Things to Enjoy On a Orange County Party Bus

Orange County is one of the most beautiful counties of California, USA. It attracts millions of tourists to its classic picnic and party destinations. It houses many beautiful towns, theme parks, beaches, beautiful farms like Knott’s berry farm, and so on. Disneyland is one of such world class attraction of this county. There are many beautiful beaches on the west coast; few of them are Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Dana Point. Awesome mountains, beautiful farms and ongoing corporate activities are other major attractions, which make it most dynamic county of western coast.

Orange County party bus services and limousine services are few fantastic and incredible value-additions to your fun, entertainment and excitement. Orange county party bus service is very suitable for those groups that comprise from 10 to about 50 people. This is not just a travelling in bus but it live-party all the way through your travelling; you enjoy tens of amenities inside the bus providing you the lavishness and fun of your vacation. These party buses house best quality leather seats, big screen TVs, complementary drinks, refreshments, stripper poles, music, hi-fi sound systems, and many more.

You can enjoy town nightlife, beaches, games, Disney World, farms and many other things by travelling through the luxurious party buses all the way. Travelling through these lavish vehicles would make your mood focused on your vacations by making your travelling so enjoyable and leaving no fatigue impact on your body and mood. The serving staff is very well trained, professionally groomed and highly caring towards their guests and customers.

Orange County party bus service is not only suitable for those people who are there for partying and picnic but also for those corporate delegations and other visiting guests to make their experience incredible and memorable. Orange County houses big corporate offices of fortune 500; a huge number of corporate delegations and seminars always keep going, which makes it very dynamic socio-economic area of the State. It makes great impression on experience of a client, guest or delegate to have picked them from airports to their hotels and seminar destinations. You can make your customers feel at home while serving them with party buses, and thus; best results of business can be achieved and an everlasting impression is left on the minds of your guests and clients.

There are many different types of party bus services in the area of Orange County; they make different types of offers to their clients. These offers include different value added services like price packages, different payment plans, and easy pick and drop programs. You can book better services by scrutinizing different aspects of the services, which may include customer reviews about the company you are considering to. You should also have good detailed information about the additional services provided by company and at the same time you should also get information about skills and attitude of the staff who will serve you or your guest.

A well selected Orange County party bus will sure leave long lasting memories of fun and excitement of your vacation or party.

Finding a Party Bus Rental

A party bus rental can be both a fun and luxurious method of transportation for a large group of people. Most party buses are equipped with a number of great amenities and features that can help turn what would be an ordinary trip into a rockin’ party on wheels! This article will take a look at how to go about finding the best possible party bus rental for any occasion.

Party buses are available in almost any shape or size that you could imagine. You can find smaller ones with a capacity of 10 or 12 people, all the way to larger mega buses that can hold over 80 people. So the first step in choosing a party bus (or limo bus as they are also called) is to figure out how many people will be joining you. In most cases, the size of the vehicle you need to rent will effect the price so you may not want to go with a 70 passenger vehicle when you only need room for 20 people.

You’ll also find a number of very cool features and amenities on party buses these days. It seems like companies are trying to out do one another to come up with the biggest and baddest limo bus out there. Most vehicles will come with standard things such as washrooms, sound systems, limo style seating and party lighting but you may come across vehicles that try to go the extra mile to impress. Such things as light up dance floors, karaoke machines, multiple TVs, private VIP rooms, multiple wet bar areas, personal hosts and DJs, or even areas for live bands to set up and play music!

Before calling or emailing for a reservation you should always have an idea of how long you will need the rental for and how far you will be traveling. You will also want to double check and ask to make sure that the company you are renting from has the appropriate licensing and insurance to operate a party bus in your region. It is also highly recommended that you get a contract in writing which outlines the entire agreement including costs and what happens if there are damages or any other issues that might arise. These things are all done to ensure the safety of you and the rest of your passengers and to make sure that you are protected and that do not get taken advantage of.

So here is hoping that your party bus rental goes off without a hitch and that you and your entire group has a fun and memorable time without any problems.

Rent Chicago Party Bus Services for Your Bachelor Party

Chicago is the largest city in the Illinois state. It is the biggest city in Midwest with nearly 3 million people residing in it’s area and 7 more million living in it’s suburbs. Chicago is located mainly in one county: Cook county, but some small parts extend over the DuPage county. Chicago was found as an industrial city and grew up into a cultural, business, transportation and financial center in central USA.

While in Chicago, don’t forget to visit it’s biggest building: The Willis Tower, also hop into the famous museums: Museum of Science and industry, The Field Museum, Museum of contemporary Arts. There are so many cultural activities in the Windy city not only for tourists, but also for it’s residents. Make sure to walk around in the millennium park and go to the beach at Lake Michigan.

For those that are planning a bachelor or bachelorette night in Chicago there are many activities to do at night. Do you have all the list of places where to go and what bars to visit? You can add more fun to your party by renting a limo bus to transport your group form one side of the city to another comfortably and in style. Many Chicago companies have special packages for such parties and can help you improve your party and help you save.

There is a wide selection of bars, caffes, clubs and restaurants in the Windy City. However, you might feel lost when it comes to choosing the best ones for your party. If you book a bachelor party package, most likely there will be included extras such as entrance to Chicago’s most famous clubs like Excalibur or Sound-bar and reserved table seating.

Looking for a limo company in such a busy city might be a difficult task at first. There are hundreds of limo service providers in Chicago. You do not want to call multiple companies just to find out if they offer party packages or deals. What you should do is to narrow your search criteria. Be specific about which bars you are interested in or what party bus you need. There are different types of party buses available in the Windy City so that you can get as many people as you like and have the amenities of your choice.

In the limo bus you can pre-party all you want. A party bus is a spacious private area where you can relax and have your own party going on. Most of the buses have light systems installed, lasers and strobe lights. Also, they have coolers stacked with drinks for your and your friends convenience. Also, most of the buses have plasma tvs, professional sound stereo system and a dance area. Some come with extra additions as disco ceilings and floors, mirrors, neons and styled cupholders just to entertain you. Everything is made for the customer to be happy and excited.

Renting a Party Bus is really convenient. Since you want all of your friends to stick together and you don’t want anyone drunk driving, a chauffeured limo bus is the vehicle to go with. In this way, everybody will be safe and your friends will be thankful to you. Moreover, you will hit that club in style and glamour. You will arrive like a VIP and have that bus waiting for you while you have fun at the bar.

There are many of limousine companies in Chicago. Some specialize in airport shuttle, some only work with corporate accounts and some specialize in parties. However, there are some that offer all the services. Elite Chicago Limo is one of them. You can rent a limo bus for your bachelors party, wedding SUV for the next day and an airport shuttle for your transportation to the airport for the honeymoon. When looking for a limo company in Chicago, search for one like this one.

Breckenridge Colorado Lodging

With over 500 lodging properties to choose from, Breckenridge, Colorado is home to a vast number of accommodations. The town features full service resorts, condominiums, hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts and private homes, nearly all of which reflect the area’s Rocky Mountain atmosphere. Whether you seek a 5-star slope side property with countless amenities or a simple, economical hotel room, Breckenridge’s extensive collection of lodging properties has you covered.

When searching for accommodations, you’ll likely want to consider location as a key factor in determining which properties best suit your needs. Breckenridge’s lodging neighborhoods consist of the historic district, Warriors Mark, the Four Seasons area, the 4 O’clock area and Peaks 8 and 9. These neighborhoods offer a variety of amenities as well as varying proximities to both the ski area and downtown Breckenridge.

The historic district primarily consists of condominium properties, vacation homes and bed & breakfasts. This neighborhood offers close proximity to Main Street’s restaurants and shopping, but not necessarily to the ski slopes. Historic district lodging properties generally access the Breckenridge Ski Resort via the town’s Free Ride bus service or by a short walk to the new BreckConnect gondola.

The Four Seasons neighborhood is made up of properties that are close to both the ski area and downtown Breckenridge. Here, you’ll find an extensive collection of condominium resorts, rental condos and private homes. The majority of Four Seasons accommodations are just a short walk from the ski lifts; however, this area is also served by the town’s complimentary public transportation service.

The 4 O’clock neighborhood offers a variety of ski-in ski-out and ski-in walk-out lodging options. Named for Breckenridge’s longest run, the majority of properties here offer ski back access to your accommodations and close proximity to the Snowflake chairlift. This area is populated by a variety of properties including full service resorts, town homes, condominiums and luxury rental homes. Visitors staying in the 4 O’clock neighborhood often experience a further walk to Main Street; however, many of the property management companies do offer complimentary, on-demand shuttle service to their guests

Peaks 8 and 9 make up the primary base areas of the Breckenridge Ski Resort and are home to Breckenridge’s finest full service resorts. Here, properties feature true ski-in ski-out access as well as the greatest selection of amenities in town. Enjoy on-site dining, shopping, spas, complimentary transportation, pools, hot tubs and more. These neighborhoods feature Breckenridge’s flagship properties and are often in the highest demand of all Breckenridge’s lodging options.

When booking your Breckenridge Lodging, consider elements such as location, amenities, room quality and ski slope access. A property management company should intuitively anticipate your party’s needs and work with you to determine which neighborhood suits them best. No matter where you choose to stay in Breckenridge, you’re sure to enjoy the town’s authentic Victorian charm and unique Rocky Mountain hospitality.

A Party Weekend Trip Guide

Should I drive

Figuring out where you want to go. It’s first a bang-up idea to examine how you want to get there even if you’re just headed to the nearest city for dancing and heavy drinking. Travel by train, bus or plane might be an amended option as you can nap in transit, allowing for less time wasted sleeping when you reach your destination. You want to enjoy the destination rather sleeping.

So many venues to go, not enough travel time

Flying half means around the earth to some exotic, Asian beach city wouldn’t be valuable for a weekend vacation because you would not make it there and back in time. No matter the transportation, try out to keep travel time far less than 12 total hours – there and back once again – because every minute counts. The finest weekends require eight or far less hours of travel time.

Take along good pals, not stuff

Pack the minimal needed, especially when flying, so you’re not stuck dealing with luggage. If having a plane, just convey a carry on. Instead of stuff, bring pals when traveling. The more friends, the merrier and cheaper, if you share room costs. Catching sun on a Floridian beach or club hopping in Michigan is built all the amended with a mate or two.

Where to stay

Hostels are great if you’re traveling on a shoestring, but their often protracted list of rules can suck the fun out of any weekend adventure. Take a hotel or motel near wherever your primary party spot happens to be. If headed to a big city, aim to explore one area rather than the entire place to cut down on time wasted traversing the urban jungle.

Time saved is a time earned

With lookup engines and websites forever at the prime, dedicate an hour or two to picking and reserving the best accommodations to suit your necessities. Although it takes away from the fun of spontaneity, valuable time isn’t wasted steering around hunting for vacant, affordable suites. While you’re at it, map out the route to your hotel and the sites you program to learn.

Budget hints

Primary ways to drop a few dollars admit, but are not limited to, share a hotel room with friends, avoiding pricey restaurants, drink store-bough brews before hitting the bars, relying on open transit rather than taxis, steering on cruise control to drop gas and keeping your wallet closed in touristy regions that always hike up the monetary value.

Don’t know where to go

Want to go, but don’t know where or what to do? Not sure if you want a rural relaxation or urban exhilaration? Study combining the best of each worlds. Areas like San Diego, California or San Juan, Puerto Rico offer sizzling beaches and equally sizzling nightclubs. Some prefer Burlington, Vermont or Denver, Colorado provide nearby, awe-inspiring landscapes and adequate nightlife to keep the adrenaline pumping all night long and the Detroit Metro Area has the hottest night clubs around.

White Water Rafting On The Arkansas River, A Colorado Adventure, A Family Affair

Picture this. It’s the 3rd week in June, it’s 10:30 AM, and our party of six and our guide shove off into the cool waters of the Arkansas River Bighorn Sheep Canyon. The 15 minute ride from the office to the departure point was light-hearted and filled with anticipation. The guides added to the excitement with their friendly banter.

After the guides unload the rafts from the bus top and the trailer and the rafts are put into the water, the group gathers around at the river’s edge. Casey, our guide, runs through the safety rules and the worse-case emergency situations with the final question, “So, are you scared yet? Good! Then let’s go.”

Within the next 2 to 3 minutes we practice our left back paddle, right paddle, and all paddle 3 commands. By the end of the rafting trip two hours later, we are just beginning to feel like a team that can respond to our guide’s commands and ride victoriously through the river’s challenges – any challenge. We might at this point be a little over confident. As first-time rafters, we may not know the subtle differences between class II-III rapids and those farther down the river through the Royal Gorge.

Somehow, from our beginning skill level of zero, we manage to ride the rapids, maneuver successfully around the rocks jutting up in the middle of the river (most of them!) and around the rocks that the current drives us toward, and with Casey’s expertise and adventurous spirit we ride down a few rapids backwards.

With some gentle persuasion after I have been well washed with a few soaking rapids, he obliges my request and we meet the next rapid’s challenges with the opposite side of the raft, for my wife’s benefit. She has stayed all too dry up to this point.

How can I describe it? We point the raft straight toward the rapids. “All paddle!” Casey shouts. We all paddle forward. As we hit the first rapid, the front of the raft hardly takes any water. We seem to skim over the troughs formed by the rapids, from top to top. Sometimes as I stroke forward with the paddle to pull it back, I pull air. Only the trough is below us. I can’t reach the water. Then the next wave crashes into the raft, soaking us all, the two leaders in front gasping a breath through the streaming water. From someone in the raft erupts a shout, “Yeah! Wow! What a ride!” And we’re through that set of rapids.

During the more quiet moments, some of the younger boys in one of our neighboring rafts jump in for a swim. We take some pictures, and trade stories, fully enjoying one of nature’s challenging forces, fully enjoying our newly-found unity and purpose as a river rafting team. Seldom in my life has the sky seemed more blue, the water more inviting, or the adventure more satisfying. The two-hour trip is all too short, and I loathe getting out of the river and back on the bus. I am ready to do the Royal Gorge and its class IV-V rapids!

RIVERRUNNERS can host your entire family (8 years of age and older) for an exhilarating, unforgettable rafting excursion on the Arkansas River through Big Horn Sheep Canyon. Now during early summer is an ideal time, but don’t write off late summer thinking the water level will be too low. For the family the entire summer is a great time. RIVERRUNNERS offers a variety of half day or full day trips from easy to demanding even for the experienced rafter. In addition to Royal Gorge and Bighorn Sheep Canyon, the company offers trips through Browns Canyon, the Numbers, and Pine Creek. Their Utah based ADRIFT ADVENTURES offers daily, 4-day and 5-day rafting vacations through the Yampa River Canyon, Green River, Lodor Canyon, and Dinosaur National Monument. Indeed, there is a trip and an adventure for everyone.

The staff is experienced, requiring 100 hours of rafting experience before being allowed to guide a raft. The equipment is kept in excellent repair, and the company’s attention to detail, including each participant’s personal needs and limitations, is admirable. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip with RIVERRUNNERS, and our next full-day rafting trip, including the Royal Gorge and class V rapids, will be with them. Get ready Casey, because we’re requesting you for our guide.

Donald Pyle is a husband, father, and grandpa with experience in education and interpersonal relations. He specializes in helping others plan and realize their travel needs and their dream vacations. He is a certified referring travel agent, association specialist, and CLIA certified.

The 7 Biggest Mistakes Most New Daycare Owners Make – And How to Avoid Them!

What does it take to be successful in child care?

Obviously, you should have a deep & passionate desire to take care of children, a huge amount of patience, and the ability to juggle several tasks at once (such as warming a bottle while helping toddlers with an art project).

It also helps if you have a separate space in your home, such as a finished basement, where you can run your child care business.

But as if that isn’t enough, there are many things that a successful home daycare owner needs to be good at besides caring for children. Honestly, it can be quite daunting.

Things like getting paid on time from parents, writing solid policies & contracts, marketing your business to new potential clients, obtaining the right insurance policy, understanding record-keeping and how it affects your taxes, and overall, just getting started in a manner that will optimize success.

To help you get started more successfully, here are seven of the biggest, costliest mistakes women make when starting their own home-based child care business, and how to avoid them.

BIG MISTAKE #1: Not doing the proper research on the child care market in your town or city.

This is a crucial step that many new child care business owners miss, usually because they’re not sure how to go about it. Or they may think that it’s not really necessary to do the research, because they don’t understand how it could impact them.

After all, it’s just a small home-based business, right? Why do you need to do all that extra work up-front?

The goal here is not to spend weeks or months completing some huge market research project that you’re not ever going to use.

I’m talking about spending a few hours over the next few days, calling around (or maybe visiting some other child care businesses) and asking key questions.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. My neighbor Mary, who runs a child care business in her home, discovered a couple things about our local market that helped her create a more profitable business. The first thing was, our town has ½-day Kindergarten, not full-day. By talking to other Moms in our town, Mary found there was a need in our town for “before-and-after care”, that is someone who could watch Kindergarteners & older kids before and after school. She structured her daycare to fill this need. All she had to do was make sure the buses were able to pick up & drop off these kids at her home, and she was able to start taking kids.

So what you want to uncover, when you do your upfront research, is a “pocket of unfulfilled need” in terms of child care. You don’t need it to be a huge pocket, but something unique about your business that will bring you customers who have that need.

Other examples of this are:
– offering second or third shift care if you have large companies in your town who employ people on evening or overnight shifts
– offering bilingual care or special languages, such as sign language for babies
– offering special meals (such as organic or vegetarian) if you live in a town where that would be considered desirable (like Boulder, Colorado or a similar college town)

Again, you are asking key questions and trying to uncover an unfulfilled need in your town or city. You can begin by calling your local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency (CCR&R), your local elementary schools, talking to neighbors and friends, and visiting other child care businesses in your town. You can even call other home child care businesses and talk to these women about what they are seeing in the market. Usually, women in child care help each other out by forming friendships and partnerships, so don’t be intimidated.

By taking the time to do the research, you will gain a huge advantage by understanding your market and how you can be successful within that market.

BIG MISTAKE #2: Not getting the right liability protection for you and your business.

If you want to be able to sleep easy at night and not worry about getting sued, you’ll need to be properly covered. You need the real scoop on what type of insurance to buy, and how much it should cost, so you don’t overpay.

Many new child care business owners make the mistake of thinking that their homeowner’s policy is enough to cover them if there’s a problem. But the truth is, that policy usually doesn’t provide enough protection, nor the right kind of protection you need for special situations that a daycare owner can face.
An example of this situation would be if your house had a power outage, and you had to close temporarily due to the loss of electricity. If you had a business liability policy with coverage for “business income interruption”, you would be covered by your policy and you would still get that income.

Likewise, if you were sued by a parent for some situation, your policy would cover you in most cases.
Surprisingly, a business liability policy for a home daycare is not that expensive, and is well worth the investment (in my opinion). These type of policies usually cost $30 to $40 per month. Is that worth a good night’s sleep?

BIG MISTAKE #3: Not charging the right fees.

Do you know how to find out what other child care homes and centers are charging? Most new daycare owners literally leave money on the table by not setting their rates properly. You’ll get short-changed by charging too little, and if you charge too much, you won’t get any clients!

So how do you go about figuring out what to charge? This is a similar process as doing the upfront research in your town…it’s simply a matter of making some phone calls or visits to other child care businesses and setting you prices appropriately.

Many new family daycare owners charge the same weekly rate for each child, regardless of the child’s age. However, if you talk to centers in your town, most of them charge the highest rate for infants, and the lowest rate for older kids (pre-K and older). Many parents are used to this type of pricing structure.
So depending on the ages of kids that you can accept, if you charge a bit more for infants and young toddlers, you may find that your income will be a bit higher than a flat-rate for all ages. You’ll have to look at your individual scenario and choose what’s best for you.

For example, let’s say that according to your state, and the ages of your own children, you can accept 1 infant, 3 young toddlers (15-24 months), and 2 older toddlers (3-4 year olds). If you charge $120 per week as a flat rate, you would have a weekly income of $720.

If, however, you charged a bit more for infants ($135/week), and young toddlers ($125/week) and less for older toddlers ($115/week), your weekly income with this scenario would be $740. That amounts to an extra $80 per month, or an extra $1,040 per year.

Small adjustments like these in your price, if it makes sense based on your local area, can make a difference in your take-home profits at the end of the day.

BIG MISTAKE #4: Not covering yourself with a proper daycare policy handbook and contract.
Okay, this is a really big one. You need to have a well-written contract for your parents, and you need a comprehensive policy handbook. If you use your contract and policy handbook properly, you can literally save yourself thousands of dollars of lost income (and countless hours of headaches!).

So what’s the difference between a contract and a policy?

A contract is a binding legal agreement between two people. If you agree to care for a child and the child’s parent agrees to pay you for that care, you’ve made a verbal contract. If you put the contract in writing, it becomes a written contract.

There are 5 key elements of a child care contract: the names of the parties, the hours of operation, the termination procedure (that is, how either party may terminate the agreement), terms of payment (including rates, due dates, and extra fees), and the signatures of the parties. Be specific and clear with your wording.

A policy handbook is longer and more detailed than a contract. It should contain all the rules that state how you will care for the children, how you’ll handle specific kinds of situations, and how you run your business. For example, you should include your vacation & sick day policies, how you handle behavior issues & discipline, and how the children will be fed.

It’s a good idea to require a signature page at the end of your policy handbook, where the parent agrees that he or she has read the entire handbook and agrees to abide by the policies you’ve laid out.
You need to have both documents in writing. (If you need actual examples that you can copy & edit to fit your business, they are provided in my Daycare Success System…more about that later).

BIG MISTAKE #5: Not using the best ways to market your business to future customers.

Let’s face it, you may not be a marketing and advertising whiz, but you need easy and low-cost ways to get the word out and bring in new customers.

We’ve all heard that the best advertising is word-of-mouth. That’s after you’ve gotten started and your clients recommend you to their friends and neighbors.

But what about when you first open your doors, and you have no proven track record?

Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can get the word out about your new child care business, and most of them won’t cost you much money. Here are 4 marketing ideas to get you started.

Marketing Tip #1: Register with the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Office in Your Area.
This is the very first thing you should do to get your name out there, and it should be done prior to opening your doors. The website is located at: www.childcareaware.org

Then enter your ZIP Code in the search field and you will receive the contact information for your nearest CCR&R office. You can also call them toll-free at (800) 424-2246.

As of December 2007, in order to be registered with most CCR&R’s, you do not need to be state-licensed or certified. However, they may have special requirements to be listed, based on your state.
For example, in Ohio, they request that solo family daycare providers have a maximum of 6 children at any time, and no more than 3 children under the age of 2. If there is more than one caregiver in the home/facility, the numbers can be higher. These rules vary by state, so be sure to call your local CCR&R branch to confirm your rules.

Once you register with your CCR&R, they will provide your contact information, along with any special information pertaining to your daycare, to parents seeking child care….for free!

Marketing Tip #2: Contact All Elementary Schools on Your Bus Line and/or in Your Community.
Most schools maintain a list of Childcare Providers, which they provide to parents upon request. Ask to have your name and phone number added to their Provider list.

Marketing Tip #3: Verbally Communicate to Everyone You Know.
Tell everyone you know that you are providing child care and ask them if they know anyone who is seeking childcare in your area. Make an announcement at your church, and at all other groups to which you belong. If you don’t belong to any community groups, join some! You’re an entrepreneur now, it’s time to start networking!
This may be your strongest source for enrolling daycare children. Most parents prefer to leave their children with a provider that was recommended by a friend, neighbor, coworker or family member.

Marketing Tip #4: Place Announcements or Small Ads in Community Newsletters.
Ask every organization you know and/or belong to such as a Church, Play Group, or Community Group, if you can place an announcement in their Newsletter.
If you know a community group, church, and/or business professional that mails out a newsletter, ask them to advertise your business for the local residents on their database. In your advertisement, focus on the unique features of your business and the benefits that children and parents will receive from being enrolled with you.

Remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg. When you learn these easy and inexpensive (or free) methods to bring in new leads, you’ll have a full and profitable daycare center and you’ll establish an ongoing relationship with your parent-clients that will have them raving about you to their friends and family!

Now let’s get back to the 7 Biggest Mistakes and how you can avoid them.

BIG MISTAKE #6: Not utilizing the tons of free resources in your local area, including sources of grant money.

Many new daycare or preschool owners don’t know about the local resources available to them, and how to navigate the waters of state, regional, and local government agencies.

With so many organizations and websites out there, it can be really tough to figure out where to go and who to ask, if you don’t know where to begin.

The best place to start is with your state. Every state in the U.S. has an agency within their state government that sets the rules for family child care providers. This agency is usually called something like the Department of Child & Family Services (DCFS), or the Department of Job & Family Services (DJFS) and they all have websites.

(If you are in Canada or another country, you probably have a similar office in your government).
Simply go to your state’s website (such as http://www.Illinois.gov) and look for the appropriate department, or type “child care” in the search box.

The website should contain phone numbers for the Child Care contact person in your state. Call them on the phone and inquire about your state’s rules and what they recommend for people who are just getting started in family child care.

Most counties also have a child care office that helps people at the county level. Ask your state contact person how to find help for your specific county. Then, contact your county rep and ask the following questions (these are also good questions to ask your state rep):

– What do you need to know that’s specific rules or regulations for your county?
– What training are you required to take before you open your doors?
– What kind of ongoing training / learning is required?
– Do they have any recommendations on insurance providers for child care owners in your county?
– What resources do they have to help you get started?
– Do they know about any sources for grants or low-interest start-up loans?
– Are there local or county support groups that meet to discuss child care issues?

There may be other questions you’ll think of, too. Don’t be intimidated. You have the right to get the best information to get started, and you owe it to yourself to start out as successfully and as knowledgably as possible.

BIG MISTAKE #7: Not getting licensed or certified by your state.

Getting licensed or certified with your state can be a bit of work, but it’s probably easier than you think. Usually, to get licensed you are required to take a certain amount of training (often very low-cost or even free) and your home will be inspected once or twice a year by a state inspector to ensure that guidelines are being met.

There are lots of reasons why you should consider it…the top reason being that you can charge higher rates!

Here are some of the other benefits you will gain by being licensed or certified with your state:
– You will be proud to know you are providing the highest quality of care (and you can communicate this to others).
– Potential parents will be more likely to choose you, so you won’t have to spend as much on marketing and advertising
– Schools and other businesses will be more likely to recommend you.
– You may be eligible for grants or low-interest loans to expand your daycare or improve it with a new outdoor play area, etc.
– You will stand out from the crowd as a superior business.

You will have the highest chance for success if you strive to be the best at what you do.

Good luck

Austin Neighborhood Profile – Clarksville

The West Austin area of Clarksville was originally a freedman’s colony for slaves freed after the Civil War. Clarksville now has a very diverse population, and this diversity is reflected in the various nationalities of the residents. There is an excellent public grade school in Clarksville, named Mathews Elementary. Every fall, Mathews holds a carnival on the grounds, which includes the Clarksville Annual International Dinner and the Octoborama Festival, which is held at the end of October.

During Octoberama, local musicians, many of whom are the parents or relatives of Mathews School students, perform at the carnival. Also, most of the kids bring large quantities of food to be sold at the International Dinner, to reflect the cuisine of the countries of their origin. Since most of the University of Texas Division of Housing apartment complexes are located in the West Austin area, and the grade school children residing there with their parents attend Mathews, many ethnicities and heritages are represented at the dinner, including Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Mexican, and various African and other nationalities. While at the Octoberama Festival, you can hear local musicians, sample all kinds of homemade food, watch contests such as two-legged races and relay races, and enjoy juggling and face-painting, which all of the kids love. Right down the street from the school is another Austin legend, Nau’s pharmacy, which has one of the oldest soda fountains in Austin. You can have eggs for breakfast or a shake after school at Nau’s, and then head down to the 9th Street dog park.

There are many good restaurants in the Clarksville area, and this area is a short bus ride or long walk to Lady Bird Lake, and the jogging trails, or you can go downtown by bus or on the sidewalk, just a mile or so in the other direction. There are also a number of historic homes in the Clarksville area, including a home referred to by the children as “the Castle”, since it looks just like a medieval castle, but which was originally a military college building. There is also a “Moonlight Tower”, another local landmark, in the area of the Castle. Austin and Clarksville are home to many local politicians and well-known Austinites. Ann Richards was a regular at the drug store soda fountain, and most Hollywood celebrities visit the restaurants when in Austin.

The Johnson Creek Hike and Bike Trail skirts the western edge of Clarksville, and winds along under the Loop One freeway, also called the MoPac for the Missouri Pacific rail line which runs directly alongside the freeway. You can walk, ride a bike, or jog up and down the hike and bike trail, which crosses Johnson Creek in one place and begins at Austin High School, on the northern shore of Lady Bird Lake.

From the Austin High School access point to the trails, You can cross the lake, which is actually the Colorado River, and hike through Zilker Park or swim in Barton Springs, or go north, and once past Clarksville, you eventually wind up in the Brykerwoods area, if you go south you can head down to the Barton Hills and Travis Heights.

Clarksville is also home to various arts and crafts establishments, and the yearly Eeyore’s Birthday Party Celebration, another fun local event, which is held in Pease Park, on the north-eastern perimeter of the Clarksville area. All in all, The Clarksviile area of Austin is truly a great place to live, whether you’re raising a family, a student, retired, or any one of the varied lifestyles which flourish in Austin. You will always feel at home in Clarksville.

Las Vegas Helicopters to the Grand Canyon During the New Year’s Holiday

Party goers from around the world head to Las Vegas for a grand New Year’s Eve celebration. There is a lot to do in Vegas, and one of the more fun experiences is to take a helicopter tour out of there to visit the Grand Canyon.

When you take a helicopter tour out of Vegas to the Grand Canyon, you will go to the West Rim. While many people like to visit the South Rim, it is too far away for Vegas helicopters. You can still go to the South Rim, you just have to do it by airplane instead of helicopter.

You get to choose from two different types of helicopter tours. One type of tour sets down at the canyon and is called a landing tour, while the other type is an air only tour that does not land. No matter which type you choose, you’ll get to fly over Lake Mead and the massive Hoover Dam. The air only tours then head on to the Grand Canyon where you tour the West Rim from the air, and then fly back to Vegas. If you decide to take a landing tour, you can pick from one that lands on the canyon floor or one that lands on top of the rim.

Champagne At The Canyon!

Many travelers love the tour that flies down to the canyon floor where you get to enjoy a fun Champagne picnic. There are several of these tours available since they depart daily on alternating hours from 7:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon. This tour is exciting because of the helicopter descent into the canyon, that takes about 15 minutes to complete, until the chopper sets down beside the Colorado River.

You also have options to add on side activities, such as a boat ride on the Colorado River. For an added thrill, and the most amazing views imaginable, you can add on passes to the Skywalk, which is a massive glass bridge that juts out over the canyon.

These tours are available in two versions. Deluxe or basic. The basic tours are the least expensive, but they depart from Boulder City, and you’ll have to take a 35 minute shuttle ride to get to the airfield there. The deluxe tours are much more convenient since they lift off from the Strip in Vegas, plus you get to ride to the helipad in a limo rather than a shuttle bus.

Deluxe Flights

Since the deluxe tours lift off on the Strip, you get an amazing aerial view of the resorts as the helicopter hovers in the air. It is an amazing sight to see the Luxor and the Stratosphere from the air. It’s a fantastic way to enhance your Vegas New Year’s celebration.

New Years is one of the busiest holidays in Vegas. Therefore, you want to book your helicopter tour in advance. Go ahead and book your Grand Canyon tour when you book your hotel, or at least one to two weeks in advance. Otherwise, the flights might be booked up solid and you won’t get a seat.

It’s also possible the tour prices will rise during the holidays. You can get around that by booking your seats online. You’ll find the lowest prices on the tour operators’ websites. But in order to get the low online rate, you have to buy your tickets online.

To Sum Up

The New Year’s holidays are a perfect time to visit Las Vegas and tour the Grand Canyon. If you can’t decide which tour is best, then opt for the deluxe tour that flies down to the Canyon floor. Then you’ll get a bonus view of Vegas from the air and a fun ride in a limousine. And remember to buy your seats directly from the tour operator’s website so you get to use the low Internet rate.

The Best Las Vegas Must-Sees

A list of The Really Important Vegas Stuff will furnish perspective to any hyped-up and confused Las Vegas visitor. It’s difficult to choose from the massive amounts of shows, casinos, and attractions on the Strip. This list reflects only the most beloved attractions in Southern Nevada.

On Strip Entertainment.

The Las Vegas Strip is a piece of Las Vegas Boulevard containing a dense assortment of world-class entertainment options. It runs North-South in the middle of the Las Vegas Valley. While the cutoff points of the Strip never stay the same, it is normal to begin with Mandalay Bay at Russel Road, in the South, and finish with the Sahara and Stratosphere casinos at Sahara Avenue, in the North. Sidewalks and public transportation abound on the Strip, so most of the time a car is useless. Big draws like the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Rio, and the Palms are not technically on the Strip, but are close enough to be considered a part of it.

For Everyone:

The Bellagio Fountains
The best water, music, and light show anywhere is at the Bellagio resort, and it won’t cost you a dime. The water leaps every night and day, and offers plenty of standing room on the street in front of the 4-acre, man-made lake Bellagio. Times:

Monday-Friday

3:00pm-8:00pm
Show every 1/2 hour

8:00pm-12:00am
Show every 15 minutes

Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays

12:pm-8:00pm
Show every 1/2 hour

8:00pm-12:00am
Show every 15 minutes

The Stratosphere Tower.

The tallest free-standing tower in America is also a hotel, casino, and mini amusement park. The outdoor observation deck on level 109 provides 40-mile views of the entire Las Vegas Valley, as well as a good look at rides that dangle, drop, and spin guests high above the city. The Tower is beautiful at dusk, but any time of day brings a worthwhile view.

TIMES:
Sunday-Thursday: 10am-1am
Friday-Saturday: 10am-2am

TOWER TICKETS:
Adult – $15.95
Child – $10.00
Senior – $12.00
Hotel Guest – $12.00
Nevada Resident – $12.00

A Fantastic Swimming Pool.
In Summertime, when the thermometer can climb unreasonably high, a swimming pool becomes a lifesaver. Las Vegas possesses the best swimming options. Select from this shortlist:

For the oceanic: The Tank, at the Golden Nugget, is the most original and special swimming pool currently in Las Vegas. A two-story aquarium sits in the middle, stuffed with oceanic life and a waterside. visitors can stare at sharks from within the pool or without, through a giant window. Above the main level, a adults-only are offers a home for European sunbathers. Of course, gambling is available all around the pool

For the beautiful party goer: Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was the first pool party in Vegas, and is still the loudest, raunchiest, and most stuffed with hard bodies. Don’t go to cover up. Do go to see hard bodies.

For the peaceful: The Beach at Mandalay bay has it all: A sandy beach, a wave pool, a lazy river, a separate topless area, and a collection of eating and drinking areas. It has four pools total encompassing11 acres, plus a running area and several whirlpools. All around the best place to get sun in Sin City, but it might be pretty crowded on the weekends.

For the Trendy:

The Forum Shops at CaesarsSee for yourself what the mall with the most earnings per square foot in America looks like. The Forum Shops was The original reason people came to Las Vegas to shop, and is still on top of the heap.

For Kids:

The Adventuredome at Circus Circus has been the place for children in Las Vegas since the ’90s. The 5 acre theme park is as stuffed as it can be with attractions. Admission is free, and tickets for the thrill rides are available to fit different budgets.

Off the Strip:
http://www.lasvegas.net/Sightseeing-Tours.htm

Some Las Vegas attractions are distant enough to require a car, and at least one is not even in Nevada.

For Everyone:

The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign:
While technically the Strip, the attraction is a piece of uninteresting street away from the closest casino, Mandalay Bay. The hotel The Four Seasons is nearer. Those who don’t mind walking can take the hike South to the sign, but be warned that it is just a walk, with none of the activity and glamour that make ambling through the heart of the Strip so enjoyable.Most would prefer to drive to the sign, but even driving can be a pain. The sign is centrally located on Las Vegas Boulevard, a busy, six-lane street. The parking lot connected to the sign has ten parking spaces for cars, two for buses or limousines, and two more for the disabled. On busy days, more spaces are needed.. The vehicles entering this parking lot can be huge and tough to enter.

Those who want to see the Sign, but don’t need to take their picture under it, should just have a passenger take the photo out of the window of the car. This will be an easier way to get the shot. Those who really want to get their picture by it should consider this choice: an identical but slightly larger sign, erected on Boulder Highway just north of Tropicana Avenue. This gateway from Henderson sees far less traffic than the original.

Fremont Street
Sometimes called Downtown, Old Las Vegas, and the Fremont Street Experience, the section of Fremont Street between Main Street and Las Vegas Boulevard is where Nevada tourism got its start. The oldest casino in Vegas, the Golden Gate (Est. 1906!), keeps its doors open here. Fremont Street is about two miles North of Sahara Avenue, so strolling from the Southern part of Las Vegas is not recommended.

The Fremont Street experience is a 10-story tall, 4-block long curved ceiling embedded with 2.1 million lights. At dusk, the lights come alive to the beat of booming music. The shops, casinos, hotels, and carts that share this space all work together to provide a fun place to play. This is the most likely place to get a picture taken with a showgirl, enjoy a cheap and unhealthy meal, and see tourists from almost every country on Earth.

The Hoover Dam
The most popular dam in America is free every day for those willing to make the drive. About 45 minutes from the heart of the city, the Dam is accessible via highway 95. Drivers should travel East from the Strip, on any major street or highway, then South on the 95 through Henderson and Boulder City. Go left onto Highway 93 in Boulder City, and continue to the Dam.

The Hoover Dam is the most awe-inspiring creation of engineers many travelers will ever see. Since 1936, guests have stood on the top and looked 726 feet down into the Colorado River as it emerges from the hydroelectric plant.

The Grand Canyon
Technically in Arizona, the Grand Canyon sees more visitors from Las Vegas than from any other place in the West. Foreign tourists often use Vegas as their gateway to the West, traveling to Death Valley, the Canyon, and Zion nation park from this one travel hub.

The West Rim of the Grand Canyon is two hours away by car, making it a great day trip. Helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon require only a portion of the day to view the scenery. The South Rim, six hours away by car, is more of a commitment. The North Rim, also six hours away, is the least visited part of the Canyon, closed during the winter.