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Josiegirl 04:30 AM 05-02-2018
I was wondering how those of you, who just take children 18 mo and under, do it. I am finding dealing with multi-age groups to be too challenging for me these days. Or maybe it's just the group I have?

It used to be I'd have 1 dck who bucked the rules but it seems like nobody's listening or doing what I ask them to anymore. All my energy goes towards getting them to pick up after themselves or get ready to go outside or not tease/run/call people names/instigate/take toys/cry and whine,etc. And now the 19 mo who I dearly love, is hitting my dogs, scratching the 11 mo and pulling hair. I cannot keep up with it all. It's draining me physically and mentally and causing major burn-out. Yesterday I had finally corralled them all into the living room so that we could get jackets on. I overheard the 4 1/2 yo asking the 3 yos whether they liked me or not. Then she speaks up and says 'they said they don't like you'. And she's always glaring at me when I expect her to sit and eat snack or use the bathroom or not run through the house. She's a very strong willed child and so is her sister, the 19 mo. And she's become the leader of the pack. So I need to make a decision as to whether I can keep dealing with this particular group of kids or if I should try and focus on infant-18 mo only. I can take 3 under 2 yos. I cannot imagine much outside time.
Also wondering what equipment you need duplicates of; I have some but would probably have to redo my whole dc area.
I'd love to hear pros and cons, plus what your day looks like, as far as any type of schedule or getting outside. Thanks!!
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mamamanda 05:15 AM 05-02-2018
I think there are definitely pros & cons. It is just really hard for me to have multiple infants b/c I thrive on structure & routine & they thrive on spontaneity. . After 6 mo I think it is easier to get them on a schedule, but the number of naps needed changes every few months & I feel like it's a lot to juggle.

This is the youngest group I've had & my kids range from 8 mo-3 years. It's been hard for me. My DD has a birthday next week & she will be 2. I have two 2 yo dcbs & they will be 3 in June & September. I just noticed about a week ago that I felt like I could breathe again.

I think they are moving from the toddler phase to the little kid phase & it all just goes smoother now. As for outside, I would spend a lot of time outdoors even with the littles as long as they're in the shade. I use a variety of equipment for them outside. Mine love a blanket on the grass with toys to roll around on. I also use a jumparoo. I sit it in the grass so their feet brush the grass when they jump. Exersaucer with tray for picnic lunches. I cover the equipment with grill covers at night to protect from rain so I don't have to move them in & out.

With infants, you will need pack n plays or another safe sleep area... possibly separate areas so they don't wake each other if they are on different schedules. They will play with about anything. I don't buy special toys for infants. They love mirrors! Playing on the floor in front of a mirror is a fun!

I don't know if that answers your question exactly, but those are the things I've found to help with that age group. For myself, I have learned that I'm a one infant at a time kind of girl. However, if you enjoy that age you can make it work. I think it really depends on what age group you enjoy most. I do feel like there's more liability with an infant in regards to sleep practices & such. And if parents put them to sleep in ways you can't mimic (nursing, rocking, in a swing, etc) it is that much harder for the provider. Good luck whichever way you decide to go.
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amberrose3dg 05:32 AM 05-02-2018
Originally Posted by mamamanda:
I think there are definitely pros & cons. It is just really hard for me to have multiple infants b/c I thrive on structure & routine & they thrive on spontaneity. . After 6 mo I think it is easier to get them on a schedule, but the number of naps needed changes every few months & I feel like it's a lot to juggle.

This is the youngest group I've had & my kids range from 8 mo-3 years. It's been hard for me. My DD has a birthday next week & she will be 2. I have two 2 yo dcbs & they will be 3 in June & September. I just noticed about a week ago that I felt like I could breathe again.

I think they are moving from the toddler phase to the little kid phase & it all just goes smoother now. As for outside, I would spend a lot of time outdoors even with the littles as long as they're in the shade. I use a variety of equipment for them outside. Mine love a blanket on the grass with toys to roll around on. I also use a jumparoo. I sit it in the grass so their feet brush the grass when they jump. Exersaucer with tray for picnic lunches. I cover the equipment with grill covers at night to protect from rain so I don't have to move them in & out.

With infants, you will need pack n plays or another safe sleep area... possibly separate areas so they don't wake each other if they are on different schedules. They will play with about anything. I don't buy special toys for infants. They love mirrors! Playing on the floor in front of a mirror is a fun!

I don't know if that answers your question exactly, but those are the things I've found to help with that age group. For myself, I have learned that I'm a one infant at a time kind of girl. However, if you enjoy that age you can make it work. I think it really depends on what age group you enjoy most. I do feel like there's more liability with an infant in regards to sleep practices & such. And if parents put them to sleep in ways you can't mimic (nursing, rocking, in a swing, etc) it is that much harder for the provider. Good luck whichever way you decide to go.
I think infants can be a lot more work than other ages. Schedules, nap times, etc are hard to do on a younger infant. If parents aren't on board with limiting behaviors that cause sleep issues it can be a huge challenge.
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Cat Herder 06:40 AM 05-02-2018
I used to love it. Birth to 2, ratio of 1/4, not including my own kids (3). Money was tight, but functional with a good family budget. It replaced my former full-time pay with no daycare fees, guilt gifts or commute expenses. We came out ahead. I was home for our kids when school was out and everyday when they got off the bus.

Then they changed the ratio to only 2 under 2yrs. Later they began counting our own kids in ratios until age 13. It is no longer possible to be profitable with infants only unless you can charge upwards of $400 per week. My community pay scales won't support that.

I only enroll infants, but keep them until 6 now.
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jenboo 06:44 AM 05-02-2018
I did under 24 months. I loved the smaller sge range.
First it was just me with 5 kids then we expanded to add my husband and 5 more.

You just need a great system and routine. All the kids napped at the same time here. Everything went really well.
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Miss A 06:53 AM 05-02-2018
I take children from 6 weeks until they enter preschool, or a maximum of 4 years. And even then, sometimes 3.5-4 is pushing it for me.

I enjoy providing infant and toddler care, and I know for myself that this age group is where my caregiving skills excel. Some people are master preschool caregivers, some people have that special touch needed to handle SA care.

I thrive in the fast paced environment that caring for multiple infants creates. I love when I constantly have a task at hand to help the day go by faster. I enjoy getting all my babies on the same daily schedules, and seeing them interact with one another and explore their environment. But, there are definitely pros and cons to infant and toddler care, just as there is with all age groups. Outdoor play with babies looks a lot different than it does with toddlers, and is more labor intensive for me the provider. With infants I am responsible for meeting all needs and desires while also trying to teach self soothing and self help skills, where as with toddlers and older children they are more independent, and are often able to complete tasks themselves or follow simple instructions. Babies cry more, and often cry as a group. But, I would take that any day over playing referee between toddlers who are determined to have what the other has, even though they are holding an identical item.

It really just depends on your preferences and the need for specialized care in your area. Nut me personally? I love the babies.
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Cat Herder 07:09 AM 05-02-2018
How much do you have to make each week to pay bills/taxes, fund retirement and keep back an emergency fund? Can you make that with only 3 slots?
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Blackcat31 07:44 AM 05-02-2018
My state ratios wouldn't allow the type of income I make now if I switched to under 18 months.

Personally, I think it's any age now days that is hard.

I think ALL the kids feel as if they run the show and are "strong willed" kids compared to those we had even just a few years ago.

I think the only think you really can change Josie is how you act and react.....start putting your foot down with these kids.. have consequences and rewards that motivate them to WANT to behave. I don't care in the slightest if they "like" me or not. Considering their definition of "like" it's not an insult when they tell me they don't like me on occassion

You mentioned them not cleaning up....go back to the basics. Have a small amount of toys and make sure they know it's because they've shown you that they aren't old enough to have more. Make them earn the responsibility verses just providing certain things because of their age...kwim?

Not picking up the toys.... don't move onto any other activity until they've done as you asked (picked up the toys). If they don't/won't....then that tells you they are tired and off to nap they go....

Rinse and repeat with some of these "hard" issues so they all understand that YOU run the show at your house. Once they understand that there IS something in it for them when they listen and comply, they WILL be much better behaved. I promise you they really will be.

.....and the oddest thing of all....when you crack down and have a basic set of rules that you simply don't waiver on; they suddenly love you!

It's reverse psychology at it's finest.



....psst..it works with parents too!
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rosieteddy 08:24 AM 05-02-2018
Could you just let this group play out and then retire? In theory all infants seems more manageable .Toddlers and preschoolers can be more strong willed.But an infant needs your help to do everything.You could amp up the outdoor time for the group you have.My group became rambunctious (pilly).I changed the amount of free time.I bought a curriculum (carols affordable)it came with everything I needed.No trips to Michaels or Walmart forsupplies.You could charge a little more to pay for it if you needed to.It made my week easier .Kids and parents liked it.I consolidated each days lesson to 3 days then had other table activities the other days.We went out at 10 am I walked them pretty far at least 20 min any one 2 yrs walked holding on,I used safety straps from their wrist to stroller.Then they played in the yard until 12 noon.Lunch nap out again.The crying of infants is harder in my opinion than making the toddlers and preschoolers walk.I know for me I truly think the last three infants helped to stress me out and I had the heart attack that forced retirement. It was a hard snowy winter but still 3 criers and 3 2yr plusses didn't help.Maybe starting to wind down with your group would be a better choice.Good luck its a hard job sometimes.
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Gemma 10:37 AM 05-02-2018
I agree with BC kids are NOT what they used to be and all they want to do is run the show.

I'm sick of parents that can't stand up to their toddler
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daycarediva 10:47 AM 05-02-2018
I'm in agreement with BC here- parenting has changed kids. Even 10 years ago when I first started was drastically different.

I could NEVER do all under 2's. I literally count the months until each child is 2+. It's not that I don't love my littles, but I find that age super challenging.

2-3.5/4 is my favorite.

Beyond 4? If they act like that kiddo, I suggest formal PREK.
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Josiegirl 11:14 AM 05-02-2018
Originally Posted by daycarediva:
I'm in agreement with BC here- parenting has changed kids. Even 10 years ago when I first started was drastically different.

I could NEVER do all under 2's. I literally count the months until each child is 2+. It's not that I don't love my littles, but I find that age super challenging.

2-3.5/4 is my favorite.

Beyond 4? If they act like that kiddo, I suggest formal PREK.
Haha, that kiddo IS in preschool and doesn't get here until 3, leaves at 4:40 and it's THE longest 100 minutes of every day. She's been pitting the twins against each other, which amazes me that she has that kind of power over them because they are soooo close the rest of the time. She tattles, bosses everyone around, lots of name-calling. Just not a very fun 4 1/2 yo to be around. IIRC, my dd was a pita at that age too. I would've sold her to the gypsies for a buck.
I've got lots of thinking to do over the summer. Even with all the challenges this current group poses, I would still be sad to see most of them go. I'll over have 4 dcks this summer(the twins will be leaving for preschool in the fall and dcd is a teacher) and that'll be stretching the financial aspect pretty tight. If I were to only have 3, I'd have to raise rates a lot but I think I'd be constantly full. I charge 125 now and would have to go to at least 150, centers are charging 200. There used to be a woman in town who only took 3 babies until exactly a year old. She was always full.

I just don't know what to do. I am cutting down a bit, by going to 4 this summer and back to 5 this fall, if everything plays out the way it's supposed to. Rosieteddy, I feel that's where I'm heading at the moment. By the time 5:00 rolls around, I am beat to the ground and some weeks I don't even know if I can make it to Friday. I've thought also, of going to a 4 day work week but most people need ft care.
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storybookending 11:28 AM 05-02-2018
Also consider if you can emotionally handle keeping just babies. I had 2-3 days so far in my career where I only ended up with a couple kiddos under two and by the end of the day I was dying for some form of human contact. And Iím someone that typically doesnít like a lot of people. Just having the 3 year olds here that you can actually converse with helps me in that sense and I could never do all under twos because of this reason. Maybe if I myself didnít live alone but to have no one to talk to all day and then also all night would really get to me fast.
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Play Care 12:02 PM 05-02-2018
I LOVE when I have the 2-4 1/2 age range. Any younger or older and it's chaos.
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rosieteddy 02:01 PM 05-02-2018
Are you taking the 4 yr old back in the fall?Maybe just fulltime would be better.Could you charge a little more for the four you have ?An extra 5 dollars a day would be the price for one child and still a bargain.It is hard to go 4 days but a 4 child group might be a little easier than all infants.If you tell the clients in August about an increase it should help.
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Josiegirl 03:44 PM 05-02-2018
Originally Posted by rosieteddy:
Are you taking the 4 yr old back in the fall?Maybe just fulltime would be better.Could you charge a little more for the four you have ?An extra 5 dollars a day would be the price for one child and still a bargain.It is hard to go 4 days but a 4 child group might be a little easier than all infants.If you tell the clients in August about an increase it should help.
Starting in June I'm already raising my rates $5 a week for everyone. I think I'd lose everybody if I raised my rates 5 a day. I kind of do have to take the 4 yo back because she comes with a sister and I can't afford to lose 2 dcks. And don't ask me why but those 2 have kind of grown on me, even though they drive me crazy and are stubborn. So if I decided not to switch to 3 babies only, this is the line-up for the coming fall:
5 yo dcg in Kindergarten coming after school and days off, her 2 yo sister FT
4 1/2 yo dcb in FT prek but coming here after school/days off
my 11 mo dcb will then be 15 mo FT
and a new baby who will be 4 mo.

Maybe it's just a rough patch I'm going through and the grass wouldn't be greener. You all have given me food for thought. And I also think as storybookending said, I may go a bit crazy having just littles to talk to all the time.
Thank you for your replies. It helps so much when you hear others' perspectives.
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