LilyPad Blog

News and Opinions about Child Care, Life, and anything else we might think about!

Have You Checked In With Your Employees? Studies Show You Should

I know how difficult it can be. You’ve got a business to run after all, right? How could I ever find the time to check up on all of my employees at once? It feels like one thing after another constantly. 

I know it all sounds pretty overwhelming, but as many know, company morale is very important in keeping a business flourishing. Studies have shown that when an employee is happy, the business will be happy too. Let’s observe that a bit further. 

While yes, most of those working in childcare love children and love what they do, I know working with children can get pretty strenuous. If you have great company morale, your employees will not only be happy at work, but in other areas of life as well, and therefore, the children at your daycare will benefit from the positive environment. Working in childcare and having employees that are supposed to be ‘happy’ all the time, it can be hard to determine who is truly happy working there and who is just putting on a facade for the sake of their job. 

The best thing you can do is assess if there are any issues in the workplace. 

  1. Have you noticed anybody absent quite frequently, increased negativity or even a lack of cooperation or commitment in general?

  2. Has an employee seemed to just be going through the motions, or seemed uninterested and seems disconnected from daily activities?

  3. Common signs that point to low company morale for an employee include things like missed deadlines, frequent mistakes, and even a decline in service quality. 

So what can you do about this? Well, the logical thing to do would be to check on them. A lot of the time, especially in childcare, just asking them how they feel can be counterproductive, but don’t rule it out. A good alternative to that, however, could be to have a meeting with them and just talk, or even having “lunch with the boss” is a good idea, while keeping work-related talk to a minimum. Discuss how their life is going, or if there’s anything they need to help them be the best they can be, within reason. 


With everything said and done, you can’t force your employees to talk to you. If you come across this issue, then there are several other things you can do. 


Planning company events such as potlucks, pizza parties, or even contests can really help to boost morale. Keeping things light-hearted can really help your employees let loose and get them away from thinking so much about working and going through the motions. 


Of course, whatever comes to mind might help, but do keep in mind that sometimes as a boss, thinking outside the box to find a solution is what you do best!



Choosing The Best Daycare For Your Child

In this day and age, finding a daycare for your child can be as easy as a Google search, but how can you know from a Google search if it’s right for your child? If you’re looking for childcare, but have no idea where to even start, then look no further. 


The first thing a parent thinks about is the area. What are some facilities in your specific area? You can search your local government websites instead of Google to find an extensive list of childcare in your area. Once you’ve done that, you can extend your search for childcare based on your values, and what you want your child to learn from being at said daycare. Most daycares will have a page that represents themselves, whether it’s on Facebook, Google Reviews, or even their own webpage.  You can also ask your friends and neighbors what they are doing for childcare.

The number one thing to think about at this point in your search is finding a place that you can click well with. Doing something as simple as contacting them via email may not be enough to distinguish whether or not you want your child to attend their daycare, but regardless you can at least get an inkling of a feeling by how they receive your interest. 

If you’ve narrowed down your options, you can schedule a visit, or a pop by to see what it’s like. It would almost be like conducting an interview. Ask as many questions as you can to find out what suits you and your child as it is important that you know a little more in-depth what these daycares stand for, what they do, who’s involved, etc. Some questions you might consider would be What are your days like? How do the kids get involved? Is there anything you expect from me? Do you adhere to allergies? How do you keep track of your class’s individual health? Etc.  Also, ask for a reference from the daycare. They should be able to provide some reviews and references you can talk to. They may even be able to set up a moment to meet other parents who use them. 


When you have chosen one you like, bring your kiddo over for a visit and meet and greet. If your child seems relaxed to go in, it will make you feel better. 


Be sure to remember that it’s not all about your child when choosing a daycare. You’ll want to be able to get along with those who are caring for your child, too!

Fun Things to Do With Your Kids at Home


With so many things going on in the world, it’s important that you as a parent not only to be there for your kids in an alternate educational way but also to have fun with your child by keeping things lighthearted. That’s why I’ve listed 10 fun things you can do with your kid(s) at home!


  1. This one is pretty simple, but requires some streaming source of some kind. Find a movie with your kid(s) and pop that popcorn. Bonus if you have a movie marathon!

  2. Have a picnic in your backyard. Even if your backyard isn’t too scenic, it’s a good way to get some fresh air with your kids!

  3. Color or draw a picture or two! The next time you go to the store, get a couple of poster boards and grab some crayons and colored pencils and draw away. Being artistic with your kid is a great way to bond with them without leaving your home!

  4. Enjoy a play-cation! You know those cardboard boxes just sitting in your garage? Put some use to them and build a pirate ship or a castle and let your imagination run free! Your child will love to play make-believe when they have physical props.

  5. This obvious one requires glue, sparkles, and whatever craft tool you can think of. Doing arts and crafts with your child can be quite therapeutic, especially if you have all colors of the rainbow in paint. 

  6. When I was a kid, I used to love it when my parents played video games with me. They were always family-friendly, but working with my parents as a team to solve a puzzle was always so much fun!

  7. This one is a lot like your movie night, except home video edition! Going back and sharing those memories while constantly explaining how “back in my day” those were simpler times is a great way to do some storytelling!

  8. Make a blanket fort! Now, it might not be as spectacular as from the show “Community”, but if you can build a blanket fort throughout your entire house, that’s a win-win. Plus, your kids can help you clean up after the fun is over!

  9. If you’re looking to spruce up your garden, plant some flowers with your kids! It’s a lot of work, but can be a lot of fun, too!

  10.  If your children are old enough, you can always play fun and immersive games such as Clue, but put a fun twist on it and make it like a scavenger hunt around the house!

Pandemic Parenting


It has come to parents’ attention all around the United States and around the world that schools are shutting down left and right. Some very valid questions might pop in your head as a parent.  How am I going to balance my children being at home and working from home? How can I keep my children busy? What can I do as a parent to keep my child active and learning until schools open back up? I”m not in any position to homeschool my child!

If you are in quarantine with your children, there are many things you can do with them to keep the time passing, while also keeping your child learning. 

From pre-school age to younger grade school, it is suggested that you read books with your children. Engage in teaching them how to read words and spelling them out. Now, this may not be the most fun for your child, but it is great practice for them and keeps them engaged in learning. Even just reading to them will help them stay engaged with you. By exercising your language skills, describing what catches your child’s attention, helping them to be more excited about it, will help them with their own language skills. 

The older the child is, the more productive things you can have your child do around the house to help teach them about home life. One of the things you can teach your child is how to do laundry. A simple, but also a complex form of education that can help them stay busy. Perhaps you don’t want them to risk ruining your clothes, however. Teach them about the science of what happens when you mix colored clothes in water. Activities like this will help them understand more about how to take care of themselves, while also teaching them that there is science in something as simple as doing laundry. 

As for social studies and history, a great way to help your child keep up their studying skills, a parent who sits down with their children and shares true stories of what they’ve experienced throughout their life will help their cognitive ability to memorize information, as studies show. In fact, giving visual aids such as pictures of the family will help this “repeated reminiscing” aspect of their memory. The more you include your child in your story, the more engaged they will be, and the more likely they are to ask the where, what, when, how, and why of certain information. 

As for math skills, it is important to child development that your children understand how math can converse in the home. Things like baking and cooking are a great tool for them to practice their fractions. The more hands-on they can be, the more engaged your child will remain. Not only can you benefit from having a helper in the kitchen, but your child will also learn more about teamwork and have a better understanding of how math works more early on in their lives. 

In general, the older the child, the easier it will be to keep them entertained during an 8-hour workday. You can teach children how to do dishes, or even teach them how to change a tire. Being proactive in your child’s learning will help result in an easier transition back into school. 

As for being fearful of your child, it is suggested that every parent read up on the CDC website about what they should do if your child is indeed sick, but the main thing to keep in mind is to keep them in quarantine and at least 6 feet away from anyone else in the household. Here is a link: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/children-faq.html

Celebrating Birthdays During COVID-19

Celebrating Birthdays During COVID-19


If your child’s birthday falls in the coming months, explaining to your child that their birthday can’t be celebrated anymore is not only hard on the child to come to terms with and understand, but it also puts a damper on you as a parent. Over and over again, my kiddo keeps asking to go outside and play with friends. Let’s be honest, explaining social distancing is hard enough, especially when it’s from everyone outside of your family, but also canceling a birthday? It’s heartbreaking!


The good news is that you can always count on humanity to come up with a creative way to celebrate. On the news as of recent, they played a highlighted story on a social distancing birthday party where everyone who was invited drove their cars in a parade-like way, with windows rolled down, decorated posters and banners hanging outside the doors of the cars, and each car that passed threw out some sort of gift to the birthday kid who stood at the driveway waving to all of his friends who passed. A few gifts had to be handed to one of the parents, but still, this idea has swept the nation through social media, and I think we can all agree that we’re living for it. 


If your child has a birthday that is falling in these upcoming weeks or months, this idea is near genius, albeit unconventional. In these times, nothing can be conventional. Parents have certainly been integrating their lives in the best way they can by social distancing, and all it takes is a bit of creativity! Parents decorating cars for a friend of their child can be truly inspiring for our youth, and also help your children understand the troubling times that we face, in the most lighthearted way that we can!


There is an image on Facebook that discusses a hypothetical conversation of a college student in 2030 asking their parents about the 2020 crisis. In this story the parent talks about the virus and asks the kid, don't you remember being out for school? The student then says, yea but I don’t remember being scared, I remember all the games and fun we had. It’s unique, creative experiences like a birthday parade, that will get us to have this kind of conversation in the future.  


So the question is, what else can we do to continue this ingenious streak of ideas of social distancing activities for your kids? Let us know! 

Are breaks required for employees?

Are Breaks Required?


How many people out there actually take their breaks? Statistically, it’s hard to say. Throughout the nation, however, over 56% of employees nationwide have a lunch break that is 30 minutes or less, and more than half of Americans claim they cannot take a break. Millennials, in particular, say they fear to take their breaks over losing their jobs. 


To answer the question, no, taking a break is not required by the federal government if you are over 16 years old.  Each state has its own laws and there are laws per industry if breaks are required. It is important to check with your state and industry law makers on what laws are different or in addition to federal laws. Double check child labor laws in your area if you plan to hire anyone under the age of 16. 


While we know it is not required to give breaks, what is best for the employee? In general, it is well-advised that if your employer allows you to take breaks, you should. Most Americans feel they don’t need to take a break, but nearly 90% of American workers who were surveyed(about 1,200 people), according to a recent study by Tork, felt that lunch helps them feel refreshed and ready to get back to work. This study also revealed that those who take their breaks are more likely to say and believe themselves to work efficiently and productively. Taking breaks also increases job satisfaction.  It is duly noted that those who don’t take their lunch breaks were more likely to say they would work weekends and late nights.  This further acknowledges that those who don’t take breaks surrender to the mindset that work needs to take up all free time. 


This is incredibly alarming, as it’s no secret that this could lead to low company morale. What the real issue is that plenty of Americans feel as though they are expendable when they shouldn’t. So, by taking breaks, a worker will have a better mindset about work and further improve their mental health and well being. Again, while it is not required, for most people, the outcome of taking breaks will be a much more positive one. 

Every Parent Needs to Read This

Are you a parent? You need to read this. 


Over 40,000 babies every year are born with congenital heart defects. The health of children in our community is always a top priority for us at MyLilyPad and Easy Time Clock. We work with Vizavance often to support vision screenings for children all over Oklahoma. We participate in multiple health fairs to support companies who are offering their healthcare services to families in need. 

This year, Piedmont Public Schools is working with Athletic Testing Solutions (ATS) HeartCheck to provide heart screenings for people ages of 8 to 25. On Saturday, December 15th, you can go to Piedmont Elementary to get your screening done. There is a fee for this particular screening, however, your family may qualify for discounts. 


Pre-registration is required, so be sure to sign up BEFORE the 15th. 


Go to this link to learn about services offered: www.ATSHeartCheck.com

At this link, you will find the application for discounted services: https://www.athletictestingsolutions.com/financial-aid/



Watch a video on YouTube about ATS saving lives: https://youtu.be/EwPqEjo_zOI


Car seat Safety





CAR SEAT SAFETY TIPS

Hard Facts about Safety in Cars

  • Road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States.

  • Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.

  • Three out of four car seats are not used or installed correctly.

Top Tips about Car Seat Safety

  1. Buying the right car seat. Your baby needs to ride in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible, at least until age 2. When your child has outgrown that seat, you are ready for a forward-facing car seat. 

  2. Installing your car seat. You’ll need to decide on using either the seat belt or lower anchors to secure your car seat. Both are safe, but don’t use them both at the same time. Once your child is forward facing, it is important to use the tether with the seat belt or lower anchors. 

  3. Getting the right fit. A properly-fitted harness gives the best possible protection for your child. 

  4. When to change your car seat. Look on the car seat label to make sure your child is still within the weight, height and age limits for that seat. 

To get more details and a car seat safety checklist go to https://www.safekids.org/car-seat

Halloween Safety for the Littles


Everyone wants to have fun on Halloween. But we need to make sure our kiddos are safe so everyone CAN have fun! 

YIKES

On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Top Tips

  1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.

  2. Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.

  3. Children under the age of 12 (at least)  should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If a child is mature enough to be without an adult, be sure to remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

  4. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

  5. When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

  6. Be sure to wash ALL makeup off before bed, sleeping with paint or makeup on can cause eye and skin irritation. 

  7. Tell your kids not to eat any treats before they get home so you can make sure it is safe. 

Resources:

https://www.safekids.org/halloween

https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/autumn/halloween

In the Know: Bus Safety



In The Know about School Bus Safety


Did you know? School buses are actually 70x safer than any other type of transportation on the road! Buses are the most regulated vehicle on the road. 

Tips to travel safely: 

  • Stay seated
  • Keep hands to yourself
  • Use Inside voices
  • Listen to the bus driver and bus monitors, they are there to keep kiddos safe! 


When crossing the road, getting on and off at a bus stop always follow the directions of the bus driver. If the stop sign is out that means cars will stop to let kids cross the road or get on and off the bus. 

  • Be aware of your surroundings AT ALL TIMES when crossing the road 
  • Look for cars coming 
  • Make sure you know where to go when you get off the bus 

Have a SAFE and FUN school year!!! :) 





Oklahoma City's Diaper Need

Let’s get together and support struggling parents and caregivers with supplying diapers! If we all bought just ONE pack of diapers and donated it, we could change the struggle immensely! 

The Infant Crisis Center in OKC provides families in need with necessities such as formula and diapers. 3 out of 4 families struggle with needing necessities for their baby.

How can we help?!

Drop of diapers, wipes, baby wash, etc. at The Infant Crisis Center at 4224 N. Lincoln Blvd in OKC or any drop of locations listed at www.infantcrisis.org 


More info on how to help: 

http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/diaper-drive/


Together we can bridge the gap!!

Just Between Friends Sale

JBF SALE!!! This is the BEST sale of the year for parents! You can get tons of toys and clothes for a huge discount! AND you can sell your kiddos gently used items to make a little extra back to school cash! Win win! 


August 19th-25th at OKC State Fair Park is the first event! If you miss that one you can catch it in Norman at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds on September 23rd-29th. 


Heres the link with all the deets! http://www.jbfsale.com/home.jsp

End Summer Time with a Bang in OKC!


What to do before school starts to end Summer with a bang!


  • Gypsy Glam Roadshow is hosting a Kid’s Fest at the OKC Farmer’s Market on Monday, August 5th! Shop, bounce, eat and so much more. Admission is ONLY $5 for all kiddos 5 and older. 

  • Wide-Open Wednesdays at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum allow you to go spend a day exploring for FREE! 

  • Take a spin on Myriad Gardens’ carousel at their Carousel Carnival Day on August 11th! The best thing- it is ONLY $2 per rider. There will also be carnival games and the opportunity to learn how to make balloon animals! 

  • At Cuppies & Joe (727 Nw 23rd st) bring your kiddos to Storybook Hour!! This event is completely FREE and happens twice a month. Enjoy coffee and relax on the first and third Saturday each month at 10:00 am.

Good to Grow: A Family Fun and Wellness Expo



We are so excited to invite YOU to this special event!

At Good to Grow, you and your kids, big and small :),  can come play games, get free check ups, and all kinds of health information available to children and parents! 

There will be vendors for eyesight, hearing, learning, and more!

Come see us on Saturday, August 25th from 9:00am-12:00pm at Feed the Children in OKC. Check out our FB event here: 

https://www.facebook.com/events/524272774672479/

School Supply Drive- Good Fight Church Yukon

 

Can you believe Summer is almost OVER?! It is Back to School already!! Get your kiddos prepared with all they need to start the school year off right by going to The Good Fight Church in Yukon!  They will have games, live music, free food, and free school supplies for those who need it! 

                                        Join them on August 5th, 5:00-8:00pm at 500 E. Main ST. Yukon, OK 73099.

Community Outreach- Build A Monster

One of our favorite things over here at MyLilyPadApp and EasyTimeClock, is community outreach. Over the years we have perfected a few of our favorite activities to do with kiddos and the Build a Monster craft has been a HUGE hit! This week we went to the Piedmont OK Public Library and hosted our Annual Build a Monster Event. Each Tuesday during the Summer the Piedmont library offers free activities to children and their families. You can learn more about the library, their events and their classes by visiting their website https://www.piedmont.okpls.org/ 

MyLilypadApp had a Great time at Oklahoma Family Child Care Alliance Spring Conference!

MyLilypadApp Raffle Winners!

The signs say:

The Childcare Provider

Although I 'm not their mother, I care for them each day.

I cuddle, sing and read to them, and watch them as they play.

I see each new accomplishment, and help them grown and learn.

I understand their language, and listen with concern.

They come to me for comfort, and I kiss away their tears.

They proudly show their work to me, I give the loudest cheers.

No I am not their mother, But my role is just as strong.

I nurture them and keep them safe, though maybe not for long.

I know someday the time may come when we will have to part.

But I know each child I've cared for is forever in my heart. 

  



June 23 2018- Geekapalooza!

MyLilypadApp.com will have a booth this year at Metro Family Magazines and the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma's event, Geekapalooza! 

From their facebook event:

You won't want to miss our annual Geekapalooza STEAM event put on by Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma and Metro Family Magazine!

We've got some returning booths this year, as well as lots of new ones! You won't want to miss this incredible opportunity to participate in STEAM activities!

There will be two sessions during the day. A morning session at 9am-12pm and an afternoon session at 1-4pm. Please select which session you'd like to attend on the event page!

Registration for this event is done by group/family up to 4 people. You will need to register all of your guests (up to 4) in the Family/Group Registration category.

Early registration is $12 per family, $6 per additional guest, through midnight on Thursday, June 21.

Day-of registration is $15 per family, $7 per additional guest.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1561321387277116/

Leaping Lily Game

Leaping Lily Game.pdf


We are all about Science and Math over here at MyLilyPadApp.com. So we created a fun STEAM game to do at health fairs with jumping frogs!  Using Frog Hoppers, each kiddo takes turns "hopping" their frog and recording their results. 


This game teaches how to test a theory, record results, and discusses the concept of Newton's Third Law "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object."


We hope you enjoy it adding science, math and Lily the Frog to your STEM learning!

How to Protect Your Kid’s Identity Now

Much ado has been made about protecting your personal information lately (Thank you, Apple and the FBI, for bringing this issue center stage.) And, according to techies who follow such trends, it would seem that many people are starting to take notice—especially when it comes to protecting their children’s privacy using encrypted communications.

Sight Saving Still Shows 4 years Later


My nephew, Phoenix, was born November of 2011 with terrible vision.  Through testing with Vizavance, formerly Prevent Blindness Oklahoma, we were able to get the right direction for Phoenix's vision. Had we not done his screening and been diligent with his eye care, Phoenix would have gone blind in at least one eye by the time he was a teen.   Enjoy our journey video from 2014 and you can see from his picture below, Phoenix is all boy and excelling at life with great vision!


Easy Time Clock is a proud supporter of Vizavance! If you want more information on this sight saving program, check out their website at http://www.Vizavance.org

What is the Lilypad Technology?

I wanted to take Easy Time Clock to a new level and begin to offer other Software as a Service (SaaS) products. One of the major pain points I felt as a child care provider in my past, and now as a parent with a child in daycare, was the lack of ability to communicate digitally with the provider. We are in a time in which we live off of technology. If you don’t take a credit card, that’s a burden on the parents to make sure they have checks or cash on hand (who even keeps their checks on them anymore?). Every day at pickup, you are provided a daily sheet that inevitably ends up on the floor of your car. As a parent who has shared custody, I never knew what was going on with my kiddo unless someone else told me. MyLilypadApp.com solves all of those problems and more. Lilypad brings the power of the internet to your daycare to save the provider time and money. We offer time tracking, a parent portal for payments, daily sheets, calendar access, and billing management for the provider. It is also super cute and offers different blog options than Easy Time Clock. I hope, in time, we are able to be a provider and parent resource for anything kiddo related.

Where did Lilypad Start?

My desire to bring technology communication between the provider and the parents started the conversation for our newest product, Lilypad.


Before my husband and I purchased Easy Time Clock in January, 2016, I worked in child care, and I made many friends who have gone on to found their own in-home day cares – our son attended one until Pre-K! I’ve been hearing the horror stories of organizational chaos from these friends; some owners I know use as many as five different applications to help keep their businesses running smoothly, and as the owners of a tech company, this pulled on our heartstrings.


Additionally, as a mom, there is so much information I wish my provider had the time and resources to provide me while our son is in their care.
Meet Lilypad! Chuck, my computer-wiz husband, and I have created Lilypad as an all-in-one product that any in-home care provider or center director needs to run her business while providing live updates to parents. I’ve dreamed of this product for years, and we’re excited to announce that Easy Time Clock, inc. is able to offer this product!