Monthly Archives: October 2015

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Childcare Educator

Childcare EducatorSometimes, parents need to work longer hours to provide for their family, reducing the time they can spend taking care of the kids. Some have relatives who can look after the children while they’re at work. But, for those who don’t, they can rely on childcare facilities.

Some don’t mind driving the kids to the day-care centre, while others prefer having childcare educators over at their home. In-home childcare providers Nurtured At Home say that such organisations can also provide children basic yet fun education. Before hiring educators, make sure they’re suitable and qualified.

What are the qualifications of a childcare educator?

The first thing you need to see is the license and accreditation of the teacher. You don’t want a stranger to take care of your children who is not a certified professional. This also assures you that the person underwent proper training to provide sufficient care and education.

When, where and for whom did you last work?

Getting applicants through referrals is a logical way to find efficient educators. But, if you can’t find one, it’s practical to ask about their last job. If you can, contact the family or centre they worked for before you. This can give you substantial feedback on the capability of the educators.

Are you a certified CPR or first-aid individual?

You never know what can happen to your children while you are out. That is why it’s best to leave them to someone who knows how to respond to emergency situations. This quality is highly essential in the job, especially if the child has a certain health condition that requires emergency treatment.

How much time are you allotting for teaching?

You have to remember that children don’t just have to play all the time. While you cannot impose strict education yet on such age, it’s still important that the teachers can give a lesson or two. They should somehow engage the children in learning activities.

Safety and efficiency are the top priorities when hiring childcare educators. Through these and other thorough questions, you can be sure your children are in good hands while you’re out.

Financially Savvy: Are Millennials Money Conscious?

Financial Habits Those born between the early 1980s and the mid-2000s have many names – Millennials, Generation Y, and sadly, some even refer to them as the so-called ‘Laziest Generation’. This clearly explains that they are the most examined generation in history, and for good reason.

New studies indicate, however, that there is a more appropriate term for today’s kids and young professionals: “The Money-Conscious Generation.” The findings revealed that the 18- to 34-year-old group is now better at sticking to monthly budgets and monitoring their expenses.

Changing Financial Habits

Researchers claim that the saving and spending habits of millennials have changed dramatically, as they now understand that they must prepare for retirement. According to an article on Forbes: “When [Millennials] have the means to do the right thing, it appears that they often do. They are exhibiting financial discipline in managing their spending and are defying stereotypes that this generation is prone to spend-thrift, short-sighted thinking.”

Just like baby boomers, however, millennials also make some financial mistakes, but they are aware that they still have room for improvement when it comes to managing finances. Financial experts, such as RapidLoans.com.au, have observed that most millennials get personal loans for emergency purposes and strive to repay them immediately to stay out of debt.

Future-Focused Mindset

It’s no secret that millennials struggle financially at some point, but most of them make an effort to resist immediate luxuries and learn how to grow their savings. Borrowing money from financial institutions is fine, as long as one knows the importance of repaying loans right away.

It’s necessary to master basic financial skills to keep debt to a minimum, to get the best deals when shopping, to learn how investment works, to live within means and to save for retirement earlier on.

The latest string of studies about millennials, without a doubt, is surprising yet encouraging.  The younger generation isn’t in such a bad state. They may make money mistakes sometimes, but they know how to bounce back.

Keep Your Cable Clutter Under Control – Here’s How

Organising CablesDepending on the size of your home entertainment or office setup, you may have excess cord bundled everywhere. Apart from putting anyone in your household at risk of tripping over, those tangled mess of wires and cables is also a fire hazard. Eliminate cord clutter in your home by following these simple tips:

Tie them up

Bundle similar sets of cables together using cable ties. Tying up audio-visual cables and power cables separately will not just minimise the mess, it will also help avoid signal interference.

Put labels on them

One of the annoying things about having all those cords in a mess is that you can’t remember which is which. To figure out which wire connects to the right device or appliance, you would have to tug each one of them. If you are not careful, you might end up unplugging the wrong cable by mistake. Save yourself the trouble by using labels to mark each cord. Use different colours so you can easily determine which wires go with your TV, computer and other electronics.

Hide them

Your home theatre will look more impressive if there are no visible wires to distract you. Instead of stringing the wires along the wall haphazardly, run them along the ceiling or underneath the carpet using cable tacks.

Remember to use the right size of cable tacks for each cord as the wrong tacks can pinch or damage the cable jacket. Also, be careful not to pierce the cord when you hammer the tacks. If you are running wires under the carpet, be sure not to route them under high-traffic areas where they may be damaged.

In addition to being unsightly, the clutter of wires and cables under the desk or behind your entertainment centre can be unsafe. So, it is best to do something about them right now before it’s too late.

A Quick Guide to Hard Water and the Need for Water Softening

Installing Water Softeners.You better think twice if you believe the water coming out of your tap at home and the one in your office or in your neighbors are the same type. Water used in homes and commercial settings can be classified as hard and soft water. Read on to find out more.

What is hard water?

Hard water is a natural type of water. It did not undergo any chemical process before it reaches your tap. It contains natural minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. However, due to the high concentration of these minerals, hard water can harm plumbing and water-using appliances. It can also cause spots on dishes, tarnish laundry, and cause rust-colored stains in sinks, toilets, and showers.

What’s the solution?

Water softening is one of the most commonly used solutions to hard water. A water softener is a mechanical appliance installed in plumbing systems. It works to remove the damaging minerals present in hard water, converting it to soft water. Many people prefer to use soft water in Salt Lake City despite claims that hard water is a healthier drinking option. Soft water is the more practical option among homeowners due to its numerous household benefits. Beehiveplumbing.com, soft water solution provider in Salt Lake City, says mineral water can clog pipes, reduce water flow, damage fixtures over time, and increase in utility bills.

What are the benefits of water softening?

For one, water softening helps save costs. It reduces fuel consumption from the hardness scale prevention in water boilers and heaters. In addition, soft water is the friendlier option for appliances such as drinking water systems, dishwashers, and washing machines. Build-up of hard water minerals can cause damage to these appliances, so if you go for the softer option, you’re saving your appliances.

Furthermore, silverware and glassware when washed with soft water become cleaner and shinier. Clothes and fabrics also appear to be softer as the water is milder. You can ensure that the whites stay white and the colored ones will not get dull due to tough water.

These are the reasons more and more people today see the benefits of installing water softeners. Many professional plumbers today offer water-softening solutions to homeowners.

All about the Patio: Commonly Used Furniture Materials

Patio FurnitureBuilding a patio or deck is a way to extend your living space and to enjoy the outdoors. The outdoor extension gives you a nice place where you can relax during sunny mornings and lazy afternoons. It can be the perfect place to have a cup of tea while enjoying the view of your garden, read a book or maybe take an afternoon nap.

To make these areas suitable for relaxation, you need the right type of furnishings. Patio furniture comes in different materials with unique features and functions. It pays to know which items best suit your home.

Here are the most commonly used materials in patio furniture, their qualities and some furniture shopping tips.

Timber

Timber furniture lends a natural charm that easily blends with your outdoor space. Timber chairs and teak tables have a warm look and feel that will make you want to sit and relax a little longer. Go for premium quality wood, as its durability is more suitable for outdoor use.

Teak and eucalyptus pieces, for instance, may come at a price, but they’re strong enough to serve you for years. These wood types are denser and are naturally resistant to water. To avoid rusting problems, the furniture provider Garden Pine Design recommends chairs with stainless steel screws.

Wrought Iron

Furniture sets made from wrought iron are a classic and elegant addition to your backyard space. They make perfect choices if you want sturdy furnishings. Some manufacturers also use modern finishes and colours to make them suitable for more contemporary applications. RealSimple.com suggests buying only powder-coated and UV-resistant wrought iron pieces, so you can use them for a long time.

Wicker

Wicker furniture is one of the popular options for outdoor spaces. Most of them are made from natural products such as wicker, rattan and natural grasses. This type of furniture is attractive and gives off a natural appeal. When buying wicker items, choose those treated with resin finish that protects their surfaces from potential damages.

Whether you need a single Adirondack chair, a wicker set or a daybed, your choice can significantly impact your patio or deck’s level of comfort. Shop wisely, so you can boost the function and value of these areas.

Are You Safe at Work? Factors to Consider When Getting Safety Booklets

mining industryThe mining industry employs thousands of people in Australia. It is of important for the companies that run the mines to maintain high levels of safety to protect the wellbeing of the employees, as well as prevent losses.

Despite the fact that insurance companies offer health and life policies to miners, companies should leave nothing to chance.

Buying and distributing comprehensive Take 5 booklet safety for employees can help prevent and reduce the risk of accidents occurring. Here are some of the main factors to consider when looking for these products:

Credibility

The safety books need to have proper accreditation from industry authorities. This will ensure that employees get accurate information on how to deal with various scenarios.

Clarity

The booklet should be written in a simple language that is easy to understand for all. Request the printing company to provide samples of their booklets to help you make an informed decision.

Use of Graphic Images

It is not possible to describe all safety precaution procedures using text alone. The best booklets have images designed to help the readers understand the content well. Choose one that has quality graphic images that describe the safety procedures clearly. Apart from the image, other factors that you should consider are the colour and size of the images.

Size

Go for a safety booklet that is not too small or too big. The workers should be able to carry it with them at all times. Involve the employees in the selection process, so you know what is convenient for both parties.

Finding a quality safety booklet does not have to be an uphill task. The above factors will help you narrow down your options and provide the safety reminders that mining employees need.

3 Professionals to Hire to Keep Your Properties for Rent Safe and Well-Managed

Rental Property Owning a lot of properties for rent has many advantages because you can earn money easily. Your only responsibility is to make sure your tenants are safe and satisfied, so they could last long in your rental properties. If you have different properties all over a city, though, you may need help managing every single one of them. Below, Buildcorp Management Limited shares a list of some professionals you can hire to do this efficiently.

Maintenance Staff

You need a skilled and experienced maintenance staff to make sure your properties are always clean and orderly. This will benefit the tenants because they will feel more comfortable. It will also be beneficial to you because maintenance works will keep your properties looking good and functioning well. Assure your tenants that they only need to make one call to your maintenance staff, and they’ll get an immediate response.

Leasing Agent

Your leasing agent handles all the paperwork and legal matters of your properties for rent; that’s why you need to have a trusting relationship with him or her. Their responsibilities include interviewing possible tenants, evaluating their ability to pay, making sure the tenants understand the contract clearly before signing it, giving away access cards and keys to new tenants, and collecting monthly payments.

Property Manager

Make sure the property manager you will hire has a lot of experience in property management to have peace of mind knowing that your properties are always taken care of. The property manager is responsible in overseeing every aspect of your properties as well as giving orders to all other employees you have. They have the power to act on your behalf during your absence, so make sure to hire an efficient one.

If handling your properties for rent is getting too much, you can always rely on the help of these experts. Just make sure to choose wisely because the success of your rental units depends on how they perform.

Serving Singapore: Joining the National Service

National ServiceJuly 1, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the Singapore Armed Forces. Servicemen and other military personnel, from young men to older veterans, celebrated with a parade. With the celebration of the 50th SAF Day, regular Singaporeans remember their time in service.

Prepare the Next Generation

Singaporean parents or first generation permanent residents have to start explaining things to their children once they near the standard conscription age. To come up with a thorough explanation, here are important information you should remember.

Duty to the Nation

All strong male citizens, both native Singaporeans and second generation permanent residents, are required by law to participate in military training or National Service.

The Enlistment Act is the piece of legislation that requires the conscription of all male Singaporeans by the time they reach the age of 18. At 16 and a half years old, however, citizens and permanent residents must already register for National Service.

What to Expect?

The service lasts for two years, during which your children will serve in the National Service SAF, the Singapore Civil Defence Force or the Singapore Police Force. Upon finishing the two years, your child will be an Operationally Ready National Serviceman, or NSman.

End of Service

NSmen will continue to be of service until they reach 40 years of age. There are special conditions, however. NSmen who become officers or acquire and exhibit special skills will continue to serve until they reach 50 years of age.

Singapore Needs You

The Ministry of Defence outlined three reasons the National Service is a just cause. Firstly, Singapore cannot afford to maintain a large number of regular soldiers. Secondly, the nation’s economy cannot support a large fighting force of regulars since Singapore has a small population. Lastly, the nation should entrust its own defence to its own people.

As a parent, you have a duty to tell your children about National Service so they will understand and willingly serve with respect and love for the nation.

Black Hat SEO: How It Works

Black Hat SEOYou have heard about it. However, you tell yourself that it is just somebody else’s idea of a sick joke. But it is real. And it is illegal.

What is Black Hat SEO?

You probably know what SEO stands for. In case you already forgot, it is search engine optimization – the process of maximizing the prominence of your website among search engines by using specific keywords that increase the chances of your site being ‘searched’ by Internet users.

Black hat SEO is applying the principles of search engine optimization, albeit, in an illegal way or in a manner that is not consistent with the rules and regulations of search engines. The term ‘black hat’ was coined from the gangster movies of old where bad guys usually wore black hats. Black hat SEO is essentially bad SEO.

Are You an Apprentice of Black Hat SEO?

Much like Star Wars’ Jedi and Dark Side forces, you will find it difficult to know if you are already within the realm of black hat SEO. Here are some things you need to ask yourself to determine if you are already on the darker side of search engine optimization.

  • Do you find yourself using so many keywords in a single article for your web content? It is not only the preposterous number of keywords on your content but rather the outlandishly out-of-context usage.
  • Have you ever used hidden texts or links in your content just so you can manipulate the search rankings of search engines? If yes, you practiced black hat SEO.
  • Did you ever make content with a link that redirects web surfers to an entirely different and unrelated site? They call this sneaky redirects and cloaking.
  • Have you ever manipulated links, spun articles, created link farms and automated queries sent to Google as well as creating duplicate content?
So What, You Might Ask?

Black hat is illegal – plain and simple. It damages your credibility and reputation as a business owner. Furthermore, you risk search engines banning your website for good, and worse, you risk facing lawsuits for violation of copyright laws.

Mash Media says there are a lot of suspicious or “Black Hat” SEO practices out there. So, be careful whom you choose to complete the SEO work for you.

Achieving success in SEO takes considerable time. You don’t want to waste your time and resources doing all these illegal SEO techniques if, at the end of it all, you will lose everything. Take it slow, get SEO experts for help, and just follow legal SEO guidelines. Eventually, you will see the results coming.