There’s an overwhelming amount of information out there on the internet about child care. Some of it is great, some of it isn’t so great. Some of it applies to Family Child Care, some of it doesn’t. As an FCC Provider, it can be hard to sort through which online resources are both super high quality and most relevant to you.
That’s why we’ve pulled together the best online resources on Family Child Care in one place. What makes these resources great? These resources address the most important questions around child care, relate to Family Child Care rather than lumping child care as a whole into one big bucket, and each carves out a niche for themselves in one of these categories:
- Professional Development & Training
- Fun, Funny & Relatable
- Business & Marketing
- Legal & Tax
In this post, we’ve listed out our favorite resources within each of these categories. Most of these resources are applicable to every Provider in the U.S., but some of these are only exclusive to Massachusetts or the New England region – and those will be marked. Be sure to bookmark these sites (and this post too, while you’re at it!). These educators post remarkable new content regularly, so you’ll want to return to them often.
Professional Development & Training Resources
1. Appelbaum Training Institute
The Appelbaum Training Institute (ATI) has been a national leader in the early childhood space for 25 years. They regularly host training on-demand and live seminars online. With ATI, your location isn’t a limiting factor — most states will accept their seminars for training hours. ATI also holds regular free happy hours on their Facebook Page, where you can join them live and ask any question that comes to mind.
Check out all the seminars ATI offers here.
Want to stay on top of the latest best practices and keep your skills sharp? If you’re a Provider in MA, Linda Schumacher is your best bet. Linda’s an early childhood specialist and an accredited trainer. She’s also a former FCC Provider herself, so she tailors her trainings perfectly to you and your day-to-day experience.
Linda’s newest courses tackle the most pressing issues of 2020, —like practical social distancing and putting health & safety requirements into practice. Not only are these legitimately interesting topics, but each course offers training hours. Her course, “Teaching Children at a Time of Pandemic: Strategies for Interactions and Learning” will help you find the “silver lining” in and coach you on maximizing children’s learning and wellbeing during uncertain times.
You can find all of Linda’s courses here.
3. Fairy Dust Training
If you’re looking for interactive and enriching curriculum ideas, Fairy Dust Teaching is an amazing place to get inspired.
Led by Teacher Sally Haughey, Fairy Dust Teaching’s focus curriculum is guided by play-based learning. On their website, they have loads of free teaching resources for Providers, including ebooks like “The Secret Ingredients to Curriculum Mapping” to help you jumpstart your curriculum.
Fairy Dust Teaching’s free teaching library offers 9 ebooks for Providers to discover more about play-based learning.
You can also ready their regular blog posts to get up-to-date advice and activity ideas that the kids will love. Sally just wrote a new blog post called “How To Social Distance Without Giving Up WONDER” that explains all the activities you can do while still adhering to health and safety requirements. Read it here.
Who doesn’t love free lesson plans and printables? Check out PNC’s Grow Up Great Lesson Center to access a ton of activities, lessons, and tips & tricks for Providers on how to take their teaching skills to the next level.
If you’re worried that the colder weather will mean fewer outdoor activities, then get excited: they have lesson plans and activities for outdoor activities in the fall and winter so you can still keep up easy social distancing while getting some fresh air.
Check out PNC’s Lesson Center here.
Fun, Funny & Relatable Resources
5. Daycare Providers Unlimited/Linda Hopkins
What makes someone fun, funny, and relatable? When they know exactly what the folks in their audience are going through because they’re living it themselves – and empathize with a great sense of humor. That’s how we would describe Linda Hopkins and her Facebook page “Daycare Providers Unlimited.”
Despite having her hands full with her own child care career and having a family of her own, Linda frequently posts inspirational quotes, hilarious memes, and positive tips that Providers love. If you’re having a tough day and it feels like no one else gets what you’re going through, this page is an instant mood-booster.
Love Linda’s witty words? She runs an online store that has some pretty amusing slogans that any FCC Provider can relate to. Our favorite? “You may call it chaos, but I call it family #DaycareProvider.” Visit the store here.
Business & Marketing Resources
Here are NeighborSchools, we work hard to help Providers in New England find and enroll families and help the management of your business be as stress-free as possible.
When you join the NeighborSchools community, you connect to thousands of parents who are looking for family child care. Instantly, you’re matched with the families closest to you that fit your preferences. All it takes is a few clicks of a button to send them a message, book a tour, – and, once you love them, send over a contract.
How do families find you? When you partner with NeighborSchools, you’ll get your own customized website that details everything a parent needs to know. And NeighborSchools works with Google to make sure that when a parent searches “daycares near me,” your website is the first to show up.
Community is another big perk for Providers who join NeighborSchools. There’s a dedicated Facebook group where 300+ Providers like you share stories, tips, and tricks, and have a place to just vent. There’s also regular “Nap Time Zooms” where Providers discuss hot FCCs topics live and experts in the child care space join to share their wisdom.
Learn more about NeighborSchools here.
Legal and Tax Resources
7. Tom Copeland
Legal and tax information isn’t the most fun thing in the world to read, but it’s important that you stay informed about the relevant legal and tax information that applies to you as an FCC Provider.
The trick is finding resources that are geared toward FCC Providers. For this, Tom Copeland is one of the best.His website covers a range of topics that can help FCCs understand their liabilities, find financial assistance, and learn how to file taxes correctly.
His blog routinely clarifies some of the most confusing questions out there today, like What COVID-19 Expenses Can You Deduct? or Does a Liability Waiver Protect You if a Child Gets Covid-19? And if the answer to your question isn’t there, he’s also super responsive and answers almost every question that’s posted on his Facebook page.
There you have it: 7 of the best online educational resources for FCC providers.
Have you bookmarked these webpages yet? Knowing your best sources of information can be a real time-saver the next time you’re looking for a training, a new activity for the kids, or just need a quick laugh.
Are there places where you go for info that’s missing from this list? Join the discussion on Facebook and share them with us here.