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Old 03-03-2004, 08:24 PM
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Are there any Daycare Providers here now?

What are some of your best tips and suggestions for starting an in-home daycare?

What would you suggest that someone starting out NOT do ?



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Old 03-04-2004, 02:26 PM
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I started doing in-home daycare last Fall for a little extra money. I did not want to get licensed, I still don't. Too much paperwork and I refuse to have the state in here telling me what to do.
In our state you can keep 2 in addition to your own children. I had a 2 year old and a 4 year old until last week when the 2 year old's mom quit her job.
The 4 year old is very high maintenance so I probably won't take anymore for a while.
For the most part we do very well. My son is 5. Both are in pre-school, although at different schools which is nice so they a get a break from one another.
One thing I have done and am glad about, I had my son go through his toys, anything special, or new he keeps in his room. My rule is no daycare kids upstairs. That way he can have some things that are just his, and he can also have some privacy. He does not have to share his whole life with this kid.
I also tried to think of every possible situation so I could set the rules right from the start. It seems to have worked out really well.
Lots of play dates with my girlfriend who also does day care. It gives us adult conversation and the kids get some variety. We meet at the park when the weather allows, every Wed. is story hour at the library. We do the zoo about once a month in the summer and fall, we go to McDonalds to playland.
Just a note: some providers collect a $20 activity fee twice a year. I myself try to plan a week in advance and collect as I go. I am bad about spending too much and going in the hole on things like prizes, craft supplies, etc. So I try to keep better track now. I also am going to require the boy's father to buy him a swim pass for me at our pool for the summer.
This is all I can think of right now. I must say some days are frustrating because this boy's father is in denial about some things, but I am slowly making progress and feel that I am giving him some MUCH NEEDED stability.
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Old 03-20-2004, 05:40 AM
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I have been doing licensed daycare for 8 yrs.some simple things

1st- collect money at the beginning of week not end,if you are to watch 3 days a week, get money on first day you watch, you will not believe the excuses people use,(forgot checkbook,didn't cash check, ect) i have had to take 2 people to court for not paying learned hard way, also if they do not show up for you to watch, you still are paid, its a job, you expect that amt. of money each week.

2nd- be flexible but not to much,you will feel abused if you give in too much,people think since its in your home, so what if i am 15 mins late, needs to be explained up front excact times of pick-up and drop off, extra money if late, and A PHONE CALL TO that, so it can be explained to child parent running late. this is a job even if it is out of your home

3rd- have a contract in writing, both sign, can be simple, pick up, drop off times, amount to be paid, what if child sick, parent calls in sick,you are sick,you have emergency,if child get hurt what you will do,who will provide food,snacks,diapers,wipes,blankets,high chair, car seat,play pen, toys,drop off and pick up times for school.what kind of entertainment,how much tv and what showsand crafts.


Thats all i can think of for now sure,later will post more.
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Old 03-20-2004, 06:28 AM
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bopperm - you are sooo right about getting the money the first day of the week. I've learned that the hard way too. Just sent letter to one of my parents asking them if their boss made them wait from Fri. to Tues. for his paycheck. Explained this is a business not a favor and he has the nerve to be mad! We have a contract but it seems to make no difference to him. I have given him his last warning.

I had a friend once that told me it wouldn't be the kids that drove me crazy, it would be the parents.
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Old 03-20-2004, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for all of the advice.


Ive thought about doing this when we move as a way to make up for the $$ loss that we will be facing.


I agree that most of the time it isnt the kids when they are involved in things.......its the parents.


Tami
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Old 03-20-2004, 04:55 PM
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dacare ideas

I agree totally with the others and have them pay at the begining of the week, that way you know that you won't be cheated out your money. I also had a contract signed by the daycare girls mom and her boyfriend is giving me grief. On Dec. 20th he said that he was going to be laid off and I won't have the girls for 6 weeks and they thought I wasn't going to charge them for that. I explained to them that my fees need to be paid every week wether the kids were there or not . They gave me a 2 week verbal notice, in the contract it says a written notice and they don't feel They should pay me for any of the weeks they didn't come. That is thirteen weeks at $125.00 a week. So I am taking them to court and making them pay all of those weeks and late fees(I gave them a chance to pay their two weeks and they didn't) plus all court and lawyer fees. Does anyone think I did right or wrong? Please give me some feed back.
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:31 AM
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Hi. I have been a home daycare provider for 15 years. I love my job but it does have its ups and downs. Here is some advice I would give. Write a contract listing all holidays taken, what you provide and a list of what a parent needs to provide, what your hours are, when you will take vacation and whether it is a paid vacation or not and your policies are on sick children, late pick up etc. Keep your own children's rooms off limits. They need a space of their own where they can have privacy or escape when they need to and a place where they can keep their special toys that they do not want to share. (They are already sharing their mom, their home and most everything else) Make sure to have extra outfits on hand for each child because of craft projects or the occasional "accident". Decide what your policies will be regarding meals. I have done it two different ways. One way was to have each child bring their lunch. That worked when I had children who were strict vegetarians etc. but it was hard when the children wanted what the other children had. What I do now is have a co-op. I provide some foods and each child's family provides things as well. Each week they ask what I would like or what I need. One family will provide milk, another pasta, another snacks or fish sticks etc. It makes it so we get variety and I don't have to raise my rates due to food costs. The down side of daycare is it is tough on your house and furniture and it can be isolating. Also, second hand stores are great for adding new toys or equipment. Just check for safety. Make sure you have ways for adult contact. I started doing daycare so I could be home with my own three children. Now my youngest is in 3rd grade and I am still doing it. I love being my own boss and being here for my children when they need me as well as working with the children I care for. Their hugs and smiles are worth a million. Just keep in mind that communication is key with the parents and stick to your guns regarding your policies. Good luck.
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Old 03-21-2004, 07:45 PM
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Fees

You get out of bed every morning and are ready to go. If they don't show up it isn't your fault at your end of the contract. I told my clients it is like a budget system. If they wanted to be paying drop in rates it ned mybudget around having that money.

On the other hand, I no longer do childcare and neither do several of my friends. We met the ugly end of childcare. If something goes wrong and a child is injured or a disgruntled parent complains, your entire family is open for scrutiny. You run the risk of losing your own children or at least having them interviewed at the police station by the "helpful" socail worker

Make a very careful choice about how much risk you are willing to take - licensed or not.

A friend has more than $10,000 in legal fees that she can't recover because the social workers were just doing their job after all. An angry neighbor made a false report. She recanted but that didn't stop social services from still attacking her and her reputation.

In the world of social services, you are guilty until proven innocent. Now I know why so many people were surprised that I did field trips. Other providers wouldn't take the risk and those kids never got out of the daycare house.

The kids were great; some of the parents were pains. Note: I was very picky about who I would take; afterall, these kids would be my kids playmates.

And no smokers - no way. These kids are always sick and most of the parents were clueless as to why.
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Old 03-22-2004, 11:23 AM
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Hi Dakaremom, a lot of things have to be taken into account to support that decission.
If my relationship with the parents has been friendly, if they have been nice and accomadating while they were my customers, I would honor their 'verbal notice' as a formal one. Especially because as you mentioned the guy was laid off from work recently.
But like I said it depends on what the previous relationship was like. If they were always late in payments, trying to get away with not paying me, not buying supplies etc....
Also how pinched they are after his lay off, how their finances are, how my finances are since their kid stopped coming...
I know legally you are right as you have a contract asking for 'written' notice.
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Old 03-24-2004, 09:08 AM
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sunny__mom

Thanks sunny for repling to my post. After he told me he was going to be laid off I wasn't going to charge them. The mom of the girls should be calling me to make all the desions she was the only one to sign my contract,and they are not married. Then he went on a week vacation to las vegas and gambled--he came back from vacation and decided then he wasn't going to pay --he made the excuse that I threated the mom I did no such thing. I simpley called her and asked if she still needed me that she would have to pay for that 2nd week of January;( the third week was when he went on vac. and he was to pay me for that week and she had to pay for that week and until they decided to give a two week and that was on feb. 14th.) then I told her if she didn't then give me two weeks and I could put an ad in th paper. He claims that they paed me already for the two weeks on the second and third week of Jan. and I haven't heard from them since.
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