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Old 12-02-2015, 03:12 AM
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Josiegirl Josiegirl is online now
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Default Just Had a Thought and Question

In this business who do you find you're trying to please?

The parents? So we can maintain our relationships and enrollments by keeping them happy?
The state so we can all just get along?
The Department of Education by offering tons of preschool activities in keeping with popular demand?
The kids themselves for tons of obvious reasons.
Or ourselves, because this is our personal choice of professions and burn-out is no fun?

I know it's most likely a combination of everything but I'm just wondering who we aim to please the most. Least. What works in keeping everybody happy and keeping us from fizzling away into a puff of noxious fumes??

I'm just looking for opinions and thoughtful conversations about all that is expected of us.

Thanks and have a wonderful Hump Day!!!
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Old 12-02-2015, 04:23 AM
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childcaremom childcaremom is offline
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I used to be caught up in a please the parent mode. Then I burnt out.

This time around I know what I need to do to stay in business and keep my sanity. So I am first. I have to be. I don't want to run myself ragged trying to do something that I think I need to in order to please others, so I made a list of the most important things to me and make sure that happens each day. For me that is outdoor time, fun, messy play, good food, good naps and laughter. Everything else is gravy. I want to be able to smile at the end of the day and have energy and patience for my own children. I know I need to make adjustments if I can't. And finally, my mindset this time: this is a business. It has really helped me with clarity when making business decisions.

Then the dcks. I make adjustments as needed but within reason for the group. Group care is my mantra and I *try* not to let one rule the group flow. I am getting much better at this. Recognizing that all children have different needs and what needs I can/will meet and what I can't. At picking children and families that mesh with my philosophy and expectations. I am finding it difficult to find families that fit my expectations but I am waiting for good fits, trusting that they will find their way to me. Recognizing that all children are not good fits for what I offer and that is ok! I am getting better at this. Also recognizing that, while I love all of my dcks and bond with them when they start care, I may not be the best fit for them and it might be in their best interest to be elsewhere. I have a transition period for a reason and I really need to remind myself to stick with this. There are a lot of hugs and laughter here, and I get really attached to my dcks, even the challenging ones.

Parents are third. I am very clear on what I offer and what I will do during interviews. What the consequences are and what I expect. Parents will stay pleased as they know what I am doing and offering and I keep that going through their stay here. (if that makes sense). So I don't worry so much about them, in that sense. They all trust me and I trust them so it makes for a great relationship. I guess they are third because I don't have to worry about pleasing them. They already know what to expect and I follow through on it with what I offer. And I am much more comfortable enforcing my policies this go round which makes it a lot easier to do my job.

I run legally unlicensed so don't need to worry about visits, etc. I am well aware of the regulations, follow them, and pretty much operate as if I were licensed. So this isn't even on my radar, as such, because I do follow all the rules.


It really is a great conversation to have. Understanding where our priorities are, what are expectations are, etc so that we can finish each day with a smile. Of course there will be off days. I just want the good days to outnumber the bad. So if I feel myself getting into a rut and dreading the days, I look at what changes I need to make. It might mean changing schedules, cutting back/adding more activities, or terming someone who is not a good fit. And carrying on with a smile I started out with a wild bunch (dcks and dcps, mostly dcps, ha). I've termed all of that group except one. So I know that seems crazy to a lot of you but what seemed like a good fit at interview did not translate into a good fit in care. Parents, non scheduled kids, etc etc. I recognized it early and ended it before it became a HUGE issue for me. I looked at improvements to make on my end so that families coming in are going to be a good fit. It means I am super picky and not running at capacity all the time but I am happier for it.

And if mama is happy, everyone is happy!
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Old 12-02-2015, 05:53 AM
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If Momma ain't happy then no one is happy.

If I'm happy, everything falls into place.
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Old 12-02-2015, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
In this business who do you find you're trying to please?

The parents? So we can maintain our relationships and enrollments by keeping them happy?
I learned early on in this career that trying to please parents was the surest/fastest way to sabotage your own happiness and your business itself.

Someone once told me that if you value what you do, respect your needs and the choices you make because of those needs, then others will follow suit. (Kind of like the line of thinking... "we teach others how to treat us")

So NO, I do not aim to please parents. I aim for MY happiness and what the parents receive in return for my happiness is customer satisfaction.... (i.e. their own family's happiness)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
The state so we can all just get along?
Luckily for me and providers in my state, our state is pretty good overall with allowing providers to use their own common sense. We aren't at all over regulated and for the most part have fantastic licensors here in MN.

They are supportive and helpful and always willing to do whatever they need to in order to support us in our chosen field of work.

So thankfully, there isn't a lot of effort needed to keep the state happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
The Department of Education by offering tons of preschool activities in keeping with popular demand?
Again, my state is really reasonable about their expectations for academics in ECE. I participate in my state's QRIS or star rating system and use a play based curriculum that is approved by the state.
The only "real" hassle the state requires is twice yearly assessments on each of the children we have in care. For me that part is easy so I don't mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
The kids themselves for tons of obvious reasons.
I don't consider keeping the kids happy part of my job. I provide the environment and the materials. The kids' happiness is up to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
Or ourselves, because this is our personal choice of professions and burn-out is no fun?
This. I aim to keep myself happy. Sometimes, that requires changes within my work day or even in my daily, weekly or monthly routines but over all, I do what I need to do to keep ME happy, sane and willing to come back every morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
I know it's most likely a combination of everything but I'm just wondering who we aim to please the most. Least. What works in keeping everybody happy and keeping us from fizzling away into a puff of noxious fumes??

I'm just looking for opinions and thoughtful conversations about all that is expected of us.

Thanks and have a wonderful Hump Day!!!
I have waaaaaaaaaaay too many hobbies so I wont ever suffer burnout. There are too many ways to "escape" before and after hours.

Like others, I need to be happy doing this or I won't do it anymore. I suppose there are different things that keep me happy every day but as long as there is something I can do to keep happiness, find happiness or just enjoy the happiness...I am good.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:25 AM
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MsLisa MsLisa is offline
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The kids.
They are literally the only thing keeping me at my job to be brutally honest. If I didn't have such a big bond and love for them I would be gone somewhere else in a heartbeat. Knowing how devastated and hurt they would be if I left keeps me clocking in every day. Generally, their happiness makes my happiness, so perhaps that's a "libra thing". I've always been like that. I will do everything to make sure they're needs are met and then some cause then I'm happy. Its hard to explain....

Parents I don't even bother with, unless I need to. Here's your awesome kid, here's their stuff, oh some papers my boss told me to give you (if applicable), and see you tomorrow. That's it.

State never has to bother me cause they really don't have many regs for After School Programs here. Just make sure all files are up to date, plugs covered and schedule/emergency are visible.

Education, well I only have to dabble in as needed. We get homework done and celebrate good tests. I do the best with what I have when it comes to having fun. But luckily these kids are pretty self amusing and just happy to help me do stuff.
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:54 AM
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Cat Herder Cat Herder is offline
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The Parents: Super easy.

The State: Easy enough.

The DOE: >>Facepalm<<

The Kids: Keep me motivated.

My Family: Keep me sane.

Myself: I see the light at the end of the tunnel. My 25 year family plan is near successful completion.
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