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.