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KristheDad 09:48 AM 06-24-2011
Hello again.

My name is Kristian, I'm a daddy and I am trying to figure out the best way to start a day care business. Here is my situation. My family (wife and toddler son) live in So Cal, renting 2 rooms from a family member. About 9 years ago I was a Summer Camp counselor for 3rd graders and I currently mentor 6th graders on anti bullying, but thats the extent of my child care experience. I also don't have any ECE units done (I'm enrolled for this fall).

Option A: I'd like to open a day care center which employs Male caregivers and focuses on serving single mothers. The main obstacles I see in this scenario are lack of capitol and lack of experience/ schooling. I was thinking that I could put together a staff and approach Community organizations like YMCAs, churches and park rec centers for help with the location. Also, I was going to put myself on the payroll as an assistant teacher or preschool teacher, and have someone experienced be the director (and work with them on how it's ran).

Option B: My second option is to open a family day care. The main obstacle here is we don't own a home where this is possible so we'd have to move, but cost of living in So Cal is expensive. We also have family in Las Vegas, where the cost of living is much lower so I was thinking that we could relocate out there where we could afford a home and start a small or large family day care (ran by me) out of our home.

I realize this is a lot, but I'd like some experienced opinions on my ideas.

Thanks a million
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CheekyChick 10:17 AM 06-24-2011
Before you do anything... I'd get a job in a large family daycare (where they hire assistants) and work there for six months to see if this is a job that would suit you. I would hate to see you and your family relocate without your even knowing if it's what you want to do.
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Cat Herder 10:26 AM 06-24-2011
IMHO, It would work great as a non-profit but would be difficult to find a profitable market for as a business.

Your intended market base is a risk at best (unless it would double as a dating service. ) Type subsidy into the search engine here.

Sorry...
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KristheDad 10:44 AM 06-24-2011
Cheeky Chick: Good point.

Catherder: The dating service might just work! haha Thanks for the honesty, thats why I posted it here.
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MarinaVanessa 10:55 AM 06-24-2011
I agree with cheeky. Try it out first to make sure this is something you really want to do.

On a side note I'd like to say that although I'm all for male caregivers (my DH helps me here at home at my own DC in the afternoons after work) there arent alot of parents that are comfortable with a male caregiver. I like the idea of having males but you would probably do better if you had a mixture of both male and female caregivers.

Also, not sure if you are aware or not but you don't have to own a home in CA to run a family childcare. You can rent even an apartment. Not sure if that's out of your budget or not but it is an option.

If you don't want to work for a daycare center I would start with a family childcare home first so you can get the idea of what it takes on a smaller scale rather than start a full-on center. If you decide you don't like it all you have to do is stop doing it. If you have a center and you don't like it you have to let employees go, cancel permits, cancel leases etc. If you do a small family childcare you can save up for a larger place and in a year you can apply for a large daycare (14 kids) and save more for an actual center later in the future. Just some thoughts.
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Cat Herder 10:56 AM 06-24-2011
I thought about this some more.

This may actually be an awesome before-after school & Summer program.

The problem would then be what your states ratios are for SA's per provider.

In large centers, here, it is 20/1. Depending on what your reimbursement rates are....you could actually pull this off.

Sidenote: I would highly recommend not even discussing the diaper/underwear changing issue until you are WELL established in your community, though. Make your policy that parents come to pick up if kids have an accident. Prejudice is still very pervasive about men and diapers. It sucks, but it is true.
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dEHmom 10:56 AM 06-24-2011
haha i was thinking the same thing as you catherder lol

i would definitely get a feel for this field before you make any major decisions Kristhedad. It's not an easy field, and often, and i mean no offense by this, both women and men, but mainly men, don't understand how much work childcare really is.

I know a lot of husbands to the providers just don't understand. A lot of them figure it's a walk in the park and that's part of the reason many of us providers come on this site is for support, because ours husbands just don't understand. I know mine figures the house should be sparkling at 4pm when he walks in, and thinks that what I did all day doesn't compare to his running around a 45 degree C factory all day so I shouldn't be tired.

best of luck with what you decide.
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Meeko 11:03 AM 06-24-2011
Hmmm...where to start. First off....I wish there were more men involved in child care. Kids need men as well as women in their lives.

Upside......When I first opened my day care home, my husband was my helper and now my 26 year old son is. Both wonderful with children and a great role model for the kids in our care who have single moms and no dad in their lives. The moms LOVE having some positive men in their kids lives.

Down side..........I have got calls from women who were all excited about my day care until they found out a man worked here. For some reason in some women's minds "male wanting to work with children = automatic pervert". It's stupid...but it's a reality.

You have a great idea...but will have to do a lot of research before you put down any money.

Also......hate to say it....but many single mothers are welfare recipients. And that sadly often translates into dreadful clients. Not always....but a LOT. All of my worst clients over the past 25 years have been subsidy parents. I have had WONDERFUL clients who are single mothers and on welfare.....but much the minority.

Many BECAME single mothers DUE to lack of responsibility and that mind set carries over to all aspects of their lives.....including paying you/getting their state paperwork done so you can be paid, following rules etc.

Do LOTS of homework before entering into your venture.

I would start with day care at home. Despite some people thinking it was weird...many years ago, one of the best day care providers we ever had on our air force base was a man! His wife was a higher rank and when re-enlistment decisions came up, it just seemed sensible that he be the stay at home parent with their kids. He started a day care to supplement their income and keep him busy. He was FANTASTIC! He was slow to get a full enrollment at first as people were wary...but he soon had a huge waiting list! Us girls had to work hard to keep up with his wonderful reputation!

Good luck with your decisions!
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KristheDad 11:26 AM 06-24-2011
Wow thanks everyone, there is some great information here. I am forever grateful. My favorite points:

1) I need to spend some time working at a day care, to truly understand the business
2) Single moms with gov assistance is a very risky and tricky target market
3) Meek60's whole post


Do I need ECE units to work as an assistant in a home or center?

Thanks again, I'll keep you updated
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Cat Herder 11:31 AM 06-24-2011
Start here:

http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/getinfo/pdf/fcc.PDF

Good luck!!! I am excited for you...sounds like a really cool niche market for the kids.
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KristheDad 11:36 AM 06-24-2011
Thanks Cathender. Thats my goal is to help the kids. I stayed at home with my son for about 4 months, and spending tons of time at parks, storytimes, playdates, etc, I realized that kids like having guys around.
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lasvegasdaycare 01:02 PM 06-24-2011
well if you ever happend you want to move to las vegas we can offer you a good deal in a commercial property that bring your buisness up so fast around this area
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KristheDad 01:19 AM 06-25-2011
Originally Posted by lasvegasdaycare:
well if you ever happend you want to move to las vegas we can offer you a good deal in a commercial property that bring your buisness up so fast around this area
Thanks Vegas Day Care, I'll keep that in mind.
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Tags:male providers, niche market, opening a child care, subsidy issues
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