Helloe there! I am glad to have found this thread. I do Childcare in my home, although after dd was born, I really cut back. I used to have 4 kids, age 1-3, but now that I have dd, I only have 1 baby, 9 months. I used to have contracts and all that, but the baby I care for now is a friends baby, so I didn't even bother. I think now that dd is a little older (21 months) I will take on another toddler. I just felt like she was SO high needs, that I could not have handled more kids.
Here is how we handled things:
Illness-If me or dd is sick (I've never been sick enough not to work, but theoretically) I call all the parents, and leave it up to their discretion whether or not to bring their child. If dd is really sick, I can call my mom, who is a nanny 5 minutes from me to come and work for me at my home that day. She would just bring her charge as well. When you get licensed here, you have to have 2 substitutes that get a certificate as well, just for situations like this. My other sub is dh, who could call in and still get paid, and work for me and still get paid.
Vacations-Family is allowed one week of vacation with no pay to me, after that it's pay in full to reserve your childs spot.
Trasnporting-I had a double umbrella stroller, but I hated it. So I usually sling one and put the other in dd's stroller, which also has one of those ride on platforms on the back. It's a Bugaboo brand stroller. Or just recently, since the baby is getting older, I take dd's wagon with us. It's the one with the two seats that fold in, and it has buckles and cup holders, really cute. I always have a wrap, sling, and mei tai/ergo with me, so those are a huge help.
Curriculum-We use a TON of different ones. I have about 6 full curriculums, and parts and peices of about 20 others. I worked at a childcare facility just before it closed, and they gave me a TON of stuff. Library books (about 500) curriculums, art material, furniture (those wooden shelves), kids furniture-little table and chairs, lego table and big soft area mats. So I am very very very blessed. I hvae really found that even though I have all those curriculum programs, I rarely follow one all the time. I guess if I had all 3 yo's or all 4 yo's it might be different. But even when I had 2 3yo's, we did better just going outside alot, doing non-directed art, and just going about our day or household tasks and duties. They went grocery shopping with me, to the PO, to the car wash (they loved that!) and then helped me do laundry, sweep, mop, and cook. I was fairly Waldorfy before I knew what it was! But there are a ton of websites that offer alot of ideas for projects, and they are free. Just google toddler activities, or preschool activities, and you'll end up with a ton. HTH