You know sometimes a provider can really feel all alone. Even though we love our job, we are couped up with kids all day, at home all week and the only adults we seem to interact with are our parent clients. Unlike corporate types, we rarely get to interact with our contemporaries which can be a not such so good thing. Sometimes we really need to reach out and touch somebody (I think that was a song). So today I want to give my fellow providers some go to resources that I keep in my back pocket or contact list for when I have an issue, question or even a craft project. So this is for you, check out some these child care provider resources.
5 Child Care Provider Resources
1. Child Care Advocate
In my home state of California, our licensing agency has a person called a licensing child care advocate. We actually have two, which is not a whole lot considering the size of California.
This person can be an invaluable source as a go-between a provider and the licensing agency. In the past, I have reached out to the advocate assigned to my region of the state to inquire about regulations, licensing processes, etc. I just send her an email if it’s a non-urgent matter and she usually will get right back to me.
So if you have a question that you would maybe not pose directly to your analyst, check to see if your state licensing or regulatory agency has a person that you can contact.
2. Child Care Resource (CCR)
I have written before about how helpful it can be to a provider to become associated with their local Child Care Resource Center. Not only do they provide workshops, resource library, client referral services and trainings, but they can also be another resource for a provider to provide insight into the licensing process and specific questions a provider may have.
See if there is one near you or if you can reach a CCR remotely.
3. Redleaf Press
Years ago, I found myself dealing with an issue with licensing and can I just say that my analyst was being less than helpful (huge understatement).
Anyway, I don’t know how I knew to do it but reached out to Redleaf Press. One of the hotline operators was very helpful and even offered to relay my issue to Tom Copeland, a well-known childcare guru and founder of Redleaf Press. Imagine my surprise when he called me back directly.
Can you say going way over and above?!
Anyway, from that point on I had a new respect for the Redleaf Press Organization. They not only provide many different resources in the form of manuals, how-to books related to child care, etc., but they also give a real world, get involved with an individual provider assistance that is, in my opinion, unparalleled. If you have a licensing or childcare issue or question hit up the good people at Redleaf Press.
4. Forum groups
I have to admit, joining and being in a forum group is actually new to me. With all the daily tasks we have as providers, I just didn’t see how I could fit in corresponding on a forum board.
Well, I am glad I recently took the plunge. You would be surprised how much added perspective you can gain from having “virtual” colleagues to bounce off your questions, concerns or even rant too (yes that does happen and is ok).
Got a question? Consider posting it to some other providers to see what they come up with. There are some great groups out there.
5. Educational Retailers
Ok, so maybe you don’t have a nerve-racking question right now. Maybe you just have brain lock and can’t think of anything to do with the kids to round out your week. Well, this one is just for fun. Some of the educational retailers can be good resources for practical information as well and great additions to your resource arsenal.
We know what great products Lakeshore has, but did you know that they have some great FREE resources as well? Some of their FREE (doesn’t that just make you smile) resources can be used to make practice writing sheets, an award, develop lesson plans or find a last minute craft project? See what you can find here.
Environments offer great FREE (there’s that magic word again) resources in addition to their furniture and educational supplies. You can easily make cubby labels, access staff training guides, theme/activities guides as well as parent resources all on one site.
So what resources have you found invaluable? Did I miss any good ones? Share them in a comment below.