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Recie 12:29 PM 03-28-2012
Ok so my question today is for all you vets, what was one of (or however many youd like to list) the challenges of starting your own home/center? I mean the VERY first time.

For myself one of my concerns are if the parent would trust me since the last time ive worked in a facility was when i was a teenager (17). Im a mom and ive babysat, & lightweight adopted my nieces and nephews and cousins by the dozens so i have experience with children of every age but not the type that a parent looking for a caregiver would "credit". At least IMO.
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Lucy 12:39 PM 03-28-2012
I admit to not having much of a game plan at all when I started almost 18 years ago. I had been working at a large insurance company for 13 years, they were downsizing, and I saw the handwriting on the wall, so I quit before they had the chance to lay me off. I put an ad in our local paper and managed to get 3 interviews right away, and they all agreed to start the day after Labor Day, which was my official opening day. The ads were placed in July, I believe. The youngest was 10 months, and I had her till she was 6, then a few years later, I had her mom's boyfriend's son, then a few years later, her little sister from a 2nd marriage. (not the same boyfriend ). The other 2 families were sib groups. The 2 boys stayed a couple years, and the boy/girl stayed about a year.

So I really have no sage advice, sorry. It all kind of fell into place for me. One of my early worries was kind of silly, actually. At the end of the day, if I left the house right away to go somewhere, I had to mentally picture all 3 bedrooms to convince myself that I hadn't accidentally left a napping kid in there and forgot!! LOL. That lasted about a year, surprisingly!

I have improved things greatly in those years. I used to charge only when they attended, and had no paid holidays or vacations. I was lax on when they paid, and was taken advantage of 3 times. Two of those were HUGE. Now, they pay every Friday, in advance, and pay a two week deposit, which covers the amount of time required when they give notice of leaving.

I kind of lept into it blindly, which surprises me when I think back. But fortunately, it all worked out well.
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Blackcat31 12:44 PM 03-28-2012
For me personally it was not really understanding that I had a say in who enrolled or didn't enroll. I took anyone interested, even if I didn't think they were a good fit. If I had an open space, and someone was interested, I let them have it. I didn't really realize that I actually had a say in that.

I now know that I am interviewing a family just as much, if not more, than they are interviewing me.

I CAN pick and choose who is or isn't a good fit for my program. I also now realize that I can let families go and do it in a professional manner.

I know now that I can run a business and still have personal feelings, opinions and thoughts and not let them interfear in my business.

I know EXACTLY how to draw the line between work and home and how to not let the line between the two get blurry. (At least I know how to do that for me.)
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Meeko 12:45 PM 03-28-2012
I lacked confidence. That has come with a quarter century + of doing this job!

Once I learned "MY house - my rules" and truly BELIEVED it......life was grand.
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Recie 12:48 PM 03-28-2012
that is great to know you hadnt been in the childcare business previously, ive been beating myself up about that here lately. Ill be getting my "star" certification also did you get that through your state so you were able to take DHS clients? I see a lot of posts with people talking about taking payments the week before and so on so i thought mostly everyone was a private pay business.

Im very weary of private pay parents to be honest. So id like to have a "cushion" of sorts...is that bad? Making the decision to open i feel was my "leaping in blindly" lol but now im just going as hard as i can to get as prepared as possible.
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Lucy 12:52 PM 03-28-2012
Never heard of "star" certification in order to take DHS. All that was required for me was to be state registered. I've taken DHS clients, but really prefer private pay.

As to not having been "in the business", my mom did Daycare from before I was born, until I was 16 and we moved to another state. So I let people know in interviews that I had been raised IN a daycare. Maybe that helped, maybe it didn't.
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Recie 12:53 PM 03-28-2012
Blackcat & Meeko that is going to be a challenge for me like i said reading you alls comments about the "my house my rules" is really giving me the confidence to be able to nip a lot of things in the bud in the beginning.

The woman who provides care for my children she has a family and i cringe everytime i have to encounter them they are just all over the place the kids are so bad and she so sweet and ive always wondered why they wernt termed.
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Recie 12:56 PM 03-28-2012
Originally Posted by Lucy:
Never heard of "star" certification in order to take DHS. All that was required for me was to be state registered. I've taken DHS clients, but really prefer private pay.

As to not having been "in the business", my mom did Daycare from before I was born, until I was 16 and we moved to another state. So I let people know in interviews that I had been raised IN a daycare. Maybe that helped, maybe it didn't.
oh ok im oklahoma you have to be star rated to be able to have certian clients well DHS clients. well you did have experience lol how did you feel being in daycare with other kids and your mom being pulled on all time by other kids that werent your siblings? im a litte concerned for my kiddos but they are two 8yr olds and a 9 yr old
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daycare 01:14 PM 03-28-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
For me personally it was not really understanding that I had a say in who enrolled or didn't enroll. I took anyone interested, even if I didn't think they were a good fit. If I had an open space, and someone was interested, I let them have it. I didn't really realize that I actually had a say in that.

I now know that I am interviewing a family just as much, if not more, than they are interviewing me.

I CAN pick and choose who is or isn't a good fit for my program. I also now realize that I can let families go and do it in a professional manner.

I know now that I can run a business and still have personal feelings, opinions and thoughts and not let them interfear in my business.

I know EXACTLY how to draw the line between work and home and how to not let the line between the two get blurry. (At least I know how to do that for me.)
This was me too... I thought that I had to take everyone who wanted in. I changed my hours for people, my rules and basically did whatever anyone wanted me to do so that they would come and stay.

I never enforced my own rules. Growing a backbone has taken me a very long time and I am barley getting good at it.

I used to think that I was employed by the parents, as this is how they treated me. I thought well they pay me so I have to do as they say.

After a year, I was very unhappy. BUT I went on like that for years. That was until I found this site and learned HOW to run my business by getting advice from all of the fine ladies and gents on here.

One of the other things that I had against me was that I am from a country that not too many Americans understand and accept. So my race played an issue at times.

the last thing that was hard for me was when I moved up state. NO one knew me at all, BUT some how I found a great first client who happened to know everyone and word of mouth is what started me off....
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Recie 01:19 PM 03-28-2012
Originally Posted by daycare:
the last thing that was hard for me was when I moved up state. NO one knew me at all, BUT some how I found a great first client who happened to know everyone and word of mouth is what started me off....
This is what im MOST concerned with im like"oh Lord how will i get people to come?"
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daycare 01:26 PM 03-28-2012
Originally Posted by Recie:
This is what im MOST concerned with im like"oh Lord how will i get people to come?"
do you do anything out in your community? When I moved up state, I started looking and accepting every volunteer opportunity I could find. YMCA, Senior center, youth sports, Home and school club, Adopted a local flower bed in my community and put a sign up that says this flower bed donated by *** Daycare.

the kids I did have I took and still take them everywhere. I make sure that everyone knows who we are when we go out.

I made a website and seriously I get at least 10 hits a day that is from Lookie Lous.


Basically, I made myself known to my community in the most positive manner I could....
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Recie 01:31 PM 03-28-2012
i would have NEVER thought of that!!! im just in the "transition from one job to a new career mode" make sure your set up so there will be no lax in our income type deal. this is a big move for me so naturally im freaking out
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mrsp'slilpeeps 01:31 PM 03-28-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
For me personally it was not really understanding that I had a say in who enrolled or didn't enroll. I took anyone interested, even if I didn't think they were a good fit. If I had an open space, and someone was interested, I let them have it. I didn't really realize that I actually had a say in that.

I now know that I am interviewing a family just as much, if not more, than they are interviewing me.

I CAN pick and choose who is or isn't a good fit for my program. I also now realize that I can let families go and do it in a professional manner.

I know now that I can run a business and still have personal feelings, opinions and thoughts and not let them interfear in my business.

I know EXACTLY how to draw the line between work and home and how to not let the line between the two get blurry. (At least I know how to do that for me.)
Yes, Yes, Yes,
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CheekyChick 01:57 PM 03-28-2012
When I moved to my current state and didn't know anyone, it was very hard to sell myself when there wasn't anyone (locally) who could give me a reference. It took a good year or two to feel a part of the community, get my name out there, and to start getting referrals. Just be patient, it will happen.
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Lucy 02:01 PM 03-28-2012
Originally Posted by Recie:
oh ok im oklahoma you have to be star rated to be able to have certian clients well DHS clients. well you did have experience lol how did you feel being in daycare with other kids and your mom being pulled on all time by other kids that werent your siblings? im a litte concerned for my kiddos but they are two 8yr olds and a 9 yr old
It really didn't bother me at all. She was doing dc since I was born, so it was normal to me. I was the youngest in my family, and the only girl, so it was kind of nice to have little kids to whom I could feel "superior", so to speak. I loved the toddlers.
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Fruitloops1 05:32 PM 03-28-2012
Originally Posted by Recie:
i would have NEVER thought of that!!! im just in the "transition from one job to a new career mode" make sure your set up so there will be no lax in our income type deal. this is a big move for me so naturally im freaking out
I feel Ya Recie!! I am doing the same thing!! Every time I go to my attic and see it FULL with DC stuff I sort of panic! It is exciting and terrifying mushed all together. Leaving a "secure" job with benefits is a scary thing during times like this. But the time will never be perfect to up and quit and follow a dream. I love this forum! I haven't started my DC yet but I learned so much from everyone on here!
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Meeko 07:47 PM 03-28-2012
Originally Posted by Recie:
oh ok im oklahoma you have to be star rated to be able to have certian clients well DHS clients. well you did have experience lol how did you feel being in daycare with other kids and your mom being pulled on all time by other kids that werent your siblings? im a litte concerned for my kiddos but they are two 8yr olds and a 9 yr old
Where in OK? I started day care there many moons ago in Altus as an Air Force provider.
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Recie 08:39 PM 03-28-2012
Originally Posted by Meeko:
Where in OK? I started day care there many moons ago in Altus as an Air Force provider.
tulsa ok!!! lol pronounced TALL-SA lol

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Recie 08:41 PM 03-28-2012
Originally Posted by Azra11:
I feel Ya Recie!! I am doing the same thing!! Every time I go to my attic and see it FULL with DC stuff I sort of panic! It is exciting and terrifying mushed all together. Leaving a "secure" job with benefits is a scary thing during times like this. But the time will never be perfect to up and quit and follow a dream. I love this forum! I haven't started my DC yet but I learned so much from everyone on here!
yes i am terrified im like LORD the benefits the benefits!!! but benefits doesn't fix stress and id much rather be a more accessible to my kiddies.
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Unregistered 10:47 PM 03-28-2012
I assumed that since I was coming from a big daycare center from a lead teacher position that getting new clientele would be a cake walk. I had plenty of experience and education and I assumed that would be enough to have families lining up at the door. That was not the case. I signed an agreement with the center that if I were to quit or get fired, I would not solicit business from the center.

I also didn't have my ducks in a row as far as having a contract was concerned. It took me years to make all of the adjustments that I needed to make to feel like I had a comprehensive contract.

I didn't anticipate all of the waiting that I would have to do before I would fill all of my spaces and back then, I wasn't great at advertising either. It took a year to fill up but I've been full since.
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Countrygal 06:47 AM 03-29-2012
Recie, welcome to daycare!

I am in WI, and we have to be star certified, as you call it as well. Our program is called Youngstar and it is mandatory as of July 1 of this year.

IMO, the worst part of getting started is all of the regulations and paperwork just to get the food program and certification. If I could have obtained the food program without the certification, I would have. But now it's certification, food program AND youngstar paperwork and regulations just to keep the same 3 kids I could have kept without being certified.

I am still going through it all, though, because I really like the food program. I wish that the state would allow us to have more than 3 children in the program.

If your state allows more children by being certified than not, then I'd say it'll be worth the hassles.

Wishing you a lot of success!
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