1. How do I ensure that I won’t lose business files if my computer or laptop crash?
To ensure that all business files are protected from being lost, I suggest using an external hard drive. Similar to a small thumb drive, an external hard drive has more storage space and is also portable. You can save EVERYTHING to an external hard drive so nothing is saved on your computer’s internal hard drive. Not only does this keep your files safe from being lost, it keeps your computer’s internal hard drive clean and running faster. A portable external hard drive can be hooked up to another computer to retrieve files in the event your laptop has to go into the computer shop or your computer crashes.
My external stays hooked up to my laptop and everything I do is saved right to it. You can spend as little as $54.00 and order a Toshiba 500 GB Backup Portable Hard Drive from the Walmart website. This should be more than enough storage space for all your files and it’s small enough to toss in your pocketbook should you need to take your files with you for meetings or to work at a friend’s house.
Another bonus--This is a business write off!
2. Help! I need advice on what to do with the baby while I offer the preschool portion of my program to the other children?
This is a good question and many providers often struggle with this situation. I will offer you advice based on what has worked for me.
During preschool time, young infants are either having their morning nap, in a bouncy seat or enjoying the baby swing. As they gain mobility, they usually crawl around the playroom and play with their own toys while I do activities with the older children. If, during this time, the baby starts to hit or pull hair of the others on the floor, the baby is then placed in a pack-n-play with his/her own toys. This pack-n-play I usually keep set up in the playroom from about 1 year-15/16 months, depending on when they outgrow the hair pulling, face pinching, pushing etc. You get the idea. By 16 months, I typically find the babies are done with these behaviors and can enjoy circle time activities without the fresh behaviors. I’ve also placed the babies in highchairs or the table chairs/booster seats while I work with the other kids. Sometimes, the babies are held while I read or when we do computer time. If you don’t have the space to keep a pack-n-play set up, you can open one up daily or use the highchair, which most providers typically keep out. Cheerios on the highchair tray, toddler spoons, empty cups etc are a great distraction, too. Again, by 16 months, the babies should be transitioned and encouraged to join in, but if they aren’t interested, let them crawl about and play with the toys that interest them.
3. I was recently asked about holding an over two spot for several months. Ideally I’d like the money now but don’t want to risk losing a child over two. Any thoughts?
Here are two options to consider:
1. Take a four week deposit and hold the spot. The 4 weeks’ pay goes towards the child's first 4 weeks in the month the child starts.
2. Don't take a deposit. Tell the mom the spot is hers unless someone else wants it much sooner. IF this occurs, you would call the mom and tell her someone is interested in the spot. She then has the chance to start paying a portion weekly to hold the spot OR she forfeits and the spot goes to the person who wants it now.
Providing you have several over 2 spots available, it might be safe to say you can go with option 1, only because it can take months and months to fill just one over two spot.