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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Advice Needed on Home Tasks
LNO27 07:41 AM 05-05-2016
Hi! This is quite a long post- I apologize! I am new here and have been referencing this forum for months and have found it so helpful! Seems like a great community! I have just officially started my own home child care business in January after the last 10 years of caring for children on and off in some capacity--I have been both a center preschool teacher and nanny and finally decided to start my business since my almost 3 and 6 year old are more self sufficient. I like the program I have set up and I feel like I have a strong contract. I have two really great and seeminly very understanding families currently. This part is going great!

I need advice about keeping up with my home and family life. I feel like I am completely struggling in this area. I begin at 6am and most days of he week have DCKs by 6:20, so I am up about 5am showering and getting myself ready. I end at 5pm now but just extended my hours to 6:30pm. I was hesitant to do this but it has become completely necessary to extend hours--financially for the business. This leaves me with VERY little time to complete home tasks. My husband owns his own commecial business which is extremely busy and now he has acquired a new business as well. I know some of my stress if coming from this. He has not been home much lately. We are adjusting to new norms here--with time, energy and stress levels all changing.

How do you keep up with the cleaning and care of your home? I have had a huge influx of stuff--just from toys, the preschool art and crafts items, etc. I have a smaller house--we hope to move within a few years, but currently I am so disorganized. I have no idea how to even organize the materials and toys I want to store. I have started forming monthly bins to hold themed items and toys and books that can be put away in my garage. But it seems like there is still stufd everywhere!

What about big tasks--right now we are in the midst of regrading and sodding the yard and adding a new privacy fence, as well as some other larger home renovations. I don't think I could get it all under control if I tried at the moment but I need to do something! My Mom works for us keeping our laundry done and some house cleaning but I feel like I need to hire her more hours--or daily. I'm rambling on I know--you get it! Where do you struggle on this issue and how do you handle getting so much done, with such short hours in the evenings? Do you utilize weekends to clean and work on your business or try to leave it until the workweek? My program requires most of my day to be fairly hands on with the DCKs and I think that's part of the pull. I have sort of backed myself into a corner though with time. Thanks for any input you have! I look forward to connecting with you all!
Ariana 08:05 AM 05-05-2016
Well you are currently working 12 hour days and in child care those are looooong and tiring hours. the only time in the day for you to get things done is during daycare hours so I would try to do that. Create a setting in your home where children are able to play independantly as much as possible so you can get things done. When I had a lot of children I would sometimes put the tv on for 15 minutes after lunch just so could clean my kitchen (it was on a different level so I had to do this to contain them). Make a to do list and every day make it a goal to cross one item off. I cannot say enough about organizer shelves from Ikea. They have cubes with baskets that can be stacked. Also rubbermaid bins are awesome for storing things like dressup clothes, toys etc. And they stack. As for art, go back to basics. Just have the necessary stuff out like markers and crayons and store the rest for art projects that you do a few times a week or month. Kids don't need much to be creative.

Organizing your day into chunks of time is essential and figure out when is the best time to devote to your list item. I organize toys by:
Cars and transportation
Table top
Big ticket items like dollhouses, farms, tents, train sets etc
Dress up

Anything not in these categories goes into a big miscellaneous bin. I also get my husband to help on the weekends if I need it. Maybe get your mom to help with this if your hubby can't.
JackandJill 08:08 AM 05-05-2016
Hi! You guys sounds like a busy bunch

I always make sure that while kids are in the middle of an activity I can take a few minutes to straighten up the room we are in. So, for example, while they are eating lunch at the table, I load or unload the dishwasher and give the counters a good wipe. When they are finished eating I usually give them crayons or cards or something to occupy them while I run over the floor with the vacuum. It makes like much easier than doing it after work. Or while kids are hand washing I grab Clorox wipes and give everything a quick swipe at the end. I do save my deep clean for Sunday night, so that everything feels nice and fresh starting the week.

I try to do all my paperwork during nap times so it isn't piling up, I also do my personal bills, etc. at this time as well. That way at 5 I am done. I do my dinner prep at this time, too. I have a strict nap time policy that requires everyone to be laying down so i can truly get through all this work.

As far as toys and clutter, I found it really helpful to get furniture with storage, so an ottoman that is also a toy box, cube shelves with pretty baskets to hold toys. That way when it is all put away you aren't feeling like you are still at work. I also keep a ton of the toys in my attic to rotate through, they kids don't need them all out at once and it helps cut down the clutter!

I would say cram as much housework into your daycare day as you safely can, and you will feel so much better when you can sit down and relax at 6:30
Controlled Chaos 08:20 AM 05-05-2016
For starters I am only open 7-5 This took a year, I had to get established and a good reputation before I was able to limit my hours, but I would work with that as I goal in the back of your mind, especially if you are a "preschool". I would aim for 7:30-5:30 and then see if you can shorten at all from there.

I would make a preschool schedule. For me everyday 7-8:30 is free play while I make snacks, prep lunch, get supplies together and plan activities. Plan in times for you to assemble supplies, print, and tidy up.

I do spend about 2 hours a month deep cleaning to play area. I could get this done with daycare kids here during the last 30 min, but I don't... So I plan on it once a month, after my kiddos are asleep.

Daily cleaning - sweep after all meals, mop after lunch.
Bathroom - right after I tuck kids in for nap, it takes me 5min since I do it so often.

Garbage - right at closing everyday, I take all garbages out.

Wiping down other surfaces/dusting - as I see it, I do it.

Vacuum - I try to vacuum first thing in the morning (it helps wake up my sleeping kids)

Yard work - I rake, weed and water with the kiddos.

Laundry - I toss in a load every morning, switch it while the kids eat lunch and fold it after I tuck in my kiddos at night.

Bills - nap time (after reading or working on homework with my DD - Kindergartner)

I have a play based program, so I aim to be hands free for the most part. I create opportunities to learn by rotating stimulating toys. I have monthly themes that I create invitations to play around. I always have sensory tubs available. I do one hands on, teacher directed activity a day.

Stay organized and set realistic goals. My front walk in area is always tidy as parents see it and its their first impression of my home/daycare. My kids' rooms and my bathroom look lived in and often messy. I don't mind. They aren't part of the daycare. We live here, it can look like it
LNO27 11:17 AM 05-05-2016
So, so helpful! Thank you!! I do have a schedule but I think I need to utilize the free play times for picking up and cleaning up more often. Efficiency is key it seems. I'm working on it! I think I will put some toys away and do more rotating as well. Yes - we are a busy bunch at the moment. I know it won't always be this way. We are in a funky season of our lives. If we can get these renovations done we can probably put our home on the market and move to a larger home - where hopefully I have a dedicated space for daycare. But, making the best of it for now. I am hoping to get a handle on my organization this weekend.
Scout 12:49 PM 05-05-2016
Every morning, I get up only 15 min before the first child arrives. I wash my face, brush my teeth and comb my hair. Most days, I stay in pjs because I am comfy and have enough laundry to do with towels and my own kids. Then, I start my daily chores. This makes up my morning routine, even on weekends and works pretty well.

Scoop litter box.

Vacuum family room(which is basically the play room off of kitchen), living room, and room we have litter box in.

Clean toilets and bathroom sinks.

Get my son's clothes and toothbrush ready for him.

Empty dishwasher and fill up kids cups for the morning.

Make the beds as soon as my kids get up.

Lay out diapers and wipes for the day on the bed where I change them.

Pack my son's lunch and get his bag and coat ready for him by the door.

After lunch every day, I vacuum the kitchen and sometimes later too if needed.

Dusting can be done while the kids play.

Cleaning bathroom floors and tub/shower can be done at naptime, as well as washing kitchen floor.

laundry is done daily, mon-fri, and I 've come to be ok with the fact that I always have laundry to do. I try not to do it on the weekends cus I do probably 10 loads during the week, probably more. I began separating by pjs and undies, towels, whites, kids clothes, darks, and lights. As long as kids have clean clothes, I feel good!

I used to do all my dusting and bathrooms on weekends but, that got old, quickly. I am a 3/4 time student as well as operating this business from 7 am-6:30 pm some nights(that is ending at the end of the month and I will NEVER sign a family up for late hours again, it's too much). You need your days off to be centered around YOU and your family only. Don't consume them with chores! It's possible to get it all done during the week. Sometimes, I will do my dusting and bathrooms on Saturdays, but, I am done by 12 pm because it doesn't get out of hand.
LNO27 07:26 PM 05-05-2016
Thank you Scout! That's very helpful! I agree-- I want weekends about my family only! This has been quite an adjustment for my children and I want to really focus on my husband and my girls then!
Tags:long hours, long hours in care
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