Prayer for our christian daycare

Discussion in 'Prayer Request Forum' started by ladyks22, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. ladyks22

    ladyks22 Rookie

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    Mar 8, 2005

    :( We really could use some prayer.We worked for months,and through some money we borrowed on our home.to start a christian daycare.Well we have been open 6weeks and have no kids yet.I dont know if its because we have "christian daycare" in the title and that is turning people off or what is wrong.We have it in 2 papers,have put up flyers everywhere(grocery stores,schools,post offices etc) have magnet things on our car,have signed up with our Daycare recource and refural(SP?) Dept of social services, etc.and after 6 weeks NOTHING. :confused:We just dont know what more to do.except pray harder.
     
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  3. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Mar 8, 2005

    PLEASE-do not take "Christian Daycare" out of your title!!! I have a Christian Daycare out of my home and people flock to me mainly because of what I offer not only academically, but spiritually. Don't be put off by the lack of enrollment. When you open a daycare people don't come flocking-it takes time!

    Have you had an open house? A lot of times that attracts people to want to come and look. Have it at night after dinner time. Are the people you have teaching qualified and educated? People don't want to take their kids to someone with little or no experience in childcare. Do you have a curriculum? Curriculum is important and a must! Parents want to know what their kids will be doing there (projects, schedule, art, math, etc.). Parents look at acedemics a lot, which can be frustrating, but they want to make sure their kids are learning while they are there, not being babysat. Is there a demand for it where you are? If the demand is not there then people just aren't looking.

    Being a childcare director I have also learned that this time of year is the worst for getting enrollments. Summer and early fall are the prime times for enrolling or opening a center. During the winter months people just don't want to make the effort to take a hike in the snow or are locked into a contract somewhere else and have to wait til their contract is up. Or the parents want to wait until the school year is up before they make a transition for their child.

    Hang in there-they will come sooner or later. If you want any suggestions I can certainly be of assistance if you have any questions. I have had to build two daycare centers from the bottom up (one of my own, the other someone elses that needed a lot of work after it almost went down the tubes). Pray Pray Pray! God will take care of you and will show you gratitude for making him the center of your business.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2005
  4. ladyks22

    ladyks22 Rookie

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    Mar 9, 2005

    NO I would never take it out, My husband is a pastor and we feel this is what we were supposed to do.
    I have thought of an open house but thought of having it on a Saturday.Like an all day drop in sort of thing.Do you think that would be a good time?
    I have alot planned for when we get kids. We will be doing music,numbers and alphabets,crafts and art,pre writing skills, story times,etc. I dont plan on it just being a baby-sitting service.
    As far as education, I have watched kids my whole life and between my hubby and I there are 7 boys.So I know a lot about children.Right now I am taking the Early childhood Credential class and Hubby is taking the Child Care Administration cource.We are a small center,limited to 12.(we wanted to keep it small and cozy) and didnt need the Admin but we knew it would up our stars if we did.We are pretty sure when we are able to we should get at least 3 star and could hope for a 4 but not sure if we can do that yet.
    I have a web sight I did on the center if you would like to take a peek at it and let me know what you think.
    http://noahsarkdc.net
     
  5. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I took a look and it looks like such a cute little place. The pictures were a little hard to see clearly, but you seem to have all of the appropriate learning centers (art/writing, science/sensory, math/manipulatives, small motor/puzzles, reading/quiet area etc.). If you guys can only take 12 kids that is such a good selling point because you will always have that smaller environment which so many people want. Is there just the one room for the kids? What age kids are you licensed for? I think you have a good start and it seems you know what you're doing.

    I would have an open house ASAP and make sure you really advertise for it (papers, flyers, etc.). Once people come to see you they will want to come-it looks like such a cute little place!!! A Saturday wouldn't be a bad idea either. People sometimes just want ot relax on weekdays after work.

    Have you ever heard of Gospel Light? They make wonderful and awesome curriculums for childcare centers and Sunday schools. I would check this out. They aren't very expensive and it's like you have the whole year's plan in your hands. This could be a selling point as well. Good luck and God Bless!!!
     
  6. Bethany

    Bethany Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2005

    I direct a Christian child care center in Michigan, and my experience over the last three years of directing it has been that parents view the Christian setting as a positive thing. They trust us more, and know that there is an even higher moral and ethical standard that we uphold. Keep going, keep praying, and ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE!! Some of the things that we have done include:

    Making baskets of apples, pencils, coffee cups and candies to take to the local school secretaries.

    Hang flyers at the local library, ice cream shop, laundry mat, pizza stores, party stores, banks, and anywhere else they allow it.

    Try advertising in local church bulletins (if they will let you, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.)

    Offer incentives to enroll children, such as waiving the enrollment if you have one, or offering 25% off tuition for the first three months...

    there are great books on advertising...I have one (somewhere) called 101 ways to boost enrollment in your early childhood program. i don't remember the author.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you...what you are willing to provide for your community is priceless! Pray for local families when you pray...pray that they will see that the best time to influence their children for Christ is in their early childhood years!

    Best of luck! My prayers are with you!

    Bethany
     
  7. ladyks22

    ladyks22 Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2005

    Thanks for your reply.We have been trying just about all that so far.Have a lot of flyer up every where and have two ads runnin in local papers,have gone to a few of the churches(including ours) and left flyers.Bought a large sign on the corner of our road and one by our driveway.And have 4 more small to pick up today so we can get some by other major roads.And we are planning an open house on the 26th of this march, to invite people to just come and look around and ask questions.
    We finely got one little girl that will start this morning.YEAH! But now we have to start paying our hired admin $280 a week! and will be making $115. Oh well I am praying hard we at least get two more this month to make her salery.As soon as I am done with my collage work in two months we don't need to have her.She is a friend and knows it was very temporary.
     
  8. ladyks22

    ladyks22 Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2005

    I just wanted you all to know how things are going.
    We did get one little girl,very sweet one.And I offered her mom insentive to help me find new ones by giving her $50.off her following weeks tuition if someone she refers signs up.She even took a new flyer to work with her about the Open house.
    Oh and I guess God is helping us out too. The friend who is to be the administrater called yesterday and said not to worry about her salery right now.That we can keep track of her hours and pay her when we get more children.She said she didnt even care if we couldnt pay her until sometime in the summer.Isnt that great and so nice of her.Her hubby is a pastor like mine.
    So keep up the prayers,it must be starting to work.
     
  9. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Isn't it wonderful to know people like that? I'll keep you in my prayers. When is the open house?
     
  10. ladyks22

    ladyks22 Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2005

    I will do it on the 26th so I have acouple weeks to advertise. Then if we need to we will do one later on maybe in May.
    Yes I was very surprised about her call,usually she is a very cool type person,someone you really cant get close to,you know.But sometimes people surprise you.LOL
     
  11. Bethany

    Bethany Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2005

    That is amazing! God is working already! Just don't forget that he has his hand on this...the hardest thing in the world for me is not when God says "no", but rather, when he says "wait."

    I will keep praying for you and whenever I think of any additional ideas, I will let you know! keep me posted!

    Oh, sorry, just thought of something that i forgot to mention...I bought coloring books and boxes of crayons, and put address label stickers that I made on them saying "placed her by preschoolers at ..." with our phone number, address, and the statement "A Christian preschool and day care" I put these in places where children would have to wait, such as the dentist office, doctor's office, local community aid place, real estate agencies, etc. hope that helps.

    Bethany
     
  12. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Mar 18, 2005

    Bethany: you seem to have a lot of creative ideas when it comes to advertising. Have you gotten a lot of ideas from any certain books, or are you that naturally creative to think of this stuff by yourself? If you know of any books with those kinds of ideas in them, what are they?
     
  13. Bethany

    Bethany Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2005

    Thank you FrogsPond...I wish I could take the credit! My ideas have come from a few great books, and a whole lot of desperation! One really good book that I LOVE is called "Service Projects that Preschoolers can do" It is published by Group Publishing...great book, and I think that crayon and coloring book idea came from there. We just changed the idea from Sunday school, which is what the book is geared to, and made it fit our center. Another great resource has been brainstorming what your center provides, and think about related businesses. For example, my center accepts state assistance, so it makes sence to put flyers or discount coupons at the local community aid place. Like I said, I wish I could take credit, but then again, a lot of ideas in teaching come from borrowing someone's idea and then making it fit you or your classroom/center.

    When I am brainstorming, I like to think about the most important things to parents for their children to have, like quality care, and try to advertise that...most communities around me are linked up to a referral system where parents can call their local Michigan 4C office (community coordinated child care) and get referrals...this is great! The great thing about it is that these local offices offer training courses, so the staff people get to know you really well, and the better they know you, the more likely they are to refer you to someone else.

    I know the book that I mentioned earlier (101 Ways to Boost Enrollment in your Early Childhood Program) is published through Redleaf Press. Other than that, try searching the internet, or finding out what local events are coming up that you can take part in by setting up a booth, making a float if it is a parade, or donating something like a bunch of pencils to your local schools. Anything is fair game!! Also, I try to find out where and how parents found out about my center when they come in or call. that helps to show me what is working!!

    Good luck...you don't have to be creative, just resourceful, I always say! ;)
     
  14. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Mar 18, 2005

    I'll have to check out that book. Right now I am full (I have a small in-home preschool), but I would still like to do some creative advertising just in case I were to lose someone and to just get my name out there. And who knows, I may end up with a group center again someday and will need ideas then too. Thanks a bunch.
     
  15. Bethany

    Bethany Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2005

    Definitely! Besides, the service projects book is just nice to get your name out in the community as a source of support to your community. There are some great ways for preschoolers to do service projects and to help them to understand the importance of compassion...I know plenty of adults who could use that! :)

    Let me know if you have any ideas of your own, what has worked for you! I'd love to hear about it!

    Ladyks22, I hope this discussion has helped so far! It's a hard situation to be in, but you will get through it...I will pray that your open house goes really well!
     
  16. ladyks22

    ladyks22 Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2005

    I really appreciate any information. I had a call yesterday from a woman with 3 kids,but it turned out the youngest wasnt potty trained yet. I could of gotten 3 at one time.BUT we are not licensed to do diapers. Man I was so upset. I could of screamed.
    Im still doing the open house.have the ads coming out today and for the next two weeks.BUT I also had forgotten that that is Easter weekend so Im thinking I made it at a bad time. OH well if this one dosent get people I will plan another one for April.
    What do you think would be something good to have for refreshments.I already am thinking of chip,dips,salsa,maybe some of those little cocktail weenies,Iced tea,juice,maybe some cookies.Do you think that would be enough?
    I had my collage class last night and she said that it looks like in 2 or 3 yrs they are going to require more then the Child care cred. that I am working on now.So I may just keep going at night and go for the next higher thing.
    The funny thing is I was terrible in High school.Barely graduated.And on this class I have about a 99 average.I am so surprised. But If I were taking the Administration course my hubby is doing I dont think I would make it.She is so tough. Always handing their work back and telling them to do it over,and over. Hes had it tough with her.But hes already been through 2 collages so he knows what to expect.But I still feel sorry for him,but glad it isnt me.ROFL
     
  17. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Mar 21, 2005

    I didn't get straight A's until I went to college. I think once you get into college and do things that you actually find interesting, it's a lot easier to be captivated and want to learn. In high school I got C's and some D's. Once I got to college, I was floored when I started getting A's.

    The administration courses here aren't all that difficult. It really is just a bunch of memorizing guidelines and such. Those things also come in time. Once you have had the hands on experience, you gain a lot more knowledge that way and things come easier. State licensers can't expect someone to know the guidelines front and back, even if they have been in the field for 10 years. The rules are always being revised, AND even after 6 years, I still go back to look if I have an unanswered question.

    Let me know how to open house goes. God Bless!
     
  18. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Just wondering ladyks22 if anything more has progressed with your situation! Did you have your open house yet? God Bless!
     
  19. ladyks22

    ladyks22 Rookie

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    Apr 4, 2005

    Hi Frogs,
    Yes I had the open house and didnt get one person.I know we did it on a bad weekend so am doing another one on the 16th of this month(No holiday is it?LOL). We have been getting some phone calls,two just today.And they both may be coming to visit tomorrow.We actually may stop the paper adds,we are spending almost $400 a month and almost all that have been calling have either seen the signs or gotten our name from Resource and referral.What do you think? Maybe stop them after the advertisment for the next open house is done?
    We have one full time and one part time so far.And am praying everyday for more to come.I think maybe at the end of summer>>> but who knows.LOL
     
  20. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    That's good that you have two now! Too bad about the open house. I'm sure it had to do with the weekend it was on. I would stop the advertising at least until maybe the middle of the summer. Right now I am sure people aren't too concerned with daycare needs being that summer is coming. Fall and late summer are real prime times for enrollments so maybe I would consider advertising again mid-summer. I like some of Bethany's ideas about advertising too (the crayon thing was really cute). It would probably be more affordable to take those routes instead until mid-summer comes around. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    On a side note: I have been talking with my church and they are considering putting in a childcare. If so, the pastor would hire me to direct it and get it off the ground so I may be in the same situation as you soon. We'll have to bounce ideas off of one another. Good luck and God Bless.
     
  21. Bethany

    Bethany Rookie

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    Apr 4, 2005

    I am glad to hear that you have gotten two children...I will continue to pray for you and your situation....Frogspond, if you do end up in the same situation, good luck! I think starting out is harder than anything, so keep your head up!! (Thanks for the compliment on the crayon idea, though, once again, it came from a book! :) )
     
  22. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I have been in the position with starting from scratch so I know it will be challenging. But I am always up for the challenge! The church I go to is in the prime spot-lots of houses, no daycares in sight!!! They also just restructured a lot of the Sunday school rooms which are perfect for a childcare center (very little remodeling has to be done). So I hope the elders say yes when we give them our presentation!!! My problem is this: how in the world do you make a presentation to elders at a church?!? What things should I have preparred? I have done the start from scratch things, but have never had to get the approval of elders before. Ladyks22, your husband is a pastor right? What things do you think would he look for in a presentation like that?
     
  23. Bethany

    Bethany Rookie

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    Apr 7, 2005

    Hi Frogspond...I have actually helped a friend of mine propose the same thing to elders at the church. What they were interested in was a business plan outline, expected number of children to be licensed for, projected cashflow, grants available, etc. They were also interested in how they could present the idea to the church. In other words, they wanted to know how to word the idea to be considered community outreach, and how this service would be unique, affordable, who would run it, etc. Hope that helps.
     
  24. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Yes it does. Thank you. Do you know what kinds of things she put in the budget and business plan? I guess I am just at a lost on what kinds of things to include (like what was included in the outline and what things they budgeted for).
     
  25. katie.vcs

    katie.vcs New Member

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    May 8, 2005

    Christian daycares are a great idea!

    Ladyks22... How is your daycare going. I love to hear that there are Christian daycares out there. I have ran a daycare/pre school program in my church for the last 6 years. We run 100 children (licensed for 144). I have seen God work in so mant families lives. It is truly a ministry. I forgot the name of the person that was saying that her church was thinking about starting a daycare. You can tell them that our church's growth has been due to the daycare ministry. Only about 10% of my famlilies are church goers. Most people will come in and say, "I do not know much about God, but I want my kids to know about Him". That is what I want. Because their children will be able to witness to them along with my staff and myself. This is a vital ministry, even if it is not in a church. I pray that each of you can touch the lives of children and their families in a way that will bring them to the Lord! God bless you all! Seeking Himalways!
     
  26. tracieteaches

    tracieteaches Companion

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    May 9, 2005

    I will definitely pray for you. So glad to hear you didn't change your name.
     
  27. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    May 9, 2005

    Hello! I am the one who is in progress of setting a daycare up in my church. I am working with the youth pastor in getting things started and working on presenting it to the church elders. Word has gotten around fast though and the word is very positive. I am very excited. I have very good feelings about this and believe that I am being "called" to do this. I am very curious to know if there is anything that I really need to be aware of aside from the general daycare things. I have never done the "start from nothing" thing, but have built up a daycare after it was almost closed. I am a little curious at what to expect, what to be aware of, or if there are any helpful hints you could give me, I'd be much appreciative! Thanks!
     
  28. katie.vcs

    katie.vcs New Member

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    May 10, 2005

    Sounds like things could get rolling!

    I did not start the daycare. I too have gone in to 2 centers (one secular and one christian) and helped it from being closed down. The one I am at now (I have been there for almost 6 years), had just opened when I started. I think there were only 30 kids there. We went to capacity (144) in a year. I really would say, that was too many kids. We are a little over 100 and that's the way I like it. Well first of all, it sounds like you are hearing good things! That is great. You have to have the church supporting you. That is very important. Second, you have to go in knowing that it is a ministry of your church. Not a business (even though you have to run it like a business). I would love for you to email me and we could chat somemore. I wanted to ask you what denomination is your church? Do you have other Centers in that denomination you could network from? I will be praying for God's will for you and your church. I also wanted to tell you, You have to be called to do this job (Directing a Center). It is hard work and sometimes your flesh can get in the way of the Spirit. Plus, you know that you will be a minister in alot of ways. You will not only minister to the children, but their families and even your staff! God luck to you and God Bless!
    Seeking Him always!
     
  29. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    The center I took over was in such a horrible condition. It was at a YWCA. One of my missions was to put the "Christian" back into the curriculum. I had much support from my supervisor and once we got a new executive director, she wanted to do the same thing. Now after being able to put Christian roots back into a program I don't think I could go back to being just "another public daycare". Last summer our organization closed due to lack of funds. The daycare of course, went down with it. We tried to move it somewhere but we didn't have enough time. We were given only 30 days notice. My last resort was to open my own Christian Home Daycare. All my kids who are with me today were at the Y in my son's room. I know that it all that happend for a reason and that I am being called to do this for our church. Around the same time the Y closed, my husband and I had found this church that we are now members at. It just seems like all these pieces are being put together for this reason. It's something that I look back on and think "Why did all this happen"? It's all making sense.

    We are a Bible Church (non-denominational). I do know a few peope who run preschools that I have been talking to. One is an ex-employee of mine at a Lutheran Preschool that will open up this fall, and the other actually owns a private school (K-6th) and operates a preschool at her church. Both are wonderful people, but I can always use more help from others as well.

    I understand what you mean about the ministry aspect. The elders don't want to hear "think of how much money the church could make". They want to hear about how it will bring people to know God and how it will be an arm of the church itself through Christ. I also have realized quite recently that things don't go the way I want it, it's the way that God wants it. It took me a long time to not just figure it out, but just to accept it. Thanks for your prayers. If you have any needed information I would love to hear it. I will definitly e-mail you if you'd like if I have questions or need information, or just a prayer! God bless.
     
  30. katie.vcs

    katie.vcs New Member

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    May 12, 2005

    What do you struggle w/ being in management?

    I hope that your elders don't think it will make money. We don't make alot of money. I will say that God has been blessing us tremendously. I am hoping to give all of my staff a big raise. What seems to be you alls biggest struggle in directing a daycare? I would love to know and see how you handle those situations! My biggest struggle is dealing with the staff. I have 30 staff, 28 women and 2 men. Sometimes I feel like my teachers are the children. Tell me some things you do with staff to keep morale going and maybe some positive things you do with them. I appreciate any help. :eek:
     
  31. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I don't think they are into the big money making programing. They are focused on missions and staying afloat. I have seen many daycares make tremendous amounts of money, while others stay above water. Being a church daycare we would obviously be non-profit, which means we wouldn't be for making money and all money made would get put back into the program. I also think that paying your staff appropriately says a lot about a center and will help keep turn over down to a minimum which will get children to enroll.

    As for staff, I hear you! When I became director at the last center I was at, I got promoted within the organization and knew the teachers before hand. You'd think that would have made it easier-nope! It actually made it worse because people thought they should have been treated differently than others. That's not how I work, so when it hit them, they were upset-oh well! I will not ever hire anyone I ever worked with at previous centers.

    Things that I did to motivate staff: we had regular Bible-based studies, we had a motivational speaker, we played trivia games with licensing and had prizes for the winners. I did little certificates one month that said "Best Teacher In_______" for each of them (each one was different). I did incentives like "Cleanest Room for the Month" and "Most Effective Time Management" awards, and "Most Punctual Teacher". There were more, but I can't think of them right now.

    The biggest thing I have always struggled with is knowing when to be lenient and knowing when to put my foot down. I am very picky when it comes to dedication and work ethics. In this job it's like it's hard to sometimes get the best quality people and get people to understand that this isn't just a random job that doesn't always count on you to be there. It's imperitive for teachers to be there consistantly for the children's sake. Luckily I didn't have much turn over at that center, but I did have a revolving door of assistant toddler teachers (1 year olds). For some reason nobody I hired really was capable of the job and I ended up firing two of them-UGH!
     
  32. ladyks22

    ladyks22 Rookie

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    May 29, 2005

    Update

    :rolleyes: Just thought I would come by and give an update on our center. We now have 4 full time,one part time and 2 more full time starting on the first. So we are finely getting ahead. Thank you God!And we got an A rating from the health dept. Only had a few minor things to do.(like washing the fan blades),I just laughed when he asked to turn them off. LOL I told him they are on all the time even at night and since they were never off I never notice the dust collecting. Thankfully he was really nice this time and said he could see how clean everything was.(glad he didnt have to check my house).ROFL I would really be in trouble.LOL
    We are starting the process also of getting our stars. ??? I am thinking we will be at least a 3 maybe 4 which is fine.That way the vouchers pay almost what our rate is.
    I wanted to tell everyone I so appreciate all the prayer and I hope all is well with all of you too.God Bless :D
     
  33. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    May 31, 2005

    That is great!
     
  34. Jul 5, 2005

    I am a concerned parent. I am looking for a list of available christian daycare in the Southeast michigan area (Farmington hills, Livonia and vicinity). Please Help !!!
     
  35. ladyks22

    ladyks22 Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2005

    I live in NC but I would call the Childcare Resource and Referral in that area.They can give you a list of the childcare centers in that area.Hope that helps.
     
  36. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Jul 5, 2005

    You can post your own thread if you'd like. You'll probably get a better response and more prayers.

    Just like the post above said, call your local R&R for a list of childcare centers. What is it that you are very concerned over?
     

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