Register for the “Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship Fund Information Session,” available now on Indiana Learning Paths!
What is the Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship? For families with qualifying incomes (128%- 250% of the federal poverty level), classified as essential workers, the state of Indiana can cover 80% of tuition fees for kids up to age 12, including early learning, before-school, after-school, and summer learning programs. As an example, a family of four earning $66,000 per year will qualify for a Build, Learn, Grow scholarship.
Remember that early childhood education and care and out-of-school-time workers are essential, so those with qualifying incomes can also apply to receive this scholarship for their children!
During this 30-minute session, you will learn about the scholarship process, how to determine family eligibility, and the process for submitting a claim for reimbursement to support the children of essential workers in your program.
This session is required for programs that wish to accept scholarship funds and is available 24-7, so you can complete it when it is convenient for you.
To stay up-to-date as additional program initiatives roll out, sign up for text alerts by texting the word UPDATES to 465437.
Facilitated Conversations on Building Strong Systems of Support for Family Child Care
Supporting the sustainability of family child care (FCC) providers through the pandemic and beyond remains a priority for the Office of Child Care (OCC) as well as for states, territories, and Tribes. Many families rely on FCC providers for their flexibility and prefer the small-group size and care they offer that is compatible with their own language and culture. Yet, FCC providers often operate on a thin margin and now, more than ever, are struggling to keep their doors open.
Join the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance and their partner, All Our Kin, for a series of facilitated conversations that focus on topics related to building a strong system of supports for FCC providers. Come share your successes, challenges, and lessons learned with your peers and take away new ideas and strategies for sustaining this critical child care option for families.
Championing Good Business Practices for Family Child Care
Discover opportunities to improve business practices for FCC providers.
May 12, 2021—3:00 – 4:30 p.m. (EDT): Click on this Web link to register for the webinar.
One of the most significant challenges many providers face is ending the workday and giving yourself time off. Given your workplace is your home, it can feel like you are working all day and can’t take time off.
It is essential, especially during a stressful time, to take time for our mental health and be away from work. Having clear boundaries can help set the expectation of the importance of your time. Natalie Harrison, a family child care professional, and owner of Natty’s Treehouse Childcare in Muncie IN, shares the time boundaries she created for her business. She communicates these boundaries with families using her handbook; in doing so, families agree to her time limits.
Hours of operations – hours your business is open. Within that time, set time restrictions for how long a child/family can be in your care.
Natalie states in her handbook:
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 6:00am-5:30pm (No child should exceed 10 hours a day unless previously discussed with Natalie.)
Another time restriction can be time for families to communicate with you. While families can message/call you during opening hours, you can also set limits on after-hours messages; restricting messages can help you end the day.
Lastly, give yourself time to take time off, adding information on the vacation policy gives you time to close your business along with holidays you would like to celebrate or need a break.
Holidays Natty’s Treehouse Childcare will be closed on all major holidays. Holiday dates and times are subject to change! • New Year’s Day • Labor Day • Memorial Day • Thanksgiving • Friday after Thanksgiving •Christmas • 4th of July
Provider Vacation Policy The provider will take up to two weeks of vacation each year. Formal notification will be provided to families 30-60 days before the vacation.
Setting clear time boundaries within your handbook can help communicate your business’s value and the need for you to take a rest.
Sharing ideas on how to use social media – specifically Facebook groups to communicate with families
Resource list of the financial help available to small business owners created by the Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development
Tracking both spending and income is vital for any enterprise, especially for small businesses.
Tracking income requires logging payments per child/family as it helps ensure you are receiving funds, and has the added benefit of being a record of each payment. Accurate bookkeeping helps both you as well as the families complete their W-10 and taxes. Heather Mallett is a family childcare professional in Vincennes, Indiana. She is the Director and Owner of Happy Hearts Daycare and Preschool LLC, as such, Heather shares this Individual Annual Payment Record form to track payments and record totals for families. A few years ago, Heather came across this resource from a fellow childcare CEO based in another state and has used it ever since.
To use the form:
Create one for each child/family at the start of the year
Add the sheet to the child’s folder
Enter in the payment every Friday, or whenever payment is due
At the end of the month, tally the total
At the end of the year, add the annual total and add your EIN
Make a copy to share with families, and keep the original for your records
Heather also includes a note stating, if families request a second copy, it will cost $2.
Research shows that high quality early childhood programs prepare children for future success in school, work and life. From birth through age 5 is the most important time for growth of the human brain. A child’s brain develops in response to the child’s experiences by building neurological networks in reaction to the environment.
A child’s experiences in a child care program can significantly contribute to that brain development and the future success of the child. High quality child care programs are essential, not only to Hoosier children, but also to their families and to the communities in which they live. Parents need stable, high quality care in order to be productive at work. They count on their child care provider to ensure that their child is safe, healthy and learning during those hours they must be at work. Our school systems need children who are entering school prepared and ready to succeed. Businesses need a high quality work force both now and in the future. In fact, studies have shown that high quality early childhood programs increase the graduation rate, reduce the future crime rate and can save up to sixteen dollars for every one dollar invested. High quality child care programs are essential to everyone.
In order to improve the quality of child care programs, states across the nation are using Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, such as the one here in Indiana, Paths to QUALITY™. Quality Rating and Improvement Systems assess the quality of care within a program, work to improve that quality level, and give families an easy to recognize symbol that makes the difficult decision of choosing child care easier. These systems also provide an accountability measure for funding and create an alignment between licensing, subsidy and quality across child care, Head Start and the Department of Education’s early learning guidelines.
Paths to QUALITY™ gives families an easy to recognize tool for selecting a child care program. Families can look for the Paths to QUALITY™ logo to determine what level their provider has achieved. Each level builds on the foundation of the previous one, resulting in significant quality improvements at each stage and in national accreditation at the highest level. The system validates child care programs for ongoing efforts to achieve higher standards of quality and provides incentives and awards for success. The four levels address:
Level One: Health and safety needs of children met
Staying on top of keeping your business records in order can save hours in the long run, but can be challenging. Listen as some FCC providers share their tips and tricks for keeping their business records organized.
New brief from our friends at All Our Kin, exploring how staffed family child care networks are a promising path towards a stronger, more sustainable future for children, families, & the economy.
Laverne Head explains an essential part of any small business is the budget. In order to better get an understanding of tuition and fees, cost of operation, as well as profitability and sustainability, a budget is a must.
To get started on your own monthly budget, first choose either the Excel template to work digitally or the PDF template for a printable copy. The Excel version has been formatted to include formulas, thus all you do is input the number for each sheet, and it will calculate for you.
Next, calculate gross income. This is the money that comes into the business. You can figure this by listing the children in your program, the cost per day of tuition, and multiplying this by the number of days in the amount they attend the program. After tuition, add other income such as grants or food assistance.
Second, calculate your expenses. This is all the cost associated with running your program. We have listed a few options within the templates but add anything you have purchased in that set month. Please make sure to include your salary here.
Lastly, calculate the net income. This is the amount that your business made in a month, and we drive this by subtracting expenses from gross income. From this you can see if you are profitable or if you need to reduce expenses or raise tuition to have a sustainable business.
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