How to Make Your Business Binder

When I first started family daycare ten years ago, I had visions of a lovely business office with filing cabinet, desk, and bulletin board. Well, a lovely idea, but the reality is that the daycare playroom is in the space intended for a den, and the necessities of running a home-based business require stream-lined efficiency, not pretty unused real estate.


During my recent licensing inspection, the health officer was really keen on how I have my daycare business organized – The Business Binder:) It is simple and all the information she needs to inspect (and I need to access!) are at my finger tips, and portable in the event of a disaster.

I got the idea from The Fly Lady’s Control Journal, but altered it over the years to meet my daycare business needs. Essentially, it’s a go-to planner. I keep it open on my kitchen table (daycare hub) during business hours.

How to Make your Business Binder:

1) Pick a pretty binder – you’ll be looking at this a lot, so pick one you like. Mine is 2.5″, but could be bigger. Go bigger than you think you’ll need.

2) Open to your schedule. Mine is a Word doc that outlines my daycare day.


3) Flip to monthly daycare curriculum plan and The Fly Lady’s daily routine list and my binder index.

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4) Binder Index: Attendance; Checklists; Non-Critical Incidents Log; emergency Preparedness; Home Schooling; Fly Lady Cleaning Zones; Current Registrations; Book Keeping.

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5) I use the attendance sheet template given by daycare licensing. It is not as pretty as I’d like, but makes for hassle-free inspections as the Licensing Officer is confident everything is covered. Checklists – this section houses my daily playground inspections log.


6) The ‘Non-Critical Incidents Log’ section (not pictured due to sensitive nature) is where I make notes of unusual things that happen, but which I am not required to report formally (such as unusual bug bites, calling a parent to pickup a sick child etc); The Emergency Preparedness section has a record of my fire drills, floor plan, and disaster preparedness info.


7) I keep all Current Child Registrations filed in alphabetical order with binder dividers and use Month dividers for the Book Keeping section.

CIMG2281 Each month has my receipts taped to paper and an annual spreadsheet for my accounting. I don’t find I generate a lot of book keeping work, so I generally add-up receipts and input to my Excel spreadsheet every couple of months. The receipts live in a basket by the phone waiting to be filed.

That’s it. All the personal and home-based business info I need to run my family daycare efficiently.

Joyfully organized,


Starting a Family Daycare

It’s so cliche, I know! Writing a blog post for the New Year, but I can’t help myself. I come by it honestly😉 It’s the start of a new year, and I’m reflecting on work and life…


Muddy Buddies

I’ve been thinking about ways to support families who want a parent to stay home, and are looking at home-based daycare as an option. I’m resurrecting my blog with this goal in mind – four years in (second time around) in the family daycare business. A chance to share how I spend my days and why. A chance to elevate the work. A chance to challenge myself.

I’ll also chat about teaching, education, homeschooling, and life.

Inspired by some wonderful friends in the blog-sphere who inspire and motivate me daily, I am joining the conversation.

Joyfully writing,


Private Lessons

Band Performance

We just got home from the kids’ performance at Music Discoveries. Music Discoveries is a weekend music program put-on by the UVic Music Education Students.  It was awesome and the kids are proud of the performance with their fellow musicians.

This got me to reflecting on how grateful I am for the amazing teachers and coaches I have supporting me as I home school this year.  In B.C. as distance education students we receive an allowance from our school district which we can apply to classes ($1000.)  Essentially, this covers the cost of their music lessons once per week for the school year (Carinet & Alto Sax.)

I love the idea that the kids will be instructed by people who are passionate about what they do.  So, choosing which subjects to provide in private lessons is easy – what ever their Dad or I are not great at doing!  Here is a summary of the great teachers supporting my kids this year.

  • Language Arts. The kids take bi-weekly lessons for one hour in Creative Writing at Blue Octopus Studio.  I enjoy writing, but don’t have the exposure to techniques and genres that their teacher does. Plus, she LOVES to write – I get excited about writing just listening to her speak about writing!
Musical Theatre Performance
  • Music.  As I mentioned both kids take a half-hour private music lesson each week.  It is a choice which instrument they play (with some guidance:), but having a musical education is mandatory.  We are fortunate to have an excellent music teacher who relates well to the kids and inspires them.  I don’t think music should be taught be a general-education teacher.
  • Art. My daughter has a keen interest in visual art.  We made it a goal in the New Year to develop a fine arts program that is the heart and soul of her education. Fleshing out the details has been a little more challenging than I had hoped, but it continues to be a priority.
  • Physical Education.  I simply do not have the talent, or knowledge to teach or coach any of these…. My daughter takes 2 Highland Dance classes each week, is a teaching assistant, and competes monthly.  She is also registered in a youth Yoga Class.  My son plays hockey with the Saanich Braves about 4 times per week.  All three of the kids swim twice a week with Island Swim Club.  My youngest also takes a preschool highland dance class and a Friday afternoon preschool class.
  • Spiritual Education. My kids have the most wonderfully dedicated Sunday School teachers. Not only are their classes relevant and interesting, but the teachers also support the kids by attending their special events (such as today’s performance:)
  • Public School Teacher.  The kids are registered as Distance Learners with EBus Academy in B.C.  I am so grateful to our teacher, Mr. Thompson, for his natural ability to balance our desire for autonomy, with the structure and support we need to accomplish the curriculum.   There are a variety of options for homeschooling in BC (a later post), but as we chose to remain public school students who learn from home, I am grateful for the subscriptions and books available through EBus.

One of the often under appreciated aspects of homeschooling is the freedom in our schedule to facilitate all these classes. We had a limit of one sport and one music when the kids were in school to allow them adequate down-time. Certainly they received instruction in elective subjects at school to compliment this, but there was not the same degree on choice in what they studied.

Joyfully grateful for my team,