Michigan Child Care Matters Michigan by fanzhongqing


									 Michigan Child Care Matters
                                                                      Issue 67, Spring 2004
                                                                      Administration and Staffing

       Division Director's Update                          recommendations and not requirements under
                                                           the rules. Providers are encouraged to clarify
             The goal of the Office of Children            with their licensing consultants what is technical
             and Adult Licensing is to have day            assistance, requirements under the rules, and
             care home and center rules that are           what is consultation, or best practice
             clear and concise. They should be             recommendations.
             understandable to those people
             who must follow them, as well as              We share the responsibility for providing safe,
             those who must enforce them.                  healthy environments that will enable children
Despite our best efforts, however, this is not             to grow into productive citizens. This job is too
always the case. For example, everyone                     big for any one person or agency. We must
agrees that the environment in which children              work together as partners to achieve success.
are cared for should be safe. The difficulty
here is that the rules cannot list everything that                                            Jim Sinnamon
must be done in order to make the environment
“safe.” What we are able to do, though, is to
provide technical assistance to consultants and                            Inside This Issue
providers. Technical assistance is information              Page 2      Steps in the Child Care Staff Hiring
that better assures that rule compliance is                             Process
achieved.                                                   Page 5      The Employee Manual
                                                            Page 6      What do Staff Need to Know?
I believe that providers want to assure the                 Page 7      Staff Supervision and Training
safety of the children they care for by                                 Michigan Department of Education
complying with the rules. The Division of Child                         Notice
Day Care Licensing is in the process of                     Page 8      Teaching the Teachers
reviewing information that can be used as                   Page 9      Professional Development
technical assistance by family and group day
care home providers. Center rule technical
                                                            Page 10     Motivating Staff with Nonmonetary
assistance will be developed and shared with
licensees as well.                                                      or Low Cost Incentives
                                                            Page 11     Month of the Young Child Calendar
Technical assistance itself can sometimes be                Page 12     Staff Retention in the Early
confusing. Licensing rules are minimal                                  Childhood Setting
requirements, and not necessarily a guarantee               Page 13     Liability Insurance
of quality care. Licensing consultants often                Page 14     Reducing the Risks of Running a
encourage providers to go beyond minimal                                Business
requirements to best practices. These                       Page 15     Consumer Product Safety
suggestions, often research-based, are                                  Commission Recalls
                                                            Page 16     Resources: Administration and

                               MICHIGAN FAMILY INDEPENDENCE AGENCY
                 Family Independence Services        and      Office of Children and Adult
                 Child Development and Care                   Licensing
                                                              Division of Child Day Care Licensing
Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                            Spring, 2004

   This publication provides          STEPS IN THE CHILD CARE STAFF HIRING PROCESS
   topical information regarding
                                          Adapted from School-Age Child Care Technical Assistance Paper,
   young children who are cared
                                                        Massachusetts Office For Children
   for in licensed child care
   settings. We encourage child      Child care center owners and directors may have many tasks and
   care providers to make this       responsibilities. One of the most difficult of these is finding the right
   publication available to          staff to provide quality care to the children enrolled in their programs.
   parents of children in care, or   The staff is an important key to the success of a day care facility. To
   to provide them with the web      find the right staff, it is very helpful to have a hiring plan. A written plan
   address so they may receive       will help avoid missed steps in the hiring process.
   their own copy. Issue 43 and
   beyond are available on the       Step 1: Decide who will be involved and how the decision will be made.
   internet. This document is        Step 2: Write a job description.
   in the public domain and
                                     Step 3: Recruit applicants by:
   we encourage reprinting.
                                             - Posting job descriptions at college and university placement offices
                                             - Placing advertisements or announcements at meetings, on
      EDITORIAL STAFF                          bulletin boards in schools, in newspapers and in the community
                                             - Word of mouth: spread the word through staff, parents, and friends
           Judy Gaspar                       - Listing the position in newsletters (church and school), on
       Licensing Consultant                    bulletin boards at human service agencies, through information
                                               and referral organizations
             Ann Hill                        - Look at sources for supplementary staff and volunteers such as:
       Licensing Consultant                    =   College Work Study students
                                               =   College students majoring in related fields (education)
           Dalerie Jones                       =   College students who volunteer or do internships
       Licensing Consultant                    =   Parents of children in the program
                                               =   Senior citizens who donate their time to the program
            Judy Miller                        =   Community residents who share specific skills or interests
       Licensing Consultant                        such as crafts, music, etc.

       Sandy Rademacher              Step 4: Screen candidates.
       Licensing Consultant                  - Sort resumes into: definitely qualified, may be qualified and
                                               definitely not qualified
           Elaine Rauch                      - Set up interviews with candidates in the first two groups
       Licensing Consultant          Step 5: Hold interviews.
                                             - Interview format should be standardized so you can compare
        Sharon Schleicher                      candidates
       Licensing Consultant
                                     Step 6: Select 2-3 finalists.
          Jackie Sharkey                     - Check references
       Licensing Consultant                  - Follow up on information gained in the first interview
                                             - Conduct second interviews
          Janice Tribble                     - Invite finalists to spend a day in your program
          Area Manager                         *Observe finalist interacting with children/staff
                                               *Provide finalist with a better understanding of the job
           Kathi Pioszak
                                     Step 7: Make a final decision.
       Child Development &
                                             - Offer the position
                                             - Comply with licensing requirements, such as FIA clearances
     Jim Sinnamon, Director                  - If first choice refuses, offer to second choice or return to Step 3:
      Division of Child Day                    Recruit applicants
         Care Licensing                      - Send regret letters to other candidates
Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                          Spring, 2004


  After the hiring plan is written and the process             ◆   Makes all activities available to children of
  has begun, how do you determine who will be a                    either sex
  good caregiver? The following is a list of                   ◆   Can handle sensitive topics with honesty and
  characteristics, skills and knowledge to look for                understanding
  when interviewing and observing a potential staff            ◆   Sets and maintains reasonable, consistent
  member.                                                          limits
                                                               ◆   Can work well with large groups of children
                                                               ◆   Has special interests and enjoys sharing them
  ATTITUDE AND GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS                             with children
  OF A GOOD CAREGIVER:                                         ◆   Creates links between the children and their
  ◆   Warm and caring                                              community
  ◆   Good sense of humor
  ◆   Accepts and respects differences                                SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
  ◆   Sensitive to children's individual needs and feel-
      ings                                                     The questions you ask a potential staff member
  ◆   Reliable and responsible                                 in the interview are important in determining the
  ◆   Respects and listens to children                         individuals that will work best in your program.
  ◆   Challenges children's curiosity                          The following questions are a sampling of the
  ◆   Flexible and patient                                     types of questions that will bring out the answers
  ◆   Works well as a member of a team                         that will help you in your consideration of future
  ◆   Committed to the program                                 staff.
  ◆   Enjoys participating in activities with children
  ◆   Understands and respects parents                         TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF.
  ◆   Well organized and plans in advance                      This is a less threatening, open-ended beginning.
  ◆   Encourages creativity                                    It allows the candidate some control in what to
  ◆   Excellent physical health and high energy level          share. Information is often revealed in response
  ◆   Ability to keep calm under pressure                      to this question that you could not or would not
  ◆   Ability to tolerate noise                                think to ask.

  CAREGIVER:                                                   Look for prior child care experiences as well as
                                                               frequent moves, gaps in employment and
  ◆   Aware of the developmental needs of children
                                                               reasons for termination.
  ◆   Can plan curriculum appropriate to each age
      group served
  ◆   Understands professional ethics, including                                             (continued on page 4)
  ◆   Knows how to help children solve problems
  ◆   Can design a well organized, developmentally
      appropriate space for children
  ◆   Knows and can employ a variety of behavior
      management techniques
  ◆   Learns about and respects the culture and
      values of families in the program
  ◆   Communicates effectively with parents and
      finds ways to involve them in the program
  ◆   Knows how to plan activities for a full week or
  ◆   Has good organizational skills
  ◆   Can communicate well with other
      professionals                                        3
Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                      Spring, 2004

                                                           Beware of the adult who wants to work with
                                                           children because children meet their adult needs
                                                           for control, love, or affection or who want to work
                                                           with children because they are "pure," "innocent,"
                                                           trusting," "nonjudgmental," "clean," etc.

                                                           WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER APPROPRIATE
                                                           The answer should include positive methods of
                                                           discipline. Try to determine if the applicant's
                                                           philosophy about discipline is compatible with the
                                                           program philosophy.

                                                           HOW DO YOU TEND TO DEAL WITH
                                                           Can the candidate recognize when they are
                                                           under stress? Do they have a plan for dealing
                                                           with it? Is it acceptable?

                                                           WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OR INTERESTS?
                                                           The answer may reveal a skill or interest in
                                                           music, crafts, sports, drama or cooking which
                                                           can be useful when working with children.

                                                           IF YOU SAW ANOTHER TEACHER/STAFF/
                                                           VOLUNTEER (ONE YOU LIKED AND
  Hiring Process from page 3                               RESPECTED) STRIKE A CHILD, WHAT
                                                           WOULD YOU DO?
  TELL ME ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH                      Make sure at some point the candidate plans to
  CHILDREN.                                                tell a supervisor.
  Your program may require training in child
  growth and development and prior experience              IF A PARENT HAS NOT ARRIVED TO PICK UP
  with the age group in which there is an opening.         THEIR CHILD AT THE END OF THE DAY -
                                                           WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
  WHAT STRENGTHS CAN YOU BRING TO                          The answer you should expect is that they would
  THIS JOB?                                                stay with the child and contact the parents to find
  Look for answers that match the general                  out where they are.
  characteristics and skills in "Selection of a Good
  Caregiver."                                              ASK OTHER "WHAT IF" QUESTIONS.
                                                           Look for a candidate whose responses are
  WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?                                consistent with your philosophy.
  Are the weaknesses something that can be
  improved upon with training?                             There are many steps in the hiring process, but
                                                           the investment of time to compete the steps will
  WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK WITH                             pay off for your program and the children you
  CHILDREN?                                                serve. v
  Adults should want to work with children
  because they have something to offer children.

Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                     Spring, 2004

                                 THE EMPLOYEE MANUAL
                              Sharon Schleicher, Day Care Licensing Consultant

 As a professional child care employer, you should have a written manual of guidelines for the employees who
 work in your child care facility. The primary purpose of an employee manual is to communicate what is
 expected of both the employee and the employer. You will have better staff relationships when you establish
 clear, written policies. When you hire new employees, have them sign a contract and give them a copy of your
 policies. Some areas you may want to consider are:

 General Information and Policies:                        State Licensing Requirements:

 =     Philosophy and program description                 =    Staff health requirements; TB and medical
 =     Job description                                         evaluation
 =     Benefits                                           =    Staffing and ratio requirements
 =     Holidays                                           =    Reporting suspected abuse/neglect
 =     Vacation days                                      =    Accident/injury procedures
 =     Sick time                                          =    Emergency evacuation procedures
 =     Wages                                              =    Required record keeping; infant care,
 =     Hours of operation                                      medication, accident or injury reports, health
 =     Hiring; probationary period, termination                of child
       procedures                                         =    Discipline policy
 =     Dress code                                         =    Criminal background checks, FIA central
 =     Evaluations                                             registry documentation
 =     Teaching guidelines                                =    Diapering and toilet training procedures
 =     Rest and meal breaks                               =    Hand washing procedures
 =     Staff training requirements
 =     Promotional opportunities/raises
 =     Parent-teacher communication                       Resources:
 =     Housekeeping responsibilities; daily, weekly
                                                          U.S. Department of Labor at www.dol.gov

                                                          Occupational Safety and Health Administration at

                                                          National Association for the Education of Young
                                                          Children at www.naeyc.org

                                                          Michigan Association for the Education of Young
                                                          Children at www.miaeyc.org v

Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                         Spring, 2004

                          WHAT DO STAFF NEED TO KNOW?
                                        Judy Gaspar, Licensing Consultant

  Training staff in a child care center is a challenge        >    Hand washing procedures
  and a responsibility. Phases of training might              >    Bottle and solid food feeding procedures
  include: pre-service or orientation, beginning or                and recording
  initial training, infant-toddler caregivers training,
  and ongoing training.                                           ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND PROCEDURES

          PRE-SERVICE OR ORIENTATION                          >    Child arrival and departure procedures
                                                              >    Accurate daily attendance records: how to
  >    Staff handbook                                              keep them
  >    Philosophy of program                                  >    Health policies: how to prevent the spread
  >    Code of conduct for staff                                   of communicable disease, how to handle ill
                                                                   children, when to exclude ill children from
         BEGINNING OR INITIAL TRAINING                             care
                                                              >    Ratio and supervision requirements
  Some topics are required by licensing rules.
                                                              >    Rules for bathrooming
  Other topics could include information that helps
                                                              >    Outdoor play rules and supervision
  staff provide a safe, nurturing environment for
  children.                                                   >    Appropriate programming for all age groups,
                                                                   including emergent literacy
  Required topics:                                            >    Recordkeeping: location of child information
                                                                   records, child immunizations, and child
  >    Child abuse and neglect training: what is the               physicals
       center's written policy on reporting, how to           >    Safety: the physical environment indoors
       recognize signs of abuse or neglect                         and outdoors
  >    Discipline policy and child handling prac-             >    Parent relations: parents as partners
       tices                                                  >    Training for bus drivers and bus aides
  >    Medication and record keeping
  >    Emergency evacuation procedures for fire,              Training needs to be ongoing and repeated to
       tornado, and serious accident, how to use              refresh staff in all aspects of the child care
       the manual or electric fire alarm system,              program.
       how to record the drills
  >    Hand washing procedures                                Documentation of training individual staff
  >    CPR and First Aid training                             members can be kept in different ways:

   INFANT-TODDLER CAREGIVERS TRAINING                         >    In each person's file folder
                                                              >    On sign-in sheets for each training
   Required topics:                                           >    On a grid pattern
                                                              >    On a computer spreadsheet
  >    Health care services plan
  >    Record keeping of infant activities                    Well-trained staff are important to maintaining a
  >    Primary caregiving                                     high quality child care program. v
  >    Diapering and toilet training procedures

Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                         Spring, 2004

                        STAFF SUPERVISION AND TRAINING
                                Sandy Rademacher, Child Day Care Consultant

 The management and supervision of child care                participation in workshops and conferences. It is
 staff is as important as hiring the most qualified          vital to the success of the program and the needs
 personnel. They may come from a variety of                  of the children and families being served to
 backgrounds and educational levels. Supervisors             select training opportunities that will benefit both
 or program directors must value those                       the program and the staff.
 differences and encourage each individual to
 grow professionally both in and out of the                  Select topics that staff are interested in and that
 workplace.                                                  will encourage them to grow professionally. Notify
                                                             them of employment opportunities for
 Supervising and supporting staff includes                   advancement within the program and the
 maintaining an appropriate relationship, one that           academic/training preparation needed. If at all
 is friendly and fair, but does not interfere with the       possible, help staff defray the costs of additional
 workings of the program. Supervision also                   training and education by offering incentives for
 includes seeing that program procedures are                 completion and information regarding grant
 being carried out according to policy and                   monies that may be available.
                                                             Ongoing evaluation and training will assure that
 Supervisors will gain cooperation and respect               you run a quality program and provide for the
 from staff when they:                                       needs of both your employees and the children
                                                             and families that you serve. v
 =     Show approval for staff actions and ideas
 =     Supervise all employees equally
 =     Acknowledge and recognize                                          TO ALL NON-PROFIT
       accomplishments                                                   CHILD CARE CENTERS
 =     Make themselves available to staff
                                                                The Michigan Department of Education is
 =     Allow staff to freely express feelings without
                                                                holding a competition for Michigan School
       fear of repercussions and maintain
                                                                Readiness Program grants. These grants
                                                                are open to non-profit child care centers
 =     Foster inter-staff relationships
 =     Serve as models
 =     Support staff in parent/child/community                  Please note the following dates to learn
       relationships.                                           more about the program and the
                                                                application process:
 Evaluation is critical to maintain staff
 performance. It should include both supervisor                 Technical Assistance Sessions:
 evaluation and employee self-evaluation. Both
 should be reviewed together to determine                       April 20 9:00 - 12:30 -- Lansing or
 performance levels and goals for future                        April 23 9:00 - 12:30 -- Gaylord
 professional development. Observation of                       May 24 Applications due
 employees, checklists and questionnaires are                   Applications will be ready for programs to
 valuable tools for assessing staff.                            download on April 19. For more information
                                                                go to www.michigan.gov/mde, Early
 Staff training includes: the orientation of new                Childhood and Parenting Programs, MSRP
 staff, providing regular staff meetings,                       competitive grants or call Judy Levine at
 opportunities for in-service training, and                     (517) 373-8664.

Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                          Spring, 2004

                                TEACHING THE TEACHERS
                                   Affordable Professional Development
                                Judy Miller, Child Day Care Licensing Consultant

  It is commonplace to say that young children are           T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and
  like little sponges that soak up information from          Compensation Helps), a program administered
  their environment. It is commonplace, but true.            by the Michigan 4C Association and funded by
  That means that all people in a young child's life -       FIA, is a comprehensive scholarship opportunity
  parents, grandparents, siblings, and child                 that links training and education to compensation
  caregivers - are teachers.                                 and commitment. This scholarship opportunity
                                                             gives regulated or licensed child care providers
  It is also common knowledge that the first six             the opportunity to obtain an associate degree in
  years of life are vital years for good brain               early childhood education. Scholarship awards
  development and early learning. So how can                 include money for tuition and books, release
  child care professionals assure that the children          time, and travel. A bonus is awarded at the
  in their care receive quality child care that              completion of the scholarship contract, and the
  facilitates early learning?                                provider is asked to make a commitment to their
                                                             program, which in turn decreases the turnover
  The most critical indicator of quality child care is       rate.
  the educational level of child care professionals.
  Research also shows that children need stability           At this time there are 27 community colleges,
  during their child care experience. Michigan has           eight four-year universities, and one private
  a child care center staff turnover rate of                 college (Baker College) that participate in the
  approximately 18% per year and in family day               T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® MICHIGAN
  care homes approximately 40%, partially                    program. For more information contact the
  because child care professionals receive such              Michigan 4C Association at (866) MI TEACH
  low wages and typically no health benefits.                (1-866-648-3224) or at www.mi4c.org.

  One problem with education is affordability. We            MICHIGAN 4C ASSOCIATION is a network of
  cannot all afford to get advanced degrees, and             local and regional agencies dedicated to
  many child care programs cannot afford to hire             improving services and child care for children
  staff that have college degrees.                           and their families. There are 15 regional
                                                             agencies that serve the entire state of Michigan.
  Fortunately, there are some low-cost resources             One of the services provided is child care
  for professional development.                              provider training and professional development
                                                             through the Michigan Child Care Futures

                                                             This project offers a series of classes designed
                                                             specifically for people working in the field of early
                                                             childhood care and education, for free or at a
                                                             minimal cost, in a wide variety of topics. All
                                                             training hours count toward a Child Development
                                                             Associate (CDA) credential. Participants may
                                                             also have the opportunity to earn Continuing
                                                             Education Units (CEU's). For more information
                                                             about classes in your area, call:
                                                             1-866-4CHILDCARE (1-866-424-4532).

Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                             Spring, 2004

                                            PROVIDER HANDBOOK and Reporting Instructions for
                                            Child Care Providers

                                            The CDC Provider Handbook and Reporting Instructions
                                            (FIA Pub 230) has been updated to reflect current
                                            payment schedules, application and reporting forms,
                                            recordkeeping (including a new daily attendance form),
                                            reporting instructions, and 4C resources. An initial
                                            distribution will be made to all active child care providers.


  STAFF MEETINGS can become                                    ◆     Many of the companies that manufacture or
  "mini workshops."                                                  sell toys and equipment for child care also
                                                                     offer videos or printed material on a variety
  ◆      Invite an expert to speak with your staff on                of topics. Some vendors may even send a
         a particular topic. Some places to find                     person to provide training to your staff.
         experts are your licensing consultant, local
         4C, Intermediate School District, community           CONFERENCES can offer a variety of
         college, or health department. Perhaps one            workshops that your staff may find helpful and
         of your staff would research a favorite topic         interesting. Conference costs can vary. If you
         and present the information to the rest of            cannot afford to send all of your staff to a
         the staff.                                            conference, then perhaps you can rotate the
  ◆      Show an educational video and discuss it.             staff, allowing some to attend at one time and
         Your licensing consultant can give you a list         others another time. Some facilities close their
         of videos that are available to borrow. Also,         program for a day, and give their staff a paid day
         local 4C's, public libraries, and Intermediate        off to attend a conference.
         School Districts have videos to borrow or
         rent at low cost.                                     Please see the professional development
                                                               opportunities below for a list of upcoming
                                                               conferences in Michigan. v

                                     Infant/Toddler Caregiver Training Series

      Parts A & B                                               Parts B & C
        April 23-25, 2004; Big Rapids, MI                         June 5-7, 2004; Auburn Hills, MI
        May 14-16, 2004; Marquette, MI
                                                                Part B
      Parts A & C                                                 July 23-25, 2004; Traverse City, MI
        May 21-21, 2004; Ann Arbor, MI
                                                                Contact Shannon Pavwoski at (517) 373-2492
        September 17-19, 2004; Ann Arbor, MI
                                                                or via email at pavwoskis@michigan.gov.

                                  AEYC 2004 UP Early Childhood Conference
      April 1-2, 2004; Northern Michigan University             Contact Judy Place at (906) 226-9905

Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                          Spring, 2004

                                  Ann Hill, Child Day Care Licensing Consultant

 The staff of any early childhood program is the               ★   Arrange a "Mystery Trip" for all staff who
 single most important factor related to program                   want to participate.
 quality. The National Child Care Staffing Study               ★   Keep a candy jar on the director's desk.
 stated that high staff turnover, fueled by poor               ★   Secret Pals - Each staff enters his/her
 compensation and inadequate benefits, forces us                   name, draws a name and buys 2-3 inexpen-
 to examine the work environment provided for                      sive gifts for his/her secret person.
 staff.                                                        ★   Make your own sundae party.
                                                               ★   Recognize each person's date of hire/
 How can you make your staff feel appreciated,                     anniversary with a card, note or a small gift.
 motivated, show initiative, and have fun?
                                                               ★   Set up volunteer committees for those staff
                                                                   who like to plan and organize staff events
 The following are some ideas to make your
                                                                   and staff meetings. Learn to delegate.
 workplace a great place to be:
                                                               ★   Acknowledge staff accomplishments and
                                                                   special events in the newsletter or on the
 ★     Mark a special parking place for the Em-
                                                                   bulletin board.
       ployee of the Month.
                                                               ★   Provide a staff suggestion box.
 ★     Recognize staff birthdays with a card and a
                                                               ★   Give holiday gifts.
       rose or small gift. Make a birthday crown
       and lead the children and staff in a chorus of          ★   Glad Notes - Director gives notes that thank
       "Happy Birthday."                                           the staff for something specific they have
 ★     Staff Appreciation Day - Have a drawing for                 done.
       donations from the local businesses such as             ★   Pay conference fees.
       theater tickets, bowling, free meals, free              ★   Make a tree trunk with branches. Parents
       beauty products, free hair cuts or gift certifi-            and administrators can put up a paper apple
       cates. Recognize the businesses and their                   when they see a staff member do something
       donations in your next newsletter.                          special. Each apple goes into a drawing
 ★     A "Staff Fundraiser" is an opportunity for                  afterward for a prize such as a gift certificate
       parents to participate and show their appre-                to a teachers' store.
       ciation. Proceeds could go toward staff                 ★   Set up a staff lounge and resource library.
       events and functions during the year.                       Subscribe to several professional maga-
 ★     Staff Bulletin Board - Post upcoming confer-                zines.
       ences/workshops, post funny cartoons/                   ★   Provide good quality in-service training.
       jokes, focus on a staff person, post baby               ★   Design a card that says "Thanks for being a
       pictures, etc.                                              Lifesaver." Attach a candy lifesaver. Note
 ★     Give $100,000 candy bar with a note "You're                 inside what the special deed was.
       worth $100,000 to us."                                  ★   Send staff to free 4C/OYC training. Display
 ★     Make staff meetings a party. Pick a theme                   the certificate they receive. v
       such as Hawaiian. Decorate, provide simple
       meal or snacks, prizes and games.

Michigan Child Care Matters        Spring, 2004

Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                        Spring, 2004

                      By Debbie Belcher, Director, The Discovery Center, Ann Arbor, MI and
                             Part-time Instructor, Washtenaw Community College

 Early childhood education has long struggled with
 the ongoing issue of staff retention. Many
 programs working with young children, more
 often than not, experience a high turnover in their
 teaching staff. This in turn affects the consistency
 and continuity of the program over time, making it
 difficult to provide a quality experience for the
 children, families, and the other staff involved in
 the program. How can programs combat this
 difficult and unyielding issue?                             •    Provide paid planning and prep times
                                                                  throughout the week to give the staff the
 Recognizing that early childhood educators are                   necessary time to prepare and reflect.
 professionals sets the tone and framework by                •    Certainly, compensation is important. If
 which to build and nurture lasting staff                         possible, provide paid time off, personal/
 relationships. How can this be achieved?                         professional days, and even health care
                                                                  benefits. Paying for first aid/CPR training,
 •     Encourage clear, concise communication,                    professional dues, and conference fees are
       both written and verbal.                                   also suggestions.
 •     Provide on the job training, including onsite         •    The physical environment should be
       and offsite opportunities provided through                 conducive to getting the job done. The
       the program and other outside agencies/                    layout, temperature, noise level, lighting,
       organizations/resources.                                   and mood play an important role in setting
 •     Have well defined job descriptions and                     the tone and workplace atmosphere.
       personnel policies. More specifically, have           •    Materials and equipment should be in good
       roles and responsibilities clearly delineated.             condition and easily accessible to staff. This
 •     Provide opportunities for the staff to make                is vital! Having 'enough' to go around makes
       decisions on issues that directly affect them              the classroom function with less stress.
       (i.e. field trip planning, classroom arrange-
       ment, curriculum activities, etc.).                   The key to any successful program is the staff,
 •     Give teachers regular feedback on job                 including the administrative and support staff.
       performance and allow them the opportunity            Directors and administrators serve as the role
       to focus on the future, set goals and concen-         models, the listening ears, and provide the
       trate on tasks/needs at hand. They should             needed guidance and motivation that is essential
       also evaluate their own performance and be            for keeping staff happy, professionally chal-
       able to discuss this with their supervisors.          lenged, and committed to their jobs. Programs
 •     Develop a sense of 'school community' by              are only as good as their staff. It is important to
       offering times for social gatherings, and in          take the time and effort to nurture those that are
       addition, have a space away from children             nurturing others. By working together and paying
       during the day for the staff to unwind and            attention to even the little things, programs can
       relax. Regular breaks are an essential part           successfully combat high turnover and retain
       of the day.                                           their staff for the long term. It can be done. It
 •     Form staff committees to set program wide             simply takes effort and professionalism and most
       goals and to have the staff know that their           importantly, commitment. v
       opinions and suggestions are valued.
Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                         Spring, 2004

                                     LIABILITY INSURANCE
                   June Wambolt, Production Manager and Cooperative Extension Volunteer
                                   B. Perkins and Company, Hartford, Ct

                LIABILITY INSURANCE                         Always read your insurance policy and look for
                                                            EXCLUSIONS, or things the company will not
  If one of your day care children gets hurt in your        cover.
  home or on a field trip, you may have to pay a lot
  of money. Liability insurance is an agreement in          Even if you have liability insurance, it is important
  which a company promises to pay the medical               that your program be safe. It is your responsibility
  expenses and damages of someone who gets                  to provide a safe environment with good super-
  hurt in your home. Liability insurance can protect        vision so that children do not get hurt. Parents
  you and your possessions, up to the limits of the         are more likely to sue you if they think that you
  policy, if a judge decides that a child and his or        have been negligent. Negligent is the legal word
  her family should be paid.                                used when a person who is responsible for taking
                                                            reasonable care fails to do so. If a child gets hurt
      WHY DAY CARE PROGRAMS SHOULD                          while you are watching television instead of
         HAVE LIABILITY INSURANCE                           watching your day care children, for example,
                                                            you may be negligent.
  If you have a liability insurance policy, you will
  not have to worry as much that someone might                     COST OF LIABILITY INSURANCE
  sue you for a lot of money. If you do not have
  liability insurance, how would you pay $100,000           Each year the cost of liability insurance
  or more if a judge said you had to? Would you             increases. You should get an estimate from an
  have to sell your home and your car? If you have          insurance agent. Talk to several agents about
  liability insurance, the insurance company would          what kind of coverage you should have and how
  pay (up to your policy's limits).                         much it will cost.

       DOES HOMEOWNER'S OR RENTER'S                         When you do your income taxes, you can
         INSURANCE COVER LIABILITY?                         subtract the insurance cost from your income as
                                                            a business expense.
  No. Unless there is a special form on your policy,
  your homeowner's or renter's insurance will not                  GETTING LIABILITY INSURANCE
  cover liability for your day care program.
                                                            Some insurance companies will cover you by
         WHAT INJURIES ARE COVERED?                         adding to your homeowner's or renter's insur-
                                                            ance. They charge an extra fee for this coverage.
  Most liability insurance policies will not cover
  injuries caused by:                                       You can also buy a policy to cover just liability for
                                                            your day care business.
  •    Dog or cat bites.
  •    Using your car to take a child somewhere.                        INSURANCE COMPANIES
  •    Giving a child pills or medicine.
  •    Hurting a child (for example, by spanking            Be sure to ask if your insurance company is an
       hard).                                               "A" rated company. This means it is more than
                                                            likely that the company will be in business if and
  •    Having any kind of sex with a child.
                                                            when you need it to pay a claim for you.
  •    Other things.
                                                                                           (continued on page 14)

Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                          Spring, 2004

 Liability Insurance, from page 13

 This information is not complete. Please contact
 your insurance agent and read your insurance
 policy for complete details.


 Contact your homeowner's or renter's insurance
 agent and discuss what your current policy
 covers. Ask about adding coverage for your day
 care program to your policy. Contact other
 insurance agents and ask them about the
 policies they offer. Talk to other day care
 providers in your area and discuss liability
 insurance with them.

 Reprinted with permission from the National
 Network for Child Care - NNCC. Wambolt, J.,
 (1991) "Liability Insurance." (Family Day Care
 Facts series). Amherst, MA: University of
 Massachusetts. v

                                           Redleaf National Institute
                              The National Center for the Business of Family Child Care

  I.   Self Protection Checklist                              II.   Insurance

       •     Comply with all regulation/rules.                      •   Homeowners
       •     Follow your own policies.                              •   Business Property
       •     Screen parents before enrollment.                      •   Business Liability
       •     Communicate regularly with parents.                    •   Car
       •     Screen helpers.                                        •   Medical - Medical Savings Accounts
       •     Follow business practices - medical                        and medical reimbursement plans
             release forms, field trip permission                   •   Disability Income
             forms, parent evaluations.                             •   Worker's Compensation
       •     Report child abuse or neglect/commu-                   •   Long Term Care Insurance
             nicate with regulators.                                •   Umbrella Liability
       •     Get insurance to protect yourself from                 •   Life
             major risks.
                                                              Redleaf National Institute is a division of
                                                              Resources for Child Caring. v

Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                      Spring, 2004

                                   Consumer Product Safety Commission
                                 Infant Product Recalls (not including toys)
∅ Swing-N-Slide, recalls Swing-N-Slide "Mega                ∅ Li'l Steeler Strollers Recalled by Hedstrom
  Rider" Swings                                             ∅ Infant "Crib Cuddle" Recalled by Century &
∅ Graco Children's Products New Safety Instruc-               Product Source
  tions to Prevent Injuries with Portable Play Yards        ∅ Infant Seat/Carriers Recalled by Pines
  with Raised Changing Tables                               ∅ Baby Back Carriers Recalled by Gerico
∅ Sun Tech Enterprises Inc. Recall Baby Walkers             ∅ Cribs Recalled by Questor
∅ Dorel Juvenile Group Inc. Extended Recall of              ∅ Baby Car Seat/Stroller Recalled by Collier
  Infant Care Seats/Carriers                                  Keyworth
∅ Babi Italia/LaJobi Industries Recall of Crib Drop-        ∅ Childcraft Education Recall of Changing Table
  Side Rails                                                  with Steps
∅ Starbucks Recall of Children's Cups                       ∅ L.A. Baby Recall of Folding Little Wood Cribs
∅ Baby's Dream Furniture Recall of Cribs                    ∅ LaJobi Industries Crib Recall
∅ Raymond Oak Inc. Recall of Toy Chests                     ∅ Evenflo Recall to Repair Home Décor Swing™
∅ The First Years Inc: New Safety Instructions to            Wooden Baby Gates
  prevent Injuries for Combo Baby Tubs/Step                 ∅ Dorel Juvenile Group Cosco Playpen Recall
  Stools                                                    ∅ Kolcraft LiteSport Stroller Recall
∅ Hufco-Delaware Company and Evenflo Company                ∅ Fisher-Price Recall of Portable Bassinets
  Inc. Recall of Portable Wood Cribs                        ∅ Peg Perego USA Recall of High Chairs
∅ Baby Trend Recall to Repair Infant Swings Sold            ∅ Century Recall of Multi-Use Strollers
  at Toys R Us
                                                            ∅ Changing Tables Recalled by Child Craft
∅ Oriental International Trading Company Recall of
  Baby Walkers
                                                            ∅ Highchairs Recalled by Graco
∅ Bikepro, Inc. Recall of Baby Walkers
                                                            ∅ Cribs Recall/Repair by Simmons
∅ XL Machine Ltd. Recall of Playskool Toy Chests
  Sold at Target
                                                            ∅ "Ranger' Strollers Recalled by Kolcraft
∅ Dorel Juvenile Group Recall of Repair Infant Car          ∅ Century Infant Care Seat/Carrier Recall
  Seats/Carriers                                            ∅ "Le Cradle" Bassinets Recalled by Kids Line
∅ Vermont Precision Woodworks Recall of Cribs               ∅ Baby Walkers Recalled by Safety 1st
∅ Fisher-Price Recall for In-Home Repair of Infant          ∅ Gerry TrailTech™ Backpack Baby Carriers
  Swings                                                      Recalled by Hufco-Delaware
∅ MTS Product Recall of Infant Carriers                     ∅ Tot Wheels Entertainer Infant Walkers
∅ BRK Recall of First Alertâ True Fit Safety Gate             Recalled by Graco
∅ Century Recall of Lil' Napper Infant Swings               ∅ Graco Recall of Infant Swings
∅ Coaster Company of America Recall of Baby                 ∅ Infant Carriers Recalled by Evenflo & Hufco-
  Cribs                                                       Delaware
∅ Cosco Recall to Repair Quiet Time TM Infant               ∅ Crate & Barrel Recall of Children's Table
  Swings                                                    ∅ Cosco Recall of Two Ways™ Tandem Strollers
∅ Little Tikes Cozy Highback Swing Recall                   ∅ Regal + Lager Recall of "Baby Bjorn" Infant
∅ Baby Trend Crib/Playpen Recall                              Carrier
∅ Gerry Recalls some "Good Vibes" Infant Carriers           ∅ BRK Recall of First Alert True Fit Safety Gates
∅ The Little Tikes Company Recalls Little Tikes             ∅ Century Recall of Fold-N-Goâ Care Centers
  Crib Center Due To Lead Paint Hazard.                     ∅ NHTSA Recall of Evenflo On My Way Infant
∅ Century Products Recalls Wind-Up Infant Swings              Care Seats/Carriers
∅ Childcraft Cribs With Loose Slats Recalled                ∅ Graco Recall of Carriers and Carrier/Swing
∅ Three Baby Strollers Recalled by McCrory
∅ E-Z Go Strollers Recalled by Century                      Details on these product recalls may be obtained on
∅ Baby Cribs Recalled by HBLA                               the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website:
                                                       15   www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/child.html
∅ Infant Walkers Recalled by McCrory
Michigan Child Care Matters                                                                                                                                  Spring, 2004

                                                       Resources: Administration and Staffing

Albrecht, K., The Right Fit, Redleaf Press,                                                     Hyson, M., Preparing Early Childhood
(800) 423-8309, www.redleafpress.org                                                            Professionals: NAEYC’s Standards for Programs,
                                                                                                NAEYC Resources, (866) NAEYC-4U,
Bellman, D., Whitebook, M., & Hnatiuk, P., The                                                  www.naeyc.org
Early Childhood Mentoring Curriculum: A
Handbook for Mentors, Redleaf Press,                                                            Jones, E., Growing Teachers: Partnerships in Staff
(800) 423-8309, www.redleafpress.org                                                            Development, NAEYC Resources, (866) NAEYC-
                                                                                                4U, www.naeyc.org

Bloom, P., A Great Place to Work: Improving                                                     Parlakin, R., Look, Listen, and Learn: Reflective
Conditions for Staff in Young Children’s Programs,                                              Supervision and Relationship-Based Work, Zero to
NAEYC Resources, (866) NAEYC-4U,                                                                Three Press, www.zerotothree.org
                                                                                                Project Zero et al., Making Teaching Visible:
Carter, M., & Curtis, D., Training Teachers: A                                                  Documenting Individual and Group Learning as
Harvest of Theory and Practice, Redleaf Press,                                                  Professional Development, NAEYC Resources,
(800) 423-8309, www.redleafpress.org                                                            (866) NAEYC-4U, www.naeyc.org

Drummond, T., The Hiring Tape: Four Scenes at                                                   Ren-Etta Sullivan, D., Learning to Lead: Effective
Preschool, Redleaf Press, (800) 423-8309,                                                       Leadership Skills for Teachers of Young Children,
www.redleafpress.org                                                                            Redleaf Press, (800) 423-8309,

                 Copies Printed:         21,000
                 Cost:                   $5,759.89 (.1306 ea.)
                 Authority:              FIA Director                                                                  STATE OF MICHIGAN
                                                                                                                       Family Independence Agency
The Family Independence Agency will not discriminate against any individual or group because of race, sex, religion, age, national origin, color, height, weight, marital status,
political beliefs or disability. If you need help with reading, writing, hearing, etc., under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are invited to make your needs known to an FIA
office in your county.

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7109 W. SAGINAW, 2ND FLOOR                                                                                                                           Lansing, Michigan
LANSING, MI 48909                                                                                                                                     Permit No. 1200

   www.michigan.gov/fia                                                                 16                                                             OCAL-Pub-37 (Rev.3-04)

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