Why would you want to invest in a curriculum for your home daycare? Well, let me see …
– Circle/learning/craft time will fill about an hour of your day — it’s a great way to keep the kiddos engaged and active.
– It looks great in your advertising. Parents will be looking for a Provider that is invested in her business and invested in their child. Using a curriculum allows you to do both.
– The kiddos will be learning lots! And it’s always really exciting to be the one that taught them all of that. I recently got reacquainted with one of my daycare babies. She said very proudly “I know how to write my name!”. I was able to say “And I know who taught you how to do that!”.
– It keeps your mind active. Taking care of littles all day can be mentally exhausting. Think about it — 5 babies x 4 diapers x 5 days = 100 diaper changes each week! That can get really draining. Planning and prepping lessons (although they will be short and simple) stretches your mind in a different way than the menial tasks will.
– Parents are proud to tell other parents what their kiddo has been learning in daycare, and that’s GREAT advertising for you!
– It will be a write-off for you when tax season comes around again. And as with any business, the more write-offs, the better!
So, what do you need to look for in a curriculum? There are several things to consider: time, money, content, accessibility, etc.
When I started doing daycare, I figured I would plan and prep each day’s lesson from scratch. And that’s a very viable option. I have a B.Ed, so I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. It wasn’t difficult, but it was very time consuming. Working 12 hour days, cleaning, kids’ homework, and extracurriculars cut my available time pretty short.
Very soon I realized I needed to pay myself for my time, by ordering pre-made curriculum. I went to Funshine Express for my curriculum, and had it delivered to my door once a month. I would spend one naptime cutting out visuals and laminating them on a little laminator I bought at Wal Mart. With my basic craft supplies stocked up, I could pick up the teaching manual each day, do our circle time (songs, story, lesson, etc) and our craft time without even reading it beforehand. Now, if I read it beforehand, things would go even better. But on the days I couldn’t, it was still great.
There are several competitors to Funshine Express, a quick Google search will give you lots of options. Look for one that fits your criteria when it comes to prep time required, the cost, which supplies are included, etc.
If you decide to do it on your own for the sake of saving money, make sure you keep track of how much it actually costs. The extras, like manipulatives, visual aids, etc. can add up pretty quickly and may cancel out the savings you think you’re getting. But there are lots of great free resources, printables, lesson plans and craft ideas online if you have the time to search them out.