Spring is here! And in Montana and Colorado, we are pushing through snow storm after snow storm, awaiting the April showers and May flowers that the calendar promises are to come. All that being said, Spring is the perfect time to start setting your in-home child care program up for success during the Summer months.
We spoke with Tori and Tammy from Bozeman area’s Child Care Connections about what she recommends in-home educators do to prepare for providing child care during the summer. Here are their top 3 tips to set you up for success…
#1. Use Summer Enrollment Forms
The nature of summer months in child care is that some families take time off and therefore leave vacant slots. Sending out a summer enrollment form* will let you see if parents need hours switched, if they’ll be gone for some amount of time, or if there are older siblings who will need care during the summer. That way, you’ll be able to tell if they are going to attend or not. Some educators ask that parents pay through the summer to hold a spot for their child, some don’t ask parents to pay. This part is entirely up to you and what you think will best benefit your early child care business. We strongly recommend sending out the enrollment form either way, so that you are 100% in the know with what your families are looking for when summer rolls around.
*Click on this link to see an example enrollment form. Make sure to create and tailor your own form to fit your program.
#2. Plan special summer events for your program
Summer is a time of popsicles, adventures, and late-night sunsets. Summer is full of field trips, outside play, you name it! It is FUN and is the perfect excuse to bump up the adventures that kids have in your in-home child care program. Child Care Connections recommends doing a summer of fables, fairy tales, and other things. Older children can do things like Gizmos to Gadgets and Around the World in 90 Days of Summer. Pinterest is a great place to start for some summer themed ideas. If you’d like ideas on themes for summer programs feel free to reach out to us at MyVillage! Or better yet, if you are a MyVillage Educator, search the Hub for ideas. But have fun with your summer programming and throw a dash of adventure into your in-home child care experience.
#3. Feel free to ask for help
It’s not unusual for demand for child care to spike during the summer months, particularly as school age children need a wonderful space to learn and play while their parents are at work. This can lead to increased work for you, and it is a-okay to reach out and bring in people to help you accommodate your school age program. Tammy recollects hiring a full time substitute to give her team vacations during the summer and worked to coordinate and make sure everyone had room to breathe and was set up for success.