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Oh, I am glad I found the right forum for this! I am in need of view on this... Dh and I have been discussing for some time now, the need for me to generate an income of sorts. I have decided in the last few days to open an AP friendly home day care for just a few kids. I have a BS in Child Dev. in worked in the field before being a SAHM. Today I finally drew up some plans, ideas, an ad. etc... I was so excited
about my plans!

I told all this to DH, who told me that it was "stupid to turn away potential clients by using phrases like 'breastfeeding friendly' and 'natural parenting'." Now, I am looking to care for like 2 other kids, plus DD and my best friends son. So, I figured, start advertisng now, it shouldn't be hard to find 2 kids by late August or so... We don't even MOVE into our new house until mid-July! I tried to explain to him that I don't want to care for children whose parents will be upset by me BFing DD or horrified by my use of CD or whatever. I have cared for children whose parents spank them or use CIO and I DON'T want to do it again!!
: DH really thinks that I will be turning away clients by using these phrases in my ads. He is strongly pushing me to not make this an "AP" childcare.

Where do I go on this moms? Do I blatently disregard DH and do what I feel is right, it is after all, my job and business? Or do I respect his wishes and advertise this as a regular ol'day care center?? He is VERY supportive of our personal descion to AP but thinks that it is so NOT mainstream that I will struggle to find clientle who won't thinking I am some sort of hippie freak. We live in an affluent "suburbia" area... Sorry for the terribly long post! Thanks!
 

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Well....who's watching the kids? Him or you? You are--it's your business and you'll be the one caring for the children. It's your company, you have to be comfortable enough with the work you're doing to love it and stick with it. You're looking for just TWO kids, too...I gotta believe that if you're just looking for two kids, you're going to be fine. Sure, you'll turn some people away, but it sounds like you wouldn't want to work for them anyway, so isn't that kind of a moot point?

I think at this point, having discussed it and heard him out, you tell DH "Thank you for your input, you've given me a lot to think about" and then do what you want anyway.
 

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What I'm getting as an underlying message from him is that he's worried it won't bring in any money...? Maybe address that point, but beyond that I agree, you're the one watching the kids, you get to choose. Anyway, even if you don't advertise bf'ing friendly etc, when the parents meet you and if they are going to be turned off by that it'll happen regardless, so you might save yourself time by eliminating those to begin with.
 

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I think you should thank him for his imput, but let him know you still are planning to pursue advertising to a "select" clientele. That is not "blatant disregard" for his advice, it's just that you've considred it and have decided not to use it. Bringing children into your home is such a personal business. It's not like running a doughnut stand. You still want your values to be practiced inside of your home. Good luck!! ~Rebecca
 

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Maybe suggest to him that you will start out advertising it your way, and if that doesn't work you will try his way? Hopefully your way will work, and you won't even have to do it his way.

I think your DH just wants you to be successful. He doesn't understand how heartbreaking it will be for you to watch kids that are left to CIO.

Good luck!
 

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what karlin said! that's what i was scrolling down to say myself...

say "thanks, i'll keep it in mind," go ahead and look for your ideal clients, and fall back on his plan if yours doesn't wash.

you're not starting a day-care dynasty, we're only talking two kids here. and those kids will have influence on your kid, so you're very wise to be picky about who it's gonna be!

good luck,

katje
 

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Just my .02, for what it is worth...

If you are going to do a thing, you better do it in a way that makes YOU happy, since YOU are doing it. Clients will value that you do what you do with certain standards of care and integrity. YOU have to feel good about how you choose to do it. YOU are the one spending the time and giving the care, with all due respect to your dh. I think the service you are going to be providing, the care, the attention, and the atmosphere/environment you are looking to provide are going to be very important to your community.

I do however think that your dh's questions bring up other questions worth considering, such as:

In your state, are family/home-based childcare services required to follow regs and be certified, or is that optional? In your state, if there are regs, are there also grants to apply for in order to bring your home into line with regs and have the things you wish to have for your clients safety and welfare in your care?

What will you do if a child in your care is sick? or needs meds given? Are you against use of antibiotics, etc.? Will that make a difference for you with regards to giving care?

Will you have a back-up caregiver to either take over if you are sick or refer your clients to if you have an emergency and can't meet their needs for some reason?

Will you be willing/able to provide for specialized dietary requirements (vegan or veggie, no dairy, or whatever is necessary) or will you require a packed lunch with snacks?

(These are just questions that immediately popped into my mind...I used to work in daycare, so forgive me if I am way offbase with any of the above.)

With regard to your dh's concerns:

Perhaps if you were to "run it up the flagpole and see who salutes", and had some solid info for your dh to see with his own two eyes, he would feel you really DO know what you are doing (o'course we KNOW you know what you are doing). For instance, if you gauge the need in the community (say, you put up a poster or put out an ad or flyer) and receive significantly more calls/feedback than you are looking for, he might change his tune and see you can "write your own ticket" doing what you love and doing it your way, on a smaller scale and still make some helpful money.

I sure hope you carry through and I also hope, that you will continue to share how things go as you progress through to opening your service. I think you have a GREAT idea. I also feel strongly that you can do it your way.

Keep us informed!
Joyce in the mts.
 

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In general, I do listen to my dh's advice.

In this case, however, I think you should listen to Joyce in the mts. advice!


Many moms will want to place their children with someone who has a BS in Child Development! What a great draw!
 

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I'd tell him that if you don't have 2 AP friendly families by August - then you'll take the AP stuff out. I too worked in early childhood for quite a long time and I think having mainstream families in your home would be stressful and uncomfortable.

I'd be gracious and thank him for his input, but tell him this is your field and you are confident that with your education/background you can find 2 families who at least accept your AP way of life.
 

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What Joyce said! Personally, some us in mainstream places would have jumped at that ad when they read it. I say, place it the way you want and see what happens.

On the flipside, even if you didn't have a chance to put the AP references in, wouldn't be nice to have such a positive influence on a child and give them a perspective they might not get at home?
 

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You know, advice is just that--advice. I think many of us fall into the trap that when dh speaks, we listen and jump to it. And, um, I think i'll stop there because this is a topic for another thread!

Everyone else has had some good things to say. I'll be interested to know what you end up doing. Good luck on your venture.
 

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Need to weigh in here. Of course you should do what you think is best. I'm assuming you've also considered other things besides AP, BF, gentle parenting, etc...such as the ages, genders and temperments of the children. Four in the house is going to take the right mix. I can't imagine that four infants, for example, no matter is they are APed or not, would be condusive to a happy experience.

So, maybe you can soften it for him by saying it's just one of many things you are considering to come up with the right mix for everyone.

Also, let's not forget about intention here. I truly believe that if your intention is specific, the universe will take that and provide exactly what you need. Don't worry mama, this will all work out best for everyone and the kids that come to you each day will be truly blessed. Good luck!
 

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You should absolutely definately advertise exactly what you are. You want to attract people that have a similar or same model of parenting as you.

Should you begin to attract the "wrong" sort, (and we all know what that is), the joy and fun will go out of it all, and you'll rather do time in a mine than take care of children of parents that

a) don't understand
b) don't appreciate
c) will blame you anyway for problems that have their roots in their own homes.

We run a school. The aim of the school is to educate in a particular way. We explain in detail what we do at the interview. Those that are not intially attracted, never bother us.

Do your best to attact as many like minded people as possible.

a
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you all! You all have great points, and ideas. I think Mami is right in saying that he is worried that I won't bring in any money. DH also has this "work will always be awful, so why try" attitude. I LOVE teaching for/caring for kids and I want the children that I bring into my home, that will be involved with DD's life, to be the "right kids." Like KTmama said, I have to find the right mix of kids, not just AP/gentle parenting/etc. kids. I called the local 4C (a child care reference/referall group) and they are sending me information on the need/price structure in my area. She said over the phone that this was high-need area, and that many centers can charge $200+ for full-time care because there are so few options. With that on paper, DH might change his tune a little bit!

To answer Joyce in the mtns questions (good ones, BTW)- in Michigan, anyone careing for other people's children in their home IS required to be licensed, I am pursing that already. We are not against the use of medication, DD is on the "normal" vax schedule (no flaming please). As far as providing food, I think I will offer to provide our normal foods, mostly organic but not veggie/vegan/etc. but be willing to serve those foods if provided by parents.

SamuriEarthMama is right when she said I am not trying to start a daycare dynasty! I just want two sweet kids whose parents at the very least won't mind my AP style and at the most, are AP themselves.

DH and I will be talking at length tonight, so I will update you all on what ends up happening. I am going to propose doing what Ame suggested, if I don't have 2 kids by August, try again without the AP references. I think pointing out to him, that DD will literally be growing up with these kids, might help drive home the point as well. Thanks again!!
 

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While I think its ALWAYS important to listen to DH, I don't always take his advice. And you don't have to either.

I have an MBA in marketing, so I'll use that approach since it might speak to some of your DH's concerns. A product (in this case, home day care) cannot be all things to all people. Successful products cater to a specific need for a specific set of customers. Big companies with big products spend huge amounts of money to research what their target market wants/needs and who that market should be. For example, I used to work for a fast food company. We targeted men aged 18-35. That's it. If other people chose to come and eat, great. But the menu, prices, decor, everything was worked toward that specific target. To be successful, you too need a specific target market. And I think you already know what it is. Can you articulate it in one sentence? (You came close in your last post). Great. Now, design advertising that will reach that group and figure out where to put it so that group sees it. That is probably not in the local McDonalds, but probably is in the local health food store. Go from there. Play UP the AP-ness of your approach because that is what makes you different from the person down the street. Play UP your food choices, if that is what you want to do. Market what makes you unique. And you will find 2 customers. You may even find that you can charge a premium because what you offer is so different.

All of that being said, you might want to take a minute to differentiate between natural living and AP, because they overlap in many places but they aren't the same. If you want both, then go for it. But if one is more important than the other, then just emphasize that one. For me, AP would be more important than the natural living point. In fact, if I were looking for childcare, I would NOT go to someplace that advertises natural living, but I would love someplace that is AP-friendly. But that is me and you need to figure this one out for yourself.
 

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Sounds great!

Thanks for the answers to my questions.

I wish you every good thing and it sounds like as I suspected, your skill and heart are really needed in the community.

You won't be flamed by me about the vaxing or whatever....I just didn't know what boundaries you had thought of and needed to keep for your family.

I am sure you will be establishing a back up plan for when you or your child is ill (I am sure your local childcare org will fill you in on what the state expects of you in that situation, etc.), and a standard procedure for when a child in your charge is/becomes ill. (Will you require that a child be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to your care, etc? Just full of questions, arent I? Sorry, can't help it.)

Glad you are in touch with your local childcare organization, and I know they will be thrilled to welcome you into the community of service. They may even be able to hook you up with a grant to get you started with items that will go a long way toward making your small-time operation a reality...though they may have a quota of how many children served for that...worth looking into, and I hope you will.

I am thrilled for your community that you are seeking to do good things for children, yours and others'.

May you have MUCH success...and do keep us posted. I will LOVE to hear about your plans!

Joyce in the mts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh, the plot thickens
I talked with DH at length tonight and he is REALLY opposed to the idea of this being an AP-center. He is just convinced that I won't find anyone. He thinks we should play up my education, etc. then have people fill out aps/interview and pic the ones that are the most AP. To me this just seems backwards, now that I know there is a demand in the community, I want to market to that, like Evan&Anna'smom said. I want people to see my flyers and be like, Oh that's cool and remember to tell their friend who uses CD that there is this center that is okay with that...

Anyway, at the end of this conversation, I convinced DH that we are going to "try" with the AP idea, and see where we are by Aug. 1. If, by then, I haven't managed to scrape up a couple of AP families, we will switch tactics. In the mean time, I now have an "in" with a friend that is really involved in the local earthy-birthy scene and is going to pass out flyers for me, yeah!

Thanks for the marketing advice, Evan&Anna'smom. You are right about picking a focus, we are definitly going "AP" not "natural." Although we are pretty natural by many standards, we are no where near in others.

Joyceinthemtns- they do have a start up grant! I am getting info in the mail! Can't wait! I know it was $1500 in a neighboring county, if you could provide a solid buisness plan. I will keep you all posted!
 

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Carrie

I have an MS in Child Development, and and MS in Elementary Ed. When I decided to do some part-time sitting for extra cash, I advertised as a part-time nanny, my home only, and I charged nanny-like hourly rates. One kid only, in addition to my own ds (which was plenty) and I made more money than if I opened a home child care center for several little ones. With your background, this is definitely something you could do, and then you could work closely with a family who shares your values (as did we). It was a great success all the way around, and when we moved across the city, the family chose to do a crazy stressful commute in order to keep their dd with me. Seriously, this is something you may want to do.

Good Luck,
 

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Can you advertise with a "catch phrase" of sorts, that is more likely to get the attention of AP types of parents? Just sort of hidden in the ad, like "Dedicated AP mom opening my home to 2-3 children....". SOmething like that? Or you could reserve the right to reject families that aren't AP friendly by saying something like "I'm sorry, I just don't think we'll be a good match. You need to find someone else who can give your baby what they need according to your wishes".

I try hard to take my husband's advice, and not outright reject it. He's a decent guy, not stupid, and I've found out the hard way that sometimes his viewpoint is *really* important. He thinks along different lines than I do, and so he often has thought of things that would never even cross my mind.
 
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