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  #1  
Old 03-11-2013, 09:18 AM
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Default Going Into Home Daycare-Adversity

Did any of you start your home daycare because you wanted a BUSINESS?

i see alot of ppl started because they wanted to care for their own young children at home. My children are older and almost out of school but i have been thinking about home daycare. i enjoy the thought of working for myself and i enjoy teaching children. I have crazy looks from family because i make pretty good money at my job now and it just doesnt make sense to them that i would give that up for the uncertainy of daycare.
i know its a major risk.. i want to pay down a lot of debt so that i can still make it thru the dry patches..
anybody have any success stories or lil words of wisdom to keep me thinking.. thanks in advance
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:34 AM
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Did any of you start your home daycare because you wanted a BUSINESS?

i see alot of ppl started because they wanted to care for their own young children at home. My children are older and almost out of school but i have been thinking about home daycare. i enjoy the thought of working for myself and i enjoy teaching children. I have crazy looks from family because i make pretty good money at my job now and it just doesnt make sense to them that i would give that up for the uncertainy of daycare.
i know its a major risk.. i want to pay down a lot of debt so that i can still make it thru the dry patches..
anybody have any success stories or lil words of wisdom to keep me thinking.. thanks in advance
I started my child care as a business, with the intention of staying in this long term.

My own kids were not babies when I started. They are now 21 & 24 and I am still doing child care.

I don't have any plans to retire any time soon....unless I win the lottery; and then I wouldn't even open the next day so until that happens...I am here running a business.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:38 AM
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I'm like BC. Although staying home with my kids was a HUGE bonus and maybe the main reason why I wanted to do FCC I also wanted to run a daycare the way that I would have liked a daycare to be run. I did have great child care providers in FCC for my DD but I was looking for a specific type of program that was more play-based rather than academic like my DD's last daycare was and the one previous (although they loved her very much) would let her get away with murder and I felt she needed more structure. The happy medium was that I start my own daycare business and run it the way that I was happy with .
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:43 AM
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so you guys quit jobs you had? did you have any naysayers? how long did you PLAN before you took the big plunge? was your family supportive? do you suggest to save a certain amount of money and have it available for the slow times
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:49 AM
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so you guys quit jobs you had? did you have any naysayers? how long did you PLAN before you took the big plunge? was your family supportive? do you suggest to save a certain amount of money and have it available for the slow times
Yep, I quit working for Head Start where I was an Assistant Teacher/Home Visitor. I had been there about 5 yrs.

My DH was completely supportive as long as I opened my child care in a 100% separate house other than the one we live in. He grew up with his mom having a daycare and has some negative experiences from that and didn't want our own kids to have to deal with some of the issues.

I quit my job in October, applied immediately for my child care license and was up and running in February. I wasn't 100% full though until atleast 6 months later. My DH had a great job so he covered my expenses that I couldn't meet during that time.

All the toys and stuff I had were from my own kids. I was also lucky enough to have been given a TON of equipment/furniture from Head Start as one of our area centers was relocating to a new building and was getting rid of alot of things at the same time I opened.

..oh, and nope. Can't say I had any naysayers.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:50 AM
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I had the intention of starting it for a while, because I wanted to be my own boss and make more money that what I was making at the center I worked. I had the license for more than a year before I finally decided to start it. When i had my child I went through some hard things, it turned out this is the only child I am having so it made me want to stay with him and enjoy him as much as I can. I could not bare the thought of going to pick him up @ DC and a teacher telling me "he gave 2 steps today" or "he sat down by himself" For me, him being my only child, i wanted to witness that first hand and I have, I only can thank God for this awesome blessing of having this DC and being able to see my son grow. D
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:54 AM
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My mother did FCC when we were young in order to stay home with us. She returned to work once we were 11 & 6. She reopened the daycare when I was 17 and my brother was 13 - so she did. It have young kids at home. I am now 24 and her partner and have no young kids of my own - and no intention of having any soon.

So we are both in it for the "business" aspect.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:58 AM
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thanks for your insight!
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:24 AM
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so you guys quit jobs you had? did you have any naysayers? how long did you PLAN before you took the big plunge? was your family supportive? do you suggest to save a certain amount of money and have it available for the slow times
I did have a job before this. I worked as a manager at a large home improvement chain store and kept it during the time that I was trying to get my license. I advertised for my 1st family before I even got my license (legal in CA to have only one family, called license-exempt) and when I signed on my first client I left my job. About 2 months later I had my inspection and got my license that same day then started advertising for more clients.

My DH was a little hesitant at first but my DD's FCC provider talked with him about the business and she was the one that put his worries at ease. I had a lot of encouragement from her and she mentored me through the process.

I had thought about doing FCC for YEARS before I got the guts to actually do it. I researched and put all of the information together for about a year before ever approaching my FCC provider about her thoughts. I wish I would have just asked her since the beginning because she really walked me through the whole process. I would have saved myself a lot of time.

All in all I don't think it was expensive for me at all to start my daycare. Here's a list of what costs I incurred (from memory so I may miss some) from getting my license and starting my daycare in CA.

$ 25 Orientation fee
$ 45 3 TB tests (for me, my DH and my BIL that lived here)
$165 3 Criminal Background Checks (for me, my DH and my BIL that lived here)
$ 35 Fire Extinguisher
$ 95 2-day Child, Infant & Adult CPR, First Aid & Preventative Health & Safety course
$ 65 Application fee
$ 55 Large first-aid kit
$ 40 Child-proofing (approx)
$100 Toys and Equipment (bought over time)
------
$625

All of the above things were paid for over time so it wasn't like it was a lump sum investment but I had DD already so I did not have to purchase a lot of toys and our home was already child proofed except for some minor things.

If your family is NOT supportive I would highly recommend that you wait until you have convinced them to be on board without any hesitations (immediate household members) otherwise it will make things extremely stressful and difficult. There are many times where I have heard stories from providers that have DH's that don't respect their daycares or follow the safety rules and that can cause not only problems with regulations but also within your marriage.

I would definitely consider saving 3-6 months worth of living expenses needed to keep you afloat when you first start off if your income is needed in order to pay your families living expenses. Sometimes you don't get a client right away (that first client is always the hardest) and you should have enough saved so that you can support yourself for the first few months. You should always have a reserve anyway even after you are full "just in case". I think 3 months is ok.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:34 AM
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I quit a job that I had too. My youngest son is 14, so I don't have any smaller children at home. My husband was very supportive, and plus I have other sources of income that I recieve.

I applied for my license in March and by May I was up and running. I had a full enrollment by July and I have been full every since! so with that being said, I got in it for the business!
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:36 AM
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This is my second time around. I started doing daycare when my youngest daughters were toddlers and stopped when they were both in school full time and a year or so after that.

This time around, I began doing daycare to have my own business which I could operate the way I wanted. I was working a full time job, applied for licensing and got the ball rolling before leaving my job in November of last year. My license was approved in January and had my first kid the day my license was approved.

I figured with what I spent on gas, eating lunches out etc, that I bring home about what I did then when I have 3 full time kids. I'm licensed for 6 but plan to increase that to 12 this summer so I can have a cushion for when I lose a kid or two.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:14 PM
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I started doing childcare because I wanted to stay home with our youngest until age 5. I stayed and improved my preschool/childcare because I loved the business . Our baby just turned 30 and I have his 5 yr old in my program.

Every state is different here in MO I think the only cost was $10 for a background check. and 12 hours of training each year. I had to make a few modifications but nothing major to the house.

If you are quitting a job make sure you have some money saved up to get you started just like opening any new business.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:35 PM
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I quit a good job a few months ago to get back into FCC. We bought a house separate just for child care. My kids are grown. I had lots of support from family and friends.

This is a business in everyone's eyes. It has been a big adjustment for me and I knew what I was getting into and thought things through for months. I worked for a family agency for 14 yrs. and I worked with families with children birth-5 yrs., so I never got very far away from working with young kids.

I don't know how long it takes to get licensed in your state (or if you even plan on going that route) but it's a long process in my state and I should have been further along in the licensing process before quitting my job. I'm limited on the # of kids I can take until I am I licensed and it's been a financial stress. I also started around the holidays ( which is not a good time to start up).

I have always worked with young children, but I am now just really getting back in the groove of FCC and feeling okay with my decision. It's been a long winter
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:12 PM
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I quit my job as an RN and make half as much as I could doing that. My kids were 2, 6, 9 when I started. I was tired of working for someone else and only having one weekend/month with my family.
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  #15  
Old 03-11-2013, 02:58 PM
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I quit a job of 17 years where I was only working 25 hours a week with great benefits and flex to start a daycare. I absolutely could not take my boss or the crazy coworkers anymore. Everyone thought I was nuts!

I have been doing this almost a year now and have never regretted it! My daughter will start kindy in the fall, and I will be here to get her on and off the bus. She has had alot to adjust to having kids here playing with her old toys, sharing mom and mom not having days off for fun outtings, but she has made it thru with me.

I would never been able to do this without a very supportive and handy husband, and a friend who subs for me when I have appts.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:33 AM
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I taught kindergarten for 9 years before quitting and opening my child care. I did it for various reasons.
1. I was tired of our school system and all the testing. to me, kids are so much more that a test score.
2. I saw kids entering school so delayed and knew that quality child care was needed.
3. I wanted to be at home and be my own boss (kind of, I guess the state with all their regulations is like a boss in ways).

I started daycare in 2006 and had no children at the time. My daughter was born in 2008 and I am so thankful to be at home with her, but that was not my reason for opening a child care.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:41 AM
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thank you guys so much for the stories..it helps.. so scary to think of quitting but i really do believe with preparation it could be a fulfilling life change.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:15 AM
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I am 21 and I plan on opening my daycare with in the next year or 2 (hopefully no longer than that). I plan on doing this before I have kids because I want to be established first and have some time to adjust to my business before having to do that and juggle my own baby while watching other people's babies. That way for now I can start of a little on the lower end of the pay scale in my area to kinda get my name out and 'get my foot in the door' as my fiance says and then slowly increase my rates steadily every year or 2 until it matches the averages in my area - may take a few years but at least it will feel like I am getting a raise every year instead of feeling like I am in a rut and have not room for movement.

As of now I plan on waiting on having kids at least a year after I start my business so that way I can focus on my business and my FH can focus on his work and we can focus on our marraige and also here you have to wait a year before you can have a large family daycare so maybe if I have enough inquirees I can switch to a large family daycare before I plan on having a baby so that when I do have a baby I don't have to worry so much about crunching numbers for spots and I can financially justify (to myself) having an assistant help me.

I decided to do this business because I always wanted to be a teacher and loved working with little kids- especually babies! But most schools these days seem to want the teachers to teach for test (instead of teaching for life) their also aren't many hiring and I also think I would be sad to have a different group of kids every year and then have to let them go and never know how they are doing. This way I have the ability to see the children grow up from babies to school age (depedning on how long their parents let them stay) and I can take my time and don't have to worry about grading tests or having to go to college for another 2-3 years to get a BA and a teaching degree/permit or have to work under a principle and administrators. One family I babysat for the dad is a professor at a university and says he is seriously considering changing careers because he hates grading papers (didn't he know he would have to grade papers if he was a going to become a professor )

The lady I used to work for started her daycare before she had her kids too- she's been in business for over 30 years.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:14 PM
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I realized that I had to make a life change after being laid off twice in four years and being subjected to the downfalls of Corporate America. I was not a happy person. I knew that I wanted to open a business because I grew up in a family of business owners. I was just lost at what type of business to open.

I prayed and asked God for help and guidence and one morning woke up reflecting on the jobs that I felt happiest in. Working with children was the only job I ever had that gave me joy. It never felt like work at all. I am happy to say that by far, this is the best thing Ive ever done and I hope to continue to for a long long time. Makes life happy

I wish you luck and hope that it brings as much joy to you as it does for me.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:30 PM
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Oh Yeah,

Youre not crazy, just following your heart. If you decide to go through with it.

1.) Its a costly investment considering everything that you will have to purchase and prepare to open. Texas has a lot of guidelines to meet that cost me a good penny. To help cut cost I purchased a lot of used toys and books from the local goodwill ect. I depended on friends to help me make the playarea safe and kid friendly. If you dont have money to invest up front, you can work and start setting up now, this might help

2.) Policies, Policies, Policies. Prepare them and use the daycare forum as a guide to help write them. I was unaware of how much I went through because I didnt have a policy for it or parents simply didnt care to read it. I make sure now to highlight the areas parents tend to overlook that create problems (example: Closed Holidays not being respected.)

3.) Daycare Lady is the best thing that ever happened to me (forms are useful) daycarelady.com.

4.) Summer months for me children tend to go with the grandparents and I have to hussle to get school aged children. I learned the hard way that I have to prepare for this time of year way in advance and save money from the good months to get us through.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:15 PM
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I know it can be risky, but you really have to know what you want to do. You have to count the cost if you can do it when you're enrollment is down... are you going to quit or stick it out. Most importantly, make sure you have 100% support of your family. That really matters. It would be best to have a two family, but if that's not the case, then make sure you're family is willing to make that sacrifice to give up first floor space. It's not a 9-5 job and alot of work and regulations to maintain. Depending on how far you want to go (i.e. just care for 7 children, 14 children and hire staff) you have to remember it will always be there.

So here's the pros- it's in you're home. You set the times, which will meet the needs of families, gain a strong reputation so you don't have to advertise, depending on area, determine what you want to charge and stick to it. Offer enrichment classes, etc.

I've been doing it for 9 years and it took 4-5 years to make a profit. I have two locations, (30) children combined, 8 people working for me. My program offers: infant/toddler, French, summer, yoga, music programs, literacy program. After paying expenses for household, expenses for the business, salaries, I earn a very good salary (level of a seasoned teacher in a private or public school), which has been steady for 2 years. My husband has been out of work for a year, so the daycare has been keeping us going and providing for our children. I don't need to advertise as people refer and majority of children stay until Kindergarten. I'm currently looking for commercial. The days of job security are minimal and this is an opportunity to be your own boss. Will it take sacrifice, work...yes, but it's worth it. I can't imagine working for someone else again.


Hopefully this gives you better insight as to whether or not you should pursue a dream.

JJWM
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:46 AM
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I have been in the "care industry" for 20 yrs. I was a supervisor and an accountant for 5 yrs. I made awesome money, great benefits, and crazy amounts of paid vacation. I wanted to open a FCC business for about 6 yrs before I actually did it. So for about 4 yrs I just casually gathered info for the "Business". I never had anyone actually run me through the gamete of running a FCC. I almost had my license once and then backed out because I got cold feet. "Didn't want to loose the security of a paycheck each month! Then I became prego and was laid off. Well, there was my opportunity. So here I am 2 yrs later and running a SFCCH. I think that I will be enlarging to a LFCCH within the yr.
1. I completely underestimated the amount of time it takes to do "office work".
2. I completely underestimated the amount of time it takes to put together your weekly schedule.
3. I am open M - F 24 hrs per day. So I have so very little time to actually clean. I struggle with the energy it takes to keep up on the housework.
4. I find that I miss my husband and family time.
5. It is hard to work so many hours out of your home. At least with an outside job you get out of the house.

1. I love working with and talking too the kids.
2. I love being able to be with my own children.
3. I enjoy having the freedom to walk around and just dance if I feel like it and everyone else around me starts laughing and joins in the fun.
4. Hearing the great compliments from the parents saying that their child was writing the letter M all over a piece of paper the night before. And then asking if you guys are working on the letter M. AWESOME!!!!

I recommend that if this is what you want to do...Be selective of the families that you bring into the home. Don't just accept any child/parent. There are a lot of parents that don't want to be inconvenienced by their children. These parents will not respect your rules and regulations. They will take as much as possible and then leave as soon as you say no. It is extremely hard on a Provider when they feel so much for the child and then to have them taken out of the daycare so abruptly. Also, stand by your rules and regulations. I found this out the hard way. If you give in once, it will be expected again and again and again. (I'm speaking about the parents.)

I wish you all the luck and success in your adventure.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:04 PM
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Did any of you start your home daycare because you wanted a BUSINESS?

i see alot of ppl started because they wanted to care for their own young children at home. My children are older and almost out of school but i have been thinking about home daycare. i enjoy the thought of working for myself and i enjoy teaching children. I have crazy looks from family because i make pretty good money at my job now and it just doesnt make sense to them that i would give that up for the uncertainy of daycare.
i know its a major risk.. i want to pay down a lot of debt so that i can still make it thru the dry patches..
anybody have any success stories or lil words of wisdom to keep me thinking.. thanks in advance
I started my business long before I had a child 12 yrs age when I was 22. I only had my 1st child 2 1/2 yrs ago. I am in this as a business and plan to be in this line off work for many years. I just have the benefit of being home with my daughter also.

I also let parents know durning interviews that this is my business and it is long term it is not just something I am doing to be home with my child.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:29 PM
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loving this thread.. so nice to see so many ppl made the plunge and came out okay even with the obstacles.. having a good savings built up is a good idea!!

and i hope the way I worded the question didn't offend anyone.. i only meant to emphasize business because it would be MUCH easier to rationalize quitting to open a daycare when you have children (being with them more, cutting out cost of paying for daycare)
i know all of you are awesome business women no matter why you started. thanks again!!

Last edited by Michael; 03-26-2013 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:12 PM
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loving this thread.. so nice to see so many ppl made the plunge and came out okay even with the obstacles.. having a good savings built up is a good idea!!

and i hope the way I worded the question didn't offend anyone.. i only meant to emphasize business because it would be MUCH easier to rationalize quitting to open a daycare when you have children (being with them more, cutting out cost of paying for daycare)
i know all of you are awesome business women no matter why you started. thanks again!!
I see you are the OP. Consider joining us by registering.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:17 PM
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This is my second time around. I started doing daycare when my youngest daughters were toddlers and stopped when they were both in school full time and a year or so after that.

This time around, I began doing daycare to have my own business which I could operate the way I wanted. I was working a full time job, applied for licensing and got the ball rolling before leaving my job in November of last year. My license was approved in January and had my first kid the day my license was approved.


I figured with what I spent on gas, eating lunches out etc, that I bring home about what I did then when I have 3 full time kids. I'm licensed for 6 but plan to increase that to 12 this summer so I can have a cushion for when I lose a kid or two.
Same scenario here. I have 2 grown children, a 15 yo, and a 12 yo. It's a lot easier now, with no little of my own.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:22 PM
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Same scenario here. I have 2 grown children, a 15 yo, and a 12 yo. It's a lot easier now, with no little of my own.
Ditto! It's much easier now that my youngest two are in school full time. But to be honest, my granddaughter is 4 and once she's in school full time I don't know what I'll do. My child care area isn't separate from our family living spaces so there's a lot of changes made to our home to accommodate the child care (like baby gates all over) and I don't know if I'll still think it's worth it when I don't have any family members here.

On the other hand, I do like being my own boss and making my own decisions instead of having to do what someone else tells me to.

Last edited by AmyKidsCo; 03-26-2013 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Another though
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:22 AM
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There is a lot more to this business than being your own boss and playing with children. The amount of responsibility, laws to follow, amount of work and very different tasks you have to perform in an intense level and for such long hours is a reality, no matter if you're in for the business or for the family. Also, children and parents are one of the toughest crowds I ever had to deal with and selecting your families is a very difficult task when you are also trying to balance the financial part of the business. Also, being the boss not only means it's your rules... it also means “work never ends” (and this is true in any career you decide to be the boss). Financially, it might seem good money when parents give you the check, but when you do the math and add to it all the expenses you will have and the long never ending hours and the benefits you won't receive (health insurance and so on...) it's another not so good aspect of being the boss. But you have to give it a try and find out on your own what this business can do for you... every person can give you very different story and I think the success or failure in this business depends a lot on your personality and “business smarts”...
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:44 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by lolaland View Post
There is a lot more to this business than being your own boss and playing with children. The amount of responsibility, laws to follow, amount of work and very different tasks you have to perform in an intense level and for such long hours is a reality, no matter if you're in for the business or for the family. Also, children and parents are one of the toughest crowds I ever had to deal with and selecting your families is a very difficult task when you are also trying to balance the financial part of the business. Also, being the boss not only means it's your rules... it also means “work never ends” (and this is true in any career you decide to be the boss). Financially, it might seem good money when parents give you the check, but when you do the math and add to it all the expenses you will have and the long never ending hours and the benefits you won't receive (health insurance and so on...) it's another not so good aspect of being the boss. But you have to give it a try and find out on your own what this business can do for you... every person can give you very different story and I think the success or failure in this business depends a lot on your personality and “business smarts”...
I am sorry that this job didn't turn out to be everything you dreamed it would be.

I am also sorry that you had such a rough time with dealing with parents/children.

It's funny how everyone has such a different perspective about doing child care because most of the things you mentioned as being not so good are things I have never viewed that way.

I don't feel I work intensely hard and I don't feel as though I out in a super long work day.

I enjoy the role of being my own boss and have the luxury of having some pretty good parents who are usually 9 out of 10 times super easy to deal with.

I've had my fair share of tough kids but for the most part the kids in general that have been enrolled have been enjoyable enough that I have never thought about quitting.

As far as the money goes.... there is NO other profession I could do that would have netted me the perks, benefits and rewards that I have received from being a self-employed child care provider.

I do agree with you though that whether you enjoy this job and are or aren't successful in it DOES have a lot to do with your personality. The business stuff I have learned along the way and I feel it gets easier ever year in area.

I hope you are able to find a career or job in which you are truly happy and one that puts a smile on your face every morning when you get up. A lot of people don't get that lucky in life and I hope you do!
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:06 AM
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Country Kids Country Kids is offline
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Next year will be my first official year in 18 years of all my own kiddos where they aren't going to need me for school things during the day and I'm going to miss it.

It will take a big burden off my shoulders though as I won't need to get the sub in for them. This will be a relieve for me because trying to find a sub is always a stressor for me.

I have always treated this as a business but when your "family" is involved in the business it sometimes makes it very hard. Alot of the time you look like the mom who is always working even when you take time off it seems far between.

This business isn't for everyone and can be extremely hard on a person. No one has ever had a perfect childcare and since I started mine many moons ago, I'm very amazed at the changes that have taken place. I'm also amazed at how different the childcares practices/rates/rules are throughout our own country!

My advise for anyone starting childcare:

Be prepared for long hours
Be prepared for hard client/children
Be prepared to have people in and out of your house every day
Be prepared to recognize red flags
Be prepared with strict rules/guideline/contracts and expectations
Be prepared to run your business as a business
Be prepared to have to follow certain rules/regulations even if you don't think they are fair
Be prepared for "special" from clients
Remember we are a profession and clients forget that and want to treat us like the 15 year old babysitter.

The list could go on and on and at the end of the day just remind yourself, its like any other job with its ups and downs-
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:00 PM
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lolaland lolaland is offline
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post

I enjoy the role of being my own boss and have the luxury of having some pretty good parents who are usually 9 out of 10 times super easy to deal with.

I've had my fair share of tough kids but for the most part the kids in general that have been enrolled have been enjoyable enough that I have never thought about quitting.
The above quote reminded me that I need to add:
...I think the success or failure in this business depends a lot on your personality and “business smarts”... and a good amount of "good luck"

Thank you Blackcat for the warm wishes

"Confrontation" and "Being put in a spot that I have to constantly draw the line" when people keep crossing it... that is not a good place for me! It just drains the life out of me. Working with Today's kids and Today's families I find myself having to do that too many times... My skin is not thick enough
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