The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing and Automating Your Child Care Management System | Smartcare

The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing and Automating Your Child Care Management System | Smartcare

In 2022, the need for childcare has risen greatly. 78% of mothers and 83% of fathers in the U.S. rely on outside help for childcare.

This influx of children into an already saturated system can overload existing childcare centers. It’s especially true when it comes to administrative tasks in childcare management. Keeping track of vital records, attendance, and payments are crucial to maintaining a smooth-running facility. On top of those challenges, there’s the challenge of not overloading the good teachers that are becoming increasingly tough to find and retain.

The right Child Care Management System can help you with the day-to-day workings of your childcare center. But if you aren’t sure how to make the most out of your childcare management software, this guide can help.

To learn more about how to streamline and optimize your Child Care Management System, keep reading.

1. The Benefits of a Child Care Management System

Using a powerful Child Care Management System offers your childcare program many benefits. Among the benefits of optimizing and streamlining the ins and outs of daily workings are:

  • Saving Time
  • Improved Efficiency
  • Simpler Teacher and Parent Engagement
  • Happier Parents
  • Easier Reporting
  • More Hands-on Time with the Children
  • Enhanced Security
  • Increased Revenue and Better Billing
  • Improved Child and Family Management
  • An enhanced classroom environment

You can improve all these elements of your Child Care Management System. As you do, it will help create the most efficient childcare center as outlined below.

2. Lead Management/CRM

An improved Child Care Management System helps with your existing childcare center customers. It can also allow you to optimize lead management by enhancing your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) process. Leads are a crucial part of every childcare center.

What Is Lead Management?

Lead management is an essential part of creating a real connection with every potential customer who interacts with your center. This could include phone, email, or in-person contact. Each connection is called a lead, consistent follow through on leads is vital to increase your enrollment.

Benefits of Lead Management

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software handles the hard work of capturing the contact information of each potential lead. The system keeps these contacts in the database to use for increasing engagement. The CRM can also enable you to:

  • Conduct follow-up calls/emails
  • Send out promotional special event emails
  • Inform parents of drop-in care availability
  • Build trust with the parents until enrollment
  • Communicate about available vacancies
  • Test interest in new programs

Even if parents are still deciding or aren’t ready to commit to your childcare program at the current time, this can benefit you in the long run. Since odds are that they, or someone they know, will be seeking out a quality childcare program in the future.

A CRM will help you stay on top of the reminders and the engagement with a potential customer so that when the time comes to choose the right childcare program, yours will be on their radar. If they have a friend or family member who needs childcare, they can refer them to your center as well.

3. Simplifies the Communication Experience Between Family and Center Administrator

A lot goes into keeping parents and other family members in the loop when managing a childcare center.

Childcare teams are already busy tending to the needs of the children in their care while also working to cultivate engagement and communication with the families of their students. They may not know how, or have the tools, to communicate with parents effectively.

Why Is This Important?

Working parents and guardians need updates on the goings on at the childcare location. Parents might not always be available to answer phone calls if they are in an important meeting or tending to some other life issues. Newsletters and fliers can get lost or go unread.

How Can a Child Care Management System Help Facilitate Communication?

The Smartcare Child Care Management System can be tailored to send out alerts and notifications to parents and other family members responsible for a child’s care like the grandparents. If there are any center or school closures due to weather or other issues, all relevant family members will receive notice accordingly.

Email and SMS messages can be created as needed or by using premade filters and templates. These can serve as emergency notifications or for general engagement and referral purposes.

This makes the communication process simpler for the childcare center staff so they can focus on the children while also improving the communication experience between the child’s family and the childcare center.

With premium classroom management features, real-time 2-way chat can be enabled to allow an extra level of connection and communication between parents and teachers. This level of engagement can set your program apart from others.

4. Managing Child Attendance

With a Child Care Management System, you can manage regulatory tracking automatically. For children, the parents, or other guardians of the child, signing the child in or out of the center is easy with a scannable custom QR code in the Parent App or on a printed key tag. A PIN system can also function as an identifier to clock the child in and out at a kiosk.

An integrated door lock system provides added security for your team and the families that depend on your program. It allows only designated parents and guardians to unlock the door through the proper QR code or PIN code identification.

Benefits of a Childcare Attendance Management System

The benefits of a dedicated Childcare Attendance Management System are numerous. It provides the ultimate security for the center. It also gives parents peace of mind, knowing that their child cannot be taken out of the center without the proper credentials.

Moreover, this feature reduces the center’s liability for discharging a child accidentally to a non-approved parent or guardian.

5. Assistance with Setting Up Your Child Care Center

Your Child Care Management System can also help you with the many facets of setting up and running your childcare center. It can offer lesson plans to assist you with your daily classes, including assessments.

For new enrollees into the childcare center, you can access all the necessary forms and send them out to the parents via email to fill out ahead of time. This modernizes your childcare facility.

Once you receive these forms, the documents containing all the pertinent information is securely stored within the system, and away from prying eyes. However, it’s still easily accessible for referencing by the childcare center staff.

The right Child Care Management System enables smarter billing and payment processing services through automation, including automated tuition tracking, automated invoicing, easy split billing, and automated payment processing. It can also automatically withdraw the specified amount based on attendance records at the beginning or end of each month.

Benefits of Childcare Center Setup

Having a Child Care Management System set up streamlines the essential functions of managing a childcare center which can save you valuable time. You can even use it to set up and manage multiple locations all at once.

An automated system also helps to reduce paperwork since it is all digitalized within the system. It keeps files more organized and prevents paperwork from getting lost or misfiled.

Automating invoices and processing and keeping track of payments can significantly reduce late payments from parents so you receive the money you need when you need it to keep up with expenses.

6. Effective Time Management

With the old way of running and managing a childcare program, so much time is wasted focusing on every little minute detail of managing the business. It’s a full-time job keeping up with just the business and administration aspects of the childcare center without considering time spent caring for the children.

A Child Care Management System allows you to work with your employees through the streamlined program to manage information and care. As a result, more time is spent focusing exclusively on the children.

Meanwhile, the autopayment feature accelerates and increases the cash flow to the center and resulting in a more solid financial footing for your business.

7. Provides a Teacher’s Perspective

A Child Care Management System with a classroom management focus is integral to a preschool, daycare or other childcare program because it organizes and tracks the main points of focus throughout the day. Just like a teacher in their classroom. It considers areas such as:

  • Classroom management and child experience
  • Parent and teacher engagement
  • Meal tracking
  • Customized assessments
  • Effective parental communication

The Preschool2Me program is classroom-focused child care management software that incorporates a 2-way chat feature between the childcare center and the parents in real-time. You can also track meals, naps, illnesses, and other incidents.

Preschool2Me’s advanced program also allows for the childcare center to map out lesson plans with assessments to track a child’s progress. Attendance management and absence reporting keep children safe and accounted for at all times.

The Child Care Management System also handles compliance tracking to show that the childcare center meets all the necessary state requirements.

8. Financial Tracking and Reporting

In 2020 alone, 57% of working parents spent over $10,000 on child care. For a married couple, this is roughly 10% of their total income.

But for a single parent, this cost as a percentage of their income rises considerably. With more than 35% of a single parent’s median income going towards child care costs, this far exceeds the 7% recommended amount spent on child care by the Department of Health and Human Services.

With parents’ eyes directly focused on their costs, keeping accurate financial records and reports is imperative. The Child Care Management System helps with the financial tracking and reports for the childcare center.

The Smartcare Child Care Management System helps you customize the reporting you need to determine the proper payment and billing structure and set the most appropriate rates. On top of that, it gives you the control to determine the frequency of when parents receive statements.

The Build Back Better Act could save low-income families between $5,000-$6,500 in childcare costs. For children receiving subsidized care, you can manage a parent’s co-pay with the subsidy payer together. Compliance reporting shows that your center meets all the financial criteria for state subsidy requirements.

The Smartcare system automatically generates consolidated reports to save you time and cut down disorganized files. It provides accurate account summaries so you can organize and regain control of effective billing and payment cycles.

The “set it and forget it” command tells the system to automatically debit auto-payments, add

charges, and send statements.

9. Functionality and Parent Communication

The built-in messaging feature displays the childcare center’s engagement with their children throughout the day. It shows when they are napping, having a snack, or transitioning into and out of certain classes.

Parents are also kept up to date with any events, emergencies, and other notifications too through the Parent App. Of course, the easy billing and payment feature is again a big plus for both the childcare center and the parents. The ability to easily pay their bill through the parent app simplifies the parents’ lives and makes it easier for the childcare program to get paid on time. On top of that, easy-to-use split billing allows costs to be shared for modern, split families.

A Child Care Management System like Smartcare offers family management so you know exactly who is allowed to drop off and pick up the child and who is not allowed.

10. Preschool and Before/After-School Program Classroom Management

Preschool and after-school programs rely heavily on structure. You can’t have children just running amok unfocused all day. They need the proper stimulation and learning activities.

This depends on the age groups as well as the type of classroom management and activities you want to implement. For preschoolers, you need to focus on fine motor skills and tactile learning. Like a sensory table or anything that focuses on colors, basic shapes, letters, and numbers.

For slightly older children in after-school care, you must implement further enrichment tailored to their age groups such as art, music, building, math, and counting.

Benefits of Classroom Management for Preschool and Before/After-School Programs

Childcare centers can be hectic, especially with dozens of little ones running around in need of attention and stimulation.

With lesson plans and classroom management tools specific to the age group and classroom setup, you won’t have to worry so much about the details. You can turn your attention toward your young students instead.

Lesson Planning Ideas

Some lesson planning ideas for after-school care among children may include making instruments from reused items, like a mini drum made from a can. Painting, coloring, drawing, as well as building from LEGOs and other building sets, are great uses of time.

Preschool children can partake in activities like sorting colored blocks or placing toys into specific number groups. They can also sort letters and numbers into different cups.

11. Employee Management

To run an efficient childcare center, you also must manage your employees to make sure they do their jobs well. After all, trained and effective employees are the glue helping hold your childcare program together.

You want to make sure you cover all aspects of employee management including clocking in and out, payroll, hiring, and employee training as you select the tools to deploy for your business.

The Child Care Management System tracks your employees’ clock-in and clock-out times and keeps you properly equipped to handle payroll cycles.

Data about new hires should be properly tracked, including records like their cleared background checks and physical results to ensure they are fit to work in your program.

Benefits of Employee Management

Using the same Child Care Management System as you do for the other facets of running the childcare center for employee management will allow you to have everything together in one central hub.

You can rest assured knowing that the children are in safe and competent hands and your employees are taken care of as well.

12. Use an all-in-one solution for childcare management

Let’s face it, trying to combine tools and systems without effective integrations to manage your childcare program can be overwhelming and expensive. Not only can this cost significantly more than an all-in-one solution it can increase your admin time and may even increase your staffing cost to manage it all.

That’s why the team at Vanco Care recommends using Smartcare as an all-inclusive childcare management system to streamline and optimize your childcare program. It can help you increase parent engagement, boost enrollments, and save you time and money on managing your childcare program. Click here to schedule a consultation with our team and let us help you build a customized and flexible childcare management system to fit your unique childcare program.

Best Behavior Management Strategies for Daycare Teachers

Best Behavior Management Strategies for Daycare Teachers

As a daycare teacher, you know that managing the behavior of your students is a big part of your job. But what are the best ways to do this? There are a lot of different behavior management strategies out there, so it can be tough to know which ones to use. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

In order to have a well-run daycare, it’s important to have a good daycare behavior management strategy in place for the children. This strategy should include a system of rewards and consequences for the children’s actions. It’s important to be consistent with this system so the children know what to expect.

A daycare behavior management strategy is important for several reasons. First, it helps create a safe and orderly environment for the children. Second, it helps prevent negative behaviors from occurring. Third, it provides consequences for bad behavior so the children learn how to behave properly. Finally, it helps to build positive relationships between the children and the staff.

In this article, we’ll share some of the best behavior management strategies for daycare teachers. We’ll also give you some tips on how to implement these strategies in your own classroom.

So whether you’re looking for new ideas or just want to brush up on your existing knowledge, read on for the best behavior management strategies for daycare teachers!


Top 5 Behavior Management Strategies for Daycare Teachers

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to behavior management, there are certain strategies that can be effective in managing the behavior of daycare students. Here are five of the most effective:


1. Set Clear Expectations for Behavior (Specific, Observable, Measurable)

When setting expectations for behavior, it’s essential to be as specific as possible. This means clearly defining what is expected of students in different situations. For example, a teacher might say, “Students will raise their hands and wait to be called on before speaking.”

Being observable also means the expectation can be measured. In the example above, the teacher can easily tell if a student is following the expectation by whether or not they raise their hand before speaking.

It’s also important for teachers to be consistent in their expectations for behavior. This means the same expectations should be applied in all situations, regardless of who is present or what the circumstances are.


2. Encourage Good Behavior With Praise and Positive Attention

Praise and positive attention are two of the most powerful behavior management strategies for daycare teachers. By using these techniques, teachers can effectively encourage good behavior in their students.

When praising a child, it’s important to be specific about what behavior you are praising, as all behavior is communication. For example, rather than simply saying “good job,” try “great job on staying in your seat during circle time!” This will help the child understand what he or she did that was praiseworthy.

It’s also important to make sure your praise is sincere. Children can sense when you are being insincere, and this can undermine the effectiveness of your praise.


3. Stay in Control With Rational Detachment

Rational detachment does not mean you don’t care about the children in your care. It simply means you are able to remain calm and objective when dealing with challenging behavior. This can be difficult to do, but it’s important to remember that children often feed off the emotions of those around them. If a teacher appears frazzled or upset, it’s likely that the children in their care will mirror these emotions.


4. Discourage Mild Misbehavior With Active Ignoring

This strategy is also called “selective ignoring.” When a child exhibits mild misbehavior, the teacher actively ignores the child while continuing to interact with other children in the class. The goal is to extinguish the behavior by making it non-reinforcing.

There are several things to keep in mind when using this strategy:

  • First, it’s important to have a clear definition of what behaviors warrant active ignoring. These should be unwanted behaviors that are not harmful and do not interfere with the learning of other students.
  • Second, it’s crucial to remain consistent with this strategy. Every time the target behavior occurs, the teacher must respond in the same way — by ignoring the child.
  • Third, it’s important to keep in mind that this strategy may not work immediately. It may take some time for the child to learn that the behavior is no longer reinforcing.


5. Establish and Enforce Effective Consequences

It’s vital for daycare teachers to establish and enforce effective consequences as a behavior management strategy. This will help ensure children are behaving appropriately and not engaging in disruptive or destructive behaviors.

There are a variety of consequences that can be used, and the most effective ones will be tailored to the individual child. Some common consequences you might use include:

  • Timeouts: This involves sending the child to a designated area for a period of time, such as two minutes per year of age. This is an effective consequence for younger children who need some time to calm down.
  • Loss of privileges: This may involve taking away something the child enjoys, such as TV time or playtime with friends. This is an effective consequence for older children who can understand that their behavior has led to a loss.

Behavior management in the classroom is essential for a positive and productive learning environment. The best behavior management strategies are proactive, consistent, and tailored to the individual child. Smartcare has developed a comprehensive online training program that provides teachers with everything they need to create a successful behavior management plan in their daycare classrooms.

With our help, you can establish clear expectations for your students and provide them with the tools they need to succeed.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you manage student behavior and create a positive learning environment for all!

How to Create the Best Daycare Forms | Smartcare Blog

How to Create the Best Daycare Forms | Smartcare Blog

Anyone in the daycare industry understands this fundamental truth: Daycare forms are critical to the success of any daycare business. After all, daycare is a heavily regulated industry, and the government conducts regular inspections of facilities to ensure that kids are safe and well-cared for. Therefore, you need these forms to comply with local, state, and federal regulations. Appropriate compliance often means having extensive information on hand and being easily accessible. It may not be fun, but that doesn’t make it any less necessary.

No parent enjoys filling out daycare forms. At the same time, you can’t make forms too complicated, cumbersome, or annoying. If the document is too complex, they may stop, leaving you without the critical information you need for your facility. You’ll have to call them to follow up, creating more work for yourself and your staff members.

What does this mean? You have to create daycare forms that are easy to understand, get the information you need, and can allow a busy parent or guardian to fill out the necessary information in a way that is quick and painless. Fortunately, there are plenty of templates you can use that help you get the information you need. Here’s a look at some of the best daycare forms you can use for your daycare room.

What The Best Daycare Forms Contain

Daycare forms can be a life saver when it comes to creating a schedule, adhering to government regulations, and ensuring that your daycare is a well-run operation. Fortunately, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, as various daycare forms are already available for your daycare room.

That being said, there are some best practices you should stick to when designing a daycare form. Here are some thoughts on what these forms should contain and what sources you should check out when it comes to their conten

Basic Information

There are certain pieces of information that all daycare forms should contain. Such info includes the name of the individual responsible and the activity itself. The schedule should also collect contact information for how to get in touch with one of the adults managing an activity, including a cell phone or room phone number.

Timing Information

It may seem like common sense, but keep in mind that a good daycare schedule should clearly contain a few pieces of timing information. It should collect information about when items occur, but it should also include a few other pieces of information. These include:

  • Location information: Where an event occurs, including what room.
  • Who is responsible for supervising or executing the location
  • Any exceptions to the activity, like what happens if outdoor activity is scheduled and it is raining.

Ensure Governmental Compliance

As anyone in the daycare industry knows, daycare is a heavily regulated field. Everything from staff ratios to equipment to paperwork is extensively monitored to protect the safety of the children being cared for. This ensures that the billions of dollars in government funds are being spent in a manner that authorities deem appropriate.

As such, you should ensure that any daycare forms or schedules you create comply with the regulations of any government agency that has oversight of your daycare rooms. If there are any questions regarding these forms, you should reach out to the agency or consult with an attorney if you have access to one.

Retention Policies

Forms may seem just good practice for your daycare. Still, it’s important to remember that there may be particular retention policies related to any daycare paperwork or forms you create. As such, don’t create a form, use it once, and then shred it. Doing so may even be illegal. This is because some government agencies may require you to retain documents for a specific time. As such, before disposing of any daycare forms, you should ensure you understand how long you are legally required to keep paperwork. You may be able to keep the paperwork in an electronic format. However, make sure you check with local authorities before making any decisions about when you can get rid of daycare forms or paperwork.

Track Forms To Kids

You should have an internal system that allows you to track what kid has filed out what form and if there is any paperwork from any of your children that you are missing. Many of these forms are not optional, and having certain forms for every kid is likely required by governmental authorities. As such, make sure you have a robust and easy-to-update system that allows you to create forms and track what paperwork you need from parents. This may include immunization information, emergency contact information, and more.

Download Free Daycare Form Templates

Are you looking for more assistance in creating your daycare forms, such as creating a daycare daily schedule template? At Smartcare, we can help. Visit our free daycare forms template, which will allow you to manage the schedule for your daycare room.

Creating Delightful Early Childhood Education Experiences

Creating Delightful Early Childhood Education Experiences

Do you remember your own delight when learning something new as a child? Then, doubling that delight when sharing memorable experiences with others? In our formative years, we are naturally curious and eager to discover the world around us. Now, as educators, we want to build on that enthusiasm to support children’s excitement about learning.

To create a healthy learning environment, keep this acronym in mind:


Think about your own setting and consider how well it measures up to these essential elements.


    • Adults willingly respond to children by listening, noticing, cueing, participating, and actively engaging with them. This interactivity should be multisensory and multifaceted. It begins with observation and includes reciprocal communication, both verbal and nonverbal. This ongoing “dance” between adults and young children fosters healthy growth and development.
    • A healthy ECE classroom is an equitable “community of learners” where all children are welcome, regardless of gender, sexuality, religion, socio-economic status, language, or abilities..

    • Caregivers and teachers strive to ensure that all children feel safe, secure, and loved. To achieve this, adults should willingly accept children’s feelings and expressions of emotion. Actions and words should demonstrate awareness, warmth, and sensitivity.
    • Children learn best when new input and experiences build on their current level of understanding; adults should link new content to what children are already familiar with. Whenever possible, use a theme-based approach to strengthen those connections, so that ideas, vocabulary, and experiences relate to each other.

    • Adults should build home-school partnerships that create bonds with families and children, aiming to overcome any barriers or biases, such as racial, cultural, socio-economic, or physical. It’s important to affirm that each child brings assets and strengths to a community of learners.

    • In a healthy ECE environment, adults and children accept others, respect differences, and appreciate each other. Courteous behavior is expected, in order to create and foster a safe, kind, and comforting place for learning

    • ECE settings should offer stimulating experiences that activate neural connections among various domains. Caregivers and teachers should aim to nurture children’s curiosity and encourage their motivation to learn more. New content tends to capture children’s interest (the “wow” factor), and something silly or unusual will often grab their attention.
    • Young children love to “get physical” and act things out, so hands-on, minds-on learning is optimal. Direct, concrete experiences enhance children’s cognitive growth, and socio-dramatic play engages children productively
    • Children will relive and rehearse past experiences to reinforce their understanding, and those moments become a springboard for more communication.

If you’re confident that you’ve established a healthy environment to nurture children’s development, you’re ready to focus on best practices for ECE. The following strategies can lead the way to “delightful” learning, ensuring that your setting sparkles with joy.

  • Plentiful play and conversation

    • “Play is a child’s work.” Through play, children learn to share, cooperate, collaborate, manage conflict, employ problem-solving skills, engage in self-talk and conversation, express emotions, use their imagination, and enjoy themselves. Given opportunities for interaction with appropriate materials and with others, children become happily immersed in these moments. Observe them, and you’ll notice how they harness their own background knowledge and apply skills to “make things work.” Through trial-and-error, young children refine their attempts for success with toys, equipment, and peer engagement. Whether it’s with puppets, child-sized kitchen tools, plastic ocean creatures, construction trucks, or costumes for dressing-up, children’s imaginations come alive as they dedicate brain power to figure out how to manipulate materials. At the same time, most young children will use language and verbal expressions that demonstrate developmental reasoning in action.
  • Lots of physical activity and movement

    • Young children need to be physically active. Their bodies are growing and changing rapidly as gross motor and fine motor skills develop and advance. Be respectful of their limitations for sitting still too long, and use movement as a “stress buster.” If you play simple listening games that call for physical response, such as “Simon Says,” you will have a captive audience eagerly applying auditory cues to win by following directions. In circle-time gatherings, review colors and basic vocabulary by calling out conditional statements that ask for responsive movement, such as “If you’re wearing a blue shirt, stand up.” It’s amazing how enthusiastically children will participate in anything that seems like a fun game with physical activity. Teach them the sign language alphabet and a few expressions with hand signs, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly they catch on. For many young children, physical actions and reactions may be easier and more memorable than verbal communication. And, no matter what’s going on in a busy or noisy ECE setting, hand gestures and signs are readily recognizable.
  • Rich in rhythm and music

    • Children are naturally inclined to tune into patterns, and they love to identify and follow physical, visual, and acoustic patterns. Orderly arrangements are an essential ingredient of language, mathematics, and music, so supporting children’s abilities to recognize, discriminate, reproduce, and create patterns fosters cognitive growth. Starting with marching and clapping to music and then adding percussive instruments to practice patterns will help children improve their sense of rhythm and awareness of patterns. Nursery rhymes and short poems also boost listening skills and pattern recognition. Children can memorize the words and increase their self-confidence when reciting what they’ve learned during circle time or in small group activities.
    • Most children are music lovers who enjoy rhythmic melodies with repeating patterns, such as “The Wheels on the Bus,” “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” and “The Eensy, Weensy Spider.” You can also add a simple melody to certain phrases or expressions to help children remember target vocabulary and concepts. For example, when working with colors, this poem about a favorite color can be set to a melody line: “Red is an apple; green is a tree; blue is the sky, and purple’s for me.” Of course, children always have great fun moving and touching body parts while singing the familiar “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes” tune, or “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” Musical experiences activate a specific part of the human brain, and music activities are beneficial for children’s cognitive development.
  • Early literacy engagement

    • Communication is the foundation of language and literacy, which in turn, serve as windows to the world around us. Young children need ample experiences with books to fuel their interest in the printed word. Adult-child interactions in the context of shared reading provide pleasurable stimulation and meaningful bonding. Appropriate literature selections with engaging visuals prompt children’s focused attention. Neurological connections are triggered as they look, listen, and make sense of what they see and hear. Often, children will want to experience the same stories over and over again, which can reinforce and expand rudimentary understanding of language and content.
    • Reading about what happens to others can also support social-emotional development. Children may see themselves in similar situations presented in stories and find comfort knowing how someone else responded. Learning to accept their own emotions as “okay” and discovering possible ways of handling those feelings is an essential aspect of healthy growth.
  • Open-ended opportunities and creative fun

    • Children thrive on routines and predictable structure, but they also need opportunities for open-ended discovery. In ECE settings, they should have access to materials that allow for free play and imaginative exploration, such as wooden blocks and shapes, interlocking blocks, stacking cups, balance scales, salt dough, eye droppers, water toys, a variety of containers, etc. They should also have ready access to materials for drawing and writing, such as washable markers, crayons, paper, easels, paintbrushes, and colorful paint. Those experiences build fine motor skills, as well as providing ways for children to express and record their own ideas for others to view. Adults should be available to talk to children about whatever they choose to do with these open-ended materials, as this promotes verbal exchanges and mutual sharing.
    • No doubt, you’ve had moments when children’s creativity has surprised you. You might agree that they can make just about anything interesting! That said, be sure to give young children time to “play” with their own imagination. They are “creative designers” at heart who enjoy putting things together or taking them apart to make something new or unusual. They are experts at dramatization who like to emulate what they’ve seen others do or heard others say, with their own personal twist. Applaud them for these creative efforts. Encourage them to be bold in creative expressions of their own design. You’ll be richly rewarded with genuine smiles that light up your ECE setting.

If you are interested in ECE consulting support for your program provided by Dr. Melissa King, please send your request to

About the author:


Dr. Melissa King has a Ph D. in science education and a Masters in linguistics. She is a professional consultant who supports learning programs for educators across the country and has worked as a director and content expert at non-profit organizations and for-profit companies. Dr. King has built online programs and multi-media products in the digital space for Pre-K- grade 12, including a Pre-school curriculum called EmbarK12. She has been a graduate instructor at the University of Virginia, George Mason University, and Kaplan University and recently developed online training modules for the CDA (Child Development Associate).

Top 10 Daycare Room Setup Ideas of 2022 | Smartcare

Top 10 Daycare Room Setup Ideas of 2022 | Smartcare

As daycare providers, you are always looking for new daycare room setup ideas to keep your classroom fresh and engaging for your students. While the setup of your room may seem like a minor detail, it can actually have a significant impact on the overall learning environment. Zero to Three states that 75% of toddlers in center care are in low or mediocre quality care settings!


There are many potential difficulties and benefits associated with the daycare room setup. One problem could be that, depending on the room’s layout, some students may feel isolated from others if they cannot see or interact with them easily. This could lead to feelings of loneliness or boredom.

Another difficulty could be that some students may find it difficult to concentrate in a daycare setting if there is a lot of noise or activity going on around them.

However, there are also several potential benefits to the daycare room setup. One benefit is that it can allow for a more individualized approach to learning, as each student can have their own space to work in and focus on their own tasks. This can be especially beneficial for students who have specific needs or who learn best in a quiet setting. Additionally, the daycare room setup can provide opportunities for students to interact with each other in a more informal environment, which can be beneficial for building social skills and relationships.

Ultimately, whether the daycare room setup is beneficial or challenging for students and teachers depends on various factors, including the students’ individual needs and the room’s overall layout. With careful planning and consideration, however, the daycare room setup can be an effective learning environment for all involved.


Top Daycare Room Setup Ideas

Running a daycare can be a lot of work, but it can also be a very rewarding experience. Seeing the children in your care learn and grow is an amazing feeling and knowing that you played a part in their development is even better. Of course, part of running a successful daycare is having a well-organized and inviting space for the children to play and learn in. If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to set up your room as a child care provider, check out these top daycare room setup ideas!

1. Nap Area

One important aspect of any daycare room is the nap area. This should be a quiet, calming space where children can rest and recharge. The best way to achieve this is by setting up comfortable cots or mats for napping and providing some soothing background noise (such as white noise or soft music).


2. Feeding Area

The feeding area is another essential part of the daycare room. This space should be bright and cheerful, as mealtimes should be a happy and social experience. A long table with chairs is necessary, as is plenty of storage for food, dishes, and silverware.


3. Open Activity Area

The open activity area is where most of the fun will happen! This space should be large and flexible so that it can be used for a variety of activities. It’s a good idea to have both soft flooring (such as mats or carpet) and hard flooring (such as wood or laminate) to accommodate different activities for children of different ages.


4. Sensory Area

The sensory area is a great addition to any daycare room. This space can be used for various activities, including arts and crafts, music, and movement. Children respond the most when cared for and stimulated.


5. Library Area

The library area is another wonderful addition to the daycare room. This space can be used for quiet activities such as reading, writing, or drawing. It’s important to have plenty of shelves for storing books, as well as a comfortable place to sit. Children that are encouraged to read at an earlier age have been found to perform better in school and have improved reading skills.


6. Blocks Area

The blocks area is another must-have for any daycare room. This space can be used for both creative play and learning opportunities. It’s important to have a variety of different sized and shaped blocks available, as well as some storage for when playtime is over.


7. Diapering Area

The diapering area is an essential part of any daycare room. This space should be large enough to accommodate multiple changing tables and have plenty of storage for diapers, wipes, and other supplies. It’s also a good idea to have a sink in this area so that you can easily wash up after diaper changes.


8. Storage Area

Make sure there is plenty of storage space. Daycare rooms can get very messy, very quickly! Make sure there is plenty of storage space for all the toys, games, art supplies, and other materials that will be used daily.


9. Toilet Area

The toilet area is an area that you cannot do without. This space should have multiple toilets and sinks and plenty of storage for toilet paper, paper towels, and other supplies. It’s also essential to have a good ventilation system in place to keep the area clean and fresh.


10. Access to Outdoors

When planning your daycare room, don’t forget to factor in access to the outdoors. This is important for both fresh air and physical activity. If possible, plan for a designated outdoor play area so that children can enjoy some time in the sun (or shade) every day.

When choosing a daycare building, be sure to tour the facility and see if it has all the areas your children will need and can accommodate all of your daycare room setup ideas. A good daycare will have a variety of activities for children to enjoy and should be clean, safe, and comfortable.


What Other Supplies Do You Need When Starting a Daycare Center?

As you begin to plan for your new daycare center, it is important to consider what other supplies you will need in addition to the basics. While every daycare is different, there are some common items that daycare professionals should consider stocking up on.

Safety should be your top priority when setting up your daycare center. Make sure you have plenty of first aid supplies on hand, as well as smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. You should also have fire extinguishers readily available in case of an emergency. Additionally, it is a good idea to put together an emergency preparedness kit in case you need to evacuate your facility.

Cleaning supplies are another essential item for any daycare center. Stock up on disinfectants, gloves, and hand sanitizer to help keep your staff and students healthy.

Age-appropriate and safe toys are essential for any daycare center. Look for toys that promote cooperative play and help develop gross and fine motor skills.

Finally, you will also need to invest in some daycare technology. Consider buying a good computer system to help with record-keeping and communication. You may also want to set up a camera system to monitor activities in your facility.

Daycare rooms are constantly evolving to better meet the needs of both children and staff. While there are many tried-and-true setups that continue to be popular, we predict that some of the top daycare room setup ideas for 2022 will include a focus on sensory areas, more natural light, and increased access to the outdoors. What do you think? Have you seen any great daycare room setups lately? Let us know in the comments!

Template, Sample & Ideas for Childcare Christmas Newsletter

Template, Sample & Ideas for Childcare Christmas Newsletter

The childcare Christmas newsletter is an essential marketing tool that can help parents take in the joy of the holidays. But not all are successful. This guide will show you how to make yours effective.

So, the holidays are here! You need to make sure your emails make the season bright with a little festive flair. From fresh new Christmas content to the best ways to deal with the stress of back-to-school, we have all the right elements to make your December daycare newsletter one to remember.

Holidays are a great time to add some extra cheer and joy into your email marketing campaigns. If you’re inspired by the festive season, you can use all sorts of special dates and occasions, from Christmas to the Month of Giving.

Are you ready to give your email marketing campaigns a holiday boost? Keep reading to get inspiration for your December daycare newsletter.


Christmas Newsletter Made Easy – Use Free Templates

Monthly Daycare Newsletter Templates CTA

With all your responsibilities, finding time to create the perfect Christmas newsletter can be tough. That’s why you shouldn’t start from scratch. To save you time, we built a December newsletter preschool template. This template is editable and printable. All you need to do is remove the sample text after downloading and enter your own copy.

By using this free December newsletter daycare template, you won’t have to spend time on design. You’ll also get ideas for what to write with our sample text. Download the free template now!

Want a Free Daycare/Preschool Newsletter Template for Every Month?

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Holiday Themed Newsletter Ideas for December

Below are holidays often used to inspire themes for email newsletter.


Hanukkah Newsletter

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah is upon us once again! Beginning on November 28th, Hanukkah plays a starring role in our November newsletter ideas guide. This year, the Jewish festival draws to a close on December 6th this year, with candles being lit and people sharing traditional games and meals with their loved ones.

For your December daycare newsletter, let parents know 10 ways that they can share the love during this holiday season.


Christmas Newsletter

Christmas is a time for family and old friends, feasting and merrymaking. Christmas carols and songs fill the air, presents for the children are eagerly pulled from under the tree, and families gather around the dinner table. And at some point on that special evening, there’s usually some pretty special food as well—Christmas dinner is one of those things that everyone has a special recipe for.

For your childcare Christmas newsletter, you could set up a Christmas themed newsletter and create a Christmas card graphic to insert in your newsletter. Keep in mind that not all families celebrate Christmas, so perhaps saying “Happy Holidays” will suffice.


Boxing Day Newsletter

Boxing Day, also referred to as Saint Stephen’s Day, is an annual holiday celebrated on December 26th. It originated as a day to offer gifts to the poor. Boxing Day was officially recognized as a bank holiday in England back in 1871 by Parliament and it has been celebrated each year since then.

For your childcare Christmas newsletter, this is a good time to encourage others to give back and help the less fortunate. You could include links to charities and causes that your daycare supports.


New Year’s Eve Newsletter

The New Year is coming up fast and this is the perfect time to welcome it in with fireworks and celebrations, family and friends. Whether you’re going out or staying in during the big night, make sure to wear something that makes you feel confident and beautiful.

For your December daycare newsletter, you could discuss your business goals and curriculum plans for the upcoming year.


December Newsletter Ideas for Month and Week-Long Events

To make your December daycare newsletter extra special, you could add some of these fun and meaningful holidays into your newsletter. Here are five additional holidays to mention in your Childcare Christmas newsletter.


Universal Human Rights Month

December is Human Rights Month and so this month is all about remembering to treat each other fairly and equally.


Month of Giving

December is the perfect month for giving to others. Whether it’s joining a volunteer initiative, donating to charities or passing on pre-loved and unused items, you can make all the difference this December.

For your childcare Christmas newsletter, you could link to ways to donate gifts to children in need.


National Cookie Day

Cookies, cookies, cookies! National Cookie Day is December 4th, so get ready to fill up your cookie jar. Whether you like a crunchy snap or a chewy sugary heaven, there are many forms of cookies out there. Eating cookies brings us happiness—and we should all do it more often. Just don’t tell your doctor!


National Letter Writing Day

With National Letter Writing Day just around the corner, we wanted to share tips on how you can celebrate this special occasion. When you put down your cell phone and pick up a pen, chances are great that you’ll be reminded of the power of handwritten notes.

For your December daycare newsletter, you could announce to parents that you plan on having the children trace and learn letters in the alphabet.


National Ugly Sweater Day

Every year, on the third Friday of December, you can be sure that people all over are trading their casual sweaters for something a little more festive and fun. Whether they found one at the store or made their own ugly sweater, there’s no doubt in our minds that this holiday will make you laugh all day long!

For your childcare Christmas newsletter, it would be a fun idea to have the children wear their ugly sweaters to class.

Other Great December Content Ideas

Below are content ideas that aren’t themed around a holiday that you could incorporate into your November daycare newsletter.



As you begin to plan your childcare Christmas newsletter, keep in mind that the heart of any great email campaign is the subject line. The subject line should be able to heighten the curiosity of your parents and make them open your newsletter.



Share positive reviews from other parents and encourage parents to leave reviews whether it be Google, Facebook or Trustpilot.


Create a Poll or Survey

Parents will really appreciate it if you take their opinions into mind. Show them this by adding a poll or survey into your November preschool newsletter so parents can share their feedback and recommendations in a comfortable space.


Final Thoughts

December is an exciting time. The weather is colder, people spend more time at home preparing for Christmas and New Year’s. They bake cookies, shop for gifts, visit with family and friends, drink hot cocoa, get engaged, buy a new car…and remember to send the kids’ teachers all the supplies for their classrooms!

These celebrations are the main ones of the whole year, and if you miss out you will lose a lot of opportunities. You must be aware that this is the right time to celebrate, so start planning your activities as soon as possible.

A childcare Christmas newsletter can be the perfect way to create a buzz of excitement in your community and keep people up to date.

We hope you will enjoy the holidays with us and all our members. This year has been filled with many memorable moments, events and gatherings. By writing a great December daycare newsletter, you can share your year’s events to add to everyone’s holiday spirit.

That’s right, I hope this email will be the first of many holiday emails to brighten your days.


Looking for Newsletter Ideas for More Months?

Check out these free monthly newsletter guides to find ideas that will work for the rest of the year!


January Newsletter February Newsletter March Newsletter
April Newsletter May Newsletter July Newsletter
August Newsletter September Newsletter October Newsletter
November Newsletter  Comprehensive Newsletter Guide And More!