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  #1  
Old 12-18-2010, 11:43 AM
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Talking Am I Crazy???


I have been contemplating leaving my good paying teaching job (middle school...) to do a in home group family day care. I always wanted to run my own business, and I would love to have my children being taken care of and taught by me as well, but the thought of leaving my stable job scares me also...there are a few other day cares in my zip code that all seem pretty nice, and which would also be my "competition"...I have been researching and reading like crazy on how to get started, so I am not worried about that, its just the thought of not having enough kids or if its even right for me, I love the little ones, and I love doing fun activities and I have the space for it.....just unsure...any advice would be great, thank you..... =)
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2010, 01:33 PM
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My suggestion would be line up some potential clients for a future start date (say maybe beginning of summer?) test it out through the summer, if you're enjoying it continue, and give your notice at your job. If not, then you still have a job to go back to.
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2010, 02:12 PM
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You crazy

I've been at this for 17 years and I've never seen the sheer number of providers who are providing service in my area. My Child Care Resource and Referral confirms this.

This may not be a good time to start child care. Realy research both legal and illegal day cares in your area. You may find that there are a LOT of providers and many many many are offering care at really low rates. There may be more competition than you can see before you get into it.
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:20 PM
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where in NY are you? i am in NY too!!!!

i dont know about everywhere else, but with this economy it has been really hard finding clients. so first i would make sure there is a need in your area. call your local licensing agency, and they should be able to tell you. they are a great resource! (at least mine has been) they should be able to walk you through every step of the licensing process, what training you will need, etc. also, going group right away is a big step. extra costs, hiring staff, etc. you might want to just register first as a family daycare, to test the waters. i wanted to go group, but there just isnt a need where i am right now. i am at full capacity, thank goodness, but just cant seem to find enough clients to expand.

how old are your children? do you want mixed ages, or are you going to target a specific age range? again, i dont know where you are, but in my area, there is a huge need for infant care and school age care. there aren't many "preschool" age children, as most of them attend headstart or pre-k right at the public schools. so for me, i've come to accept that, and am going to "specialize" in infant/toddler childcare. i'll get them ready for pre-k and then when they are 4 i'll send them off...lol i do have a couple SA, but man, are they alot of work. more so then the babies!!!

good luck!!!! let me know if you have any more questions specific to NY regs, maybe i can help answer them for you......
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2010, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
You crazy

I've been at this for 17 years and I've never seen the sheer number of providers who are providing service in my area. My Child Care Resource and Referral confirms this.

This may not be a good time to start child care. Realy research both legal and illegal day cares in your area. You may find that there are a LOT of providers and many many many are offering care at really low rates. There may be more competition than you can see before you get into it.
yeah, that too

call your local elementary school. they can usually give you a list of unlicensed providers. thats how i found out who was doing what in my area. and there are a GREAT deal of them "babysitting" for cheap.
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2010, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melskids View Post
where in NY are you? i am in NY too!!!!

i dont know about everywhere else, but with this economy it has been really hard finding clients. so first i would make sure there is a need in your area. call your local licensing agency, and they should be able to tell you. they are a great resource! (at least mine has been) they should be able to walk you through every step of the licensing process, what training you will need, etc. also, going group right away is a big step. extra costs, hiring staff, etc. you might want to just register first as a family daycare, to test the waters. i wanted to go group, but there just isnt a need where i am right now. i am at full capacity, thank goodness, but just cant seem to find enough clients to expand.

how old are your children? do you want mixed ages, or are you going to target a specific age range? again, i dont know where you are, but in my area, there is a huge need for infant care and school age care. there aren't many "preschool" age children, as most of them attend headstart or pre-k right at the public schools. so for me, i've come to accept that, and am going to "specialize" in infant/toddler childcare. i'll get them ready for pre-k and then when they are 4 i'll send them off...lol i do have a couple SA, but man, are they alot of work. more so then the babies!!!

good luck!!!! let me know if you have any more questions specific to NY regs, maybe i can help answer them for you......
I am in rockland county (hopefully your not in my zip code lol!) My daughter is 3 and my son is 2 months. So it would be mixed, but i would like to set it up with a pre school component. Pre k is only 2.5 hours so i am sure parents with f/t times wouldn't send them to public school. But i will call the elementary school to get more info. I live on a main rd so my house very visible so i think that would help with advertising, but yes with this economy things are a litttle unsure. I would like to start out group just in case i get more clients i wont need to reapply and i have a good friend who is willing to work with me as soon as i need her...are there other costs besides hiring staff with GFDC?
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2010, 07:48 AM
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I would say crazy lol! If you find that it didn't work out it may be very hard for you to get back in the work force. I am finding in the area of NY I'm in it's very hard to find a well paying teacher job in a decent school district. With daycare right now I have parents that owe quite a bit of money. I don't term them because I cant fill the spot and if they pay 100 instead of the 140 they owe, at least I can pay some bills.

I would say stick to summer childcare for school aged children and if you really do like it and find a need for another daycare in your area then consider it.
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2010, 07:55 AM
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In my area, there are so many daycare providers out there, and so much competition!! I would say in the last 2 yrs. there has been a huge demand for newborns, and that is about it around here. There are so many quitting their jobs, being laid off, just simply can't afford daycare any longer, and then they start up daycare. Some I know do not last long at all!! I always see ads in papers, craigslist, etc. for very cheap daycare!!! Way too much competition, and too many daycares out there right now. This is in my area, I don't know about the rest of the U.S.
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2010, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbcc View Post
I would say crazy lol! If you find that it didn't work out it may be very hard for you to get back in the work force. I am finding in the area of NY I'm in it's very hard to find a well paying teacher job in a decent school district. With daycare right now I have parents that owe quite a bit of money. I don't term them because I cant fill the spot and if they pay 100 instead of the 140 they owe, at least I can pay some bills.

I would say stick to summer childcare for school aged children and if you really do like it and find a need for another daycare in your area then consider it.
Working in middle school for the past 5 years has literally given me atleast 20 grey hairs and i am still in my 20's lol....my school district pays well but the stress rate is extremely high, every summer i am crossing my fingers hoping i have a position but at the same time wishing i dont so i am forced into a new career. I will try the summer thing, apply for child care leave if all goes well, and atleast i have some spot held for me in my school district for up to 4 years ;/....

thank you for all of your input an please keep them coming i am always open to advice and new ideas!

-Mary
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2010, 09:17 AM
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It really does depend on the area. In my area there is a HUGE need for quality in-home providers. The providers that do exist (well, the good ones) are full much of the time.

It's also important to see not only if there is a need for child care in your area but if there is something that parents feel like they are missing, like a niche. I do preschool for (mostly) stay-at-home moms. Some of the providers here do drop-in, some do moms days out, some serve healthy, organic meals. Try to combine your interests with what the need is and you'll enjoy it MUCH more.

Yes, it can be very stressful leaving a full-time career to do in-home child care. It would be great if you could do it this summer and make sure it was for you, that you could get clients and that it was financially worth it.

Good luck!!
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  #11  
Old 12-22-2010, 11:13 AM
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If they will really hold a position for you while you are on "child care leave," then I say go for it! Everyone thought I was crazy, too, when I left my professional job last summer. I just couldn't fathom spending so much on child care and driving such a long commute to be away from my children any longer! My best friend was having a baby, so I went for it! I took out a loan, built a fabulous child care space in my basement, and quit my job. To be perfectly honest, I almost chickened out the night before I gave my notice! But, I did it. I quit my job, I got licensed, I love my new life, and I am full. I started at the end of August and finished licensing the first week of October, and all of my spaces were full before I was licensed. They all started mid-October, and I love it.

If you have experience working with kids (pretty sure you're qualified as a teacher ), like younger kids, and have a back up plan, then I think you might really find that you enjoy it!
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  #12  
Old 12-22-2010, 11:27 AM
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Sounds like an ideal way to determine if daycare is for you. I took a leave from my grad program when I felt like it had been the wrong decision. I have 9 months to give them notice that I was returning. I only need two before I totally forgot all about school and was fully dedicated to starting my own daycare. It's been rough but I'm getting details worked out and the days are getting easier and easier.
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  #13  
Old 12-22-2010, 12:14 PM
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I would not do it. If you have a good job, with the good benefits that come with being in the education field, I would keep what you have. At least you have a guaranteed income, guaranteed PTO, guaranteed vacations, excellent benefits, etc. Where else can a person work and get paid year round and work less than 8 hours a day and approx 9 months out of the year.....and really, with the depression and unemployment as high as it is, daycare is not a guaranteed income anymore.
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  #14  
Old 04-17-2011, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missani View Post
If they will really hold a position for you while you are on "child care leave," then I say go for it! Everyone thought I was crazy, too, when I left my professional job last summer. I just couldn't fathom spending so much on child care and driving such a long commute to be away from my children any longer! My best friend was having a baby, so I went for it! I took out a loan, built a fabulous child care space in my basement, and quit my job. To be perfectly honest, I almost chickened out the night before I gave my notice! But, I did it. I quit my job, I got licensed, I love my new life, and I am full. I started at the end of August and finished licensing the first week of October, and all of my spaces were full before I was licensed. They all started mid-October, and I love it.

If you have experience working with kids (pretty sure you're qualified as a teacher ), like younger kids, and have a back up plan, then I think you might really find that you enjoy it!
How did you manage to fill your daycare up before you were licensed??
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  #15  
Old 04-17-2011, 12:40 PM
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It's not the best time, but if you can afford a little while to get full, maybe it would work. It took me about 2 years to get full and to the point where I no longer had to advertise. I also had four other home daycare providers in just my neighborhood alone though. So really check to make sure there is a need.

It is worth it to stay home with your little ones when they are small. My kids are just now outgrowing the daycare and I am considering moving on. But it was a good way to stay home and help make the bills for the last 8 years.
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  #16  
Old 04-17-2011, 05:01 PM
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I've been doing daycare for 9 years and I've been very fortunate to have been successful at it, especially in this economy. There are ALOT of peole who have lost their job and figured, "Oh, I'll just take care of some kids for extra money!" They are dirt cheap and don't provide nearly the care that most of us do, but people will snap up CHEAP.

My advice is to think really, really long and hard about working 10 to 12 hour days...summer's too. It can be hard on your house, people aren't always as considerate of your time or your property. How comfortable are you confronting people, charging late fees for late pick ups and non-payment? How will you feel when you have to stop someone at the door because they are trying to get a clearly ill child past you?

Not to mention the financial risk and the loss of benefits...

Oh, and really make sure dh is on board. It is hard on everyone when suddenly your personal space is taken over by 10 little people with runny noses and dirty diapers...

Daycare definitely has its upside, but I think it's like being married. You really, really gotta know its downside or you'll be disillusioned in no time.
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:31 PM
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I wouldn't leave that Teaching job because of the benefits unless your spouse has you covered well. Do weigh the pros and cons for a while before you quit that job!

Middle school is tough I'm sure. Rough ages of kids. Any way you can transfer to the Elementary School?
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:56 PM
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If I were you I would network with your fellow teachers. Somebody at your school must need childcare.

I work exclusively for teachers and it is awesome. Summers off. Pick up at 4:00. Spring Break, Winter Break, and holidays off. Great hours!

I adhere to my local school district's schedule and am only open when the teachers are working.

It works because my daycare families are well educated, dependable, and child-centered.

Good luck. You will never regret staying home with your young children..... you never get those years back.
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  #19  
Old 04-18-2011, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mstein View Post
How did you manage to fill your daycare up before you were licensed??
I have two kids of my own (so there's 2 spots right away), and I started doing this because my friend was having a baby, so I have her child. In my state we are allowed 1 unrelated family, so I started with my kids and her baby. Then I started advertising by word of mouth. I got a call right away from a family from our old child care center. They loved the center but wanted a smaller setting. Their son was my older son's age and they came for an interview and "signed up" their 2 kids on the spot. Then, that mom passed on my name to her friend, and now her 2 kids are here as well. Finally, I have another acquaintance's child and I am full. I also have 2 kids waiting to start soon and a few more on a waiting list. Some of my current kids will likely have siblings on teh way soon, and we would like to have another baby...so it's just more job insurance.

I think it helped to be "open" with just my friend's baby. That was legal in my state so I was following the rules and making some income while I finished the licensing process. But, by being open and running my space just as I would when I was full, it gave interviewing families something to come and see. I think they loved seeing the environment and really picturing how we would do things.

I have been licensed just over 6 months and am already in the process of expanding my license to be able to accept more children. I will likely add an assistant in the fall. I know I've been fortunate, but for me, my business has really taken off. I think it helps to know some people that might be interested right away. I had 5 or 6 families say that they would love to come to me for daycare. In reality, only 2 of those families came and the others made other arrangements, but at least I had a base to start with. As soon as I passed the word along by word of mouth, the rest fell into place.

Good luck! Are you still thinking this is what you are going to do?
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  #20  
Old 10-02-2011, 09:56 AM
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Well I decided to go through with it, got my lisence and have 3 kids registered so far! So I am totally happy about my decision. Thank you all for your input and insights, now I am trying to get more teachers in here so I can follow the same schedule!
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:48 PM
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Good for you! Congratulations!
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:37 PM
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Well good luck with everything, I decided to do the same last spring after dealing with some craziness at work and with the school system. I am working on my graduate degree so I took a plunge toward the end of the year and a leap of faith and put in for ed leave. I figured I could get licensed and be busy with knowing so many teachers with kids but although many were interested, they would rather plop their kids in a bigger center that they say they are not that enthused with than to drive 10 min to my side of town for their child to be in smaller setting.

I have had a hard time filling spots and have only been able to get two drop ins so far. Have had a lot of interest but no spots filled yet and looks like I will be having to try to get back into the school system or look for a lower paying and less benefits job in a daycare, blah! I keep holding out hope that if just a couple more kiddos would come along I could make it work but its looking worse and worse. One lady near me has done it over 20 years and she usually stays full but has two spots open and others around charge a good bit less so it makes it hard.
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