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JoyfullyDonna 10:59 AM 12-11-2018
Hi all!

I have been wanting to begin a home day care for years and have spent a great deal of time here reading. Sometimes it feels very daunting. I did have a state licensed family home day care for 12 years beginning in 1987, but things have sure changed! I was under the USDA food program back then, too. We decided to stop doing day care 1998 in order for me to homeschool our children. They are now grown and moved out and I want/need to begin again. It feels like, other than the daunting task of beginning, that this time around it might be a little more relaxed for me - I won't feel like I am giving my best self to other families and giving what is left to my children (I loved what I did back then, but many, many days at the end of the day this is how I felt). I had really great families for the most part - only one really awful experience. I count myself very lucky.

Is it possible to begin WHILE in the process of becoming state licensed? I see that parent handbooks have become tomes instead of just a few pages long now full of different clauses and regulations - I don't even know where to begin. I kept all my old paperwork and can already see it is not anywhere near what is expected/required today. I have noticed that a board full of papers and statements is required in the entrance way?

I feel like I have been in hibernation for years and now the whole day care world is completely different.

Can I begin with just the bare minimum and then build from there, or do parents expect bells and whistles? Back in '87 I began with almost nothing and went from there over time. I look around my home and see how completely un-child-proofed it is and feel overwhelmed with what needs to be done. I do not have a dedicated room for doing daycare - it will be as it was before - pretty much my main living areas and possibly a room for sleeping. Do I need any specific kinds of toys, etc. at least to begin. I would definitely upgrade as time passed and I had more income.

Back in '87 I cared for infants and toddlers (mostly special needs). I really do not wish to have infants this time around and I do not wish to care for before/after school children. I'd like toddlers-preschool - do you think that is realistic or do I need to consider the other age groups?

I need to get started as soon as possible after the holidays and was wondering what I should do first - what are the necessities to have in terms of contracts, toys, space, etc. just to get started. Do I need Facebook or are there other ways to market myself (I do not currently have Facebook). I have the information for state licensing (I am in VA) and will begin that immediately. Is state licensing better or not going with state licensing?

Sorry for all the questions! Any advice, tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!
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