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Archive for December 2012

Good Gifts Ideas for Preschool Teachers & Directors

Good Gifts Ideas for Preschool Teachers & Directors
A Christmas Story Gift for Teacher

What would your childcare center teachers think if you gave them a lovely fruit basket like this?

I was trying to think of something really good and appreciated by child care teachers, administrators and directors. Here is a list of ideas I came up with.

  • A high quality box of tea – Nothing says comfort food more than tea.
  • Small gift card toward a restaurant – I had a boss that gave me Dunkin Donuts gift card every year and I loved it.
  • Fruit basket – Possibly expensive but a great thing to have around the house when on vacation.
  • Tickets – Lots of great holiday shows happening.
  • Bottle of wine – Not for everyone but easily shared or re-given.

What are your suggestions for good child care staff gifts?

Introducing: Camp Management Software

Introducing: Camp Management Software


Managing Camp Enrollment Requires Flexibility

Almost simultaneously, three clients approached us about making it easier for them to manage summer camps. The lay observer might ask, “So what’s the big difference between regular school year and camps?” As we learned from these organizations, camps are a very different matter all together.

Summer camp management software that's easy and delicious as smores

BumbleBee just brought simple and intuitive to summer management software

Camps are typically short-term and families often make changes up until the last minute. Families often enroll by the week. The families that attend camp, are not necessarily the same ones who attend the regular program year. To boot, licensing restrictions vary for short term care. Furthermore, child care centers offer many different options for parents to pick and choose. For example, parents can enroll in space camp one week and then nature camp the next.

BumbleBee Adds Camp Management Software Features

We are pleased to announce BumbleBee can now support all of your basic camp management software needs. Best of all, it works right in BumbleBee alongside your regular programs and classrooms.

Here are just a handful of the highlights of our new camps feature:

manage-camp-enrollment-by-week

  • Multiple camps per location (e.g., morning camp and all day camp) childcare management software for camps, summer camp management, camp management
  • Printable, up-to-the-minute rosters by week
  • Quickly identify openings to offer families
  • Maintain waitlists by week
  • Take applications online
  • Record custom questions like: “What size t-shirt does your camper wear?” or “What is your child’s favorite ghost story?”

To make things even sweeter, all of the normal features of BumbleBee work great just as they normally would.

If you would like to add this to your existing BumbleBee account or see a demo of camps. Please contact us at any time.

New Feature: Icons & Stars Increase Childcare Productivity

Icons allow you to get at-a-glance information about families on your childcare waitlist

Icons allow you to get at-a-glance information about families on your childcare waitlist

We are excited to roll out a few new features that give more you at-a-glance information when browsing through your family information.

Icons: BumbleBee displays subtle icons next to each child’s name that indicate useful information, such as siblings or recent family notes.

Stars: You can now “star” any child to mark it for follow-up or other actions. Simply pull up a family’s detail view and click the star icon next to any child’s status to star or un-star that record.

We have also published a short demo video to see these new features in action.

 

Icons & Stars

New Features:

  • Icons: Tables now show subtle icons to indicate recent notes, siblings, and other useful information
  • Star: Any status can be “starred” to support follow-up (which also displays a star icon in tables)

Fixes:

  • Birthdays report no longer displays records with no birth date (which caused the table sorting to break)
  • Age Range report no longer displays records with no birth date (which caused the table sorting to break)

Tech Tip: Great Photos that Sell Your Child Care Services (Part III)

Tech Tip: Great Photos that Sell Your Child Care Services (Part III)
child care photographs, child playset, fortress, istanbul

Picture a friend took with a playset next to and ancient fortress in Turkey. I love the contrast of young and old.

Some childcare websites with examples of excellent pictures

  • Turtle Rock (Irvine, CA) – A really great rotating slider with very good examples of getting low and up close.
  • ChildRoots (Portland, OR) – Great pictures of the center that would make any child or adult want to attend. Almost no pictures of children but lots of great naturally lit photos.
  • Bright Horizons (Worldwide) – You might think that Bright Horizons has unlimited resources but I think you could reproduce these photos using the tips we outlined. They are fairly straightforward, good photos. Some are over exposed, soft-focus, and on the child’s level (i.e., not from above). Also note some of the poses (e.g., hands on cheeks).
  • Carnegie Mellon Univ. (Pittsburgh, PA) – Some really basic, lively shots of kids getting down on the level. A variety of different ages and perspectives.

General non-childcare specific sources you reference to improve your pictures

  • Howcast video on baby photos – This is a fun video to watch to learn how to capture your really little ones.
  • Kodak – Some great tips here that will work equally well for digital cameras and cameraphones.
  • Camera Apps noted by Nytimes – Do not hesitate to spend a couple dollars on apps for some really fun photos to boost the images of your childcare center.

Does your child care center have great photos you would like to share? Please let us know!

Minor updates to reports

Enhancements

  • Added totals for each weekday in the Printable Roster and Printable Signin Sheet reports
  • Removed the limit on how many records are returned for the No Activity report

Fixes

  • Fixed sign-in sheet to display expected in/out times (for organizations that use a detailed schedule)

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