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View Full Version : Small Daycare vs Large Daycare


JaydensMommy
07-06-2011, 09:16 AM
Hello Everyone,

I am new to this forum but have quickly become addicted to reading it everyday. So I have recently opened my licensed home daycare, I worked with children before as well. I've only been open for about 2 months and am already full. I would love to be able to expand and hire an assistant. I am just wondering what you guys think.. I would be going from 8 children to 14 children. Anyone that has made that switch, do you feel it was a good decision??

daycare
07-06-2011, 09:30 AM
Hello Everyone,

I am new to this forum but have quickly become addicted to reading it everyday. So I have recently opened my licensed home daycare, I worked with children before as well. I've only been open for about 2 months and am already full. I would love to be able to expand and hire an assistant. I am just wondering what you guys think.. I would be going from 8 children to 14 children. Anyone that has made that switch, do you feel it was a good decision??
what state are you in? some states require that you have your lic for one year before you are able to apply for a large LIC.


I have thought about it..
reasons I didnt was:

I felt my home was too small

I did not want to have to rely on another person, purchase employee insurance, payroll, and what if they don't show up to work for the day??

I did not want someone in my house looking over my shoulder at my every move on a daily basis.

I was scared that if this person makes a mistake or harms a child it's on me.

My insurance would go up and the damages to my house would cost me more.

I would have to have two full time kids just to be able to pay one person to help me.

I am not saying that it's not possible, these are the reasons that I chose not to do it..

JaydensMommy
07-06-2011, 09:41 AM
I'm in California so you do need to be licensed for a year to be able to apply for a large daycare license. I actually have been licensed for over a year but it took me a while to quit my job and commit to doing this full-time. I was afraid I would have a hard time finding children, but it all worked out very well. My home is a good size and my whole living room and attached office room is dedicated entirely to my daycare.

daycare
07-06-2011, 09:55 AM
do you mind me asking where abouts in CA you are?
I have was full, but had a family leave with several kids and now I am left with all these openings.... I am trying to advertise, but no luck so far...

JaydensMommy
07-06-2011, 11:42 AM
do you mind me asking where abouts in CA you are?
I have was full, but had a family leave with several kids and now I am left with all these openings.... I am trying to advertise, but no luck so far...

I am located in Hanford, CA. What about you? I started by advertising on craigslist, that is where most of my calls came from. I also live on a main road in my neighborhood and had a sign made on Vistaprint to put out front and have received a lot of calls from that.

Meeko
07-06-2011, 02:35 PM
I went from home day care to group day care. (from 8 to 16 kids) My husband and then my son have been my assistants.

Pro's and con's of a larger group.

Pro's

Not so devastating to the check book when you lose one.
Another adult to talk to!
Larger projects can be fun with two adults
Go to the bathroom in peace. No more "power pee's" :lol:
Easier to get by when you are sick when you have help.

Cons

More parents to deal with:rolleyes:
No quick trips to the store with 16 in tow!
No field trips unless you get a big van
More cleaning etc.

Just a few thoughts. I have plenty of room and so it's nice.....make sure you have room or you'll go crazy. We are able to say 4 kids in this room, 4 in that room, etc. etc. as 16 in one room can get LOUD!!!

JaydensMommy
07-07-2011, 12:04 AM
Having another adult around is my main reason for wanting a large daycare. I think I would love to have someone else around to help. :) But the thought of having 14 kids is kind of scary.. Lol.:eek: I have to wait until I can come up with the $2,000 needed in California to get a large daycare. But I think it's something I want to do! Thanks for the input.

littlemissmuffet
07-07-2011, 02:05 PM
You said you recently opened your home daycare... how recently? I remember when I first started doing childcare many years ago, I wanted to go bigger and BIGGER too. After a year or so, I changed my mind and to this day I am very glad I made that choice. The reasons are endless - my home gets less wear and tear, the toys last longer, handling and controlling a smaller group is MUCH easier overall (meal times are nice and quiet, nap time is peaceful, trips everywhere from the park to the museum are EASY, transporting children from place to place is very managable), I don't have to RELY on an assistant showing up and doing their job as well as I expect them to (and being let down), I have way less parent drama to deal with, I can be much pickier about who I take on as a client because I don't have to struggle to fill so many spaces, each and every child gets a ton of one on one time each day, each child here has their own room for napping, each child has a very good square footage of space to move around in, we can spend much more time on certain projects than other daycares with more children because the prep and clean-up times are much less with less children, I only have to buy 5-6 of everything, as opposed to 10+ of everything, getting the kids ready to go outside only takes about 10 minutes... as opposed to the 20-60 minutes it can take larger daycares to get kids ready, I could go on and on. The only benefit, to me personally, of going bigger would be to make more money... and that's just simply not worth it to me.

I wish you much luck in your journey!! :Sunny:

nannyde
07-07-2011, 02:12 PM
I went from home day care to group day care. (from 8 to 16 kids) My husband and then my son have been my assistants.

Pro's and con's of a larger group.

Pro's

Not so devastating to the check book when you lose one.
Another adult to talk to!
Larger projects can be fun with two adults
Go to the bathroom in peace. No more "power pee's" :lol:
Easier to get by when you are sick when you have help.

Cons

More parents to deal with:rolleyes:
No quick trips to the store with 16 in tow!
No field trips unless you get a big van
More cleaning etc.

Just a few thoughts. I have plenty of room and so it's nice.....make sure you have room or you'll go crazy. We are able to say 4 kids in this room, 4 in that room, etc. etc. as 16 in one room can get LOUD!!!

Cons: the responsibility to keep enough slots filled to keep the second persons job.

In my State the second person has to be experienced. That person costs more money per hour than a newbie.

When the second person KNOWS that your license is dependent upon them they can want to be a partner instead of an employee.

The second person may want to strike out on their own and take a bunch of your clients with them when they do it. (That's VERY common)

The second persons kids.... oh lawdy... I could turn your ears upside down with that one.

sharlan
07-07-2011, 02:18 PM
.....The second persons kids.... oh lawdy... I could turn your ears upside down with that one..........(posted by nannyde)

I can only imagine the problems that would come with that one.

I've prefered to stay small. The logistics of more kids - constant head counts, preparing meals, attempting outings, etc - is more than I want to deal with. 8 kids can get pretty loud, I don't even want to know what the noise level would be with 14. I like the fact that I can pick up and go.

CoachingForQualityImprovement
07-07-2011, 02:26 PM
Having another adult around is my main reason for wanting a large daycare. I think I would love to have someone else around to help. :) But the thought of having 14 kids is kind of scary.. Lol.:eek: I have to wait until I can come up with the $2,000 needed in California to get a large daycare. But I think it's something I want to do! Thanks for the input.

Why would you need $2000? It is only $150 for the license, plus the fee for a fire permit. There are minimal alterations to make in the actual environment.

Anyways, I have a large family child care and I love it. My husband works with me, and has for 13 years. I think if you have the space, the patience, the desire to do it, GO FOR IT! You can always go back to small if you decide you don't enjoy it.

Good luck!

littlemissmuffet
07-07-2011, 02:38 PM
Why would you need $2000? It is only $150 for the license, plus the fee for a fire permit. There are minimal alterations to make in the actual environment.

Anyways, I have a large family child care and I love it. My husband works with me, and has for 13 years. I think if you have the space, the patience, the desire to do it, GO FOR IT! You can always go back to small if you decide you don't enjoy it.

Good luck!

Great advice... and back-up plan too! :Sunny:

rhymia1
07-07-2011, 05:40 PM
I hire substitutes (allowed in my state) rather than get a full time assistant to go to Group Family status. This allows me the adult time (and the extra pair of hands!) plus it's a lot less expensive than hiring someone full time. For me the cons of having larger numbers are what other posters mentioned. If that person is out sick, you have to cancel clients (or pay for back-up) Plus, when I am closed for a rare sick day, I don't want DC still going on in my home while I'm trying to R&R.

snbauser
07-07-2011, 05:43 PM
I have a large daycare. I am licensed for 12 with a helper.

I expanded about 2 1/2 years ago and love it. I love having a larger group. It is nice to be able to do large group activities. I like that even if I have 1 or 2 or even 3 kids out, there are still plenty of kids for the others to play with. I like having another adult to talk to during the day. I also like that if I lose 1 or 2 kids at a time that it isn't as big a hit on my finacially when I still have 10 or 11 others. I usually stay pretty full and if I have openings, they don't usually last for very long unless by choice.

For me, it was very costly though. Here in NC when you expand, you are categorized as a Center in a Residence. That means that we have to follow 99% of the same rules that a "regular" center has to follow. That includes have fire inspections and fire alarms -not just smoke detectors, health and sanitation inspections and all the stuff that goes with those regulations as well as a lot of changes I had to make to my house like installing temperature regulators on our hand washing sinks, having a separate hand washing sink for food prep area, having special door knobs, adding extra lighting, etc.

I have been lucky though when it comes to staffing. I have had a few issues here and there but for the most part have had very good staff and staff that is very flexible so that we do encounter and issue we can cover until we can resolve the issue. A few years from now when my husband retires, he will become my full time assistant.

Meeko
07-07-2011, 05:50 PM
Cons: the responsibility to keep enough slots filled to keep the second persons job.

In my State the second person has to be experienced. That person costs more money per hour than a newbie.

When the second person KNOWS that your license is dependent upon them they can want to be a partner instead of an employee.

The second person may want to strike out on their own and take a bunch of your clients with them when they do it. (That's VERY common)

The second persons kids.... oh lawdy... I could turn your ears upside down with that one.
I probably would not have expanded if I had to hire someone! But my husband is my best friend and our son is a dream to work with too. No paying someone!

JaydensMommy
07-07-2011, 10:24 PM
Why would you need $2000? It is only $150 for the license, plus the fee for a fire permit. There are minimal alterations to make in the actual environment.

Anyways, I have a large family child care and I love it. My husband works with me, and has for 13 years. I think if you have the space, the patience, the desire to do it, GO FOR IT! You can always go back to small if you decide you don't enjoy it.

Good luck!

There is a $1,360 fee in my city that I would need to pay for them to review my request for a large daycare. That and the fee from the fire department is about $300 and then the license fee. So all together it's almost $2,000. Sounds like you have it good with your husband helping you. My husband wouldn't be able to do that, but I'm trying to convince my mom to do it with me. :)

Meeko
07-08-2011, 06:57 AM
Having an assistant is the biggest decision when going to a large group. I am not sure I would have done it if that had been necessary for me. I don't want to be an employer or have any power issues or personality clashes.

We are very literally family group. My son and husband are my helpers. Every penny goes into our account. My son lives in the home we use for day care. His "pay" is that we pay the mortgage and utilities. He takes care of the yard and such. He has a part time business doing parking enforcement in the evenings and that provides his cash flow. It works out well for us.

TBird
07-08-2011, 11:03 AM
Having an assistant is the biggest decision when going to a large group. I am not sure I would have done it if that had been necessary for me. I don't want to be an employer or have any power issues or personality clashes.

We are very literally family group. My son and husband are my helpers. Every penny goes into our account. My son lives in the home we use for day care. His "pay" is that we pay the mortgage and utilities. He takes care of the yard and such. He has a part time business doing parking enforcement in the evenings and that provides his cash flow. It works out well for us.

OMG, that's SO COOL!!!

CoachingForQualityImprovement
07-08-2011, 01:04 PM
There is a $1,360 fee in my city that I would need to pay for them to review my request for a large daycare. That and the fee from the fire department is about $300 and then the license fee. So all together it's almost $2,000. Sounds like you have it good with your husband helping you. My husband wouldn't be able to do that, but I'm trying to convince my mom to do it with me. :)

ahhh, you must need a conditional use permit? that sucks. good luck, I hope it works out if you move forward!

radhas
07-14-2011, 03:46 PM
Hi, I just applied going through the process. I have 5 permanent and 3 temproary . I am planning to hire a high school or college kids to work part time for me as I do only after school.

JaydensMommy
07-14-2011, 08:48 PM
Hi, I just applied going through the process. I have 5 permanent and 3 temproary . I am planning to hire a high school or college kids to work part time for me as I do only after school.

Good Luck!.. I'm going to continue my small daycare for a while and I may expand later...