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#1 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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im planning to start an at home daycare. i live in a city but have a house. im only 22 but i am a single mother who's very responsible and have a 9 month old DD. my house is immaculately clean and i will have a seperate room for naps. i plan to take 6 children and will be licensed.
we are TV free and i babywear (and would for any baby who needed it) live very naturally. have few plastic toys. spend alot of time in our big backyard. i am very nurturing and would never let a child CIO or anything of the sort.

since i cook all our meals (DD and I) and they are allergen free organic homemade meals i would like to provide them for the kids as well.
all the kids would need to bring would be diapers and wipes and their own cream and a change of clothes.

does $50 a day per child sound reasonable? we are is MA btw. would you trust me to watch your child? will my age be a negative factor?

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#2 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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Might I suggest investing in a small tv for vidoes? Sometimes it rains (or snows) you cant get outside all the time, and not all families are TV free or even support TV free. Alot of times children LIKE to watch TV.

Otherwise, YES, I think that sounds very reasonable. Especially if you are in the Boston area.

Perhaps you could consider 10 dollars less for say, older age groups. At my DCP, they are 10 less a week each time your child moves up into an older age group. Its 6 weeks-18 months for infants, then 18months-36 months for toddlers, then 36 months-whenever your child is ready for kindergarden is preschool.
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#3 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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$50 a day might be reasonable b/c of where you live (it wouldn't be here), but that would be $300 a day if you took in 6 kids. I know you would have to buy food, etc., but I would personally not want to be watching 7 kids all day long by myself (including your infant). My state limits the total amount to 6 kids - including your own children - and only 2 of those can be under 2 years of age. So, you'd have to find 5 2-5 yr olds, and 1 other infant/toddler to get your 7 kids.

The ratio is too high, IMO - though I am not a working parent. To provide really good care, I'd probably only take on 3 kids - which would still amount to $150 a day before expenses/taxes. I would consider 6 kids if you had an assistant.

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#4 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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I would have to meet you first to know if I'd trust you
But, you sound super!

I think your price sounds reasonable and I would def. pay it considering you're providing snacks/meals etc.
A small tv may help, I agree with the pp mentioning that not all families are tv free. I might also add that you are AP-style in your ads....if it were me looking for a dcp and they said they were AP style/natural etc etc I would totally gear towards that!

The next pp mentioned numbers...again I agree! Keep
it down to 2-3 extra so you cna more easily provide the care you believe in

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#5 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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If you are licensed there are probably specific rules about age ratio. I have been a child care provider for 19 years now. Skip the TV. I NEVER use one with daycare kids, there are always other things you can do. I find that the lack of TV is a selling point, many other daycares have the TV on all the time, it will make you stand out. People, in my experience will pay a little extra for no TV, home cooked meals and someone who will do crafts, activities and educational things with their children.

If you are concerned about being taken seriously because of your age then treat it like a business with posted menus, schedules and a written daycare policy. If you come across as this is your occupation rather than "this is just what I am doing so I can stay home until my kid is in school" no one will care how old you are. Also, do research. Get knowlegable about child development and nutrition so that you sound experienced and professional.

Good luck. It can be a good time.
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#6 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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Your age would not be a factor in my decision.. That said in my area $50 is higher than anything I've encountered. Daycare here ranges from $25 -$38 a day. Our current daycare is the same cost for baby vs. older child.

One of the points I really liked about our current daycare is the variety of ages, there are children from age 4 (same as dd) all way to infants.

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#7 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i know im my area $70 a day is the norm at a center idk about a home but i think home is usually preffered?

i also wanted to mention i was a nurses aide for the past 5 years and specialized in Alzheimers care. i personally had 8 residents to watch and care for the whole 8 or 16 hr day i worked. i do agree to have a smaller group as long as i can. but i also know kids tend to entertain eachother and perhaps the more the merrier lol i would obvs. abide by the laws regardless and i do own a tv but do not have cable. i still dont *think* i would play videos for the kids b/c i just think imagination and activities are far more importnant im sure if they do watch tv they watch enough at home.

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#8 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 07:39 PM
 
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I pay $50 a day for an in home daycare and that's cheap for my area. The rate is the same for all ages.

Sarah, with 3.5 yo DD Charlotte + brand new baby Eleanor Jane April 28, 2010
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#9 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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That would be downright cheap in my area (assuming you offer a 10-hour day). From a pricing structure perspective... the daycares I have investigated here frequently charge more if a child attends fewer than 5 days a week... i.e. it might be $110/day for one day a week, $95/day for three days a week, $80/day for five days a week. The very long established home daycares here work on a referral system and have long wait lists, they can and often do charge up to twice as much as new and "unproven" daycares. I guess in your shoes I would price out some well-regarded home daycares in your area and price yourself below them since you are just starting out.

The home-cooked organic meals would be a huge plus to me, plus the no TV and no CIO and natural-minded philosophies. I think that is a good niche to get into. The big backyard is a huge plus as well.

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#10 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 08:08 PM
 
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I watch kids in my home and $50/day would be high. But I'm in the midwest. I would suggest you check craigslist for other ads to see if you can gauge what an average cost is. I love all of your ideas and I think your age might be seen as a positive, especially since you are a mother. Younger people are perceived to have a lot more energy and creative ideas!

On numbers 6 is ambitious! I only care for two kids plus my two and it is HARD! I would definitely recommend balancing the age groups. The more you have that are 3 and up the easier, I think, it will be. Keep in mind that you might be potty training kids if you get them when they're 2-3, so I wouldn't want to have more than a couple of 2 year olds at a time.

TV, we are very limited tv for our family, but TV free during the day with the daycare kids. If they are used to watching tv all day, it might take a week or two to detox them,but eventually it's no big deal.

Good luck! I hope it works out just the way you hope

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#11 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 08:15 PM
 
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For MA, $50/day is about the norm in some areas (probably more in the city). You can only watch six children, including your own, in MA.

What is your experience with children? You are fairly young so I would want to know how much experience you have and what that has been like. For example, have you ever cared for six children at one time? How long? What did you do when there was a problem; hitting, biting, disagreements, rules, etc.? Do you do timeouts? (I'm against them but some people prefer them.)

State your rules clearly and unequivocally. Stop by a couple of centers and ask for a handbook so you can see what issues you may find.
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#12 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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Your price is higher than what I paid 2 years ago when I needed full time care but I think it is close to what is being asked now--I have a neighbor who was able to fill up her daycare quickly at $60 per day. Your age would not be as much of a concern to me as the types of activities the children would be doing, your discipline techniques and my general impression of you as a person. I would suggest having a written policy regarding late pick up of children which is part of the agreement parents sign. I have known home day care providers who have been taken advantage of by some parents who would consistently show up late and given your age I could see some people attempting to take advantage of extra time. Some of the daycares I used charged $1 per minute others said the care would be discontinued some had a policy of calling social services if the child was left more than an hour after closing time.

As for the tv one think I liked about my last daycare was the caregivers use of videos. I have children who gave up naps very early and would stay up way too late if they did nap during the day. I had frustrations with several daycares who expected young children to stay quiet on a mat (awake) for 2 hours--this was the source of most of the "behavior difficulties" my older child had in daycare. The last provider I used for my younger daughter did activities with the children all day except for "rest time" this was when she would have a video for children to watch until they fell asleep---or to watch if they did not fall asleep. She also had a room without the tv for children who would be distracted by the video. This worked very well for her and I appreciated having a child who was asleep at 8:30 rather than up until 11 as she would be if she took a nap. (A daily nap/rest time of 2 hours is required in my state)

Good luck with your business!
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#13 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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Honestly, your age would make me pause but if you were professional and sincere, it wouldn't stop me from hiring you. I would love the meal options and the no tv, but I wouldn't be able to afford you. In my area, rates do tend to change with age and my kids are less than $35 a day, each. I would think that having fewer families would be more convenient but paying $100 a day for 2 kids would be huge, and paying $150 for three would be well beyond what most people (in my area) would pay. I think a multi-child discount would help, and it's common here.

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#14 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 08:47 PM
 
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When my kiddos were day care age my provider participated in this http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/care/ for our state. It offset the cost of the food my kiddos ate and at least in my state it also ensured that my dcp had standards that she had to keep (you have already established yours and are probably better) but it was something else to add to her "tool box"
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#15 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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Oh, and I agree with the previous poster about the tv option for non-napping kids. Both of mine had given up naps by the age of two. We were able to work out options to keep them entertained but having a tv for them to watch while other kids napped would have made it easier on them, especially in the early years. Once they were 4-5, we could pack a DS for my son but I neer liked sending it to daycare...and my daughter would lay and color for awhile but both would get fidgety before the 90 minutes was up.

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#16 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minxie View Post
For MA, $50/day is about the norm in some areas (probably more in the city). You can only watch six children, including your own, in MA.

What is your experience with children? You are fairly young so I would want to know how much experience you have and what that has been like. For example, have you ever cared for six children at one time? How long? What did you do when there was a problem; hitting, biting, disagreements, rules, etc.? Do you do timeouts? (I'm against them but some people prefer them.)

State your rules clearly and unequivocally. Stop by a couple of centers and ask for a handbook so you can see what issues you may find.
i dont do time outs. i hadnt really thought how to handle that... what do you do? with my patients we always just tried to distract them like if they were hitting i would hold their hands and sing a song. would that work for kids?

ive only babysat when i was like 12 besides for family members but i was a CNA for 5 years. so i have take care of 8 alzhiemers patients who were essentially childlike (hitting, biting, scratching, having temperfits)

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#17 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 09:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by anielasmommy09 View Post
i dont do time outs. i hadnt really thought how to handle that... what do you do? with my patients we always just tried to distract them like if they were hitting i would hold their hands and sing a song. would that work for kids?
I don't know; I only have the one child and he doesn't bite or hit. There is one boy in his daycare that was angry on at least one occasion and started throwing toys. I was picking up my son when he was doing this and my son was relatively close to that area but on the swings so I moved the toys out of the child's easy reach.

It really depends on the age of the child as different ages require different methods. The point is more that you need to think out various situations and how you plan to handle them; this is another area where the handbooks will be helpful. For example, how many times are you willing to let one child bite or hit another before booting them out of the daycare?

Another point: are you planning to have children of all ages? I think there are also rules regarding mixed age daycares but I'm not sure of what they may be.
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#18 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by anielasmommy09 View Post
i dont do time outs. i hadnt really thought how to handle that... what do you do? with my patients we always just tried to distract them like if they were hitting i would hold their hands and sing a song. would that work for kids?
Depends on the kid. It worked for my oldest but the second child would freak out if you touched him while he was having a fit or being aggressive. He really hates people touching him in general, but during hard times that cause him to hit, it gets really bad!

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#19 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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So, that's about 1083 per month? That's reasonable in my area. I'm paying 1027 for my infant. One other daycare I looked at was 1250. Home day cares vary in amount in my area, too. I'd definitely consider you. I searched Craigslist for things like "cloth diaper" and "AP" and "cry it out" when I was searching for care. There was very little of that sort available, and it made me sad.

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#20 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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#21 of 28 Old 07-02-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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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.

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#22 of 28 Old 07-03-2010, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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

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#23 of 28 Old 07-03-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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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!!

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#24 of 28 Old 07-03-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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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.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#25 of 28 Old 07-03-2010, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#26 of 28 Old 07-03-2010, 08:51 PM
 
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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!

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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#27 of 28 Old 07-04-2010, 02:49 AM
 
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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.
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#28 of 28 Old 07-04-2010, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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

 Young born-again mama and loving wife peace.gif to DH jammin.gif and SAHP to two crazy girls dust.gifwehomebirth.jpgfly-by-nursing2.gifslinggirl.giffamilybed1.gif and believe gd.giflactivist.gif  signcirc1.gif !

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