I know that many times you are asked, or nudge in the side with an elbow, to join your local Child Care Association. “Why should I?” is the most popular response. I am going to give you ten great reasons, why you should join your local Child Care Association or Group.
1. Meet awesome like-minded people. I know no other place, were you can find people who totally understand, that you have two-year olds that are about to beat the snot out of each other, and you are almost bald from pulling out your hair.
2. A guide toward professionalism. This is where most start when, they are on the path of self-improvement for yourself and your business. Here you will be able to find, mentors and others that have been there and made that mistake.
3. Educational opportunities. Whether you are just needing continuing education hours or are wanting more in-depth course work. Associations, they have great training opportunities through classes, course works and conferences. Many times these come with really good discounts that more than make up for the cost of the membership.
4. Access to resources. Looking for something, curriculum help, behavioral issues, news, advocacy, resources in your community for everything parenting and children, and business. Associations, websites and newsletters keep you up to date and allow easy access to these important resources.
5. Keep informed and up to date on the ever-changing early childhood education. Just like the K-12 education system, there is always the latest and greatest in early childhood development. You can keep up with these changes and find more information on classes and course work.
6. Marketing. You might not think of it like this, in the business world there is a phrase that is used called the ” Good O’l boy network” this basically refers to those that you need to know to get something accomplished, it is all about who you know. In the child care world I believe we have the “Good O’l girl network” these are providers that are very active in this field, and know everyone. So, if you need information, support or have an opening you will find others in your area that you can go to for help.
7. Discounts. Yes, we all love discounts. I have found with CCPC that mine have more than paid for my membership. “Oh! how I love discounts and coupons!”
8. Advocacy. I did not start Little Scholar with advocacy in mind, but many people do. They had a rotten experience or what to change something for the better. Associations are very active with licensing laws, parenting, education and children issues.
9. Because you love what you do and you want to spread the good news. I hate to read about a rotten child care provider, that has done something completely horrible and a child has suffered because of it. It puts a huge, doubt on parents minds about all providers in general. Associations help to change this appearance, through education and resources that they support providers in the community and across the country.
10. Allows you a reason to get out of the house, for a night at a meeting, for a cool weekend conference, or a week at a really big conference. I will be honest, I can easily go three to four days, before I realize I have not left my home or yard. Everyone needs big people conversation and a break. I make sure that I do several meetings, classes or activities, to make sure I do not become a recluse or a hermit. It is too easy for us, to look around our home which is also our work and find something that can be done. Well, getting out of the house cheaply and enjoying good conversation and great people is also good and healthy.
Hopefully, I have either reconfirmed your reason to stay in your association or have convinced you to join one. If you do not know where to start to find your local association, here are some good places to start. Your local resource and referral , National Association of Family Child Care, National Child Care Association, naeyc or you can email me and I can give you some directions. It is worth your time to be involved, and I have greatly enjoyed my time over the last year. I will be honest before that, I was like many. “Oh! good grief, I do not have time for that!” but, it has defiantly made an impact on the way I do business and stay informed. I absolutely love all the wonderful new people it has allowed me to meet.
If you would like to put a shout out for your local association, I know that other providers would find it helpful. Please leave a commitment with all the contact information below.