Monday, June 29, 2009

I've Been Out of Commission

I've been out of commission for awhile. My baby brother Aaron, 31, died suddenly of a massive heart attack. He and his wife, Silja (pronounced Sill-ya) are pictured at the right. I'm still consumed by it, but have started writing again because I need to do something.
I've recently re-written some articles from e-How, for the Examiner. I got a boost at the Examiner, and am now the Albany Child Care Examiner, which is much closer to home!
My articles still post for the NY Examiner. I've re-written the article on Barter Trade Exchange, and I also wrote an article on Forgotten Baby Syndrome, which is a real page turner, so don't hesitate to check them out!
The Examiner is great, and encourages re-writes and cross-links to self-promote, unlike other places that I've written for.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Emergency Bags for Daycares

I've had a lot of fun this week working on a series of articles about emergency bags for daycares. I have ALWAYS had an emergency bag that I used for every outing, and another emergency bag at our safe place (in a neighbor's garage).
A documentary buff, I have watched extensive footage of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Ever the daycare queen, I couldn't help but think (and think, and think) about the daycares involved in these emergencies, and how they handled things. Probably daycares were closed for Hurricane Katrina, but they certainly weren't on 9/11. Photo: flickr
My biggest fear has always been that I will get separated from my children and not be able to get to them, and I'm sure that most other parents are just like me. For me, security is achieved (besides lots of prayer) by preparation, and planning.
I recommend THREE emergency bags; an outing bag, for trips to the park, McDonald's, whatever...
The second is an emergency bag that would be stored outside of your facility, such as in an unattached garage, shed, barn, etc, for emergencies such as a structure fire, where you would need first aid, water, food, warmth, until emergency personnel and/or parents arrived.
The third is a Bug-Out-Bag (B.O.B) to grab when the worst has happened, and you need to leave town quickly. This could be any number of things...wild fires, tornadoes, terrorist attacks, flooding, etc. (Fourth article not published yet)
We always hope and pray that the worst will never happen, but it can, and it HAS. A plan for your family and a plan for your daycare will not only be life-saving, it will be reassuring for everyone involved.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Baby Wearing

I had the opportunity to meet and talk with a lovely lady that I met on e-How,e-How writer Jennifer Remeika “havanargila” . She was writing an article about baby wearing, and it was such a great idea (our Wal-Mart purchased sling was a life-saver, both as a mom and a daycare provider), and her article had such great pictures with it that I was dying to use them, and she was gracious enough to grant me the permission to use her for my own means. I wrote an article about baby wearing for daycare providers, and posted it on the Examiner, and got more hits on the slide show of her pictures than I have ever had on any other article, ever! She is going to write several more articles about baby wearing, and describes how to make your own baby slings out of bed sheets, and I can't wait to interview her again!

Daycare Brush Fire

Photo:Leader Trojan
There was a brush fire at a daycare this week, and thankfully, everyone got out okay. As usual, it reminds me to remind everyone within shouting distance to brush up on your evacuation plans (pun intended!), and remember to plan for a second safe place, off-site, so that if your safe place is compromised by fire, flood, storm, etc, you already have an emergency plan, and somewhere safe to take your daycare children.
I wrote an article elaborating a little for the Examiner, and included links to photos of the brush fire from the Leader Herald, the reporting newspaper.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Sanitizing Info Released

NYS Office of Family and Children's Services has released new information about sanitizing for daycares. The new recipe for sanitizing toys that have been mouthed and cleaning food surfaces (like tables, counter tops and high chair trays) contain less bleach than the previous recommendation. Check out my new article!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Daycares Burn, Too!

Yes, I'm STILL thinking and talking about fires! It's just been a little over a week since the structure fire in our town, and we are just seeing the beginning of the finger pointing that will take place!
The bottom line needs to be that as daycare providers, and as parents, we practice enough so that we are able to quickly and safely evacuate every person, every time! For more info, read yesterday's three articles. One from the Times Union, and the other two from the Leader Herald.

I also wrote a related article for the New York Examiner tonight, and shared two YouTube Videos of Daycare Fires.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Four Die in Hamilton County Fire

After hearing of the tragic death of four Sunmount Consumers in a group home about 1/2 mi from our home, we have been thinking and talking a lot about fires. This seems like a great time to remind ourselves and each other to practice fire drills, change smoke detector batteries, and if possible, make sure that you install a hardwired fire alarm system so that when the first alarm goes off, they all go off at once, giving you more time to get out of your house alive. Photo: Leader Herald/Kayleigh Karutis
I wrote an article about it for the Examiner, and I think that it is something that you just can't repeat enough!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

NYS Daycare Centers Rank 7th in the USA

I stumbled across some interesting regarding daycares in NYS, and had a light bulb moment, and quickly did an article about it for the Examiner. I would have written something about it for eHow, but it's kind of difficult to imagine how I would turn a report on daycares into a how-to article. I guess there need to be SOME limitations on what I write for eHow!
Remember, as you are browsing the Internet, make certain that you bookmark the pages as you go, so that when you are all done, you can still get back to where you started from!

Photo: morgueFile/presto44

Monday, March 16, 2009

The New York Times

I have been known to read The New York Times. Although I hail from upstate, there are often relevant articles, and I happened upon one from December that was relevant to daycare providers.
Keeping in mind that in spite of the current minimum wage, I still am paid $2.25 per hour (by the county/state) for providing childcare. By law, I am only allowed to provide care to two children, which means that I can earn a grand total of $4.50 per hour. The problem, according to The New York Times, is that this rate of pay, which was passed into law by the state in September of 2007, STILL isn't being followed by NYC!
I've heard for years and years that children are our most precious commodity, and stand amazed that people can justify paying so little to care for them!
I wrote an article about it for the Examiner, because I would like to stir up at least a little interest...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Signs of Life on the Examiner

I wrote an article about potty training for the Examiner, and actually got some response! I know that I am getting hits there, because my pay rate is increasing more quickly at the Examiner than it is on eHow, not that I am complaining about eHow, because my rate of pay tripled there last month. IF I could keep that up, I'll make $1000/month before June!
Back to the examiner....a lady asked me why people used to be able to potty train their kids sooner in the old days than they can now. I don't have a clue...I did research, got statistics, reported them, and added personal experience and opinion. There is no way of even knowing if what she reported was true, but it was exciting to get a spark of opinion, and it was even added to by a exciting!
I've heard that if you want some action, you need to write something controversial, it just never occurred to me that potty training was controversial. Go figure!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Daycare Training in NYS

I recently wrote two articles regarding resources that I found and made use of at the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).
The first article details the EIP grants, which pays for college courses, conferences, and even distance training courses, depending on the applicant's income.
The second article is base on a news release by OCFS on February 24, in which they offered a free online Mandated Reporter Training; Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Maltreatment. I participated in this course myself. It was a two-hour interactive video training course, which had a quiz at the end. I took the course over three days, and didn't score as highly as I would have liked; I believe I got two questions wrong. However, the video was interesting, and held my attention easily, and at the end, presented several real scenarios that encouraged thinking through real-life daycare situations that commonly present themselves.
It is definitely worth checking into!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

C-K Kids Minute Menu Pro Daycare Software

Today I wrote my second article for The New York Childcare Examiner. After my first article was finished, I had to wait for approval from the Examiner that I answer to, Brit, and upon receiving that, I am now free to write at will.
For the first couple of days, I suffered a bit from writer's block, wondering how I would be able to consistently come up with fresh, new ideas on just one subject, and now I'm past all that, and filled with enough excitement to keep me sleepless as I plan which articles I will write next.
The Examiner is not as limiting as eHow, as I am not confined to just writing How-to's, and today I wrote a review of the daycare software that I use, Minute Menu Pro Daycare Software.
The Examiner pay is picking up at a faster rate than eHow did, and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My First Examiner Article

I just finally published my first article as the New York Childcare Examiner. As with any other program, it took some time to familiarize myself with all of the gadgets and tools on the publishing tool, and it took the better part of eight hours before I was satisfied with the results. The good news is that I watched every tutorial, read through the relevant tips, and can honestly say that I feel totally familiar and comfortable with the publishing process on that site, and I am ready to start earning some money!
The channel manager for the Family and Parenting Channel will critique me, and when I have her approval, I will be free to step up the pace, and write somewhere between 3 and 7 articles per week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Successful Home Daycare Article a Big Hit!

I'm building up residual income by writing on eHow. I write about everything I know, and research to fill the gaps that are missing. Last month, I wrote an article about How to Run a Successful Home Daycare, and it is by far my biggest money maker. I can't say that I'm really surprised, because I am new to eHow, and really had no expectations. I get paid far more per click than any of the other articles; I have articles with hundreds and hundreds more hits that have paid a lot less. I am still researching residual income, and how to increase it. My goal is $1000 per month, and I'm not even close yet.
I found an expert, WriterGig, and started following her on eHow, and then began following her blog, and eventually saved up the money to buy her e-book, "How to Earn Passive Income on eHow. I am devouring it. It has new ideas about keyword searches, and other tools that I had not heard of before.
She is making $1000 per month on eHow, as well as additional income from other sites, and she shares her know-how about it. I subscribed to everything I could on her website, and even got invited to listen to a pod-cast, which was a first for me!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Affiliate Program

If I didn't tell you before...I found out that my favorite daycare software program, Minute Menu Kids Pro, has an affiliate program, and I am totally excited! Besides having real-time friends that are into daycare, I also keep running into people through my internet life that are considering home daycare as an alternative to punching the clock somewhere.
If you get a minute, check out Minute Menu Kids Pro, as they have a 30 day free trial offer, which I also took advantage of!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Taxes and Deductions

After spending two days studying tax forms at the IRS website, I have just written two more daycare articles, checking to make sure my facts and opinions jived with the IRS.
I'm sure that there's a lot more to be said about deductions, but I noted with great interest that most of what I covered laboriously with time and space formulas and meal and snack allowances was all taken care of automatically by the Minute Menu Software I have discussed in previous posts.
For your reading pleasure, I wrote "How to Prepare for Tax Time with Your Home Daycare" and "How to find More Tax Deductions For Your Home Daycare".

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tax Time

One of the biggest returns at tax time from my daycare was when I claimed the food that I bought for groceries. If you spend time wandering around the IRS site, there is a fair amount to read about daycares, and what the government has done to make home daycares more profitable.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Choosing Daycare Software

I think that choosing the right daycare software, and actually using daycare software, is one of the most important things that you can do to help move your daycare to being financially successful and emotionally rewarding for you and your family.
When you bring other people's children into your home and help to raise them, private time and family time are suddenly a precious commodity. Using the right daycare software for your needs is like having a tax accountant and an executive assistant at your beck and call.
For my daycare needs, Calendar Keeper Software, which has now changed names and is C-K Kids Minute Menu, was all that I needed and then some. I was referred to Redleaf Press by the CACFP trainer in my area, who brought a paper calendar keeper to the training class with her, and recommended that new home daycare providers track expenses using the Calendar Keeper.
After the class, I looked it over, wrote down the information, and went looking on the Internet for "Calendar Keeper". Thanks to Google Search, I found myself at Redleaf Press, where I found a plethora of information for beginning daycare providers like myself.
C-K Kids offers a 30 day free trial, and the tech support goes beyond description. I particularly remember one "tech", named Wallace. He gave so much support that I commenced calling him the "God of tech support"! They went above and beyond the call of duty every time that I needed any assistance with my software; I would have paid much more for this kind of service.
I always recommend shopping around to make sure that the product that you end up with suits your needs the most, but I won't be surprised if you, like me, end up with C-K Kids Minute Menu would be a steal at twice the price!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Article: Review of Daycare Software

I have just written a new daycare software article, fresh off the press, reviewing several daycare software programs that offer free trials for home daycare providers. Check it out, and offer your opinion!

Successful Home Daycares

With the economy in an uproar, and with layoffs and pink slips in sight, more and more people are looking to make an income from their homes. Starting a home daycare can give moms, dads, or moms and dads the opportunity to stay home with their children, and make a good living.
There are tricks and tips that can make your daycare venture more successful, and my mission is to provide as many resources as I can to assist you in making your daycare financially and personally successful for you and the children that you help to raise!