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    Blog Posts (6)
    • The 4 Key Steps for a Crisis Management Plan

      While we may not be able to foresee a coming crisis, we can overcome it with the right preparation and handling of the situation. This isn’t something we typically think about on a regular basis (or likely even want to think about) but by making this a regularly scheduled agenda item at staff meetings or planning meetings, it will become second-nature and ensure everyone is prepared should the worst happen. Don't worry about creating the "perfect" plan.  No matter how much time you spend, these events will always throw something at us we never anticipated.  Who would have thought a virus could shut down the entire world?  The important thing is to at least get a basic plan in place and consider the critical elements: Emergency plan - This will help you prepare the supplies, materials and procedures you'd need in the event of an emergency.  Creating an emergency plan requires a lot of “what if” thinking and preparing.  Consider the different types of crises you may encounter.  Each one would require a different response and likely different resources.  Your state licensing agency likely has specific requirements to prepare for emergencies as well. In the event of a natural disaster, supplies such as food, water and medical supplies will be critical.  Depending on the severity and range of the issue, you may need to think about meeting the needs of your children and staff for a longer period of time.  This not only requires being prepared with specific supplies and materials for survival but also having plans for the business, as described below.  Because of the complexity of needs for various disasters and specific state requirements, please refer to our courses on disaster preparedness and the links at the end of this course for detailed information about how to be prepared for a emergency. Business continuity plan – How will your business continue?  Who is in charge and making decisions?  How will you manage all your records and files?  A continuity plan should address how the business will move forward during a crisis. Consider the children, staff, families, facilities, supplies and materials and your intellectual property (records and files).  Be prepared to manage these during a crisis.  For example, if a fire destroyed the computers, how would you recover your records? Your business insurance agent can often help with continuity planning.  These are often things no one thinks about until a crisis hits and may be things that are unrecoverable if not properly managed. Communication plan - To say that it would be impossible to overcommunicate during crisis would probably be an understatement.  Think about how we all felt during the COVID crisis: scared, uncertain, frustrated.  Even if you don’t have all the answers, honest and open communication can still be very comforting. Your communication plan should address all stakeholders: Children Staff/Organization Families (existing and new potentials) Community The plan should include the type and frequency of communications.  What needs to go to the families and how often?  How do we keep in touch with our staff?  How do we let new families know about the status of our business? Utilize technology to help you.  Tools as simple as email, group text, social media and many apps can help streamline communication. Be open and honest about the situation.  People realize we may not always have the answer to every question but they like to know what is happening and what they can expect.  Continue to communicate throughout the situation and keep stakeholders in the loop as appropriate. Keep in mind that children’s needs will be different.  Communicate what is age appropriate and be available to them as they process the situation.  They need to know that adults will keep them safe and will provide for their needs. Recovery plan - Finally, you’re out of the crisis and on the way to rebuilding!  What does that look like?  Your business may need to adapt to a new environment.  Depending on the scope of the crisis, you may face different elements of recovery:l Physical – there may be structural issues to address with the facility.  How would you handle major damage to your building? Financial – does insurance cover the damage?  How do you rebuild your finances? Reputational – what caused the issue and how do you regain the trust of families and the community? Emotional – you many need to address emotional trauma as well, with the children, staff and families. As you can see, the planning process can rather intense but don’t put it off just because it seems overwhelming.  Take one step at a time and build out our each plan as completely as possible.  Most importantly, once it’s done, don’t put it on a shelf to gather dust.  Bring it out and review often.  Even the best plans are useless if they are not followed.

    • How to Get Reimbursed for STARS Training

      Good news!  If you've taken STARS-approved in-service child care training classes as a Washington State child care provider, you're eligible for reimbursement of your class fees up to $250 each year!  The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF, formerly DEL) provides eligible child care providers the opportunity for reimbursement for approved classes through their MERIT system (Managed Education and Registry Information Tool). Here are the requirements for reimbursement: 1. Reimbursement is for annual in-service training requirements (10 hours). Other training requirements including CPR, First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogens and HIV/AIDS are not eligible for reimbursement. 2. You need to have a MERIT account with a STARS ID.  Click on the MERIT account link to get started. Your MERIT account will also include verification that you're currently employed in a licensed facility. 3. You may only apply for reimbursement up to $250 once each fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).  Keep this in mind as you're planning to meet your training requirements. 4. The training must be completed through a STARS-approved trainer within the previous 12 months.  All of SafeGard Classes Online's child care classes are approved by DCYF/DEL for STARS credit (with the exception of CPR, First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogens, HIV/AIDS and Safe Sleep since these are not considered in-service training). 5. If you complete your classes through SafeGard Classes Online, we will add your completed classes to your Merit account for you. Please be sure to add your STARS ID # in your account in the State Registry ID box on the My Profile tab. For more information, please go to the DCYF/DEL's training reimbursement page.

    • Discounts on Tools and Training for Child Care Programs

      SG Classes Online has partnered with Sandbox Software to offer a discounted package on great tools to help you management your childcare program bundled with online childcare training classes to help you meet your continuing education requirements. What's the deal? When you sign up for an annual subscription of Sandbox, you receive the first 3 months for free and 100 hours of online childcare classes for only $99 ($79 for each additional user). This offer expires on Friday, December 13th. Sandbox Software helps childcare educators manage and simplify their program with the power of an all-in-one tool to manage registration, staffing, family information, parent engagement and so much more. SG Classes Online offers over 200 online childcare courses in a wide range of topics, including behavior management, child development, health & safety and many more.  Classes can be accessed on any device, including phones and tablets, and are immediately available after ordering,  No waiting for classes to begin or assignments to be mailed--everything is available on your online account! How do I get started? This bundled package is a limited time only so act now to get all the tools and training you need to build and grow your childcare program!

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    • Teacher Toolkit | SG Classes Online WA

      TEACHER TOOLKIT As if teachers didn't have a full plate already, the recent pandemic has certainly added more challenges! ​ Help is here! ​ Our simple, practical lesson plans are a great way to help your children develop critical skills and expand their knowledge while having fun and staying safe at the same time! We realize the challenges preschool teachers face every day. Our new Teacher Toolkit offers easy, efficient ways for you to combine your STARS training with fun and exciting lesson plans for your classroom! ​ Our new series, , combines the training you need to meet your STARS hours with lessons you can use in your classroom based on the theme of those courses. Each bundle comes with 5 lesson plans, one for every day of the week, and is filled with great information and easy, fun activities for the kids plus the STARS course for the teacher. Lessons with Class ​ Now you can fulfill your own licensing requirements and put that new knowledge to use right away with your children! Packages are available either as a combination of the teacher training class and lesson plans or with just the lesson plans on their own. Give them a try today for for the lessons plans or for the lessons and STARS course. But act fast: this deal is too good to last! only $9 just $19 ​ Teacher training Take a look at our 200+ classes for teachers to meet their STARS hours. See All STARS Classes > Lessons with class Get 5 lesson plans combined combined with the class to earn your STARS hours. See Lessons with Class > Lesson plans You can can also select just the lesson plans to get started in the classroom today! See All Lesson Plans >

    • Partners | SG Classes Online WA

      PARTNERS To bring you the best resources available, we have partnered with child development experts to bring additional products and services to help you be successful. They have all proven themselves to be knowledgeable in their respective fields and are well-sought-after for their practical advice and nurturing teaching styles. ​ We are also bringing together new partnerships to offer convenient packages of products and services you need at a great discounted price! ​ Meet Our Partners Meet Stephanie Meet Sandbox Meet Angela Stephanie Wicker Speaker, Author, Educator, Consultant Sandbox Software Child Care Software, Tools and Resources Dr Angela Searcy, EdD Speaker, Author, Educator, Trainer, Consultant Stephanie Wicker Stephanie has successfully guided families through early childhood for over 15 years. Through her experience with private consultancy, as a preschool teacher and special needs therapist, she has tackled most aspects of early childhood behaviour with her trademark blend of energy and empathy. Stephanie has consulted around Australia in private sessions with countless families, and currently hosts live and online training events worldwide, in which she shares her practical solutions and language techniques with families facing diverse challenges. She believes that helping families to raise calm, happy kids is achievable through education, preparation and a positive mindset. Stephanie brings optimism and expertise to modern parenting challenges, helping to demystify puzzling childhood behavior with simple, common-sense solutions to big challenges. She brings with her a virtual kitbag of tools to tackle tantrums, defiance and aggression which are as practical as they are positive. ​ An experienced presenter, Stephanie stands out for her passionate and engaging style, and her upbeat approach to what can often be emotional topics. Learn more at www.stephaniewicker.com ​ SG Classes Online has partnered with Stephanie to provide new and exciting products and services as well as valuable resources you can use in the classroom every day! Check out some of her material on our Resources page. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Dr Angela Searcy, EdD Angela Searcy, EdD, has more than 25 years of experience in education, providing services to children and families as a teacher, child-development specialist, and independent consultant. A former neurodevelopment specialist, she is the owner and founder of Simple Solutions Educational Services, a professional-development company. She is a trainer, a speaker, and a seminar leader at the Erikson Institute. ​ Angela Searcy holds a B.A. in English and Secondary Education with teacher certification through the State of Illinois, and a Master of Science in Early Childhood Development from Erikson Institute with a Developmental Therapy Credential through the State of Illinois. ​ She is a “Master Trainer” for the Illinois State Board of Education, The Center on the Social and Emotional foundations for Early Learning at Vanderbilt University and the Multisensory Training Institute in Massachusetts. Angela also serves as an educational consultant throughout the Chicago land area and an adjunct professor at Rasmussen College. ​ A former associate at the Neuropsychology Diagnostic Center in Orland Park, Angela has specialized training in the neurosciences and is a nationally recognized speaker with over 20 years of experience working with professionals, young children, and their families as an early childhood teacher, child development specialist, staff developer, mental health consultant, parent educator, language arts teacher, college professor and tutor. ​ Her expertise encompasses developing behavior modification programs from a neuropsychological perspective, and creating professional development grounded in neuroscience research related to adult learning. Angela has been featured on Chicago Public Radio’s Chicago Matters, Chicago Parent and Chicago Baby Magazines and is a regular speaker for the Learning and the Brain Conference Sponsored by Harvard, Yale and Stanford Universities. Angela is also an approved professional development provider for the Illinois State Board of Education. (ISBE CEU, CPDU credits available) and the Early Intervention System of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Texas (EI /ECI credits available) CDA content areas. ​ Learn more at Simple Solutions Education ​ SG Classes Online has partnered with Dr. Searcy to provide new and exciting products and services as well as valuable resources you can use in the classroom every day! Check out some of her material on our Resources page. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ > Sandbox Software Sandbox Software offers software and resources to help child care owners and educators simplify and grow their business. Their mission is to innovate through technology to enable child care centers to grow their business and optimize the learning experiences for their families. Sandbox Software recognizes that the child care industry needs software that’s friendly and easy to use, while at the same time powerful enough to help child care owners and operators with managing the many responsibilities and tasks that arise each day. That’s why they developed Sandbox – child care software that truly makes a difference for childcare owners and operators across North America. We hope you’ll join the growing number of childcare centers and preschools that have found Sandbox, and enjoy using our childcare software to make life easier at their center. ​ SG Classes Online has partnered with to offer a discounted package on great tools to help you management your childcare program bundled with online childcare training classes to help you meet your continuing education requirements. Sandbox Software > Stephanie Wicker Stephanie has successfully guided families through early childhood for over 15 years. Through her experience with private consultancy, as a preschool teacher and special needs therapist, she has tackled most aspects of early childhood behaviour with her trademark blend of energy and empathy. Stephanie has consulted around Australia in private sessions with countless families, and currently hosts live and online training events worldwide, in which she shares her practical solutions and language techniques with families facing diverse challenges. She believes that helping families to raise calm, happy kids is achievable through education, preparation and a positive mindset. Stephanie brings optimism and expertise to modern parenting challenges, helping to demystify puzzling childhood behavior with simple, common-sense solutions to big challenges. She brings with her a virtual kitbag of tools to tackle tantrums, defiance and aggression which are as practical as they are positive. ​ An experienced presenter, Stephanie stands out for her passionate and engaging style, and her upbeat approach to what can often be emotional topics. Learn more at www.stephaniewicker.com ​ SG Classes Online has partnered with Stephanie to provide new and exciting products and services as well as valuable resources you can use in the classroom every day! Check out some of her material on our Resources page. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ > Dr Angela Searcy, EdD Angela Searcy, EdD, has more than 25 years of experience in education, providing services to children and families as a teacher, child-development specialist, and independent consultant. A former neurodevelopment specialist, she is the owner and founder of Simple Solutions Educational Services, a professional-development company. She is a trainer, a speaker, and a seminar leader at the Erikson Institute. ​ Angela Searcy holds a B.A. in English and Secondary Education with teacher certification through the State of Illinois, and a Master of Science in Early Childhood Development from Erikson Institute with a Developmental Therapy Credential through the State of Illinois. ​ She is a “Master Trainer” for the Illinois State Board of Education, The Center on the Social and Emotional foundations for Early Learning at Vanderbilt University and the Multisensory Training Institute in Massachusetts. Angela also serves as an educational consultant throughout the Chicago land area and an adjunct professor at Rasmussen College. ​ A former associate at the Neuropsychology Diagnostic Center in Orland Park, Angela has specialized training in the neurosciences and is a nationally recognized speaker with over 20 years of experience working with professionals, young children, and their families as an early childhood teacher, child development specialist, staff developer, mental health consultant, parent educator, language arts teacher, college professor and tutor. ​ Her expertise encompasses developing behavior modification programs from a neuropsychological perspective, and creating professional development grounded in neuroscience research related to adult learning. Angela has been featured on Chicago Public Radio’s Chicago Matters, Chicago Parent and Chicago Baby Magazines and is a regular speaker for the Learning and the Brain Conference Sponsored by Harvard, Yale and Stanford Universities. Angela is also an approved professional development provider for the Illinois State Board of Education. (ISBE CEU, CPDU credits available) and the Early Intervention System of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Texas (EI /ECI credits available) CDA content areas. ​ Learn more at Simple Solutions Education ​ SG Classes Online has partnered with Dr. Searcy to provide new and exciting products and services as well as valuable resources you can use in the classroom every day! Check out some of her material on our Resources page. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ > Sandbox Software Sandbox Software offers software and resources to help child care owners and educators simplify and grow their business. Their mission is to innovate through technology to enable child care centers to grow their business and optimize the learning experiences for their families. Sandbox Software recognizes that the child care industry needs software that’s friendly and easy to use, while at the same time powerful enough to help child care owners and operators with managing the many responsibilities and tasks that arise each day. That’s why they developed Sandbox – child care software that truly makes a difference for childcare owners and operators across North America. We hope you’ll join the growing number of childcare centers and preschools that have found Sandbox, and enjoy using our childcare software to make life easier at their center. ​ SG Classes Online has partnered with to offer a discounted package on great tools to help you management your childcare program bundled with online childcare training classes to help you meet your continuing education requirements. Sandbox Software >

    • Online stars hours training classes | SG Classes Online

      Washington STARS Classes I'M READY TO ORDER! I'D LIKE TO LEARN MORE See All Our Classes childcare With over 200 courses in a broad range of topics from Autism to Working with Humor, you're sure to find the classes you need! All our classes are approved for STARS/MERIT credit. See Our Classes CDA For childcare providers interested in earning their Child Development Associate Credential (CDA), we provide the training to meet the early childhood education requirement. See Our Classes healthcare We also offer courses in Bloodborne Pathogens, HIV/AIDS, CPR and First Aid for professionals who work in healthcare or are required to take these courses for licensing purposes. See Our Classes Sign up now and be the first to learn about our great deals! KEEP ME IN THE LOOP! We'll keep in touch!

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