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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>How Long Have You Been Open?
busymommy0420 12:53 PM 04-02-2013
How long have you been open?
How many children have you cared for?
What are some changes that you have made since you opened?
What is something you did NOT change?
What is your favorite part of your day? And your least favorite?


I have been open 25 months.

I have had 15 different children (does not include my own) in my program. I have 5 current clients, three of the clients are still with me since I first opened. I also have my 3 daughters in care daily.

I changed a lot and learned a lot the last 25 months. My routine changed several times until it worked for us. I changed my playroom 3 times and now know it is in the right area of my house. I changed from home-schooling my enrolled pre-schoolers to enrolling them in an outside pre-school and providing transportation. I also changed my contract taking 3 weeks vacation and paid holidays!

I haven't changed my payment policy or hours of operation!

My favorite part is just watching them play explore and have fun together. My least favorite is changing diapers...I want to be done with them for good.
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Meeko 02:05 PM 04-02-2013
28 years and counting!

I have lost track of the number of kids that have been in my care. But I am in touch with many of them who are now married and have kids of their own!

I am currently caring for a 1 yr old who's Mom was in my care when she was 4 yrs old!
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KDC 02:19 PM 04-02-2013
7 years... My 'original' three babies are now in school full time. I gradually grew more confident to take on more kids, so now I still have the additional kids plus my own & some of their siblings. I was overwhelmed with three, but they were ALL infants. Now, I have mainly 3-5 yr. olds and I have a total of 7 kiddos most days. Never boring
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MyNana23 02:41 PM 04-02-2013
I've been open for 25 years, have had about 160 kids, one big change I've made over the past few years is setting a specific drop-off and pick-up time (which I was stupid to not do at first so people figured they could come and go whenever they liked), my favorite time of day is pick-up, my least favorite is the last hour before closing...
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Blackcat31 02:47 PM 04-02-2013
How long have you been open? 20 years

How many children have you cared for? last count, I have had 230+ kids come through my care as FT, PT, drop ins and temporary care.

What are some changes that you have made since you opened? Not a lot of changes other than NOT allowing families to use care from open to close.
The other big change is I am now older than my clients.

What is something you did NOT change? My enforcement of policies. I've always been pretty strict about expecting clients to follow my rules.

What is your favorite part of your day? closing time.

And your least favorite? diaper changing time.
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MrsSteinel'sHouse 03:01 PM 04-02-2013
16 years minus one year off four years ago
In the beginning I thought hat the kids would be like part of my family, now I realize it needs to be separate.
Favorite part I still get to love on babies.. Least.. PAPERWORK!!!
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MNMum 03:03 PM 04-02-2013
How long have you been open? 20 months


How many children have you cared for? 14 kids. 8 are current.


What are some changes that you have made since you opened? My husband is currently finishing the basement. Hired an assistant. Raised rates. Shortened hours. Used my backbone. Meal time changes.


What is something you did NOT change? Closing time. Always been 4:30.


What is your favorite part of your day? And your least favorite? Outside time - in nice weather. Outside time - in cold weather.
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daycarediva 03:19 PM 04-02-2013
How long have you been open? 7 years, 8 in June!
How many children have you cared for? wow, LOTS! I don't have an exact count
What are some changes that you have made since you opened? contracted hours
What is something you did NOT change? I treat each kid that comes into care as if he/she were my own child. <3
What is your favorite part of your day? Breakfast. I love sitting down, eating and chatting with my little friends. They love this too, and I wish I had more time at lunch and snack to do so.
And your least favorite? that hour before pick up.
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Laurel 03:32 PM 04-02-2013
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How long have you been open? 17 years full time, also did part time summers for about 3 years before starting full time.

How many children have you cared for? Lost count. My first group is in high school now.

What are some changes that you have made since you opened?

Collecting fees on Monday before care instead of Friday after care; reduced number of children I watch from six to three (kind of semi retired now); do not watch school aged and under 5's at the same time except my grandchildren and a very occasional sibling of a current family because he is soooo good. Do not do interviews on weekends anymore. Do not put babies in diapers in a little molded plastic pool anymore (boy that was dumb, lol) and got rid of sandbox. Now use water/sand table and sprinkler when it is hot. Made part time fees have a 3 day minimum.

What is something you did NOT change?

The basic philosophy (learn through play rather than a classroom type setting); hours/days; basic setup of house

What is your favorite part of your day?

After breakfast when we go for a stroller ride/walk.

And your least favorite?

The hour before closing.
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Evansmom 05:15 PM 04-02-2013
How long have you been open?
Almost 6 years.

How many children have you cared for?
I have only 3 daycare spots plus my son who is 5 who we home school. Total for all 6 years I have cared for 12 children. Some have aged out and gone to kinder, some have moved (3), one the mom decided to be a sahm, one I termed effective immediately and 2 I found other daycares for bc I wasn't the right fit for them. All but 1 I left on good terms, and some do drop in or periodical summer care.

What are some changes that you have made since you opened?
A lot!! I have raised rates, stopped offering meals and now just do snacks, take 3 weeks unpaid whereas at first I took none, stopped taking under 2's, I basically quit doing what caused me stress and made my life easier and more enjoyable.

What is something you did NOT change?
I haven't changed my location, hours, or most of my contract. My policies are all the same concerning illness, payment, etc.

What is your favorite part of your day?
Nap time!!! No really, I love playing with the kids but now that I have nappers again it is really nice to have that break.

And your least favorite?
I don't like diaper changing much, or potty training. Also I could do without cajoling the kids through clean up time anymore, they stall SO MUCH!
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AmyKidsCo 07:14 PM 04-02-2013
How long have you been open?
Since 1999 in WI. Previously I was in MI for 3 years and St. Louis, MO for 2

How many children have you cared for?
Over 60 at last count.

What are some changes that you have made since you opened?
Too many to list here, LOL! Suffice it to say that my policy book is 57 pages long.

What is something you did NOT change?
My focus on always doing what's best for the children, even if it costs more or is more inconvenient.

What is your favorite part of your day?
When they look at me and say "Amy, I love you" and when they give me hugs and cuddles.

And your least favorite?
When I have to talk to a parent about a problem with the child, have to enforce a policy or have to collect overdue tuition. Also when I have to fill openings. I'd be happiest if someone else would provide the children and take care of the money aspect of things so I can just focus on the children.
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LK5kids 07:31 PM 04-02-2013
I have been open since Dec. 2012 this time around. Years ago I was open for 10 yrs.

I can have four kids until I am licensed in May or June.
First time around I come up with 60 kids through my doors......there may be more!

I have transitioned into whole foods, homemade meals and as much organic as possible along with limited or no convenience foods.
Shortened hours
Of course I charge more. I take more holidays.
I never had written policies first time around, but I never once had trouble with payments, kids staying late or arriving early, coming sick, etc.
Never once had an interview the first time around....kids just showed up!

Favorite time of day is circle time/story time, outside time, & nap time.

Least favorite- diaper changing, clean up after lunch
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blandino 07:54 PM 04-02-2013
How long have you been open? My mother started the daycare, and opened in 2003. I was a part-time employee while I was in high shool and my first few yets of college. I became a full-time employee in 2010 and a partner in 2011.

How many children have you cared for? Since the daycare opened, I would say 100/120 ?!? I would actually be very interested to do a count (and might do one tomorrow).

What are some changes that you have made since you opened? We are much stricter/firmer with just about anything. Parents definitely don't walk all over us anymore. Partly because of experience, partly because we have an established clientele and aren't scared to lose a client over standing up for ourselves. We have also gone from the daycare being in our personal living space, to completely seperate (in two different homes), and now the daycare has a home of it's own. We also have a much more structured preschool program - and I would say a much more developed program in general.


What is something you did NOT change? Caring, personal, loving care with lots of structure and discipline. A whole ago, there was a thread asking "what is your speciality ?" With some reflection I would say that we are best known for the behavior of our children.

What is your favorite part of your day? Any time we are on schedule, things are flowing smoothly, and everyone is listening and enjoying themselves.

And your least favorite? I don't like getting ready/serving/ cleaning up after lunch and the space between lunch and nap. Also, I'm not crazy about outdoor play.
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Play Care 06:01 AM 04-03-2013
How long have you been open? 8 years!

How many children have you cared for? Including my own I think I'm at 14 or 15.

What are some changes that you have made since you opened? Changed my hours slightly (from 7:15-5:00 to 7:30-4:45) I've also realized that I don't have to tell clients everything - I have what I call "in my head" policies (ex: I prefer not to take infants but if I advertised that I would not get calls)

What is something you did NOT change? I advertise as an IN HOME child care with a true family feel. I have a "play room" NOT a classroom. I don't have tons of child sized furniture, and we all eat at the "big" table in the kitchen. I sit with the kids while eating, just like their parents do (or should!) at home.

What is your favorite part of your day? Right now, I LOVE naptime! One of my "in my head" policies is to "run their legs off" each AM. This means everyone goes down for naps quickly! In the late spring/summer/fall, my favorite is outdoor time. When I'm watching the kids play in the sprinklers or taking them for a walk I keep thinking to myself "I get paid for this!" I also LOVE 3:00 when the school kids come home (my two!) I am just so happy that my own kids get to come HOME at the end of their school day.

And your least favorite? The "witching" hour before pick up time! I consider myself a "no tv" day care, but this is the ONE time I am likely to break that rule and turn on ONE age appropriate show. I've noticed some of my parents getting later and later for pick up (not "late" but right at the cusp of closing time) I have a young/whininy group, so this gives me a break since tv is so rare here that everyone sits and actually watches
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jokalima 11:43 AM 04-03-2013
How long have you been open?

2 yeasr

How many children have you cared for?

7

What are some changes that you have made since you opened?

Being more strict with late pickup fees, changes on fees and vacation/personal time

What is something you did NOT change?

Everything else

What is your favorite part of your day? And your least favorite?

Group time, I, just love to read to them and sing and know how much they've learned... The part I don't like is afternoons, the hours feel longer for me.
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rmc20021 12:03 PM 04-03-2013
How long have you been open? I opened January 24 2012...so not quite 15 months ago

How many children have you cared for? I have had 8 children in care since beginning. The first one I only had for 3 days before the mom quite working.

What are some changes that you have made since you opened? I have taken all my household furniture out of my living room and it's entirely daycare now. I have constantly bought daycare furniture/toys every week. I have begun working a preschool program for 4/5 yo's. I have updated my policy and put more emphasis on enforcing my rules. I have changed getting paid after care, to getting paid in advance...lots of changes actually.

What is something you did NOT change? I have not changed the way in which I expect the children in my care to behave...that's always a given, always consistent.

What is your favorite part of your day? And your least favorite? Favorite part of my day is nap time, and doing fun activities...crafts, arts, science projects with the kids. Least favorite part of the day is WAITING for dcp's to get here on time.
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originalkat 11:03 AM 04-04-2013
How long have you been open? 5 Years

How many children have you cared for? 18

What are some changes that you have made since you opened? I only take Full Time, I Charge Monthly/Require a 30 Day Notice, I only take preschoolers (2-5 Yrs).

What is something you did NOT change? My enforcement of policies. I've always been pretty strict about expecting clients to follow my rules.(Same as Black Cat)

What is your favorite part of your day? Nap Time

And your least favorite? The last hour.
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canadiancare 11:09 AM 04-04-2013
How long have you been open? 21Years

How many children have you cared for? between 3 and 5 a year from age 1-4

What are some changes that you have made since you opened? I have reduced my hours to 06h30-16h30 giving parents an hour each way to commute and no more.
My fees were 25$ a day in 1992 and are 35$ a day today
What is something you did NOT change? I still follow our day nurseries act without fail for any aspects that can translate into a home situation.

What is your favorite part of your day? Home time

And your least favorite? somewhere between the last bit of morning playtime and tidy up time. I find that drags (around 10h30)
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melilley 11:09 AM 04-04-2013
I have been open for only 2 months
I have 4 full time children (1 my own) and 1 part time child and one part time starting in 2 weeks.
I haven't changed any thing yet, but am thinking of opening an 7 instead of 6 and
I will take Good Friday off next year!
My least favorite part of the day is chasing around the 18 mo. old that I have to prevent him from hitting, pulling hair, etc... Also early risers from nap that are crabby due to waking up too early!
My favorite part of the day is when we can go outside!
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