Have a few questions

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by pabef, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    Feb 8, 2008

    I am the director of a small half day preschool. The need in our area for good quality all day programs is significant, so we are going to become a full time program beginning this fall. We are a lisenced program and I have talked to our lisencing official about what we need to do as far as the state regulations are concerned. I ( and my board) have visited other full time programs to ask questions. I just have a few more questions that need answering and thought you all could help. First of all, does the person who prepares your meals, make out the menus? Who prepares your meals if this person is sick? Are you able to get subs if a teacher is out sick? It is easy for me now, because we are half day, but not sure about all day. Do your employess sign in or punch a clock? Do any of you offer a half day and a full day option? Do they have to committ to half day or full day for the whole year, or can they let you know month by month. I am concerned that money wise we would need that full-time tuition. Right now our space is limited and a new building is a few years off, so we will only be able to take 45 students. Any advice or help would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  3. teacherkasey

    teacherkasey Cohort

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    Feb 8, 2008

    First of all, does the person who prepares your meals, make out the menus?
    Our menu was planned by the cook, before the corporate office tried to get all centers on the same menu. If you trust the person who will be cooking and feel they can handle it, have them take care of it and you okay it. We had 4 different weekly menus that were rotated.
    Who prepares your meals if this person is sick?
    I would, as the director, or my assistant would prepare the meals if we couldn't get a teacher out of the classroom. Check with licensing b/c I know there were some regulations as to who could cook... ie. the person cooking/preparing snacks couldn't change diapers, etc.
    Are you able to get subs if a teacher is out sick?
    We did not have subs.
    It is easy for me now, because we are half day, but not sure about all day. Do your employess sign in or punch a clock?
    Staff were signing in, until that became abused. Because people were signing in for their normal time when they were late or taking longer on their breaks, I got a time clock. It was impossible to keep track of the exact times for 15 staff.
    Do any of you offer a half day and a full day option?
    We offered both half and full days.
    Do they have to committ to half day or full day for the whole year, or can they let you know month by month.
    Parents signed a "contract" when they enrolled their children as to how many days a week their child would attend and whether they would be full or half days. However, the "contract" was not for a specific amount of time so they had the option to change attendance at any time.
     
  4. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    Feb 10, 2008

    Thanks for the response TeacherKasey. Question about this answer -
    "Parents signed a "contract" when they enrolled their children as to how many days a week their child would attend and whether they would be full or half days. However, the "contract" was not for a specific amount of time so they had the option to change attendance at any time."


    Do you charge a separate fee for full day and half day? This is my concern - being sure we have the funds to cover salaries, food etc. For instance what if you have more half day than usual in a particular month?
     
  5. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Feb 10, 2008

    The cook makes out the menus, but takes suggestions from staff. If the cook is out for any reason, one of our staff cook and a sub is called in for her room.
    Subs are VERY difficult to find. Sometimes the director takes over the classroom. Sometimes we move kids around a bit so it frees up a teacher to cook that day.
    We all punch in on a computer. Parents do this as well, in and out.
    We offer full day and half day, but the price is the same. Parents can change their schedules anytime as long as they let us know.
     
  6. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Feb 11, 2008

    I will only help if you offer me a job! I should be a consultant at this point!

    Food service: Many small facilities opt for catered food. They also get funding from state/city/federal programs, and are allow subsidies to buy food and or packaged meals, like the summer lunch/breakfast program. If you decide to go with food service, you must have the proper facilities - full service kitchen, and meet all state/city/federal codes! You need at least 2 staff members and you as director also need to take a food sanitation course, (check with your local city college or state license rep) because, to answer your next question, yes, people will call off and YOU have to be the cook sometimes. :eek:hmy: For that reason, you must always have a certified food person on board, and that is usually the cook and the director...keep gloves and hair nets at your desk! You can't enter the kitchen without them!

    Plan for monthly inspections of the regular stuff like cleanliness, pests, and important things like water temperature, food freshness, and never ever block your back door!

    staffing concerns: Most people work standard 8 hr shift. You must hire staggered hours, so you always have coverage. that is, 6-2, 7-3, 8-4, 9-5 and 10-6. You must have two people for each shift, becuase again..somebody will call off. You need an opening person and closing person, unless you plan to be there 24/365!

    subs: a new trend in pre-k is to have floating subs. Keep a few on board, for trainings, emergencies, and regular call offs. Do you see a pattern here? yes, you will have call offs and turnover, so be ready. Find a few freindly subs who will cover all age levels. usually a older, retired person or young student who is still in school, but can cover as needed. Family members are good for this. Make sure they are at least 16, have a TB test 6 months old.

    BTW...make sure somebody in your center has CPR and First aid. and post their cards at the front of the door. Of course, I know you have fire alarms, sprinklers, and emergency lights. Right??

    full day vs half day: with full day, you must have proper sleeping arrangements. that goes into buying cots, and blankets..and do you want to wash the sheets and blankets or hope and pray the parents will take them home (not happening..) and wash and return them (note, this is two things you are asking!) Most places opt for their own laundry service (you need clean kitchen towels anyways!) and that saves the hassle of getting parents to bring blankets. If you break down and get your own washer and dryer, expect some grumbling from the staff, unless you pick a senior person to do this task. Some people actually like folding sheets. :huh:

    time clocks vs time sheets: time clocks keep us honest. we will come in at 8:16 and sign in 8:00 if you are not looking. just keeping it real. but you have to pay for a service to monitor your clock, unless it is part of your payroll outsource service, and they do everything. then you must decide on overtime pay, which child care centers are notorious for not paying, or excused time off. that is better, when enrollment is low, be nice enough to send somebody home..they will appreciate you, and not get upset the next time you ask them to stay until 6!

    tuition: not my area...not good in math..which is why I don't have my own center yet! I say anything over 4 hours should be set rate. if you get into hourly rates, parents like staff will abuse it..and come in early, and be real late! before and after care is one rate. most places charge more for infants and toddlers, and lower rate as kids get older. you will make more money on school days off, because they need you...you can also make a vacation hold plan or temporary leave plan, and not keep charging them registration each time they drop out! maybe give a discount for siblings?

    as long as you keep your business private, you can do what you wish, in state guidelines. if you apply for any city/state/local/fed funding, i.e. Head Start, you will have plenty of people poking around every month, or day...making sure you do what they tell you to do. If you want money but don't like others telling you what to do, don't go this route. You will not be happy.

    Keep your numbers low by sticking with quality staff and parents. Drop the deadwood! this goes for staff and parents. If they are late, your staff stays late, and that goes into your pocket. Overtime, electricity, snacks! I am serious! Look at the whole picture. recruit when necessary, but don't go overboard when you don't have the room or staff.

    that will be $27.50...

    how do I hook up a paypal thingy???

    :D
     
  7. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Feb 11, 2008


    that is the sticky part. you must budget for the projected month..based on everyone showing up. if the weather is bad, or there are a lot of school holidays..report card days, etc, your enrollment will go down. not to mention parents who are slow, slacking payers! You must have a late fee, registration fee, and if they are out too many days, DROP them! Call your people on the waiting list, because you need these kids and your staff needs their money! This is why many programs get federal/local funding, but must hire a certified teacher to meet requirements. In this regard, you always have $$ in the budget to pay staff, especially the certified teacher..no matter if only one kid shows up. But be honest with your staff when it gets slow, and ask them to opt for day off or leave early when you have no kids. they would rather have a job and understand the nature of the beast, than to have you tell them to go home every other day...because they got bills that do show up every day!

    some programs make up $$ with spring break/summer camp/Christmas Camp. They charge more for all day care and take in drop in/new kids for the times there is no school. parents must pay, don't have a choice. :unsure: been there!
     
  8. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    Feb 11, 2008

    Thanks for the great advice everyone! A lot of this stuff we are already doing just need to adjust for more kids and more staff. My biggest concern was meals because this will be new for us. We are also a church pre-school so we have to work with the space we have as well as other church activities going on. I am excited though. This is a big need in our area. Other programs have huge waiting list, and quality programs are hard to find.
     
  9. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Feb 11, 2008

    good luck! this could be the break you need. Maybe you can get an extra room or build on! the issue I have with church schools is that most are cramped for space, and have to tear down the entire area and put everything away every Friday, and reassemble it on Monday. THAT drove me nuts!
     
  10. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    Feb 11, 2008

    That drives me nuts too!
     
  11. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    Feb 12, 2008

    First of all, does the person who prepares your meals, make out the menus?
    Our menu is planned out by the school system. Kids are allowed to bring their lunch if they don't want hot lunch. The food is prepared by the school system and delivered to our school.

    Who prepares your meals if this person is sick?
    A subsitute.

    Are you able to get subs if a teacher is out sick?
    I do if there are any available. I have been gone once when I had to leave at half day, but no sub showed up.

    Do your employess sign in or punch a clock?
    Teachers don't do anything. They just show up. The aides clock in using a computer program.

    Do any of you offer a half day and a full day option?
    We have full days

    Do they have to committ to half day or full day for the whole year, or can they let you know month by month.
    All year.
     

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