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  #1  
Old 08-10-2013, 04:59 PM
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gracepatiencelove gracepatiencelove is offline
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Default Newbie Mistakes By...A Newbie

I only just decided to become a home daycare provider. It started because a friend recommended that a woman who needed care for a newborn to contact me.

At that point I realized that I had a "waiting list" of people who wanted more long term, regular care (I would babysit some off and on). I realized that as a single mom of two, and a student, I was not only not making ends meet, I was on the verge of total poverty so... here I am. A total newb... totally trusting... and realizing I am going to get burnt, bad, if I don't fix that!

So, since I've already made verbal commitments with some of these mamas, I need a few suggestions.

How do I implement a sick policy?
How do I explain that, yes, I will be taking on more kids?
How do I learn to grow a backbone instead of adjusr?
How do I demand pay ahead of time?

And other questions..
Do I need to provide back up care, or do the parents? Do I need to have that in my contract? How much notice do you give them? What happens if you're deathly ill, suddenly, in the AM?
Is state certified the same as licensed? Whats the difference between illegal and legal unlicensed? Who do I contact?
Does renters insurance usually cover daycare stuff?
How do you factor in paid holidays?
How much should I save of each pay for taxes? For state assisted clients, does the state take out taxes?

Sorry, guys! I don't mind if you only have the answer/time to answer one or two of those! And sorry if I come off as very naive -it's been a long day and the end isn't quite in sight!
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2013, 06:10 PM
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Welcome! This place is awesome for us noobs.

What state are you in?
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2013, 06:49 PM
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Welcome! This place is awesome for us noobs.

What state are you in?
West Virginia.

I didn't know ANYTHING about licensing, etc until I jumped on here from a link from Pinterest. I am working on the state certification but it's pretty complicated and I don't think it's the same as licensing... I have to ask on Monday, though. So far I've spent a couple hours trolling, realizing some issues that will probably come up and referencing this forum for contracts, hand books, etc - it's awesome
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:03 PM
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Hi- welcome!! Sounds like daycare found you .
As far as licsensing hopefully someone near you can advise-

I would suggest you look at writing a simple contract to start that includes things like days care is provided, payment required and when that payment is due (there you can change to ahead of time). Also add that by signing the contract the parents agree to the policies.
Policies is where you can get into more details- there is a ton of good info on here. If you have specific questions ask and someone will help
I personally, would write a letter to my current families once you know what your liscense process is and tell them you plan to change from what your currently doing to a daycare business. Then you can tell them all of the benefits this will provide their families . I would give them the new contract and policies and a time frame in which they need to return them (with first weeks payment) to you to ensure their child's spot
HTH! And feel free to ask questions!
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Familycare71 View Post
Hi- welcome!! Sounds like daycare found you .
As far as licsensing hopefully someone near you can advise-

I would suggest you look at writing a simple contract to start that includes things like days care is provided, payment required and when that payment is due (there you can change to ahead of time). Also add that by signing the contract the parents agree to the policies.
Policies is where you can get into more details- there is a ton of good info on here. If you have specific questions ask and someone will help
I personally, would write a letter to my current families once you know what your liscense process is and tell them you plan to change from what your currently doing to a daycare business. Then you can tell them all of the benefits this will provide their families . I would give them the new contract and policies and a time frame in which they need to return them (with first weeks payment) to you to ensure their child's spot
HTH! And feel free to ask questions!

Thank you!


What is HTH?
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2013, 07:12 PM
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Thank you!


What is HTH?
Hope that helps!
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2013, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gracepatiencelove View Post
Thank you!


What is HTH?
HTH means hope that helps!

If you would like for me to e-mail you my parent handbook I would be more than happy to do so. Just private message me your e-mail address and I will send it on over.

You will need a parent handbook before opening. For me, it really helps to have all of the rules in writing. When an issue comes up I can briefly touch on it and reference the parent to a page number for additional information.

My contract includes who I am caring for, what day they will begin, what meals are included, when they are paying (bi-weekly or monthly), what the fee is, when it is due by (it states in advance on or before the due date), what the penalty charge will be for not paying it on time, the times the children will be in care between and the days, the fee for care outside of business hours ($1.00 per minute, although I DO offer early day and extended day care these are not on this contract. I draw up a separate contract for those that pay a fee to have their child here an extra hour in the evening. The $1.00 a minute is a late charge.), and how many weeks notice they will give prior to leaving (2).
It has a place for their signature and my own.

I also have them sign a parent handbook agreement, they fill out an enrollment form, sign a sheet stating what our discipline and guidance policy is, fill out a health form, and they fill out a child assessment form that tells me more about their child.

Your state will likely require certain forms and you can add in your own.
I found this for West Virginia:
http://nrckids.org/index.cfm/resourc...a-regulations/
It has a packet of licensing requirements. I am seeing the option to be licensed or registered.

This is from the licensed packet:
Quote:
4.1.a. Any family child care facility that operates in West Virginia shall apply for and obtain a certificate of license from the Secretary before beginning operations and accepting children for care.

78-18-5. Inspection and Investigation.
5.1. Before issuing a certificate of license, the Secretary shall investigate the facility, its proposed program, and any persons responsible for the custody and care of children placed in that facility. This investigation shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
5.1.a. An evaluation of a facility’s proposed services and the facility’s ability to maintain compliance with this rule; and
5.1.b. A review of information including background checks, medical records, character and financial resources of the applicant, owners, employees, and other household members.
5.2. A facility shall cooperate in the investigation of complaints against the facility including submission of items such as health or psychological examinations, and other third party verifications.
This is from the registered packet:
http://nrckids.org/default/assets/Fi..._19%2C2012.pdf
Quote:
4.1. Application for Registration.
4.1.a. Initial. The Department shall issue an initial certificate of registration to a family child care home upon application and self-certification of compliance with this rule.

4.3. Departmental Action on Applications for Registration.
4.3.a. Within sixty (60) days of receipt of an application for certificate of registration, the Secretary shall provide a written decision to the family child care home that does one of the following:
4.3.a.1. Issues a regular certificate of registration if the family child care home certifies compliance with all of the requirements of this rule;
4.3.a.2. Issues a provisional certificate of registration if the family child care home is temporarily unable to certify compliance with all of the requirements of this rule; or
4.3.a.3. Denies a certification of registration if the family child care home does not certify substantial compliance with all of the requirements of this rule.

I do not provide back up care. I have a list of paid closings (both vacation and holidays that total 16 days) and it discusses that other closings will be unpaid and credited back to their account. If I became severely ill that morning I would call and close immediately. You can't predict when you will be deathly ill and it would be unreasonable to assume you could.

I pay in quarterly taxes. I send in about 20% of my income. If you look in the tax forum you will find a lot of information! Tom Copeland is wonderful.

Tag searches are a GREAT way to obtain information around here. Type in something like "parent handbook" or "quarterly taxes" and you are bound to pull up an abundance of useful threads.
http://www.daycare.com/forum/tags.php

I was a real softie when I started out. I wanted to accommodate everyone and make a good name for myself. I quickly realized, especially with the help of this forum, that not having a backbone meant I got walked all over. I am still nice, but I am professional. This is my business and I do not allow the families to dictate the rules to me. I create the rules, they are reviewed prior to enrollment, and the family decides if they can abide by them or not. I usually get "tested" on my rules by clients at some point and I don't waiver anymore nor am I apologetic about the policies that are in place that they agreed to abide by. Friendly but professional has gotten me a lot more respect and allowed my love for this job to return. No one has ever left because I have used my backbone like I assumed they would so be confident in the policies you create!
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  #8  
Old 08-10-2013, 07:40 PM
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gracepatiencelove gracepatiencelove is offline
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Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist View Post
I was a real softie when I started out. I wanted to accommodate everyone and make a good name for myself. I quickly realized, especially with the help of this forum, that not having a backbone meant I got walked all over. I am still nice, but I am professional. This is my business and I do not allow the families to dictate the rules to me. I create the rules, they are reviewed prior to enrollment, and the family decides if they can abide by them or not. I usually get "tested" on my rules by clients at some point and I don't waiver anymore nor am I apologetic about the policies that are in place that they agreed to abide by. Friendly but professional has gotten me a lot more respect and allowed my love for this job to return. No one has ever left because I have used my backbone like I assumed they would so be confident in the policies you create!
THank you for al lthe links and information! I will PM you soon, if I can figure it out I'd love to check it out! Thank you!

The backbone is going to be my biggest problem, I can already tell. I want everyone to like me. I already had all of these great references as a sitter but that might be because I was pretty accommodating. I've been thinking and praying and I feel like this is the direction I'm being led, but still... I can't let people walk all over me. I have this huge desire to not come off as a snob but there are just certain things I'm not okay with that I'm having trouble articulating... (shoes in my home is the big one right now. I spent hours cleaning my carpets and they're already filthy again. I'm having a bunch of playmats put down, anyway, but still. Yuck.)
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by gracepatiencelove View Post
THank you for al lthe links and information! I will PM you soon, if I can figure it out I'd love to check it out! Thank you!

The backbone is going to be my biggest problem, I can already tell. I want everyone to like me. I already had all of these great references as a sitter but that might be because I was pretty accommodating. I've been thinking and praying and I feel like this is the direction I'm being led, but still... I can't let people walk all over me. I have this huge desire to not come off as a snob but there are just certain things I'm not okay with that I'm having trouble articulating... (shoes in my home is the big one right now. I spent hours cleaning my carpets and they're already filthy again. I'm having a bunch of playmats put down, anyway, but still. Yuck.)
You will get better. It is still the thing I like least about owning my own business- no one to blame things on! But eventually you will learn that it generally is a bigger deal in your head them when you actually say (and maybe put up a sign) that says: no shoes allowed. I generally have all my reasons why ready and parents say: oh- ok!
For some stuff- I put it on regulations.... For example with the shoes: the state requires I have a sanitary play space for the children. If I allow shoes I would have to mop constantly!
The forum is also great at supporting the use of your backbone!.
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  #10  
Old 08-11-2013, 05:47 AM
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gracepatiencelove gracepatiencelove is offline
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You will get better. It is still the thing I like least about owning my own business- no one to blame things on! But eventually you will learn that it generally is a bigger deal in your head them when you actually say (and maybe put up a sign) that says: no shoes allowed. I generally have all my reasons why ready and parents say: oh- ok!
For some stuff- I put it on regulations.... For example with the shoes: the state requires I have a sanitary play space for the children. If I allow shoes I would have to mop constantly!
The forum is also great at supporting the use of your backbone!.
I'm definitely going to put up a sign! Thank you!

I hope I grow a backbone quickly :P

I think it really does seem like a huge deal in my head but probably wouldn't bother anyone. At this point I'm not going to be too worried until I get the new rug and foam play mats down. It'll drive me BONKERS then lol.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by gracepatiencelove View Post
I'm definitely going to put up a sign! Thank you!

I hope I grow a backbone quickly :P

I think it really does seem like a huge deal in my head but probably wouldn't bother anyone. At this point I'm not going to be too worried until I get the new rug and foam play mats down. It'll drive me BONKERS then lol.
You will get it! .
I would definetly start with your focus primarily on what you need to do to get registered with your state. From one of blackcats posts you may not be able to care for children during that process . Get that ball rolling ASAP
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by gracepatiencelove View Post
I hope I grow a backbone quickly :P
The fasted way to be strong in your business (have a backbone) is to recognize, realize and fully understand that child care is a business.

It isn't a social contest about making friends.

YES, you DO get friendly with the families you enroll. You get personal and know them very well but first and foremost, they are clients. They purchase a service you offer. You do NOT work for them.

Set your rules. Enforce them (with a smile) and do not negotiate with families due to their personal circumstances. You WILL hear all sorts of reasons, stories and examples of why a parent can't pay you etc but you HAVE to stick to and enforce your policies because bottom line is, if you don't why should they?

Once you give someone a break or a bit of leaway, that will become expected and it will be hard to stop doing it.

Some providers are very family orientated and love taking in their clients as extended family members. That is a good way to do things but the line between business and personal can be blurred easily so tread carefully if you choose to do things that way.

Other providers choose to be business ONLY and are very separate between personal and business aspects. That is a good way to do things too but there are a lot of elements you miss out on that way if that line between business and personal is too rigid.

Which way you go HIGHLY depends on what YOU want and what type of person you are.

I am 100% business. The separation between my business life and my personal life is very clear.

There is NO one right or wrong way to do child care. You simply have to decide what things are important to you and then stick to your goals and visions.

Hang around here, ask lots of questions (you'll get feedback from ALL angles) and read a lot of older threads too...there is a vast wealth of knowledge here and as long as you remember that you will always need to do what's right for you.....you'll be fine.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
The fasted way to be strong in your business (have a backbone) is to recognize, realize and fully understand that child care is a business.

It isn't a social contest about making friends.

YES, you DO get friendly with the families you enroll. You get personal and know them very well but first and foremost, they are clients. They purchase a service you offer. You do NOT work for them.

Set your rules. Enforce them (with a smile) and do not negotiate with families due to their personal circumstances. You WILL hear all sorts of reasons, stories and examples of why a parent can't pay you etc but you HAVE to stick to and enforce your policies because bottom line is, if you don't why should they?

Once you give someone a break or a bit of leaway, that will become expected and it will be hard to stop doing it.

Some providers are very family orientated and love taking in their clients as extended family members. That is a good way to do things but the line between business and personal can be blurred easily so tread carefully if you choose to do things that way.

Other providers choose to be business ONLY and are very separate between personal and business aspects. That is a good way to do things too but there are a lot of elements you miss out on that way if that line between business and personal is too rigid.

Which way you go HIGHLY depends on what YOU want and what type of person you are.

I am 100% business. The separation between my business life and my personal life is very clear.

There is NO one right or wrong way to do child care. You simply have to decide what things are important to you and then stick to your goals and visions.

Hang around here, ask lots of questions (you'll get feedback from ALL angles) and read a lot of older threads too...there is a vast wealth of knowledge here and as long as you remember that you will always need to do what's right for you.....you'll be fine.
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  #14  
Old 08-11-2013, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by gracepatiencelove View Post
THank you for al lthe links and information! I will PM you soon, if I can figure it out I'd love to check it out! Thank you!

The backbone is going to be my biggest problem, I can already tell. I want everyone to like me. I already had all of these great references as a sitter but that might be because I was pretty accommodating. I've been thinking and praying and I feel like this is the direction I'm being led, but still... I can't let people walk all over me. I have this huge desire to not come off as a snob but there are just certain things I'm not okay with that I'm having trouble articulating... (shoes in my home is the big one right now. I spent hours cleaning my carpets and they're already filthy again. I'm having a bunch of playmats put down, anyway, but still. Yuck.)
I, too, had glowing recommendations from being a daycare worker at 2 centers, a nanny to a few families, and a baby-sitter to many while I was getting my teaching degree. Unfortunately, those things don't allow you to use your backbone and teach you how to make others happy on their watch. Running an in-home daycare is a complete switch. They aren't paying you to come to their private home any longer. They are coming into YOUR home because they want to utilize your service. Just like you have to abide by certain rules when you go to other businesses or they will ask you to leave, the people coming into your home have to abide by your rules or they will have to leave.
Having rules does not make you a snob. It makes you professional.

I do not allow shoes in my area. I have a sign on the wall that reads, "We like to play on the floor. Please leave your shoes by the door." and there is a shoe rack. I explain to the families when they interview that I try in every way that I can to reduce the amount of germs in our daycare area and to keep it as clean as possible for the children. This includes not wearing shoes, not bringing personal toys and lovies from home, allowing me to wash the sheets and blankets here, mopping daily, having individual towels to dry their hands on, etc. The parents appreciate it. I tell them the less that their child is sick the less time they have to take off of work.

It took me about 9 months to develop a backbone without feeling completely uncomfortable using it. For the most part, I can use it with ease now with a smile on my face. The parents don't think I'm being unkind or unfair in the least and they react to me having to use it just fine.
I had one family that was a pain in the neck every single time I enforced a policy and after 15 months or so (I can't quite remember, maybe even 16 months) I let them go because it got exhausting. Best decision I ever made. I have stopped trying to work past issues major issues with families. If I have problems continually and there is a lot of resistance then I will let you go as this doesn't seem like a good fit for you. Families don't deserve to be unhappy with the service I provide and I don't deserve to be unhappy with the realization that I am going to see you again today.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
The fasted way to be strong in your business (have a backbone) is to recognize, realize and fully understand that child care is a business.

It isn't a social contest about making friends.

YES, you DO get friendly with the families you enroll. You get personal and know them very well but first and foremost, they are clients. They purchase a service you offer. You do NOT work for them.

Set your rules. Enforce them (with a smile) and do not negotiate with families due to their personal circumstances. You WILL hear all sorts of reasons, stories and examples of why a parent can't pay you etc but you HAVE to stick to and enforce your policies because bottom line is, if you don't why should they?

Once you give someone a break or a bit of leaway, that will become expected and it will be hard to stop doing it.

Some providers are very family orientated and love taking in their clients as extended family members. That is a good way to do things but the line between business and personal can be blurred easily so tread carefully if you choose to do things that way.

Other providers choose to be business ONLY and are very separate between personal and business aspects. That is a good way to do things too but there are a lot of elements you miss out on that way if that line between business and personal is too rigid.

Which way you go HIGHLY depends on what YOU want and what type of person you are.

I am 100% business. The separation between my business life and my personal life is very clear.

There is NO one right or wrong way to do child care. You simply have to decide what things are important to you and then stick to your goals and visions.

Hang around here, ask lots of questions (you'll get feedback from ALL angles) and read a lot of older threads too...there is a vast wealth of knowledge here and as long as you remember that you will always need to do what's right for you.....you'll be fine.
So true.

I just smile and say, "I understand, but I cannot accept your child into care without payment as the policy states. " and let the silence just exist. Don't feel like you have to fill every silence.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by gracepatiencelove View Post
I'm definitely going to put up a sign! Thank you!

I hope I grow a backbone quickly :P

I think it really does seem like a huge deal in my head but probably wouldn't bother anyone. At this point I'm not going to be too worried until I get the new rug and foam play mats down. It'll drive me BONKERS then lol.
We had a big problem w/ shoes in the house here too- the weather is very changeable in KS and there is almost always mud!

What worked for us is getting one of those $20 area rugs from Walmart- I think it is 4ft by 6 ft in a brown multicolor. It goes right in inside the front door and the shoe rack is on the rug.

Here is a pic of the area:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

People with "outside shoes" stay on the rug! If a parent or child steps off the rug I just say "outside shoes on the rug please!" The kids come in put their outside shoes on the rack and change into daycare provided inside shoes (we use crocs) because our laminate flooring can be slippery in socks and dries out bare feet. When they go home, or we go outside we all change into our outside shoes.

I have had parents say something just a few times over the years about it and I just tell them that it is important that our floors are very clean as children crawl on them. This has helped A LOT with the "parent lingering" problem we had major problems with.
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Old 08-11-2013, 01:14 PM
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You will get it! .
I would definetly start with your focus primarily on what you need to do to get registered with your state. From one of blackcats posts you may not be able to care for children during that process . Get that ball rolling ASAP
The CCRC here said as long as I have the intention to get hte paperwork in and keep up their standards (fire plan posted, etc) I can start before I'm officially "registered." I think that MIGHT be bending the rules - according to one friend who used to work for our state certification center, there is a HUGE need for daycare providers in the area.
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Old 08-11-2013, 01:21 PM
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Other providers choose to be business ONLY and are very separate between personal and business aspects. That is a good way to do things too but there are a lot of elements you miss out on that way if that line between business and personal is too rigid.
I think I should aim for this and stop when I reach where I'm happy at. Do you think that's a good or bad approach? SHould I start there and scale back instead?
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Old 08-11-2013, 01:22 PM
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.
Thanks! Lots of good information.

What was the hardest thing about switching from a private provider to daycare?
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Old 08-11-2013, 01:27 PM
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ay something just a few times over the years about it and I just tell them that it is important that our floors are very clean as children crawl on them. This has helped A LOT with the "parent lingering" problem we had major problems with.
LOVE IT! Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:52 PM
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The CCRC here said as long as I have the intention to get hte paperwork in and keep up their standards (fire plan posted, etc) I can start before I'm officially "registered." I think that MIGHT be bending the rules - according to one friend who used to work for our state certification center, there is a HUGE need for daycare providers in the area.
Wow- that's awesome... If it is bending the rules tho ask for a letter stating that to cover yourself- or I would
I am so going to use the rug idea!!! But I live in a raised ranch- so they will be by the door at the bottom of the stairs
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:08 PM
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EntropyControlSpecialist EntropyControlSpecialist is offline
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Originally Posted by gracepatiencelove View Post
Thanks! Lots of good information.

What was the hardest thing about switching from a private provider to daycare?
I don't think I quite understand. From switching to baby-sitting in other peoples homes and being a nanny to being an in-home daycare provider?
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