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working parents i need opinions - Page 2

post #21 of 28
Wow, that amount of money for child care is mnind boggeling. Thats more than my mortgage. I know I know all things are relative when it comes to cost but still. When I did homeday care I got paid about $20 a day. for a 9 to 10 hour day. $50 would have been so nice.

I was 22 when I did home daycare, my dd was 9 months old and I was totally sold on all aspects of AP. So I am kinda coming from the same place as you.

I would not use you because you have your own baby at home. I have done daycare with my baby and it was awful. I could not tend to anyones needs up to my standards. I really had to relax my standards for everyone. And I only had one or two other children at any one time.

all my AP standards went out the window. At least for other peoples kids. Mine got priority when she was hungry, or wanted mama. She just did. I would be hesitsant to go with a child care provider who promised as much as you are promising. It is not very realistic to promise all that in a home daycare setting with so many kids and just one provider. I would wonder where the holes were going to be and if my child would fall in them. I would prefer a childcare provider who was more realistic and had lower standards. Lets face it...no one is ever dissapointed when providers go above and beyond but if you promise me the moon and I pay for it I better get it. I would rather have a child care provider who is realistic about what she can offer my child.

Also your general lack of references and experiance would be an absolute no for me. In this situation I would be scared that I might be left suddenly without childcare because I would have freaked out if I started with such an ambitious undertaking.

Also I had no idea what a child older than mine needed. I did not have appropiate toys or activites for the four year old I babysat. She was bored out of her mind and my expectations were way too high and way off. Your lack of experiance in parenting in general would be a turn off to me. Also if you take older children it will mean a large expense for toys and activities that would entertain them. It is unrealistic to think you could entertain six children at one time all the time. There is going to have to be enough stuff to keep them all self occupied every now and then (especially if you are going to be cooking healthy organic meals and soothing everyone to sleep and nursing your baby for 15 minute chunks every 2 to 4 hours or more.....). Honestly, as a parent I would like you to have some videos. At least my kids will be safe and entertained while you were tending to other children etc.

One more thing to keep in mind is not everyone wants these things. I serverd organic home made meals that none of the kids would eat. Then their parents were grumpy and started bringing jubnk food because their kids liked it better. They brought videos their kids wanted to share and the next thing I knew the TV was on first thing in the morning because my dd was still asleep but the kid I was babysitting had been promised the video and was going to make sure everyone was misreable if she didn't get it. You also have to have slear discipline practices in place. People want to know not only what will happen to their child if they act up but what will happen to someone who victemizes their child or is just a bad influence.

I would recommend starting with one kid. See how it goes. then add one more. If you start with one or two and offer more focused care you could easily charge above the standard rate in your area.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
i appreciate your honesty. i do realize kids need toys i have $1000 dollars saved to buy older kids toys and other things i will need.
i obvs. need to come up with a discipline plan but im more the type to be like you cant hit sally but here you an hit this pillow to get out your anger or w/e KWIM?

i plan to take 2y/o+ i have no problem potty training b/c DD and i do EC

im a very nurturing person period i mean if a child needs me to soothe them to sleep i absolutely will

im not afraid of a challenge b/c i have been through many and i know what i am capable of but i will take it slow and take a couple kids and see how it goes.

i already cook these meals with DD so its more of a i have to do it anyway. im also hoping the parents that will want me will practice the same sort of lifestyle so there kids will be more used to eating healthy and not garbage food.

plus wont the kids play with eachother? i can understand they need to entertain themselves as well but still they have eachother to play with. i know if there is another kid around my usually high needs DD is a breeze b/c shes so entertained
post #23 of 28
The price is high for here, but for your area its probably fine.

As gently as I can say, working with Alzheimer's patients and working with kids IS different. And being a CNA and being a childcare provider for kids IS very different. I would not count that as experience and wouldn't make a difference in my book. If someone tried to sell me that as experience I would run the other direction, sorry. (BTW, I am in school for LPN and CNA is part of that, plus I've done both center and home childcare)

22 is young but if you had a professional attitude and experience it wouldn't phase me. At age 20 I was the director of a large childcare center (75+ families) and I can tell you first hand that a LOT of people had trouble taking me seriously because of my age until they got to know me. Staff, parents, everyone. Once they did realize I had years of experience and competent they were extremely loyal and confident in my abilities. So be ready for that. Don't mention your age and just act professional. Also be confident in your parenting and it will show, but don't act like your way is the only or best way or people will feel judged and shy away.

As far as ratio, when I did home childcare I had 6 kids total. 3 of my own and 3 childcare kids. There were plenty of days where it was simply too many. 6 is ok with perfect circumstances, but as soon as one child has an off day it throws everyone out of whack and things get crazy. Kids do not fully entertain each other, especially when you have a larger group like that. Young children tend to pick 1 or 2 people to play with and its not always a group activity. You will most likely have 1 or 2 kids at any time that don't know "what to do" and will need more one on one guidance. This is usually ok, but the moment you start to cook is when someone is suddenly going to melt down or need your attention. Never fails, lol.

Therefor I wouldn't put my children in care with more than the ratio of center facilities based on the youngest aged child. Meaning, in MN the infant ration is 1 to 4, so if there was a infant (up to 16mos) I wouldn't want more than 4 kids total in whatever program/care I put my child in. When I did it I focused on preschool age children. I had 2 preschoolers myself at the time and was a preschool teacher before that. I advertised it as a preschool "playschool" home childcare. We had a menu, curriculum, art activities and other things you'd find in a typical preschool classroom. I had small tables, easels, art supplies, and preschool aged toys and put up a age appropriate swing set/play area. My point is, tailor it to the ages you plan on having and make sure you have toys for all the ages and beyond what it obvious. Don't rely on them to entertain themselves or each other, especially since you will be cooking meals.

As long as you go in prepared you should do great. I hope it goes well for you!!
post #24 of 28
kids two and up would make it seem a lot more do able. But I still think your expectations are high. trying to cook a meal with one baby strapped to you or playing contentedly is very different that trying to cook meal with toddlers and preschoolers running aorund, hitting and stealing toys and crying because they are hungry and tired...When I had 3 or more kids I left nothing tochance. Iwould get up an hour before anyone got there (about 5AM) and make all the sippy cups, sandwhiches, snacks etc for the day. I knew merely keeping them all alive and blood free was going to be a task. And I never had more than one extra at a time while dd was still nursing. It was just too much to try and sit and nurse while other babies were running aorund.

I stringly suggest gradually building up your clientel rather then just deciding you will take the state maximum. It really is different than taking care of your own and it will change your relationship with your own as well.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
TY i am going to gardually add kids that was essentially the plan. i usually do all the prep work for cooking before hand and i dont tand there and cook i usually try to do everythig in the oven so it will just cook while i do w/e or crockpot it.

i also know they wont always entertain eachother i plan on having structured activities throughout the day. and yes alzheimer's patients are different in the sense they are bigger and stronger! my floor was mobile pts and they fought and had tantrums and acted very child-like its a very sad disease it really breaks my heart... but i do know people wont see that as child experience b/c it wasn't.

this is my only option for work b/c i can not afford daycare and can not get assistance with it either. i applied to a TON of daycares and YMCA's and NO ONE is hiring. i need to make this work literally.

about the breastfeeding its ok to BF in front of the kids right?

also was wondering with nap time...if all the kids took naps at the same time could we just co-nap or is that too weird?
post #26 of 28
I think you are going to be great! You have a positive attitude and the fact that you need to make it work will make you stay positive.

I don't think I would co-nap as in all of you in one kind size bed And actually, I have 4 preschoolers with me every day and I find that if I want any of them to sleep they need to all be in separate rooms. I'm fortunate to have three bedrooms and a couch, so it all works out. But if you think kids are going to sleep when their best friend is right next to them, you might be surprised! If you can do separate rooms, I suggest that, but if you don't have room, how about mats or crib mattresses on the floor in the same room but not near each other? Plus, I do think parents would think it's weird if you all slept together. But you could ask when you take on a new client about how the child sleeps best. Alone in a dark room, or with another person, or bright as day in the middle of the floor? All kids are different.

And yes, the kids sure do play with each other and keep each other occupied, for the most part. But you do need to have some toys that will inspire their play. My kids which are 2 boys and 2 girls play with trains (make sure there are plenty to share!) or costumes for pretend. Animal figures are nice or building blocks. Art and play dough. I find the need to separate the mob and have the two big kids doing one thing while the littles play something else. They just get along better when there aren't so many kids doing one thing.

You are getting a lot of great advice. I wish you the best on this big endeavor!
post #27 of 28
about the breastfeeding its ok to BF in front of the kids right?

When I started taking kids into my home (this time) they started 2 weeks before my daughter was born. I took a week off and then they were back. I have always BF in front of the other kids and often in front of the parents when they were interviewing. When my daughter was younger there were times when I was nursing in a carrier with another toddler in the mei tai on my back or nursing while pulling the wagon down the street holding hands with the 5yo (let's hear it for good carriers!) Just be up front with the parents.

also was wondering with nap time...if all the kids took naps at the same time could we just co-nap or is that too weird?[/QUOTE]

You do want to encourage napping at the same time but no nap for you. My daycare kids all sleep in the same room on different mats or playpens depending on age. It is a short adjustment but it has always worked for me. Put a fan or a white noise maker in the room is essential (I use a HEPA filter, so it serves 2 purposes.) My daughter sleeps in our bed. I just put the other kids down first, then she gets a bit of nursing and cuddling.

Here is the downside. If she normally sleeps with you for her naps you will have to get her used to napping alone. If you have older kids you can't leave them alone for that long. If you have younger kids you can't be sure that they will sleep longer than yours so you will have to be up.

One of the advantages is that your child will no longer be the "only child" during the day. They will get to try on different "birth orders," sometimes being the one who teaches and nurtures the little guys and sometimes learning from the big kids.

The other thing that I would suggest is get really open ended good quality toys that are safe for under 3 but still engaging enough for the older kids. I have had kids from 1yo to 10 all playing with the same toys and not being bored.

There's my babble. I hope it helps.
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
TY ladies i love the positive vibes after a few negatives lol that definately helps. DD is only on one nap now and she naps in her crib actually. btw shes only 9 months but shes completely mobile so its not like severe one on one type of stuff she entertains herself now alot anyway.

i can nver nap anyway. even when i co nap with her im awake the whole time lol its nuts
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