
SUPPORTING A CHILD'S CURIOSITY

Children are naturally curious, so to be sure this sense of exploration doesn't get lost in your day, give them lots of opportunities to follow their own questions and be exposed to new things, people and experiences that build their interest. By supporting a strong curiosity, parents and teachers are giving children the tools to construct their own learning, to make it more meaningful and to have more success in school. Curiosity activities support a wide variety of state standard developmental areas as children engage all of their senses, use creativity, and build a foundation for problem solving. Including activities that support a child's natural curiosity in your daily curriculum creates a bridge between knowledge and fun, making your day not only developmentally successful, but a time for pure enjoyment for both you and the children!

Download Now (pdf)

May 2007 Newsletter

Featured Article
Summer is knocking on the door and it's time to open that door and run outside to discover all we can about this wonderful world we live in! While everyone agrees that giving children hands on experiences and exposing them to a variety of environments is great for brain development for them, many providers are afraid to take the plunge because of the potential headaches it will cause for their brain! How can anyone take a large group of kids out and about and not go crazy? It's actually much easier than you may think. With some pre-planning, a little organization and a positive attitude, you'll be out your door before you know it and opening up a entire world of learning possibilities for the children in your care.

Download Now (pdf)

March 2007 Newsletter

Featured Article
1. SHARING IDEAS

I've stated before that my intent is to be the type of author that brings childcare professionals what they need. In order to do this, I need to hear from you! Send me your questions, your ideas, your accomplishments, your trials and I'll get you the kind of information that can make a difference for you. You can email me through my website at www.patriciadischler.com or you can get in on a conversation on my blog at http://kidbiz.blogspot.com to share your thoughts or suggest a new topic. I can't wait to hear from you!

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Nothing to Lose: Keeping Your Child's Weight Healthy While in Daycare
By Patricia Dischler

First the bad news. Studies have shown for awhile that children who are in daycare get sick more often and, as if that wasn't enough for parents to worry about, now researchers tell us that children in daycare tend to gain more weight than children home with their parents. What can working parents do to protect the health of their children when daycare is a necessity?

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Teaching the 3Cs: Creativity, Curiosity & Courtesy
By Patricia Dischler

In the world of early childhood there has been an increase in the pressure to teach the traditional 3 Rs: Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmatic. What was once the curriculum for first grade has become the standard for kindergarten classrooms, and what was once a kindergarten lesson is expected at the preschool level. Parents feel they should expect more, research shows kids are capable of more, and so standards get tighter and the pressure is on for early childhood teachers to deliver. The unfortunate result of this has been programs that focus on getting the academic results and that leave the basics for all learning behind.

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Supporting a Child's Curiosity
By Patricia Dischler

Children are naturally curious, so to be sure this sense of exploration doesn't get lost in your day, give them lots of opportunities to follow their own questions and be exposed to new things, people and experiences that build their interest. By supporting a strong curiosity, parents and teachers are giving children the tools to construct their own learning, to make it more meaningful and to have more success in school. Curiosity activities support a wide variety of state standard developmental areas as children engage all of their senses, use creativity, and build a foundation for problem solving. Including activities that support a child's natural curiosity in your daily curriculum creates a bridge between knowledge and fun, making your day not only developmentally successful, but a time for pure enjoyment for both you and the children!

Download Now (pdf)

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