Encourage everyone to move forwardMy name is Samantha. Thank you for joining me today. Ok, so to begin…everyone look under your chair….Who has a business card taped to it?Ok, you are our volunteer for the next 1.5 hours. You have to stand up here with me and vanna white the presentation. Just Kidding! Congratulations, you won a year’s subscription to Minute Menu Kids Pro, our child care management software solution….
A Bit about MeI am here on behalf of Minute Menu Systems. Have any of you heard of us? Are any of you are participants of the Child and Adult Care Food Program, also known as CACFP? Minute Menu creates software solutions to assist sponsors and you with CACFP paperwork as well as business management software for you! My role at Minute Menu is to build our new community and resource site, ChildCareInfo.com. It is a website focused on all child care professionals, you as providers, center based providers and the organizations that support you. Before Minute Menu, I worked at an academic publishing company – some of you may use their books SAGE Publications and Corwin Press. Corwin specializes in K-12 materials. Before that I obtained my MA degree in English at Cal State Long Beach and worked at a couple of law offices. I began my career with quality child care working at a CACFP sponsor in California for 6 years.I am very recently married and live in Burbank, California.Favorite part of my job: being able to affect, help and connect with a community that is ultimately molding our future. Seeing all of the activities you do with the children look so fun, I just want to join you everytime I see pictures or the latest blog post!A Bit about the ProvidersI hear from the community that some of your favorite parts of your job are:Sparking Fantasy and imaginationTeaching NatureStory time!!!!!! I love reading to them. I love hearing the things they learn; andThe little stories they share with me about their life. Most of them I could never repeat...lol.Arts, Crafts and Music“I love the career I have chosen. It has not been easy, but the rewards have been great. I cannot think of any other career where I can go to bed at night, totally exhausted but excited about waking to a new day and hearing that little child’s voice through my door say, “Good morning Miss Jacque! Did the dragons come out of the trees last night?” Jacqueline Crocker
Computer/Online SavvyOk, so let’s get a sense of the online users, you are….Raise your hand if you are in the category of “Bleh” You search the web for things but don’t really use it unless you absolutely have to?Raise your hand if you are in the category of “Nice” You search the web, use FB and twitter but still getting comfy will all that is offerred?Raise your hand if you are in the category of “WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO,” You are 100% mobile, 100% blogging, 100% FB and Twitter, 100% all things online.
Today we want to have some fun on the internet and provide you with some cool new ideas or reminders about the web! 3 main things you can look forward to: A toolbox of search tools. I want to about how you can find information you are looking for on the internet and then keep track of it!Social Media…Using it to build a network, reputation and market your business.Free Web Resources…Specific to your needs!Let’s get started!
Back to basics for a second.When you search for a child care lesson plan or contracts or for tom copeland you are using a search engine.Search engines power all of the results you get when you type something into your search bar. Websites can have search engines of their own and then of course there are the big ones.<CLICK> Bing, <CLICK> Yahoo, <CLICK> Google and <CLICK> Ask are a few that come to mind. Although, Yahoo, while it might look different is using the same search results as Bing. Ask is also powered by google. But you might prefer they presentation in one over the other.If you are on <CLICK> USDA website, <CLICK> childcareinfo.com or <CLICK> the teach preschool blog….look for the search bar in the website. If you are going to the website looking for a particular item, this could really help speed up the process. Lets look into some search hints.
We are going to use google because it happens to be my preference, to do some searching. Google has made what is known as the “simple search” the norm because they do a lot behind the scenes to give you accuarte results w/out you being accurate in your request. But does anybody remember the term boolean searches? Librarians like to teach you to search using boolean criteria. This isn’t always necessary anymore BUT can help you get more exact search results. Let’s test it out.You want to see what is out there to generate business for your child care. You decide child care advertising is a good keyword phrase to begin your search.Who wants to tell me the difference(s) between Pictures 1 and 2? Come on now, you can get this great MM stress ball! Maybe the quotation marks and the number of search results? Does anyone know what quotation marks do?The Quotations? <CLICK> In Picture Number 1, when you search without quotations the search results will include anything with “child” “care” and “advertising” not necessarily together or having anything to do with each other. You then get 100 million results that are not exactly what you are looking for. <CLICK> In Picture Number 2, when you search WITH quotations you get more exact results. This search query looks for exactly that phrase “child care advertising.” This returns 149,000 results as opposed to 100 million! <CLICK> Definitely brings down the number of results to scroll through and makes it more relevant to what you want!Ok, so you looked at the results and a lot of them are ways for you to post your service on their website. This isn’t really what you want. You want to see what other people are doing or see if people are giving new ideas out there. So, ideas sounds like a good word to add. Pictures 3 and 4 show you the same differences as 1 and 2. Note how adding ‘ideas” has brought down the search results to 3 million and change instead of 100 million. Still too much to look through but consider how adding one word significantly narrowed the result list Number 4 though, with quotations around the entire phrase limits the results a little too much! Only 5 with this one and they aren’t actually all that helpful. HMMMM…so now what can we try? Anybody know? I have a bottle of M&M’s here for someone that wants to try… Yes! Close off the quotations and add And!<CLICK>This way we are searching just for “child care” as well as “Advertising ideas”Now…does anyone know what else you can do refine your results? <CLICK> (for next page)
I know many google power users that don’t pay any attention to the side bar to the left. Have you ever noticed it? It looks like this…Well, this is another GREAT way to better refine what you are looking for…Filter, Filter, FilterIf you are shopping, looking for books, for a particular place, google will show results that only have to do with that category, which is very helpful! If you aren’t sure of a category but have a specific time frame in mind…you can filter by that time frame. Lets go through some examples of how this might help you as family child care providers. You like to shop, right?
Do you need to replace any cribs because of the new regulation of no drop side cribs? Google’s shopping filter can help you in droves! Check it out.Google.com>Cribs (without Filter) = the fourth search result is MTV Cribs, not exactly what you are looking for ;)Filter by Shopping and get much more exact results and…ready for it? <CLICK> Filter options are on the left Compare Prices option, filter options by store, brand, price range, in stock or free shipping etc!<CLICK> Sort By Options Price, low to high or relevance as well as display<CLICK> You get several Options with Each Search Result<CLICK> you can compare the prices from all of the places you can purchase it<CLICK> When you click oncompare prices you get a list of all the stores, prices, ratings, shipping charges. You can then sort by those by clicking on the blue heading! You can filter by new or free shipping. IT EVEN ADDS TOGETHER YOUR BASE PRICE AND TAX AND SHIPPING FOR A complete comparison!<CLICK>You can also add items to your shopping list. <CLICK> which looks like this where you can view all the items you are interested in. You can search this list or take notes.If we have time we can try some searches and filters together at the end of the class
You don’t always have to search searchsearch! If there is a topic, keyword or a website that you regularly follow, you should set up an alert.Many websites have alert options, whether it’s a subscription to an “email update” or literally alert do that. Team Nutrition, Food Nutrition Service has a great alert system. Also, there is a food recalls alerthttp://www.foodsafety.gov/as well! We have the alerts streaming on ChildCareInfo honestly it really is easier to have some of this stuff come to you instead of you remembering to check websites!If there is a general term that you want to know about, if something new has been published or uploaded on the web, you can use google alerts for this. For example, I want to know when “family child care” is brought up in conversation or when someone publishes an article about “family child care” so, I have set up a google alert and it is emailed to me or sent to my google reader. I will show you what I have set up for an example. I even have my own name set up…If you want to know how to do this, I have a short 2 page help document online at childcareinfo.com. Planning on doing an actual video tutorial too if you are more of a visual learner. Google Alerts also has an “alert help” section.
NOW!!!! What do you do? Lets fill out some of your secrets together so that we can share with the providers that didn’t get to come to this workshop or even this whole conference!I have some more prizos…If the internet is slow, use the flip chart or word….
Show of hands:Do you use any of these? What do YOU use these networks for?Business, Personal, both?First, lets talk about how these networks can help get information quickly and build you a network all at the same time! The secret to these social networks is following the right people and joining the right groups.FACEBOOKEveryday I am inspired by the postings I see on Facebook and Twitter, the organizations that are advocating for you, the fellow providers lessons, activities and business conversations.If you “like” or “friend” particular organizations, you will get interesting links and information all day everyday. For Example: NAEYC, http://www.facebook.com/NAEYC: NAFCChttp://www.facebook.com/nafcc; your localr&r’s or not local they still provide great information, ChildCareInfo.comhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/ChildCareInfocom/140675612659179?ref=ts, Daycare.comhttp://www.facebook.com/daycares, Teach Preschool http://www.facebook.com/Teachpreschool and Minute Menu http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minute-Menu/69833052208also have some great FB pages. Oh! And of course Tom Copeland http://www.facebook.com/asktomcopeland. You can see conversation strands and interesting links on these facebook pages and then you can easily share them with your network.Twitter is my favorite for information sharing. It has become my daily newstream. I am up to date and know what has been recently released, latest news, latest activities or seasonal information. I get links to important articles or blogs because I follow all of the right people!For Example: I follow: @USDA@USDAFoodSafety@foodsafetygov@TeamNutrition@SNAP_Ed@NatlHeadStart@HSBS_Play@SBAgov@OnSafety@kidseatright@NutritionbyJill@Child_Care_Info@AskTomCopeland @TeachStrategies@ChildrenNature@preschoolers@readingrockets@NAEYC@parentsmagazine@PreschoolCA@Teach_Preschool@ThrivebyFiveWAThere is also PaperLi.com. Many of you aren’t able to go on the computer or check your twitter feeds regularly but you can see a daily digest of topics that you like the most. There is one for preschool called the Teach Preschool Daily. It is fantastic. http://paper.li/tag/teachpreschool?utm_source=subscription&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=paper_subThere is also the Child_Care_Info.com daily as well as a #familychildcare daily.Linked In is great for Group Conversations…There are a lot of active groups on Linked In or active individuals. You can see what associations or professionals in your profession are doing. For example see these groups and get linked in professionally, it’s the new business card! Child Care Roundtable http://t.co/xxxBOLCBottom line, depending on the information you want to know about regularly, you can find people or organizations providing really great information for you! Many organizations or people have both but are better at updating one or the other, so just because you found one on twitter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find them on FB.How do you find good people to follow? Find one person or organization that is interested in what you are and see who they follow, like or are friends with.
How do I build my network just by watching?Well, you have to interact too! There aredifferent ways to engage but it is the coolest part about social media, right?There are different ways to interact on these different platforms. Facebook is probably what you are most familiar with. Writing on walls, commenting on pictures and more. Do you ever use the live chat function? Do you ever establish groups or join groups and then talk on them? Did you know that if you use the @ symbol on facebookit automatically tags the person you choose and posts on their wall too?How about with Twitter? Do you know about Retweeting The @ and the # There is also #FFAnd then there is ChildCareInfo.com…the network just for child care professionals. No matter what the platform is engage, ask questions, talk to each other. So many of the professionals in your field feel isolated but the web can help you feel a little less like you are the only one experiencing difficult parents or children not potty-training. Create your network!
Facebook for Your BusinessSet up a product page for a “Local Business” or “Place.” These types of pages are set up for businesses. Instead of people “friending” you, they will “like” you which is more appropriate and better for you in the long run. A good way to separate your personal from your business.After your FB page is set up, what are you going to do with it? Some little hints:Fill out the “info” part completely and thoroughly – this will help people better understand what your service is, the areas you service and why parents might want to contact you.Post Pictures, BUT be careful about the pictures you are posting. Some parents get very uncomfortable with having their children’s pictures posted and if something were to happen you would be liable. So, best practice is to just not show the children’s faces. Take pictures of your awesome activities and even of them doing them but just from the backs of their heads etc. If you want the parents to see their kids, send them a link to a picassa photo album or snapfish or something.Keep your personal thoughts and status’s for your personal facebookaccount and update only about your child care or the industry on your business page. It keeps it professional and doesn’t leave anything you say up for interpretation by potential customers or current customersDon’t “friend” the parents of the children in your care. Have them “like” your page but don’t friend them on your personal account.Your profile pictures, make it a logo or something fun and distinguishes your business from the rest.Events – it might be fun to post the events that you plan on doing with the kidsEngage in the community of child care, not only does this keep you informed and less lonely but it can give you credibility with prospective parentsRemember…these are open networks, public and in giving you exposure, also makes you more vulnerable so be cautious of what you put on the world wide web, I am sure you’ve heard some of the horror stories out there. Actual advertising through Facebook: In your profile settings there is a FB advertising section. You can create ads and pay for them to show. These are the ads that you see to the right of your FB page that are “sponsored” and suggest for you to “like” them. It is very easy to set up and you can even pick a city for the ad to target. Just be aware of how much you want to spend per click….
Right now, Twitter isn’t really a place parents will go to “find” their new care giver. HOWEVER, if a parent searches for you or your business in google or some other place, your tweets will appear.Two things to be aware of here. Your tweets show up, completely public in any general search. If you have a personal account, consider what you are putting out there for people to see about you.On the other hand it could be great for you to establish some credibility as an active participant in the child care industry. Show parents that you care, you read interesting things, like to do crafts etc. Twitter can help you establish a reputation and credibility.What might you tweet about?What do you think would be good topics to tweet about? In your child care? Something a child did or said? What you prepared that day? A link to your “blog” or description of an activity you did? Links to articles or blogs you read and want to share with the community?It can also be a great way to get someone’s or an organizations attention. Not a lot of people get direct messages from twitter and might be more willing to respond via twitter or just actually more apt to see it there than in their very swamped inbox.My husband tweeted @charter complaining about how our internet connection was really slow and they contacted him to set up an appt.
We’re going to take some notes and share them with the nation! ;)I have a couple more give-aways….
Brain BreakAlright, lets take a break from all of this excitement and stand up. Don’t worry, I am not going to ask you to do this stretch. I would break something! ;)Have you ever heard of the wright family? I learned about the Wright family at the Food Action and Reseach Center conference in March. The Wright family is trying to go on vacation again and well, they need our help. I am going to read a story and every time I say the word “Right” take a step to the right. Every time I say the word “Left” take a step to the left.Are you ready?! Lets do it.http://clte.asu.edu/firstYrSeminar/general/icebreakers/Icebreaker-WrightFamily.pdf
How about some web resources that are made for you in mind!Of course there are the obvious ones like NACCRAA, ChildCareAware, NAFCC, NAEYC, NFSMI and your local R&R’s but here are some others that you might not be aware of.To find the value in these sites, don’t hesitate or be afraid to CLICK around and see what they have to offer! ALSO, Like we said during our chat about Searching…don’t forget to search these sites for what you are looking for. Find their search boxes or follow their tools to help you find what you are looking for.How about Lets Move for child care…have you all checked that out? Michelle Obama’s initiative? There is a main site called let’s move.org. This one is particularly for child care and powered by the nemours foundation. It has some great ideas for getting the kids moving and why you should get them moving. http://www.healthykidshealthyfuture.org/welcome.htmlA Place of Our Own is actually a TV show for family child care providers! It also has current topics to talk about and discussion areas. Some fun activities too! Message boards, workshops and professional developmentOwnadaycare.com has some great conversations on their FB page and some informational blog postsEarly Childhood Investigations– This is a website that offers free webinars from really great respected people in the industry. Tom Copeland being one of them. They are sponsored by a publishing organization so there is no catch to this. Great information in these….Sometimes the live ones are at inconvenient times of the day BUT they record them and then you can watch them whenever you’d like.Kids Eat Right – this website along with many others about nutrition have some fun information. You can get age appropriate information with the click of a mouse and it is an initiative from the american dietetic association/foundation so the information is extremely valuable and credible. Meal planning tips, recipes and shopping info and more…Fruits and Vegetables More Matters: This is a WONDERFUL fun website. It has great interactive things, you can get kids involved, there are interactive games..They have printable tools to take shopping with you….and get the kids involved with this too. Even the organization of their recipes shows you by color to stick with the variety being encouragedCDC Recipes: you can make your own recipe book, and search for recipes by different kinds of fruits a nd veggies, you can learn about serving sizes with My Plate interactive features and so much more!The NCCIC is great. It has research, statistics and more about your industry but it also has this great page! http://nccic.acf.hhs.gov/fitsource/This site links child care and afterschool providers to a wide variety of physical activity and nutrition resources. You will find links to activities, lesson plans, healthy recipes, information for parents, and many other downloadable tools that can be used to incorporate physical activity and nutrition into child care and afterschool programs.I haven’t been through all of the state’s department of Ed but California’s has some really great information and tools for early educators. http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/extresources.asp, For example: are any of you from CA? Did you know about this grant? http://www.childdevelopment.org/cs/cdtc/print/htdocs/services_ci.htmAnd then of course….childcareinfo.com…this website is in its infancy but the goal is to be your complete resource for child care information and community.
Now that you’ve found all of these GREAT resources, how do you remember where to go to get them?Bookmarking. All browsers have bookmarking functions. (do we all know that there are different kinds of browsers?) Internet Explorer has “Favorites” with the star, Chrome has a little star in the search bar and then asks you how you want to save it, mozilla has the same star in it’s saerch bar. Safari has the plus sign to the left.Have you ever heard of social bookmarking? Delicious, Diigo, Digg? Do you use them?Social bookmarking is a way to bookmark the sites you like for easy access but you can also share them with a group of people at the same time. People, if you choose to make your bookmarks public, will also search a social bookmarking site and then see how many times a particular website has been bookmarked re: that search term. My favorite isDiigo. You can create groups on Diigo and share websites with people that way, you can make bookmarks public or private.But my FAVORITE part is that while you are reading an article blog or whatever online, you can highlight and add notes to the site! Let me show you.<CLICK> This is how it looks when you highlight and add a bookmark on the website. After you click post the sticky note will just be the little yellow square not the big one.<CLICK> Then when you go back to the diigo library or groups page you see what you highlighted and post-it noted without even having to visit the website!http://groups.diigo.com/group/child-care-providers?view=recentIn addition to bookmarking the sites yourself, the websites we talked about and more are on ChildCareInfo.com.
Now let’s check out some other things you can do on the web to help your business, for free! How about making your own website?There are several ways to approach creating your own website. You can make a “whole” website or a blog. Blogs are typically a journal-like information site. See blogger.com, wordpress or typepad. http://marvelouskiddo.blogspot.com/. There are usually a few links on the page to different short pieces of information, and links to a few other pages but the functionality on the site is limited and it won’t be as “robust” of a website.With a website, you have more control over contact pages and how things look and are displayed. It can also be much more stagnant. Once you get it finished it can stay that way until you need to change the information.Here are some examples of blogs: http://childcarebusinessowner.com/, http://childcarebyjudylyden.blogspot.com/, http://www.hansenhousechildcare.com/, http://childcareillinoisnews.org/Here are some examples of websites: http://www.littlekellisplayhouse.com/index.html,http://www.rainbowacademy.com/It’s really easy to create both of these websites and they are free. Weebly has “paid for options” but you can do all of the basic stuff right here.Childcareinfo.com has “how to’s” for both building a blog and/or a website through blogger and weebly.
When my trusty computer got stolen, I realized that my new computer was NOT preloaded with MS Suite products Holy cow that was a bit pricey so I started looking for alternatives. I found Google Docs. We used it today when we used it to made our list of tips for search and social media. What did you think?Google docs has a lot of different options….you can make documents (like ms word or spreadsheets like excel, presentations, forms or draw!)You can even create surveysif you want and get automatic results! OR a “contact me form” that will put the parents information right into a spreadsheet for you to follow up on and then make notes. Let me show you.Spreadsheet for the info…https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=tOoRkQySeE81wDpGKiB5Pvw#gid=0Something you can even insert into your blog http://samsawesomechildcare.blogspot.com/Google docs is also kind of great because if one of the kids spills milk on your computer and fries your hard drive, whatever you made or uploaded to google docs will be there. No matter what.
Surveys: I just saw a blog post in exchange everyday about surveying your parents…it “notes that parent input is an integral part of a valid internal program assessment and offers a variety of ways to solicit such input...” They provide different ways to survey the parents.One great way is using google docs, lets do a quick walk through.<CLICK> Create New Form<CLICK> Add the title and what the survey is for<CLICK> Add the question title<CLICK> There are a lot of question types you can choose from<CLICK> You can choose different types of themes, we picked garden in this one<CLICK> You can email it to your parents and the response will be anonymous unless you ask for their information<CLICK> You can get your results via spreadsheet OR a very cool summary with graphs and everything<CLICK> Final result looks like this!If we have time we can add questions together….….what do parents what to see at the facility?
Final version of survey and results
Then of course there are all of the different google products to play around with and see what you like best.Let’s take a quick look at the myriad of things they have to offer and one relevant way to do this is to use their WDYL. What do you love? What should we type in?Ok, now it will give you suggestions on how to set up or use all of the different google products for your search term. Kind of neat and a pretty, fun, and clickable display on the page.
Thank you for joining me today. Here is my contact information and I look forward to hearing from you. This entire presentation will be on childcareinfo.com and if you’d like to send me your email address, I will send you the link to the actual page.OR you can search NAFCC Presentation and find it w/in the website! ;)
NAFCC Conference PPT 2011
Family Child Care Providers!<br />Move to the Front. <br />