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Interested in learning more about our Association? Look no further! Check out our blog for insightful information regarding our accreditation process, membership, conference updates, leadership tips and so much more! Our blog is intended to assist early care owners, directors and administrators in connecting to valuable resources and information. We invite you to actively engage with us by commenting on our blog! Your opinion is very much appreciated!

 

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Move from Fear to Love by Tym Smith

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Move from Fear to Love


Stuff Happens 

 

Negativity and aggression are commonly seen in early education programs, and in everyday life. Early educators must realize how important they are in influencing behavior. Teaching children active calming and to understand their own range of emotions is one small step in building a healthy self-esteem. Below are empowering tips to help understand and end aggression and negativity in both adults and children.

  

It's All About the Attitude

Every child and adult has experiences as they go through life. Experiences are then stored in the lower/back part of the brain where they sit, just waiting to be released as a behavior. When adrenal glands kick in, your brain down shifts and data stored comes out. How do you control these negative experiences? It’s simple, it’s all about attitude. Maintaining a positive attitude when situations hit you keeps your brain in the executive state, preventing you from saying or doing things that are aggressive and negative. Keep this simple formula handy through out the day…

 

Incident + Attitude = Outcome

 

Maintaining a positive attitude also makes you healthier, more successful, and more likable,

 

Three Rules for Dealing with Aggression or Negativity                                                                                                                        

Rule #1 It’s not about you! “You’re making me angry”, “Look what you’re making me do”, “You make me so sad when you misbehave” These are all common responses to negativity and aggression. When you say these things, you are giving away your power. You are letting the aggressor know that they have control over you. You must unhook yourself and not take attacks personal. The aggressor is trying to get your attention because they have a need not being met.


Rule #2 Spend time with the aggressor.

Relationships are the key to success when working with negativity. Relationships are the first survival skill learned by humans. Five minutes of focused, one-on-one time with someone reduces power struggles by 50%. When spending time with the aggressor, do not talk about the issues at hand. Spend quality time building a positive relationship. Focus on the desired behavior, rather than the negative behavior. Remember, the aggressor will try to bring you down. Your positive attitude must be stronger than their negativity.


Rule #3 Empower the Victim.

Anytime you have an aggressive act, always take care of the victim first, aggressor second. Most aggressors act out to get attention. They have to learn the appropriate way to get what they want. Once the victim receives first aid, empower the victim to express how they feel and that they do not like the behavior. The aggressor needs to hear from the victim, not from a person who did not feel the hurt.

 

Tips on Aggression and Negativity

No person can make you angry without your permission!

Don’t get emotionally hijacked. You are in control. When people or situations try to make you angry, you must not allow it. Your positive mood is stronger than any person or situation.


The motivation to be positive comes from being in a relationship

People are born to be pleasers. The need for relationship is essential to development. Relationships build trust, respect and love. When people are in a positive relationship with each other, the willingness to cooperate is greater than defiance.


You are either calling for love or showing love

In every relationship, communication has a giver and a receiver. Or in other words, you are either calling or asking for love, or giving or showing love. Don’t look at behavior as disrespectful. Look at behavior as a calling. You can make a difference in every negative situation.


Every aggressive act is a call for help

Aggressors needs three things: Boundaries, nurturing and quality time. When you experience a negative act, you must first empower yourself verbally. Letting the aggressor know what they can and cannot do to you. Show empathy for their actions. Recognize that they are needing something that is missing in their life. Be there for the aggressor. Don’t lecture or preach, simple be in their presence.


There are no “bad” people

There are no “good” people. There are simply people. People who have a need that is not being met. Avoid stereotyping and labeling adults and children who are calling for love.

 

People can only meet the needs of other people when their own needs have been met

Sometimes we expect children and adults to automatically “know” what is right and wrong. When individuals do not have the skills needed, traditional consequences do not work. Work with aggressors on life skills needed to cooperate, love and care. People will commit aggressive acts so that others will feel what they feel. We all have unmet needs. Recognize that the aggressor also has unmet needs. Be there for that person rather than pushing them away.


All aggression stems from the perceived experience of excessive pain.

We all have our own version of reality. Our experiences create the reality we live in. Showing and understanding empathy will help you put yourself in other people’s shoes. Pain is not only physical, but also emotional. There is no “cookie cutter” approach to human development. Every individual develops different needs that may or may not have been met.


Aggressive acts are normally seen through actions. But to understand aggressive acts, one must understand the factor that creates the pain. Triggers that immediately create high emotions sits inside all of us. Even most aggressors do not know or understand their triggers.

Rather than treat people as if they are different and need a label, we should understand the love and nurturing needed by this person. They may be different than you, and their needs may be different. We should not judge someone who has unmet needs or needs that do not match your own.

 

Be part of the solution. Not part of the problem.

 

 

Tags:  child care settings  director  Early Childhood Education  Early Learning Leaders  educational training  Emotional Intelligence  leadership 

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5 Modern Marketing Strategies You Can Use to Reach More Local Families

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 14, 2016

This is the most exciting time to market an early childhood education center. Never before have there been so many avenues and channels to reach your audience of parents and caregivers. At the Preschool Marketing Group, we understand that today’s marketing blurs the lines between “online” and “offline.”  These two categories now act symbiotically to create a holistic approach that can build your school’s reputation and authority. Here are five modern marketing strategies you can use to start reaching more local families.


Local Search Marketing

A local search happens when a prospective family enters a generic term like “Preschool” into a search engine like Google. This is likely to be your most important source of outreach for new families. You’re targeting millennials and they’re doing most of their research online.

There are many signals that contribute to where you rank in a local search result. First, there’s your local profile (Google, Bing). Make sure you’re using all elements of your local profile (like all photos, description, proper category). Secondly, be sure your website is well-aligned with the profile. Make sure you include copy on your homepage that references your category. And be sure that your address appears exactly as it does on your Google profile (with the same abbreviations, and spellings). Also, make sure you’re encouraging great reviews on your profile from your happy families. Not only are the quality and quantity of those reviews a ranking factor, they’re also an important trust factor. A 2014 study discovered that around 80% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

The last two very important local ranking elements are citations and links. Citations are references to your exact name, address, and phone number (what we call NAP) across the web. Make sure this information is uniform and accurate in top services like InfoUSA and Axciom. If you ever find your information incorrect on a website (for example, if they use a variation of your name), try to contact that website and provide them with the correct information. When it comes to links, you want to earn as many as possible. You can earn links through various efforts, but most links will come in the form of someone sharing a unique and interesting piece of content you have created. Making your blog a valuable resource for early childhood topics in your area is one great way to encourage that type of sharing.

 

Event Hosting Marketing

Event hosting is simple: you have a treasure of information about youth and early childhood development. Hold in-house events to discuss popular topics for your parents and you will demonstrate thought leadership and build authority. 

You can hold a free in-house event about a topic like: how to best approach learning for young children, what are the best toys for learning, and so on. Have your RSVP form offer the option to sign up for your newsletter (a perfect way to continue to build your center’s relationship with the new families). You can promote the event on your website, social media, as well as other free sites like Craigslist and Eventbrite. Make sure you have takeaways for the event, like a summary of the topic discussed on letterhead, or a printout of the presentation slides.

 

Strategic Alliances

Building local strategic alliances is about connecting with complementary services to cross promote. Both businesses win because there’s a sharing of expertise and audience.

Think about other family-related businesses around your area. This often includes pediatricians, pediatric dentists, dance schools, music schools, family photographers, etc. There are many great ways to cross promote: educational event promotion (like above), guest blogging, newsletter mentions. All of these are perfect ways to gain exposure with a new audience.

 

Third-Party SEO

Google is the primary place families go to learn about educational opportunities for their children, but it’s important to make sure that your information is complete, current, and accurate on not just your own profiles (Google/Bing) but also on other, third-party websites that rank highly in search results.

Here are a few of the important websites for early childhood centers: Yelp, GreatSchools, and Noodle. Depending on your geographic area, there may also be local directories like PreK Smarties, or Mommy Poppins. Make sure your profiles take advantage of all information available (like descriptions, categories, photos).

 

Advertising

Advertising is a great way to get your center in front of more local families. There are many ways to advertise your amazing programs, here are a few of the major opportunities:

Pay-per-click (PPC) – This includes services like Google AdWords, which allows you to purchase on specific keywords, for example “preschool” and allows you to target people in your local area.

Facebook – Offers an advertising platform, which allows you to target not only areas but also psychographics (subscribers to magazines like Parenting).

Local advertising channels – This includes opportunities such as sponsoring mom groups on Meetup, and local parent networks.

You can use advertising to reach new families during key decision-making time periods, or during your slower months to drum up more interest. The key to advertising success is tracking your efforts to determine the best possible allocation of your advertising budget.

 

The Preschool Marketing Group  is a full-service marketing consulting and creative studio founded with the mission of helping preschools thrive through smart marketing. We specialize in helping preschools increase enrollment and revenue by maximizing their marketing efforts, focusing on ethical, effective, and modern strategies.

Tags:  Advertising  Digital Marketing  director  Enrollment  Marketing  Modern MarketingAssociation for Early Learning Lea 

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Lets Take a Look at Standard A12

Posted By Admin, Friday, January 3, 2014
Written by Erin Schmidt and Ruth LaBrayere

As the director of a program, it is your responsibility to provide for the needs of the children in your care, their families and let’s not forget about your teaching staff. As a busy director, it can be difficult to find the time to address the needs of your staff, especially in the area of professional development. However, the professional development of your teachers is vital to your overall program quality and demands careful attention.

 

A12. A written annual plan for professional development is prepared for each employee. [D]

The plan includes:

  • Topics Identified in the employee’s evaluation as needing improvement [ss]
  • Topics identified in the employee’s evaluation as opportunities for growth (Ex. College coursework in ECE/CD, enrollment in CDA courses, attendance at national conferences, membership in a professional organization) [ss]
  • Date(s) courses completed and/or training/mentoring received for each identified topic [D]
It is essential to recognize the great impact quality professional development experiences can have on your program quality, staff retention and higher ratings of job satisfaction for both teachers and directors. Teachers can develop or enhance skills in classroom management, curriculum development, communication and any area that touches their important role as a caregiver of young children.  The skills and knowledge gained through quality training, ongoing education, attendance at a national conference or membership in a professional organization can result in improved classroom practices benefiting all. Greater understanding of the doctrines of our profession lead to practices that impact quality and ownership for the staff, the children and the families.  

As with the children in your program, each teacher must also be developed per his or her own individual needs. Teachers deserve time and attention for their own development, and the role of the director in creating a plan is crucial. In the role as advisor, teachers will often view you as being supportive, which will enhance the relationship with each staff member. Teachers will feel respected and valued when you take the time to consider and meet their individual needs. Since individualized professional development plans target areas for improvement, areas of continued study, and areas for growth, quality education and training frequently professional development opportunities result in an increased sense of self-worth, higher job performance, and greater program loyalty. Most importantly, through increased knowledge, there is the opportunity for significant gains in teacher-child interactions and teacher-child bonding.

Knowing the importance of quality training and professional development is only the first step. You may be asking yourself, where do I go from here? Below are a few questions to ask yourself when planning professional development experiences for your staff.

 

Things to consider when it comes to professional development:

  • Is this training from a quality source?
  • Have I investigated all training opportunities?
    • Local Resource and Referral training
    • State supported training
    • Online training supported by positive reviews
  • Does my state offer Scholarship opportunities such as TEACH?
  • If local trainings are not an option what online opportunities are available? How do you know they are achieving the content required ?
  • Are there ways to offer more high quality training for more of my staff?
    • Partner with other programs in the area to fund a specific speaker.
    • Meet with other directors to share solutions and reviews
    • Promote conference attendance.
  • Have I considered the many advantages of a variety of trainers?
    • A different approach to familiar material, possibly allowing for greater understanding of complicated information
    • The tendency of some staff to hear information better from someone outside the program
  • Have I adequately identified individual staff training needs through the observations I’ve conducted for each teacher?
  • How quality trainings affect your bottom line.
  • Does this training meet the training guidelines for accreditation?
Aside from trainings that you identify as necessary or suggest as an area for growth, it is crucial for staff to set and obtain professional development goals for themselves as well. You can provide them this opportunity by allowing them to set goals that they would like to achieve and have them choose the corresponding professional development experience that would meet those goals.   Do you want to further your formal education? What experiences have you had with formal education? What Scholarship opportunities are available?  What are your fears?

 

To help staff set goals consider having them answer following questions:

  • What pushes your buttons? (What frustrates you?)
  • What areas do you feel you struggle with?
  • When do you encounter the most stress?
  • What would you like to learn more about?
  • What is your favorite area of curriculum or development? Would you like to take training that focuses on that topic?
  • Do you want to further your formal education?
  • What experiences have you had with formal education?
  • What Scholarship opportunities are available?  
  • What are your fears?
In addition to participation in trainings, you may identify teachers who would be willing to present the information that they have learned. Provide opportunities for these individuals to present information learned from a training or conference to the whole staff. This is also a great step in their professional development growth. Initially, you may wish to review the information that will be presented to ensure accuracy, compliance with program philosophy and goals and National Accreditation Commission policies and practices.

Tags:  accreditation  accredition steps  director  leadership  National Accreditation Commission  professional development  program 

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