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Childcare providers' tribe? - Page 35

post #681 of 733
Hi Guys

I didnt read the entire thread so I apologise if this was already covered. I'm interested in becoming a state certified day care but I have a large dog and a cat. Will this provide any problems with my acceptance?

This is not really a *new* idea but we are moving on the first and I feel like it'll be a place where I can do this. My DH was layed off and we desperately need extra income now and I homeschool my 10yo and we only have one car so if I got an outside job I'd have to quit when he goes back to work.

How long would it take between starting the process and getting kids? Can you specify ages, like only take school age children? (I ask this because we have NO toys in the house at all, my kids are 10 and 13... this would be a start up cost I couldnt afford. Again sorry if those were asked!
post #682 of 733
Sugarglider,

A lot of your questions depend on your state. For example, I live in Canada in a region with particularly tight regulations. It has been taking me many months to get registered here. I suspect that wouldn't be the case in many other places, though. When I licensed a dayhome in Alberta, it was a done deal within a couple weeks.

The ages you accept is totally up to you. Since your own kiddos are so far past infancy, do you want to start changing diapers again? Are you a baby person, naturally? I am going to try to stick to infants, toddlers, and per-schoolers personally, since my two DDs are young. I think it would be difficult to have a half dozen infants and toddlers, and one 8 yo child enrolled, for example. While the school-ager could learn a lot about interacting with young play-mates, I would probably find it difficult to provide a stimulating environment for the lone older child when the whole program is geared to a younger audience.

Garage sales are an excellent source of cheap toys. And some second hand stores can have good finds too.
post #683 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juise View Post
Wowey zowey, I can't pretend I'm not jealous! That's awesome! May I ask where you got your wood sand / water table? I have tried to find one and all I have been able to find are the plastic things, and I want one sooooo bad! And welcome!
Well, I did have to fork out $1200 for an electrician, $900 for a painter and $2600 for a carpenter out of pocket though. But the Grant made up for that initial output.

The hardwood sand/water table was from Louise Kool and Galt, a Canadian Educational supplier. www.louisekool.com But if you're in the states, you could look up the manufacturer: http://www.communityplaythings.com/ I drool over their stuff regularly, but can't afford much of it.
post #684 of 733
I know I have posted here before (at some point when I was pregnant), but I am currently looking for a solution to be able to stay at home with my newborn rather than go back to my highly stressful job and be away from her. I have a lot of childcare experience, and I would love to care for two or three other kids to make enough to continue paying my share of the bills (right now I make slightly more than DH does).

I was thinking that Craigslist might be one effective way to advertise since I don't know many people with kids, but I already see TONS of posts on there of people who are offering childcare services. There are very few posts of people needing services. I'm thinking this might be a bad sign that there's a lot of supply, but not much demand?

I am pretty good with words, but what can I include in my ad to make myself stand out as the best choice? Should I write anything about AP/natural stuff (to potentially draw in people), or would this make some potential families turn away? Keep in mind I live in Tennessee, so there aren't a whole lot of AP people around here. Also, how else can I draw in families, other than by word-of-mouth? I need at least two regular kids (but no more than three at this point as caring for a newborn takes so much time) to care for in order to make ends meet, and I need to start watching them by May 18th, which is after I would give my two-week notice when returning to my previous job.

I need to charge around $150 a week per child to make ends meet, unless I can do some eBay selling on top of that. Does this seem reasonable? The regular daycare centers around here start at around $190-$200+ for infants, and slightly less for older kids. In-home providers tend to charge anywhere from $100-$180, with the lower amount usually charged by college students/less experienced people (from what I can tell).

Lastly: I have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with big front & back yards in a quiet neighborhood cul-de-sac, but no fence. Is not having a fence a *huge* deal? I also don't have any outside play equipment, but I find that kids can have just as much fun using their imaginations as anything. I have a (very sweet, harmless) cat, so I guess I need to mention that in case there are any allergies? Or should I wait to bring that up until they call me?

Anything else I need to research/know? Thanks!
post #685 of 733
I would advertise on any bulliten boards, places that parents would be - coffee shops, ymca, bakery, natural food stores, even regular groceries if you don't have NFS. I would definitely advertise what your main values are, if you are turning off parents, then those would be the same people you'd have conflicts with later on ... best to sort out from the beginning

Luna's Organic Childcare! Loving home childcare provider has full-time openings for ages XX-XX. $XX/week. Available Xam-Xpm.
- Organic meals & snacks provided
- TV-free environment
- imaginitive & outdoor play encouraged
- etc etc...

I'd put "organic" or "natural" or something similar in your title on craigslist or fliers, so you get the right people
post #686 of 733
when potential clients contact you, you'll want to discuss allergies - find out what they have (like, I won't even take kids with peanut allergies, just freaks me out too much), and then you'll tell them you have a cat to make sure there's no allergies.
post #687 of 733
Quote:
Should I write anything about AP/natural stuff (to potentially draw in people), or would this make some potential families turn away?
I put that in my ad because those are the kinds of parents I wanted to attract.
post #688 of 733
I'm so glad this thread is being revived again...I have spent on and off parts of this week going through this thread!

I am finishing up my second year of teaching 6th grade (we are done at the beginning of June) I plan on starting up daycare after school ends so that I don't have to go back to middle school in the fall!!!

I worked at center for 5 years through college, but then we moved to TX and I took the first job I was offered. Well, I feel like I have wasted (well not used like I should have) two precious years of my kid's lives. I have a 7 yo and a 3 yo.

I am wondering about advertising though...what REALLY works. Like how can I get three kids signed up by the middle of June so I can get out of my contract? It's only April, so I feel like I should be able to get three by then!

Ideally, I would like 2 infants (one younger and one a little older) and then 4 kids 3-5, and two after school kids...that would be FULL for me!

I am in the process of getting registered too.
post #689 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMommy View Post
I am indeed a Western Canadian, Aubergine. I ran my other day home in Alberta. You too, eh? I am actually out of province now and I find the whole child care system very different here. The Alberta day home model, with it's "agencies" for example, is very different. I liked that the agency in Alberta did so much of the tedious paperwork for me, but there is way more government funding for child care providers here......
but I'd love to hear more about your program.
There is a lot more funding for Alberta dayhomes over the last year or so. I get about $450/mo as a base and $150/mo per child under 2, so comparable to your situation it sounds like (though you still have a better deal, I think.) I am taking courses towards the level 2.

I've been a provider here since 2002. I have a website for my dayhome with a lot of info and pictures. I am slowing down right now until January of 2010 -- my older son is going to K in the fall and I want to spend more time with my sons while I still have the chance. Starting in May, I will have only 1 full-time child left (also going to K in the fall) : I will be full 2 days a week with children whose moms are on mat leave and holding spaces -- including infant twins, my niece and nephew, totally adorable. Dh is really busy for his work right now and is doing lots of traveling, so I need to pick up the slack in the household, too, and there are some renos to take care of this summer as well. I will be back to a full house in Jan. 2010, and am really excited about caring for the twins and developing a close relationship to them, especially.

If dh is still so busy next year, I think I'll have to hire a cleaning service or really look at some other way to hire help.

If it shakes out that we can afford it over the next few years, I am thinking of buying another house in our neighborhood to renovate into a nicer home for my family to live in and keeping the home we are living in now as a dayhome business. I would walk to work, maybe my kids would help out with chores and maintenance as they get older, and I think I could make more off this house as a home daycare than renting this house out. That is the current vision, anyway. This house is going to be too small for my family as my children grow and want their own rooms, and I love it too much and have a hard time thinking of selling it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by filiadeluna View Post

I was thinking that Craigslist might be one effective way to advertise since I don't know many people with kids, but I already see TONS of posts on there of people who are offering childcare services. There are very few posts of people needing services. I'm thinking this might be a bad sign that there's a lot of supply, but not much demand?

I am pretty good with words, but what can I include in my ad to make myself stand out as the best choice? Should I write anything about AP/natural stuff (to potentially draw in people), or would this make some potential families turn away? Keep in mind I live in Tennessee, so there aren't a whole lot of AP people around here. Also, how else can I draw in families, other than by word-of-mouth? ....

Lastly: I have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with big front & back yards in a quiet neighborhood cul-de-sac, but no fence. Is not having a fence a *huge* deal? I also don't have any outside play equipment, but I find that kids can have just as much fun using their imaginations as anything. I have a (very sweet, harmless) cat, so I guess I need to mention that in case there are any allergies? Or should I wait to bring that up until they call me?
There has been a HUGE shortage of childcare around my area over the last couple of years, though with the slowdown in the economy, that is easing a bit now. Even in the tightest times, though, there were always lots of ads for people offering childcare and almost none for those seeking childcare. I think that is maybe just the nature of childcare ads?

I would be open, but not aggressive about your AP style, depending on where you advertise. Is there an AP yahoo group or board for your area?

I've had parents come to my home for interviews and freak out when they saw me use a baby sling -- would have saved us all some time if they had known I was AP in advance. It is a waste of time to try to change who you are for people who will be in your home every day, ykwim?

A fenced outdoor play area is pretty important for a home daycare, I think. I know you can't be approved by an agency here unless you have one. More important than play equipment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by holidaymama View Post
I am wondering about advertising though...what REALLY works. Like how can I get three kids signed up by the middle of June so I can get out of my contract? It's only April, so I feel like I should be able to get three by then!

Ideally, I would like 2 infants (one younger and one a little older) and then 4 kids 3-5, and two after school kids...that would be FULL for me!

I am in the process of getting registered too.
You're teaching now -- is there anything like an email list for teachers in your school district who are looking for childcare before going back to work? A professional organization? Even asking to post notices in the staff rooms of schools near where you live?
post #690 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
If it shakes out that we can afford it over the next few years, I am thinking of buying another house in our neighborhood to renovate into a nicer home for my family to live in and keeping the home we are living in now as a dayhome business.
That sounds like it would be a nice set-up! In Alberta, do you have to live in the same building for it to be a dayhome, or are you planning to license as a daycare?

Glad to hear they're funding DCP's better there now. It's really important.

If you are thinking of your level II, have you looked into the Alberta Child Care Bursary? I think almost everyone who applies gets approved, and it's $5000 towards ECE training. You could take correspondance from one of the colleges and crank out that Level II in no time. It's just the practicum portion that can be difficult to fit in, but some colleges will let you do it at your own dayhome.
post #691 of 733
Well, I am almost licensed now! Child Care Services figure I'll be good to go by May 1st.

Since December, when I started this project, I've had two inspections each from Environmental Health and the Electrical Inspector. I've had three inspections from City Building Inspector and from the Fire Marshall. Our future insurance provider inspected once. Child care services just did their second and semi-final inspection last Thursday and will (cross-my-fingers) do their ultimate final inspection this week and give me the ok.

On the Thursday CCS inspection, my faults were:

- even though I have each child's emergency contact numbers in the filing cabinet and on cue cards in the excursion first aid kit, I also need them posted beside the phone.

- my primary first aid kit is missing adhesive tape and my excursion kit is missing cue-tips and a rescue breather

- my staff manual details our programming, but doesn't have an actual daily schedule included. Staff manual also needs to be in a binder, not paper-clipped together.

- my hot water is 8 degrees (fahrenheit) too hot

- even though families are supplying their own food, I need to keep a record book in the eating area so that if I ever supplement their meals (like if someone forgets their lunch) I can record what was fed to them

Sooo, all in all, those are pretty easy fixes. I'm pretty happy that those were the worst breaches of regulation that she could find over the course of a 2 hour inspection. They'll come back this week and make sure I've fixed all of the above points, and also to measure all the play spaces and that should be it! I am going to seriously celebrate when they hand me that license!!
post #692 of 733
Yay for you, KCMommy, getting through all those hoops!!! Really minor stuff they are quibbling on, aren't they? Must be quite an involved processl


Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMommy View Post
That sounds like it would be a nice set-up! In Alberta, do you have to live in the same building for it to be a dayhome, or are you planning to license as a daycare?

Glad to hear they're funding DCP's better there now. It's really important.

If you are thinking of your level II, have you looked into the Alberta Child Care Bursary? I think almost everyone who applies gets approved, and it's $5000 towards ECE training. You could take correspondance from one of the colleges and crank out that Level II in no time. It's just the practicum portion that can be difficult to fit in, but some colleges will let you do it at your own dayhome.
I think it is how many children you have that determines the home child care status (6 or less), not whether you live in the childcare space....I know some providers in Europe who rent out spaces for their `home' child care and live in separate spaces...I'm not sure I'd want to go through the hassle of full licencing paperwork, but who knows....

No provider I know has gotten the ACCB, actually. I have other bursary support right now fortunately. I am in the process of reapplying for the ACCB. Taking the correspondence courses now, actually. It looks like I can do the level II practiums in my home but for most of the level III ones, I'd have to go outside. I am on the board of a preschool in my town and would like to eventually do the Level III work there... my own children would all be in school by then , so I wouldn't mind taking a few months off and doing it in another facility.
post #693 of 733
Lurking and subbing because we want to open a home day care some time in the next year. DH is probably going to be laid off soon, so until we can get certified (our fixer-upper needs a few key things, like hot water for instance), I am trying to find a nanny job (or two!) for now.

filiadeluna - I know you asked a while back, but I'll answer anyway. I use my RSS reader to subscribe to the Craigslist childcare listings, but I don't post my own listing because there is just too much competition there. Maybe if I had a home day care, but not for a simple babysitting/nanny position. I got my last nanny job through an AuPair website and had two other interviews through a different Nanny website. I just re-registered with those two sites and several others today and already have an interview set up for this weekend. PM me if you'd like me to share the site addresses
post #694 of 733
Thanks for the advice, everyone!

Well, I placed an ad on Craigslist to test the waters. I received 4 responses rather quickly, but none of them have worked out. The thing that bothers me is how little people expect to be able to pay someone to watch their precious child(ren). I understand how hard it is to afford childcare, I really do. What I don't get is how someone expects to find a responsible, experienced, caring, loving provider, but is not willing to pay more than $2 an hour for that piece of mind.

For two of the people that emailed me, it didn't work out b/c they say they can't afford much. One girl asked if I could watch her 1-year-old for $50 a week (full-time). Seriously? That is like $1.25 an hour. I could make more than that selling stuff on eBay, or heck, a yard sale for that matter! She did says he was 18, a single mom, etc. Ok, so she doesn't make much money, but even so, you can't find a quality care provider at a dirt-cheap rate unless they really don't need the money or are close friends/family. You just can't. I used to babysit a 3-year-old for $60 a week, but it was only 3 days per week, and I was only 20 at the time & in college. Plus, I got to eat their food for lunches.

As much as I feel sorry for these people, I cannot make a living myself and pay my own bills by sacrificing my standard of living for their sake. I am at a job right now where I make about $14/hour (which is not all that much considering our bills), so I will be taking a *huge* pay cut to be able to stay at home with my daughter and take care of a few other kids. I am asking people to pay about $50-$75 less per week than the average rate that the large daycares charge around here (I called and got all their rates). I have significant experience & would be giving them more individualized attention than a large center could provide. One lady who inquired didn't even take into account that she was asking me to watch her child on Saturdays, too, and I wasn't going to charge her an additional weekend rate.

I notice that the only people who seem to advertise really cheap rates on Craigslist are high school and college students with little experience. Doesn't my age, experience, and quality of care count for anything? Argh. Sorry, I am just frustrated. I don't know if I will be able to find enough clients to make this work. I haven't found even one yet, and there seems to be a good deal of competition from teenagers offering super low rates.
post #695 of 733
I remember someone posting their contract & "rules" to give to parents of children they'd be watching - but I can't find it. Does anyone remember if it was somewhere in this thread or in another thread?
post #696 of 733
Never mind, I found it! It was Sara's, from back in October.
post #697 of 733
I'm starting to frustrated with the low and downright insulting rates some parents have offered me to be their nanny. My normal rate is $12 an hour with a receipt and the going rate is between $10-12 an hour. I will sometimes mention to families who contact me that I'm willing to negotiate the rate after we have met and work something out that is good for us both.

A woman told me just yesterday that she needed childcare AND housecleaning and couldn't afford much and asked how much I'd be willing to work for her for. I said that was a trick question and told her my rates for both childcare and cleaning and even a nanny share,which is more but split with another family b/c she'd mentioned another family as well. She offered me $6 an hour!

I said I understood the economy and all but that I also had rent and bills to pay and was doing it on my own and that if she can not afford to offer a decent rate for childcare she should not even be thinking about paying someone to come in and clean.

Min. wage is $8.50 an hour and I'd be willing to work for that if I knew that's all a family could afford.
post #698 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by filiadeluna View Post
For two of the people that emailed me, it didn't work out b/c they say they can't afford much. One girl asked if I could watch her 1-year-old for $50 a week (full-time). Seriously? That is like $1.25 an hour. I could make more than that selling stuff on eBay, or heck, a yard sale for that matter! She did says he was 18, a single mom, etc. Ok, so she doesn't make much money, but even so, you can't find a quality care provider at a dirt-cheap rate unless they really don't need the money or are close friends/family. You just can't. I used to babysit a 3-year-old for $60 a week, but it was only 3 days per week, and I was only 20 at the time & in college. Plus, I got to eat their food for lunches.
Yeah, that has to be frustrating!

Are parents in your area able to get subsidies for their childcare? Here in Alberta low income (and even some middle income) families can get significant funding for licensed care. I believe the maximum monthly amount for an infant is nearly $700.

I certainly feel for someone who can only pay $50 a month, but we all have bills to pay too.
post #699 of 733
Today was my first day officially in business! I was a little worried. I have a 2 month old daughter and the kids I'm taking care of are 3 months old and 8 months old. I've had a lot of experience in childcare and have worked in infant rooms, plus just graduated with a degree in Child and Family Development that gives me a pretty good background working with kids. But I've been off work for the last 4 months, just had my daughter and was finishing up school. So, I feel like I've been out of practice.

But, today went great! I was so surprised how easy it was to get back in my routine. With this many babies that are so young I absolutely must have a routine to stay sane. All three babies actually took a 3 hour nap this morning at the same time!! Then this afternoon, they all napped for just over an hour at the same time!! The littlest ones cat-napped in between. They already started adjusting to each other's routines... eating at about the same time, then ready to sleep. During the time when they were all ready to eat and all getting sleepy would be a little chaotic, but didn't last long and wasn't too stressful. The hardest one to get to sleep is my own, so I just saved her for last and took the time I needed to get her to sleep.

Now, I just have to adjust to the new routine. The day went fabulous, but I'm not used to this schedule. Having been a student for as long as I can remember, but schedule has always been changing. Now, I'm actually working everyday and it'll take me a bit to adjust to that.
post #700 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mal85 View Post
T

But, today went great! I was so surprised how easy it was to get back in my routine. With this many babies that are so young I absolutely must have a routine to stay sane. All three babies actually took a 3 hour nap this morning at the same time!! Then this afternoon, they all napped for just over an hour at the same time!! The littlest ones cat-napped in between. They already started adjusting to each other's routines... eating at about the same time, then ready to sleep. During the time when they were all ready to eat and all getting sleepy would be a little chaotic, but didn't last long and wasn't too stressful. The hardest one to get to sleep is my own, so I just saved her for last and took the time I needed to get her to sleep.
Oh lucky you!

I'm looking after 6 mo twins right now p/t -- my neice and nephew, actually (. They are easier than 2 singletons from different families would be in many ways, but they do not sleep at the same time at all. It is like they have a deal that one of them *has* to be awake at all times to inform the other in case something exciting happens...

My own youngest is the hardest to get to sleep, too.

I'm glad things are going so well for you!
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