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Childcare providers' tribe? - Page 33

post #641 of 733
I agree, asking your MIL for advice/referrals would be a good start.

College/university students also have summers off and I've done care for some student families, too. They tend to finish before June, though, so that makes for a long summer. School board employees, teachers' aides and some other workers take school holidays off, too.

I have contacted the principal of the local school across the street from me and asked for permission to post an ad on the bulletin board. I suggested that it would be a good fit for a mom on his staff who wanted to slip out and nurse her baby at lunch and who wanted a shorter day for her child(ren) due to having no childcare commute time. I got permission, but then I filled my space and never bothered posting the ad.

Being available for backup/short-term childcare can help get one's foot in the door. I started in a February, and my first clients were teachers' families 1) needed temp care due to a regular provider going on vacation and 2) needed permanent p/t care due to a regular provider closing her daycare suddenly due to a death in the family. I worked through that summer, doing vacation care for other providers, and then got a teacher's family and a student teacher's family the following Sept, which filled all my spaces.

IME, teachers are more often to need care starting in late August/Sept or January. They seem to like going with providers who are officially licensed, have some experience, have the childcare first aid certification, follow the kinds of rules and regs that they have to follow in school. Teachers respect formal education, so if you have a degree or diploma, or even something like classes in baby sign language, let them know. If you don't, doing a little reading on early childhood theories,common educational philosophies that you agree with, or researching early childhood credentials and programs, and making sure that your home and childcare spaces reflect that research, couldn't hurt. The teachers I have interviewed with tend to respect the values that MDC supports -- healthy food, little or no tv, lots of books, lots of outside time, nurturing children rather than CIO, etc.


Some teachers do want/need care on some school holidays, so if you are going to be closed, you'd want to make that very clear.

ETA - maybe asking this question in Working and Student Parents would be a good idea, too.
post #642 of 733
The other daycare in our village is only open 4 days a week and only has one kid who comes all 4 days, the rest are part time...so it can work.

I have been busy painting and getting ready to get our flooring put in. I did my child care cpr course and my funding through the government went through, so my EI is being extended while I develop my business. Yay!
post #643 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustVanessa View Post
The other daycare in our village is only open 4 days a week and only has one kid who comes all 4 days, the rest are part time...so it can work.

I have been busy painting and getting ready to get our flooring put in. I did my child care cpr course and my funding through the government went through, so my EI is being extended while I develop my business. Yay!
Weird. I would never have thought of that as an option.
post #644 of 733
It run through the Canadian govt....they are also going to pay for me to take a bookkeeping workshop, help me develop a business plan etc.
post #645 of 733
Wow, I was bracing myself for a full house today, but all but one child is off sick. And me with a giant busy-day crockpot full of mac and cheese casserole!

Well, I know what the boys and I will be eating for lunch...and dinner...and breakfast...
post #646 of 733
Joining in with a few questions: I am finally getting to have my dream of doing preschool out of my home. I have a few families who are interested and coming to look at the palce on Friday, and I'm nervous beyond belief. Even though i know I'm capable and have a good program, I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing and screw it up. Right now we desperately need the money and I'm hoping they all want to start next week.

I was thinking of giving each family a copy of my parent handbook (which i haven't written yet) : at the "open house" on Friday. I was also goin to put up some artwork by my ds and a few sample projects on the bulletin boards, along with a sample menu and daily activity report, so they can see what to expect. Would that look like i'm trying too hard?

Also, our playroom/classroom is downstairs next to the kitchen, and the bathroom is upstairs. I will have group potty times where we will all go up together and take turns in the bathroom, and i will change the youngest one (same age as my ds) at that time. of course if someone needs to go in between then we will all go up together so that person can use the bathroom. does that sound reasonable? I'm not sure what licensing will say about that, but right now I'm only taking 3 kids so i don't have to worry about meeting any regulations.

What types of things do you all include in your handbook or contract/policies? What types of things do you discuss at that initial meeting? I was thinking of opening 2 or 3 centers for the kids where they can do some simple projects while their parents and I talk. or would it be better to suggest the parents come alone first? i was thinking that if they saw their child get immediately engaged in the activities when they come in, that would be a positive for me.
post #647 of 733
That is a lot of pressure, open house on Friday and needing them all to start next week! Are you considering offering a deal, like half-off tutition for a trial period?

I think having centres open for the open house is a great plan. I'd have 1 thing that is cool to show off a bit (like if you have a really nice toy kitchen or some specialty toys or learning activity that not everyone has) and something that is a sensory activity that most children love, like water play and playdough.

For some reason, my own children sometimes get a little crazy during interviews and act up. I'd strongly suggest that you plan to have your dh or a friend there to help with your ds, in case it is needed, so that you can concentrate on your interviews?

I think that looking like you're organized is something that parents would appreciate.

In a Parent Handbook, I would include a VERY CLEAR illness policy, child guidance policy, rates and payment policy, policy on meals and snacks, policy on outside play, policy on vacation time and giving notice when the time comes to end the childcare relationship. I would also include a rough daily schedule, a copy of your sample menu, and a description of what your program includes. Mine is mostly on my website which needs some updating and tightening up, but seems to work. We also have a paper handbook from my agency which is a bit more generic.

Some people have the parents sign that they have read the handbook and are aware of the policies. This is a good idea, I think.


Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
Also, our playroom/classroom is downstairs next to the kitchen, and the bathroom is upstairs. I will have group potty times where we will all go up together and take turns in the bathroom, and i will change the youngest one (same age as my ds) at that time. of course if someone needs to go in between then we will all go up together so that person can use the bathroom. does that sound reasonable? I'm not sure what licensing will say about that, but right now I'm only taking 3 kids so i don't have to worry about meeting any regulations..
If you are taking a smaller group of kids, I'd emphazise the lower provider-child ratio to parents I'd also consider finding out about licensing standards and following them as much as possible, just for the professionalism of it and to reassure parents.

I have a playroom downstairs and we only recently had a bathroom put in . I would have a diaper bag downstairs w/hand sanitizer and a covered pail and plastic bags for the dirty diapers, just because it is a real PAIN to have to drag 4 children away from what they are doing if someone has a poopy diaper unexpectedly. I would also have a potty downstairs for emergencies, because cleaning up a potty is nicer than cleaning up an accident.

But if you plan to potty before going downstairs and plan a potty break, that should be ok. I allowed children 4 and over to go upstairs to the bathroom on their own, and that worked out ok.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

ETA -- I'd include something like a communication policy in the handbook too -- something about how important it is for parents and provider to be able to communicate with each other for the sake of the child, even about uncomfortable issues....I don't have that, still figuring it out.
post #648 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
Joining in with a few questions: I am finally getting to have my dream of doing preschool out of my home. I have a few families who are interested and coming to look at the palce on Friday, and I'm nervous beyond belief. Even though i know I'm capable and have a good program, I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing and screw it up.
Congrats! I am in the same boat, actually! I have my first family coming Friday and another coming Monday to interview. I'm excited but very nervous about giving my best first impression. Although I am not doing a formal preschool program. Good luck!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
I think having centres open for the open house is a great plan. I'd have 1 thing that is cool to show off a bit (like if you have a really nice toy kitchen or some specialty toys or learning activity that not everyone has) and something that is a sensory activity that most children love, like water play and playdough.

In a Parent Handbook, I would include a VERY CLEAR illness policy, child guidance policy, rates and payment policy, policy on meals and snacks, policy on outside play, policy on vacation time and giving notice when the time comes to end the childcare relationship. I would also include a rough daily schedule, a copy of your sample menu, and a description of what your program includes. Mine is mostly on my website which needs some updating and tightening up, but seems to work. We also have a paper handbook from my agency which is a bit more generic.

Some people have the parents sign that they have read the handbook and are aware of the policies. This is a good idea, I think.

ETA -- I'd include something like a communication policy in the handbook too -- something about how important it is for parents and provider to be able to communicate with each other for the sake of the child, even about uncomfortable issues....I don't have that, still figuring it out.

Great advice!! I have marketed myself as "creative childcare by a former art teacher," so I plan to have an art project or play-dough for the little one to work on while we interview. This usually keeps my own son's interest, too!

I am working on my handbook as well. Thanks for the great ideas!
post #649 of 733
Yay! The flooring is going in Monday, Tuesday. I got a great deal on it. Everything puts me one step closer to opening.

And I got some great news yesterday. Right now I am on EI maternity leave from the government. In 3 weeks I transfer over and the business development center starts paying me while I develop my business plan. When they do I will get a $400 a month raise. That will sure help with my start up expenses.
post #650 of 733
That is great, Vanessa!

Is that $400/mo ongoing after you start? We get about that much in "provider support funding" here, plus $150/mo for each baby under 2 that we care for.

I haven't heard of start-up funding or extensions of EI or anything in Alberta.
post #651 of 733
Community Futures is going to pay me $1600 a month to develop my business for up to one year. 10 weeks to develop my business plan and up to 40 weeks for business development.
I don't know if there is provider support funding here. I will call one of my daycare providing friends later and find out.
post #652 of 733
We're finally finishing up the stuff we need to do to get officially licensed. I went and got fingerprinted (dh still needs to go). Our neighbor is going to fix a section of our fence and I have a guy coming to do some yardwork tomorrow. I've left messages with two people about the carpentry work I need done, but they haven't called me back.
post #653 of 733
Hi everyone! I am a private care provider in the Cleveland area and have been doing it off and on for 7 years. Now that my DD is in school full-time and I need to be here when she gets off the bus I am back to it and it is working great! I have 2 kids full-time and 2 part-time so far. I had 2 more part-time, but mom lost her job soon after starting here and has not been coming.

I do not do contracts or anything. I tried in the past and I found it to be more of a PITA than what it was worth. I also feel in todays economy no one really feels comfortable making a long term commitment to anything and I understand that.

I have an interview for 2 more full-time tomorrow and I just had another I am waiting to hear back from that would be part-time opposite my other 2 which would fill it in nicely! I can take 6 a day without being licensed or certified. Wish me luck!
post #654 of 733
I wouldn't operate without a contract. I just like how it spells everything out in the open. My agency has a standard form, and it works for me.

And just because it is a "contract", doesn't mean it has to be long-term. My permanent contract states that care can be terminated by either party with two weeks notice or payment in lieu. I think that is reasonable.... I would hate to have a parent tell me one day "oh, by the way... we are never coming back." I need to have at least a little stability with my income.

I also do a two-week temporary contract where either side can terminate at any time with no further commitment. This is the initial deal we sign before signing the permanent contract.

I have a new child starting on Monday, a 16mo. Up until now it has been just a 2.5yo and my own 8mo. She has never been left with anyone before so it will be a big adjustment for all of us. She also comes at six in the morning - YIKES!

It is only a temporary placement because Mom is pregnant and going on leave in June, but I am happy to have the income while I can get it! I should be able to fill the spot again by summer.
post #655 of 733
While I com pletely understand the point of a contract I think an example of why I don't do it is the mom I have who lost her job. If I had a contract that said she had to give me 2 weeks notice with pay those 2 weeks she would have not called me knowing without a job and being a single parent she did not have the money to pay me and she would NOT have called me at all. Because I do not have a contract she will try to come back as soon as she can IF I have an opening and has stayed in contact with me. I just know it scares people away. Maybe it is just the area I live in.
post #656 of 733
Question: Do you all charge parents for the day when they cancel?
post #657 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
Question: Do you all charge parents for the day when they cancel?
Yes -- it is in my contract that if I cancel, I refund payment or do not charge and if parents cancel, they pay.

The exception is that with some part-timers, I will reschedule days as a favor if a child is ill, if I have the space open. I do not refund fees already paid, though.
post #658 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
Question: Do you all charge parents for the day when they cancel?
Yup. They are paying for a space, not necessarily exact hours of care.

If they cancel, they pay. If I cancel and they don't use backup care for any reason, they get a refund.
post #659 of 733
Hi everybody! About six years ago, I was a home day care provider licensed through the county. I really enjoying it, but at the time I was a single parent, and after about 8 months I just wasn't getting eoungh (reliable) clients to make it work and I ended up getting an outside job again, and let my license expire.

Now I am remarried and a SAHM with a 3yo, and I would LOVE to babysit not more than a couple children full time in my home.

Here's the problem: My DH is a recovering alcholic and addict, he has been sober for over 11 years. His record since becoming sober is spotless, but not so pretty in the past. There's one breaking & entering conviction and the rest are all DUIs and possession and such. It's enough that I cannot get a license through the county now. I know I don't HAVE to have a license, but I'm not sure how I would handle this situation. Is it worth even trying?

TIA for any helpful advice!
post #660 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
Question: Do you all charge parents for the day when they cancel?
My full-timers pay full price no matter what with the exception of a vacation. My part-timers do not have to pay for an occasional sick day. I don't know why I do it this way other than the fact that part-timers pay more per day than full-time.
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