Using Google Drive in My Family Child Care

Introduction and Welcome

Welcome to this “written” training. Today’s technology has changed so much about our daily lives and it is also having a variety of impacts on our family child care programs. Some of these are planned, some are welcomed, but really incorporating technology as part of organizing our business is a big jump for many of us. Where do we start? 

In this training I’d like to introduce you to Google Drive and share with you some of the ways I use it to make more efficient use of my time while saving money. I am not an expert by any means and continue to challenge myself to learn more. Since you’re participating in this training I figure you are open to exploring the role that Google Drive might play in organizing the paper side of your business. I know first-hand you do not need to have special knowledge to take advantage of the tools out there today. I’ve figured out that I just had to get over being afraid I’d lose everything with one click. That hasn’t happened, but I lost a good bit of gathered resources when my harddrive crashed. Thankfully at that point in time I was backing material up off the computer. Now, backing up or saving my work happens pretty automatically with the platforms I use.

As family child care providers we work long hours, juggle our own family’s needs, and hopefully find time for ourselves. Taking the time to try something new when the old routine works can be a hard lift. It seems easier to just continue as we are. 

Like many providers, I use my computer like a typewriter to type up newsletters, daily notes, contract forms, and handbook. Previously, I then needed to print everything off. I also printed off photos that I added to 3-ring notebook style portfolios. Anything I could write out I was typing out in a word document or spreadsheet. The handbooks were passed out to families that did not decide to use my services or that I decided would not be a good fit. What about those family notifications, daily notes and weekly newsletters that seemed to often to be left behind in cubbies or even on the driveway. I began looking for an alternative that would make use of the available technology to be more organized, save time, money and present a strong professional image. 

I found that Google Drive provides me with everything I need in one place. It’s FREE with a large amount of storage in the cloud which saves me space on my harddrive. Google Drive is accessible by any smart phone, tablet or computer. You just need your account information. Just about anything I used to do on paper I now do in Google Drive. I’ve found it pretty easy to learn to navigate. I can store photos and videos. It’s easy to share information through links with any party necessary. There is a ton of help available within my fingertips from Google’s Help Center and on YouTube.

This training is broken out into sections that I hope will make it easier to follow, pull material from and return to in support of both your professional development and your future work with children.

Where to Start?

Let’s Explore Google Drive

Starting with “Folders”

Google Documents

Google Sheets

Google Forms

I hope this training has answered some of your questions around the benefits I’ve found using Google Drive within your family child care business. I hope that it has gotten you thinking that technology can be a real support and it’s very doable. I’m always happy to talk about this topic and love to hear what others find works for them.