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Life would be a million times

 better if there were piñatas

  placed strategically throughout the workplace. 

Wouldn't that be wonderful? You'd get to hit something and chocolate would fall out!

This is the time of year when we talk about time and stress management. For most of us, the two go hand in hand. We feel stressed because we have too much to do and cannot get everything done. Things pile up on us and we begin to feel demotivated and burned out. We read articles about alleviating stress in our lives and they tell us to spend time doing yoga or meditation, get plenty of physical exercise and spend time with our friends. If we had time for all of that, we wouldn't be stressed in the first place!

The answer? Purge, prepare and prevent!

Step One: Purge and Get organized!

Decluttering and getting organized can be a daunting task. Find inspiration. Pinterest is a good place to start. Just search Pinterest for Time Management Tips, Office Organization Tips and Stress Management Tips and you will be bombarded with visual inspiration!

Think about the benefits of purging and becoming better organized, not the difficulties. Think about how good it will feel to work in a clean and orderly environment. Remember the feeling of lightness that comes with clearing out clutter. Focus on how wonderful it will be to feel caught up and in control of your day - with time to spare for taking care of yourself, too! Focusing on the benefits will energize you.

Buy yourself a little something to help you get the task started. Do you need attractive file folders, a dozen of your favorite pens, a new label maker, colorful sorting bins, more hanging files for your file cabinet, another file cabinet? Rather than a separate pile for each project you're working on, use a separate bin for each project.

 

Change "Just Do It!"

to "Just Begin!"

 The most important part of any task is starting. (I start some mornings by telling myself "Just put your feet on the floor.")   If you feel so overwhelmed at the thought of organizing your workspace that you are thinking "I don't know where to start," or "This will take so long to finish," just jump in and change those thoughts to "I will start right here and I will spend 30 minutes on this." Don't wait to feel motivated to begin. Just begin and you'll find that motivation often comes after starting.

If your office looks like a hoarder's den of paperwork and dead cats, start by sorting things into boxes labeled with general categories. This is taking that giant task and breaking it down into smaller manageable steps. Then you can revisit each of the boxes again and put things where they need to go.

Clear your desk first. And get the chotchkies, picture frames and even your tape dispenser and stapler off of your desk. You need a completely bare desktop that always holds only what you are working on at that moment. And clear your desk before you leave each night.

Label shelves and drawers so you'll remember where everything goes. Make putting things where they belong your new routine. 


Step Two: Prepare for Success!
Plan your day - every day. In addition to listing all of your "To-Do's," include the amount of time you expect to spend on each task. You'll see where you need to limit your time with some tasks and delete other tasks altogether. Then use a timer to keep yourself on schedule throughout the day so your time does not get away from you.

Plan your month. During the last week of each month, take some time to plan the next month. A basic outline will ease your mind and free you from that feeling that you are letting something slide off your radar.

Streamline common tasks by making your own master checklists. You probably purchase pretty much the same food supplies, paper and cleaning products and office supplies every month, so create master lists of these products to speed up the process. These master lists also make it easier to do inventory and quickly determine what is needed. Best of all, they simplify the task so that you can easily delegate it.

Take ten minutes at the end of the work day to look over whatever is most pressing for the next day. This allows your brain to take it off of the front burner (consciously thinking about it and causing stress) and move it to the back burner where it can simmer in your subconscious overnight.

Step Three: Prevent!
Unexpected problems cause stress. There is a lot you can do to avoid these unhappy surprises.

Customer complaints. Keep the lines of communication open with your customers. They need to see you when they drop off their children and they need to see you when they pick them up. Chat with them. Know their names. Know their children. Make it a policy for your staff to notify you immediately - before the customer leaves the building - if someone is angry or dissatisfied. Don't wait for customers to contact you if there is a problem, go ahead and call them. It is easier for people to be angry with and unjustly retaliate against a business than it is for them to do so against a real and caring person. If a mom is upset because of ravioli stains on her child's shirt, you might think it's a silly thing to get upset about - but it is not silly to her. Stop her and ask, "What can I do to make this better?" She might not be aware that your menu is posted online each month or she might just need to borrow a shirt for her child because they have plans for dinner with her in-laws and there is no time to go home and change. Or she may just be grumpy and the fact that you care enough to engage her in conversation can turn her around.

Perform routine inspections of your facility. Do a monthly walk-thru of your building including attic, outside of the building, all fences, AC units, under the sinks, ceilings, doorknobs, everything - so you will know about the small problems before they become big problems. A leak under the sink in the three year old classroom is an easy fix. Mold and a waterlogged particleboard cabinet are a bigger problem. Items that are stored in the attic can be nudged off the beams and onto the sheetrock. It's better to notice the problem before the ceiling in the classroom below shows cracks. Outdoor AC units can be clogged with grass clippings and other debris. A quick spray with the hose is easier on the budget than a service call because the unit overheated and quit.

Perform routine inspections of the inside of your center's vehicles. If you do, you will see the unraveled seam in the upholstery before it becomes a hole and the children have picked away chunks of the foam cushion underneath. You will see the ink marks on the back of the seat before all the seats are covered in graffiti and you can speak to the schoolers about having pride in their ride! You will see that many of the seatbelt buckles are at the end of the belts (much too large for children) and are probably not being worn properly and you can speak to the driver about being more responsible for the children's safety.

Conduct monthly compliance checks. When do you want to find out that Miss Irma does not consistently complete the In/Out Log and perform name/face checks in her classroom? When you discover it yourself as you glance at the logs two or three times each week, or when the Child Care Licensing rep points it out during her investigation because a child was left on the playground at your school? When do you want to discover that the teachers in the baby room have buckled all the safety straps together and pushed them to the back of the high chairs so they do not have to bother with them - during your monthly compliance check or when a baby falls out of a high chair? The added benefit of monthly compliance checks is that your staff will be even more conscientious about their duties when they know that these things are important to you.

Provide quality training that is real, true and relevant. The Minimum Standards require teachers to receive a certain number of hours of training each year. Annual training helps providers improve their skills, deepen their understanding about how children learn and stay up-to-date in changes in health and safety practices. You and your staff should think of training seminars as a way to improve the quality of care and learning that children receive in your school. Unfortunately, many directors and their staff see training as something separate from their day-to-day jobs. They think of it as just acquiring certificates to place in a file in order to technically meet the standard, when in fact if you are truly fulfilling this standard you hold your staff accountable and see growth and change in your program after every training seminar.

Insist on relevant training for yourself, too. When you attend Director Round Table meetings and they devolve into discussions about child care subsidies reimbursement, or are overtaken by one diva who is talking more than she should - speak up! "This has been very informative.  Can we table this topic for now and move on to some other issues before our time is up?"

Many people are unable to find a way to put the brakes on stress, notes Dr. Michael Miller, editor in chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter. Chronic low-level stress contributes to a variety of health problems. Incorporate these tips into your work habits and you'll easily have time for a little yoga, a little meditation, a little exercise and a little socializing!  

 

 

2013 Fall Training Conferences

Friday Management Session/$99.00 per person  8:30am-1:30pm (5 clock hours)

Director's Boot Camp # 21

Creating an Unstoppable Team, Taking Care of Your Staff on a Budget and Getting the Most Out of Your Staffing Hours
_____________________________________________

Saturday Management Session-Director's Round Table / $99.00 per person

9:00am-1:00pm (5 clock hrs.-each attendee will receive a 1 hr. take-away training module)

Survival Skills for Effective Directors

Find out how experienced Directors have developed their skills that bring out the best in employees, ten tips for supervisors, techniques for avoiding burnout and how you are doing-self review tool.

Saturday Staff Session-/$29.00 per person

9:00am-1:00pm (5 Clock hrs. each attendee will receive a 1 hr. take-away training module)

(Group Discount: 10 or more staff- $25.00 per person)

*KEYNOTE* "Team Work"  

The Role of a Teacher - Being a teacher is hard today. There are so many facets to the job that didn't exist 10 yrs ago. Learn what that entails and how to do your job effectively without being stressed out. Positive interactions and building relationships with parents will also be covered in this session.

Fri. Nov. 1st & Sat Nov. 2nd

Holiday Inn 318 W.Cesar Chavez Blvd.

SAN ANTONIO, TX

Fri. Nov. 8th & Sat. Nov. 9th

Courtyard by Marriott 7424 S. Broadway Ave.

TYLER, TX

Fri. Dec.13th & Sat. Dec. 14th

Marriott Waterway 1601 Lake Robbins Dr.

THE WOODLANDS, TX

Click here to view more info on these and other conferences through December! 

     

Visit www.thechildcareconsultinggroup.com to download 

the registration form under the CONFERENCE tab,  

or call 972-979-0282 for more information
on these exciting training sessions!

 

 

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This established Child Care Center is located in one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. (Located in a highly desirable suburb east of Dallas.) The Center is in a prime location for growth and stability. The existing and growing market offer significant opportunity for increased enrollment. This gorgeous facility is licensed to care for more than 200 students and serves ages six weeks to school-age, year-round. The 10,000 square foot building was designed on (approx.) 2 acres and built for its current use. The facility and very large playgrounds are in great condition, exceptionally clean, well-equipped, and properly maintained. Experienced Director and staff allow for minimal involvement of the owners for the day-to-day operations. Good Reputation, Solid Producer, Fantastic Location and Priced to Sell. This is a great investment opportunity!

 

See you next month with more new and exciting ideas and information!

Click here to download this month's  Staff Handout "Your Preschool Curriculum At A Glance" for valuable info you can hand directly to your staff! 

 

Albuquerque Turkey 

(tune: "My Darlin' Clementine")
Albuquerque is a turkey,
And he's feathered

and he's fine.
And he wobbles  

and he gobbles,
And he's absolutely mine.

He's the best pet  

that you can get,
Better than a dog or cat.   
He's my Albuquerque turkey,
And I'm awfully  

proud of that.

Albuquerque is a turkey,
And he's happy in his bed. Cause for our  
 

Thanksgiving dinner,
We'll have pizza pie instead!   

 

 Our Favorite Pins from Pinterest This Month:

 

Let the children put goldfish crackers, pretzel sticks, raisins and mini marshmallows in a sugar cone "cornucopia" for a Thanksgiving celebration snack.

 

Print and laminate pictures of pumpkin pies or pie slices with numbers on them. Put cotton balls in an empty whipped topping container. The children can use tongs or tweezers to count the appropriate dollops of "whipped cream" (cotton balls) onto the numbered pies.

Thanksgiving Story Bracelet - Supplies: pipe cleaners and colored pony beads. Tell the story of the first Thanksgiving as you string the beads on the pipe cleaner:

White - "The Pilgrims sailed on a ship with tall, white sails."

Blue - "They sailed on the blue Atlantic Ocean."

Green - "They were so happy when the finally saw land."

Black - "After a very hard year, they decided to celebrate and have a huge feast to thank God and thank their new Indian friends they found in America."

Red - "They ate cranberries."

Orange - "They ate pumpkin pie."

Yellow -  "They ate corn."

Brown - "And, of course, they ate turkey!"

Twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together to make a bracelet for the children to wear as they retell the story.


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  • and more. 

 

You can purchase our products online right here!

While visiting our website, be sure to click on "Newsletter" and scroll to the bottom of the page to view newsletters from 2010. More great ideas you can use right away!   

You'll also want to visit our  document center for free information you can print and use today!

 

Parent News logo 

*Remind parents of the days your center with be closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays.


*Restate your policies regarding inclement weather; and don't forget to include information regarding bad weather that begins after the children are already in your care.

*Schedule Picture Day so the pictures will be ready before Thanksgiving so families can give them as gifts for family. (Many families alternate
Thanksgiving & Christmas with each set of grandparents, especially those who live out of town.)


*Finally, include the date(s) of Christmas parties as well as Christmas programs the children will put on for their families.
   

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Previous Newsletters
 
October 2012 Newsletter November 2012 Newsletter
December 2012 Newsletter January 2013 Newsletter
February 2013 Newsletter March 2013 Newsletter
April 2013 Newsletter May 2013 Newsletter
June 2013 Newsletter July 2013 Newsletter
August 2013 Newsletter September 2013 Newsletter


    
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