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Old 09-12-2011, 07:16 AM
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erinalexmom erinalexmom is offline
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Default Help Me So That I Don’t Quit!

Ive only been doing this since June but I tell ya I am really questioning this choice! So I thought I would list all the problems I have with running this daycare and I thought some of you wonderful folks on here might be able to help?
1)A few days a week I have to open at 5am. I HATE getting up that early and I dont care for the child too much. Plus its a school ager and I dont like school agers too much.

2)The children are tearing up my house! One little girl ripped a hole in my 80 year old rug, One child stained my couch with milk,ect. I really want a seperate space for my daycare. I am thinking of renovating part of my basement. But I am wondering if this will make a difference to my happiness or not? Has anyone had to 'share' space then was able to seperate? Were you happier after the seperation?

3)I have one boy who will not stop hitting everyone! He was in time out 4 times the other day just for not keeping his hands to himself and one day he bit my son so hard one day that he drew blood! I got a playyard last Friday and so today I have just kept him there all day because I am honestly just so sick of not being able to even leave the room to go to the bathroom without worrying what is going to happen. It would be different if the other kids did something to him but they dont and I can be sitting right beside him and he still hits them for no reason!

4) I have one baby who I cannot term but he cries off and on all nap time! I was thinking of getting out my IPOD and putting it in during the naptimes he's here (he's only here 2 days a week) then I can take out the IPOD and listen for him every few min? What do you think?

5) I work a 12 hour day and that is WAY too long I think. When I worked at the hospital (Im a nurse) I worked 12's but it was only 3 days a week. Its totally different, also I probably put in more than 12 because of all the cleanup and prep involved. Here's my schedule of families:
1) family #1 school agers 5am (2 or 3 days a week)
2) family #2 (2school agers and one little) 6:15am
3) family #3 (one little who is the hitter) 6:30am
4) family #4 (one little) who comes at 730am (2days a week)
5) family #5 (one little) who comes at 8am
6) family #6 (my nephew) who comes at 8am

Help please? I am about to give up. I hate to though until I give it an honest chance KWIM? Because I have a few kids that are just fine I also love being able to be home with my kids.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:33 AM
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((HUGS)) I feel for you; I've been there several times in the 20 months I've been doing this. Hang in there!

1) I would recommend terming him; that will shorten your day by over an hour and you can implement a policy of only taking school agers if they are attached to a little.

2) YES!! I started out sharing space with the daycare--I live in a bi-level and we have a large family room/bathroom/bedroom/laundry room in the lower level and then kitchen/living room/bedrooms/bathroom on the upper level. I started out with the playroom in the living room upstairs and the naproom in one of the upstairs bedrooms. I made it almost a year before switching the playroom to the downstairs family room and the naproom to the downstairs bedroom. I LOVE it so much; I feel like I actually get to "go home" from work (despite having my own kids and still spending time in the playroom after hours) and I don't feel like the daycare is up my nose all day/night.

3) Confinement when you can't be watching him, conference with parents to get on the same page about this behavior, careful monitoring to try and find a trigger. How old is he? Is he very verbal yet?

4) I know you said you can't term him so I won't suggest that, but I WILL suggest that you never again take a child for fewer than 3 days a week, especially a baby. That's not enough time for him to figure out the routine at your house. In the meantime, is he taking 2 naps or just 1? If you get a video baby monitor you could put it on the baby and then listen to your iPod and watch the baby through the monitor, which might be safer.

5) I already suggested getting rid of the 5 AM
drop-off; what do your pick-up times look like?
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:35 AM
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A big thing I had to keep telling myself over and over is, " I am my own boss," this means I make the rules, and if I am unhappy in those choices I have the control to change them!
First, I would not start at 5am- you are unhappy doing it, and you ate going to suffer from burnout really quick. Infect, sounds like you are already there.
Secondly, your house should not be getting wrecked, but expect wear and tear. Set guidelines for your house, like nobody on furniture, food stays in kitchen and I would strongly suggest putting away all keepsakes for the time being. I have a separate daycare space thankfully- I wouldn't want all my DCK's in my home.
Finally, if you are unhappy maybe it isn't for you. Yes, being home with your kids is amazing but if you aren't happy doing HDC you are not benifitting anyone KWIM?
However, make changes based on what you want- all the best
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:36 AM
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Oh and IMO, I wouldn't plug into your iPod-- you need to be alert every moment just incase. I really don't think that should be an option and would just be a band aid solution that could lead to serious ramifications.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:41 AM
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Sounds to me like your biggest issues are the aggressive children, the long hours and the shared space.

I suggest seriously think about decreasing the number of hours you are open. No wy would I do a 12 hour day. No amount of money is worth it. Not when it is causing you so much anxiety!

I also suggest talking with the parents of your aggressive child and tell them to get a handle on it or he will need to find alternate childcare. Of course, you should also make sure you have a handle on it at your house but I would put the main responsibilty on the parents. Enact a NO TOLERANCE for violence policy and stick to it. If he hits or gets aggressive "x" amount of times in one day, have parents come pick him up. Get tough about it and it will work.

As far as the separate space, it is nice but until it becomes a possibility for you, I would limit where the kids have access and not allow them to have food or drink anywhere in your house except the table. No exceptions.

The girl who destroyed your rug needs ot have some sort of consequence for her actions. Talk to the parents and have them take some responsibilty in their daughters destructive behavior.

I do think the separation of personal space and daycare space will definitely make a difference but it is not a cure-all. You have to really look at what you are and are not willing to do (as far as hours, children with high needs, ages and behaviors, and house rules) and then stick to it. Even if you lose a family or two, it is much better than losing your sanity!
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:49 AM
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Here are some suggestions:

Drop the school agers. That will allow you to change your hours too!

Schedule work hours and send out newsletters to the parents indicating when the change will take place. (Example: Effective October 1, 2011 I will be changing my hours of operation to 7am to 530pm.)

Don't allow sippy cups outside of hardwood/laminate/linoleum flooring.

I don't allow children on my furniture. I have nothing but toys in the room so the kids do not have the luxury of climbing and carrying around a sippy cup.

Only allow drinks during meal and snack times unless they ask or are infants needing a bottle.

Put a pack and play in a room as far from where the other kids nap as possible. Put the screamer in there at nap. Get the room dark as possible and run a fan or radio. Soothing environments/fan/music help and children sleep better in dark, cool rooms.

Daycare can be done without separating areas but I think you find yourself much happier if you have a room or two (or a lower level) that you can solely dedicate to your business.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:57 AM
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I'll touch on #2: YES! We had a big huge living room on the end of our house with french doors. My daycare was mainly in a smaller living space in the heart of the house. I was able to gate it off and keep the kids mainly in there, as I had all little ones. But, as they got more mobile they started trying to climb the gates or knock them over ot throw toys over the gate in to my bedroom. One day I came up with the idea to move the daycare down to the big living area and make our living room be in the smaller, more central space. (My husband wasn't real impressed with this idea at first! Lol) it made an absolute workd of difference for me. I felt like I could "go home" in the evenings instead of being constantly surrounded by work 24/7! My husband noticed a huge change in me and was quickly totally on board - especially because the house stayed neater!

The first few months are rough. I think the reality of home daycare is much different from the expectations. Cutting my hours, getting on a good routine, and switching spaces were things that made a huge difference for me!
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:03 AM
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I suggest you network with other daycare providers- connect, if no groups in your area, maybe start one up. Phone a friend or two during the day to bounce off of.

Don't block out the kid's using your ipod. Not even an option. You need to be all ears for all the children at all times. I understand you wanting to do this..........have all been there. Crying is very grating on the nerves, not not even an option to block out kids. Remove the kid first or learn to deal with it- networking can be very helpful.....here and in real life friendships of others who do daycare.

Don't work at five am unless you WANT to or you will end up resenting, you have choices.

It's not for everyone. I like the person who said, mark a spot 30 days from now on your calender and if changes have not happened and your still feeling the same way-make changes. Kids pick right up on our emotions and that in itself can make for stress.

Be organized, have a plan. I often spend off time planning for the week. I try to do it all on daycare hours but it does not always happen. Good luck
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:14 AM
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Good advice from the others.

I'm not used to SA boys. I was so ready to quit them after the first week, I even wrote up letters, but realized that was not a reality right now, so I gave myself an attitude adjustment and things have improved.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:22 AM
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First I would let the 5 am go. Shorten up your hours if you can. Set up the rules that you want and stick to them. Some of the things that bothered me at first were how rough they were on my furniture. I only let them sit on it if they sit down and don't mess around. They don't even get a warning if they are playing on the furniture they get down. That is the rule from the day they start with me.

School age kids are not my thing, so I don't ever take them. We redid our basement into a play room and it has made a lot of difference. I like that I can close the door at the end of the day and all the toys and daycare stuff are left behind.

You will find what works for you it just takes some time.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erinalexmom View Post
Ive only been doing this since June but I tell ya I am really questioning this choice! So I thought I would list all the problems I have with running this daycare and I thought some of you wonderful folks on here might be able to help?
1)A few days a week I have to open at 5am. I HATE getting up that early and I dont care for the child too much. Plus its a school ager and I dont like school agers too much.

I would say then you make it work for you. If you are going to do this you have to make it so that it doesn't make your life miserable. Tell the parents you will no longer be able to open so early, and if they can't make other arrangements then they will have to find other care. I don't open until 7. That is what works for me and my family.

2)The children are tearing up my house! One little girl ripped a hole in my 80 year old rug, One child stained my couch with milk,ect. I really want a seperate space for my daycare. I am thinking of renovating part of my basement. But I am wondering if this will make a difference to my happiness or not? Has anyone had to 'share' space then was able to seperate? Were you happier after the seperation?

I use my family room for most of my daycare time. I do not allow any food or drink outside of the kitchen/dining room. I don't allow sippy cups to be carried around. The kids can ask for a drink if they are thirsty, and we also have very regular drink times. How on earth did the little girl rip up your rug?!

3)I have one boy who will not stop hitting everyone! He was in time out 4 times the other day just for not keeping his hands to himself and one day he bit my son so hard one day that he drew blood! I got a playyard last Friday and so today I have just kept him there all day because I am honestly just so sick of not being able to even leave the room to go to the bathroom without worrying what is going to happen. It would be different if the other kids did something to him but they dont and I can be sitting right beside him and he still hits them for no reason!

Sounds like this little guy needs to be sat at the dining room table with his own things to do away from the group. I had a boy who was like this and the kitchen table became his new home. I gave him coloring books, blocks, small toys to keep him occupied. It was fun for a while but he grew tired of it quickly. So when I allowed him to go back into the room, I reminded him that if he couldn't be kind, he would end up right back at the table. We didn't have much issue after that. The play yard will probably make a difference, you just have to follow thru and make sure they know that what you say you mean!

4) I have one baby who I cannot term but he cries off and on all nap time! I was thinking of getting out my IPOD and putting it in during the naptimes he's here (he's only here 2 days a week) then I can take out the IPOD and listen for him every few min? What do you think?

I say use the ipod, and just keep him where you can see him. How old is he? If he is over 6 months, you could just let him cry. He will get it eventually.
5) I work a 12 hour day and that is WAY too long I think. When I worked at the hospital (Im a nurse) I worked 12's but it was only 3 days a week. Its totally different, also I probably put in more than 12 because of all the cleanup and prep involved. Here's my schedule of families:
1) family #1 school agers 5am (2 or 3 days a week)
2) family #2 (2school agers and one little) 6:15am
3) family #3 (one little who is the hitter) 6:30am
4) family #4 (one little) who comes at 730am (2days a week)
5) family #5 (one little) who comes at 8am
6) family #6 (my nephew) who comes at 8am

Help please? I am about to give up. I hate to though until I give it an honest chance KWIM? Because I have a few kids that are just fine I also love being able to be home with my kids.
I am only open 10 hours. That is long enough. Again, you have to make it work for you. Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:34 PM
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I agree -- let the 5 am kid go. If you hate it - why are you doing it to yourself?

I agree with the no food/drink outside the kitchen. I don't allow sippy cups to be carried around either, but I do leave water cups out where they can be reached during the day.

I don't have a completely separate space, like a downstairs, although it is a dream of mine. However, I do have a playroom where the toys are kept and kids can play. Its their room so to speak.

I would put the little boy who is hitting in a separate space too - at least when you aren't in the room.

I don't have any advice about the infant. It depends so much on how old he is - but I think that daycare 2 days a week is really hard.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:09 PM
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If you "need" the 5am school ager. Let them know he/she must either go back to sleep or watch tv until 6am at least. Wow that child must be up at 4am to get by you. He/she must be tired! Otherwise change your hours to 6am.

I do not allow children on my couch. They have enough little furniture to sit on. It may seem mean, but no child has ever asked to sit on or why they cant. When we watch a movie, I say grab a pillow or grab a chair for movie time.

Food/drink only at meal time, at table.

Baby can be in pack n play and go in other room. Just keep checking on the kids. Baby will get it. ( i assume this baby is older, if its a baby 6 months or younger then maybe try to cut morning naps down or give earlier)

The hitter would be my shadow. No matter where I went. No playing next to the other kids, he needs some alone time. ( I also am assuming he is older 3 or 4?) You need to praise other kids for NOT hitting or biting and let him hear you. Play pen while you are in bathroom.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:56 PM
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how big is the play yard that you leave the child in all day?
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:22 PM
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Im still working so I cant reply to everything just yet. The playyard is a big giant octogon of baby gates, so to speak? he can walk around there all he wants and play and lay down. He is only in there for free play, and nap, and then he is out for meals, outdoor play, ect ect. He is 22 months old
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:26 PM
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This is also the first day I ever tried it. Also, even when he is sitting right by my he is hitting the other kids,even when they walk by. His big brother hits his big sister all the time, anytime she walks by, I have been told this by several of the family that pick him up. So I would assume thats where he gets the idea about the hitting? Because honestly those other kids arent doing anything to him. My bunch is not a violent one, aside from him.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erinalexmom View Post
This is also the first day I ever tried it. Also, even when he is sitting right by my he is hitting the other kids,even when they walk by. His big brother hits his big sister all the time, anytime she walks by, I have been told this by several of the family that pick him up. So I would assume thats where he gets the idea about the hitting? Because honestly those other kids arent doing anything to him. My bunch is not a violent one, aside from him.
wow, I really feel for you, I bet it's a hitting and biting fest at home with no structure. That's probably why they are freaking out. They are not used to rules, structure, sharing, love at home
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:21 PM
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The thing is I really like the little guy. He is sweet aside from the hitting. Earlier I ment to say "he was on time out 4 times in one HOUR (not one DAY) for hitting" I really just dont know what to do with that little guy except seperate him. Grandma wasn't too happy at pickup today to know he was in the playyard during free play but I just honestly dont know what else to do Ive tried the "with me every minute" thing but he hits them sitting at my feet! Plus, I feel like they need to do thier end. Why is the older brother allowed to beat up on the sister? In a house where that is acceptable I might be fighting a losing battle KWIM?
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:26 PM
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I also talked to his old provider (who quit providing daycare) and she said he started this hitting when he was 18 months old at her house (not that its her fault I'm sure its home life) so I'm really not sure what to do cause it doesnt seem to be "me"????

As far as the school agers.....How much notice should I give? they have to do bus schedules and things.....
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:38 PM
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I want to help...I hope I can. I felt this way at 4 months in as well.

" 1)A few days a week I have to open at 5am. I HATE getting up that early and I dont care for the child too much. Plus its a school ager and I dont like school agers too much."
**i really feel you should term this child ASAP. You listed this first for a reason. 12 hour days are really too long. This is the major cause of your "burn out" feeling I think.

"2).... I really want a separate space for my daycare.... But I am wondering if this will make a difference to my happiness or not?"
**Yes! Separate your personal space and personal belongings as much as possible. Remove anything from the space you 'share' w the daycare that you love, like your antique rug. I suggest laminate or tile or linoleum floors. And faux leather (vinyl) sofas that are cheaper and easy to wipe off, and also tolerable for family use. I live 8.5 miles from my daycare space, so I really cherish the blessing of having a center separate from my home.

"3)I have one boy who will not stop hitting everyone!.... honestly just so sick of not being able to even leave the room..."
***there are many excellent threads here on the forum about hitting. As for being sick of not being able to leave the room without fearing an injury....sigh...you really should consider terming. it seems like you already know this is potentially a liability.

"4) I have one baby who I cannot term but he cries off and on all nap time!... then I can take out the IPOD and listen for him every few min? What do you think?"
***I think this is a very bad idea! I am sorry to put it so bluntly. And maybe even a dangerous idea. Unless your eyeballs are directly on ALL children at nap time, you MUST be able to hear. If you DO have an IPOD on, I really think your eyeballs better be peeled on ALL those kids big Big BIG time. Your hearing is so valuable! Sorry to be so strong on this point, but I am hearing impaired and take being able to hear as much as possible very seriously. I will listen to tunes @ nap, but I have my eyes directly on the kids AND I HAVE ANOTHER TEACHER THERE! I would never, ever, even remotely consider using an IPOD if I were there alone.

"5) I work a 12 hour day...."
***see #1. Eliminate family #1. This hour will be way better for your physical and mental health. Its not worth it. I think you KNOW this deep down. It is really burning you out. Honestly, you mentioned it first and last. I think this is the true crux of your burn out. Otherwise, your schedule seems do-able.

....Because I have a few kids that are just fine I also love being able to be home with my kids....
***You WANT to do this, you CAN do this. You are the C.E.O. You are the president of the board. You are the Head of Client Relations. You are the BOSS! You go girl! Hang in there! Really! I sincerely want and hope for you to succeed!
Hugs. Peace. Happiness
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:38 PM
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2 to 4 weeks is ample notice. If you send a letter home tomorrow saying that September 30th would be your last day of providing school age care, that should be sufficient.

Here's a sample letter to help you.

Dear Families:

After much consideration, I have decided to no longer offer childcare services for children of school age effective Friday, September 30th. This includes before and after school care.

It has been a pleasure to work with you all and I wish the very best for your family.

Sincerely,

Daycare
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:48 PM
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I understand what your all saying about the IPOD. If something happened to one of the children and I didnt hear it I would NEVER forgive myself. Thanks for the advice on that
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:04 PM
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Sorry you are having a hard time. I have learned, like many pp's have said, that it is SO important to like our job to do it well. YOU set the rules!! I no longer worry about people pulling out, I will NOT settle if a family is not a good fit. Other families come along! Luckily I have had all wonderful families, but in between many phone calls and I was tempted to change things but didn;t. I had a great family that moved so I stayed open half hour later as they transitioned- won't do it again.

I only do full time (though had a family pay me for the spot but only use 20 hrs a week) I am only open 7-5, I don't take kids who don't take an afternoon nap. I don't take state assistance.

Figure out YOUR policies, then fill your Daycare with families that are a good fit! Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:17 AM
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Thank you ALL for the WONDERFUL replies! I am so thankful for the support. Just to be able to admit that I am struggling helps I am going to read and re-read these things. That way I can figure out the best solution for me and my family. 1st my sister is going to have another baby in december and she will then become a SAHM. So my nephew (who I watch for free and who is a new one year old (and sweet but lots of work) will be leaving so that will help. i am also going to get rid of the school age family. That will cut my hours back by an hour which will give me about 3 more hours a week - and more sleep! Also, I have an assistant who comes from 2:30 till 4:30 on Tuesdays so that I can pick my daughter up from school that day. I have asked her to stay an extra half an hour that day till my last child is picked up. That way I can take my little boy and pick up my daughter and we can spend the afternoon together
I have more plans in the works too. I am starting to feel this may be managable
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