Thursday, February 3, 2011

Registering a Daycare in North Carolina

Continuing with our theme of licensing childcare services, we'll now look at some North Carolina daycare requirements.

North Carolina has a cutoff similar to what we have noticed of other states: 4 hours. North Carolina feels if a provider has more than 2 unrelated children for more than 4 hours a day, this daycare provider needs to look at getting licensed.

Furthermore, North Carolina has two different types of child care centers that the state feels the need to license and regulate:
  • Family Child Care Home
  • Child Care Center
You can already see how what officials are trying to keep their eye on. We will discuss North Carolina's licensing further in the next few weeks.

Differences between daycare and preschool (Utah et al)

It is often asked, what is the difference between a daycare and a preschool? Many folks have opinions on the difference:
play time verses learning time, hours of stay, volunteer opportunities, lessons planned, toys etc.

However images and expectations are often different from what the actual legal definition is. Take for example childcare in Utah. A preschool doesn't have to face daycare inspections as long as children are not there more than 4 hours a day. So the definition there is 4 hours. You can have children there longer than that, but a new group needs to come after 4 hours.

The actual definition is more complicated than this, but it is easy to see that our assumptions and perceptions about what defines a daycare or preschool can be vastly different than the legal guidelines actually used.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All the Countries

As the world is increasingly homogenized, and our borders get smaller and smaller, it is a good preperation for children to know the different countries of the world. It will help them to gain an appreciation early in life of who we share the Earth with.

Perhaps one could find a better copy of this on Netflix. If OQCS tracks it down, you will be updated.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

List of Reasons to choose a daycare

This list will likely grow over time. I am excited to see what suggestions you have for it in the comments.

There are many different reasons to choose a daycare, and a good grid would be a useful tool to compare different premises. Below is a quick list that will hopefully help a parent evaluate daycares and giver proprietors a list of goals to improve upon as they establish a quality organization.

  • Price
  • Cleanliness
  • Number of children per teacher / employee
  • Proximity to house
  • Proximity to employer
  • Sponsorship by employer
  • Educational Items
  • Field Trips taken
  • Volunteer hours required (ie for chaperone for field trips)
  • Payment options
  • Technology used to manage
  • Safety
  • Technology used for safety
  • Staff Credentials
  • Owner Credentials
  • Flexibility with price
  • Flexibility with pickup / drop off times

This list definitley deserves some more focus, but should serve as a good initial list as you search for daycares or establish your own daycare.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Preschool Costs / Preschool Prices

Pricing a preschool can offer a lot of challenges. It is hard to compare offering, apples to apples. For instance, 1 preschool may offer meals and other services, another may be just 3 hours of lessons.

It does make sense that preschool is going to cost less than daycare. Preschools will have the children on the premises for a much shorter amount of time. However, the price won't be proportional to the time; chances are the preschool will offer a much larger amount of field trips, lessons, materials.

I have spoken with preschool owners that run part-time programs that charge about $100 / month for 2 days a week at 3 hours per day. On this same equation, a full time preschool would be about $500 - $600 per month. This is probably a mid range.

There is a lot to take into account when setting a preschools prices: supply costs, teacher salaries, facility rent, class size, activities...... and the list could be much longer.

As long as costs are justified, the children are learning, and the parents are getting a great value from your preschool, there should not be a problem with everyone receiving benefit from the preschool.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Teachers (Elementary, Secondary) and daycare needs

I saw a question the other day asking what elementary, junior high, and high school teachers do for daycares. After all, they won't necessarily need the daycare services each summer and won't want to pay to hold the spot during the summer break.

There a few options for the teacher:
  • Sometimes it can become a second job during the summer-- daycares may need more help because more children will be in need of daycare services when school is not in.
  • Other times, the daycare may want to operate during similar months to public schools and prefer to serve teachers with that same schedule.
  • It isn't uncommon for secondary institutions to offer daycare services. This allows the teenage students to learn about child development and the different teaching professions.
  • The teacher may also contract for the 9 month period. Chances are, an education professional is going to be understanding (and thus easier) client to serve. A daycare does have an interest in keeping easy to serve clients even if the schedule isn't year round.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What IRS Tax Form does a daycare give its customers?

The W-10 is the form that parents in the United States need from their daycare providers in order to claim the daycare costs when filing income tax returns.

One item of note is that the provider's taxpayer identification number (tax ID or tid) is a required field on this form. If the provider hasn't been assigned one of these by the IRS, the provider's social security number will be input instead.

Since sharing one's SSN is less than ideal, it is suggested one register for the tax ID.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Years of college to be a preschool teacher

A very difficult question to answer is "How many years of college do I need to be a preschool teacher?"

It is difficult, because the biggest variable is the state you are trying to be a teacher in. There are preschool teachers out there that were required to have a 4-year bachelor degree and there are others teaching with nothing more than a high school diploma.

Another variable is if the preschool is trying to receive some sort of government or other organization credential.

Please let us know in the comments below if there is a specific state you are inquiring about.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Start an at home daycare in Maine

How do I run a daycare out of my home in Maine?

This answer is focusing on the bare minimum daycare requirements for Maine. It better answers the question, "How do I run a daycare in my home in Maine and have the least amount of government certification necessary?"

It makes sense why you would ask this. You want to run a small business, but don't want a lot of organizational headaches. Looking at the regulation, for the state of Maine, it seems the magical number is 2.

If you look on Maine's Child Care licensing page, the Rules for Family Child Care Providers document states that having 3 to 12 children in your home (who aren't your children) in a child care like setting on a regular basis requires certification.

So if you want an easy to manage, small business, initially, start with two children in the state of Maine. If you grow from there, look further into getting certified.

Good Luck! In the comments sections, please feel free to ask any questions about operating a daycare (in Maine or any other states).