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New Members - Welcome to the Forum!>Advice for a New Provider?
ddaycare 05:29 PM 08-13-2015
Do you have any advice for a yet unlicensed provider in California? Like how to find new children to enroll, how to advertise, what toys to have, etc? I'm in the process of getting my home ready so I still have a couple months to go.

Thriftylady 05:41 PM 08-13-2015
My first advice has nothing to do with what you asked about. Write up a good, handbook with all your policies. Meals, rest times, drop off and pick ups, etc. And write up a good contract. Parents are always looking out for what is best for them adding hours, picking up late, not paying on time, etc. If you give them an inch they will take a mile. Don't be afraid of not getting families because of your policies. If they don't want to sign with you because you don't have policies, you don't want them. Trust us on this!
MarinaVanessa 06:39 PM 08-13-2015
Write a good contract and policy handbook and enforce your policies.

Require a 2 week deposit equivalent to 2 weeks of full-time care for each child to make sure that they stick to their 2 week paid termination policy.

Require that client's all pay in advance for the following week of care. For example require them to pay on Friday of the current week which will cover the next week of care. If they don't pay BEFORE then don't watch their kids. We call this the "No Pay, No Play" or "No Pay, No Stay" policy. This will prevent clients from getting behind on their payments and owing you money.

Look for a local family child care association and attend meetings. They offer support, networking with other providers, and most times workshops and training.

Don't get a bunch of battery operated toys ... for your own sanity. Trust me.

Join a local Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook that's specific to kids items to find inexpensive toys that are used but still good. Thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets are also great options.

When you buy a toy think about function and practicality. Is it easy to break? Does it have a bagillion pieces? Is it easy to clean? etc. I base the items that I buy by asking these 2 questions ...
1) can I throw it in my washing machine?
2) can I throw it in my dishwasher?
If I answer no to both questions then I don't buy it. The only exception are toys made of wood like blocks and wood puzzles. These I spray down with bleach/water solution and let them air dry. Sometimes I dunk my blocks in bleach/water solution and let them air dry.

Marketing your business is a whole long post. Here's a link to a couple of blog posts that I wrote. The blog has been neglected for a long while unfortunately but the information is still good. http://myhelpinghandsdaycare.blogspo...el/Advertising

WELCOME!! And congrats on opening your daycare soon and getting licensed! I'm in CA too. Which area are you in? I'm in Ventura County.
ddaycare 09:41 PM 11-12-2015
Thanks, I'm in San Bernardino county. I've done most of what you advised, and I am much closer to getting that license! Almost done with the app.
thrivingchildcarecom 07:58 PM 01-08-2016
Just saw this thread and thought about how you can find clients. My advice is to offer many different services at your child care. The more you offer, the more you can address the needs of families in your community.

I would love to know where you stand now and what challenges you are experiencing. Good Luck!
Tags:new to daycare, starting a daycare
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