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  #1  
Old 08-05-2010, 07:25 PM
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Question Starting Daycare Before I'm a Parent

Most people seem to be parents already who have an in-home daycare. What can I do or say that I'm worth trusting in running a brand-new daycare in town without being a parent yet myself? I'm really concerned that families will not be interested because I'm not a parent so I can't relate. Please help!
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:27 PM
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Have you taken classes, previous experience, etc?
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:54 PM
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One thing that you may want to stress (along with education, training, experience, etc.) is that you DON'T have children. That can be a benefit: less sick time that you have to take because your child is sick and contagious, less time off to take your child for well-baby, well-child visits, etc. Plus, when the DC kids go home, you are off the clock completely and can truly relax. Those of us who are moms, just do not have that luxury. When the DC kids leave, we are still "on duty" with our own families. For those of us who have small children, this could mean an all-nighter with our sick, teething, or just plain stubborn child, which translates into a very tired DC provider the next day.

Think of all the reasons employers tend to prefer to hire people who do not have children. What are the benefits? Ability to work later? Fewer family commitments? Then use these as your selling points. If you aren't married, even better. No in-laws to contend with - such as taking an entire week off to spend a few days with this side of the family and a few more days to be with that side of the family. Play up the flexibility.
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:03 PM
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I'm actually getting married in two months and we're going to buy a home in 2010-2011. Once we move, I want to start daycare right away as I'll finally have a home instead of an apartment!

Starting back in middle school, I was a babysitter for my entire neighborhood. In high school, I took Child Care Services. I spent 4 weeks in a laboratory preschool graded by my teacher at our high school, then I spent 4 weeks in a community childcare setting and was graded by the owner. Then a few years passed as I attended college to get an Administrative degree and worked full time outside of the childcare field.

Last year, I got CPR/First Aid certified and started babysitting again. I started working in a daycare center part time two months ago and plan on staying with them until we buy our home. I am registered with Child Care Resource and Referral online so I could start taking classes they offer.

I feel that I need to start planning ahead and write up my contract, policies, rates/fees, schedule, and create a curriculum now before we buy a home. Then I can advertise once we move into our home while I spend that time painting/setting up daycare space downstairs. I just hope I'm not jumping ahead of myself!
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abigail View Post
Most people seem to be parents already who have an in-home daycare. What can I do or say that I'm worth trusting in running a brand-new daycare in town without being a parent yet myself? I'm really concerned that families will not be interested because I'm not a parent so I can't relate. Please help!
I'm not a parent and I've been doing home daycare for 4yrs now. Because I don't have children of my own (and likely never will) once the daycare children leave at the end of the day, the evening is mine to relax and rejuvenate. Plus, all children in my care are equal. There are no children who live here and deserve to be here more than others. The toys here belong to no child, the bedrooms belong to no child, and I do not have children competing for my attention because they want 'mom' or are jealous that mom is hugging or speaking to another child.

I have a long history of working with children and found that experience to be my biggest asset. I worked as a nanny for 14 years before I opened my home daycare. Most parents I've interviewed with found it interesting that I don't have children of my own but I don't think it's ever been a factor in their decision to sign on with me or not.

There are pros and cons to a provider with her own children just as there are pros and cons to a provider without her children but it's been my experience that the gap of difference between the two is really not that big.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by professionalmom View Post
One thing that you may want to stress (along with education, training, experience, etc.) is that you DON'T have children. That can be a benefit: less sick time that you have to take because your child is sick and contagious, less time off to take your child for well-baby, well-child visits, etc.
This is true, too and a good point. I've never had to close for illness, injury or my own child's appointment or activity. I can also be more flexible with my open/close times and with parents needing to pick up late (with advance notice) because I don't have to worry about my own children's routine or having family time each night.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:19 AM
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Not having kids is a big plus to some parents. You most likely won't have too many issues with that.

Having a very small amount of experience is going to be your biggest obstacle. If you have a good set up with lots of space you may be able to counteract that.

You may have to start your fees at the low end of the average to get filled up and then raise rates with incoming kids.

Start with a small group and get experience under your belt. It's a lot harder to manage your own home day care than to take care of other peoples kids in their home or in a Center where you have bosses around you.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:21 AM
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I definately agree in pointing out the reasons WHY not being a parent will work better for them - Less sick time / no activities that may drive you away from business here and there / lower burn out chance as you actually ARE Done at the end of the day unlike me I never stop with kids until I sleep..
More attention to their kids since you do not have your own to tend to.

Also all of your trainings, previous experience with kids - I dont think a lot of parents will care if you are a parent or not - you have to sell yourself & your business in every positive way !
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:37 AM
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I've researched rates and if I start on the lower-end I will need 3 children full time to get by. If I have 4-7 children then I can make a living. With becomming a home-owner, I will have a ton of space so I can definitely meet and exceed the space requirements!--that is a plus.

I need to start working on a contract and as I work through that, I will figure out how to make my daycare stand out more. A downside might be having three cats with claws in the house, but they can always be kept upstairs during business hours. I also am very clean and organized and own nice things....meaning my furniture IS child-friendly, but it doesn't look like it is from a dumpster like some people's furniture. Yuck. I also want to paint a wall mural in the basement and basically just make it feel bright and open. This will look more appealing to the parents instead of white walls.

Our city, unfortunately has a huge problem with childcare facilities closing leaving dozens of children without care with no notice....last year half a dozen employees from where I worked had to stay home because they couldn't find care when their daycare's door closed. This happened to two different centers last year and made the news.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:56 AM
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i worked with some girls at a daycare that had no children and we became very good friends - 2 girls in particular.

in fact, they were BETTER with children than a lot of other workers - including me, actually.

i knew more, was more educated, etc.

but when it came to actually playing WITH the kids - they were awesome. they weren't burnt out. they didn't have to do it all day and then go home and do it again. they weren't worrying about their schedule and their kids while they were at work so they could just play and be silly with no distractions.

i'd trust them 100% with my kids. i don't think you'll have a problem with that.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:00 AM
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My gf started before she had kids and she did great! I have another gf starting soon and she does not have kids either. She has a bonus of specializing in Montessori, so that will draw some people regardless.

I wouldn't let it hold you back.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mncare View Post
My gf started before she had kids and she did great! I have another gf starting soon and she does not have kids either. She has a bonus of specializing in Montessori, so that will draw some people regardless.

I wouldn't let it hold you back.
how many gf's do u have?
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:46 PM
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I started my daycare last year with having none of my own children. I smile at parents who ask me how many of the kids I take care of are mine. I reply that they are all mine until closing and then I get to relax a bit. It took me some time to establish a client base but I have the amount I can handle. My advise is start strict with your policies and don't let parents push you over for changes to the contract. You can relax on them if you need to in the future. I also agree with the advice to start pricing low and raise it with future clients. I have done that and though the paperwork is a bit tricky its nothing I can't handle. If you want to stand out above other home based daycares one of the best ways is to keep the group small and slowly build up. Some of my clients love my small group because the kids get more individual attention and I have the potential of taking on another kid of theirs if they chose to have another baby and thus keep siblings together. I wish you the best of luck!
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