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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Getting Ready to Start Soon -- Help Planning?
SpringBear 08:33 AM 02-19-2020
I'm anticipating opening in the next month. I'm closing in on all the logistical and legal details.
One thing I'm struggling with is how to get it all done each day. While focusing on the daycare (I'm planning to be 8:30-4:30), how do I make sure the needs of my family are met? My husband works full time, different hours each day.
Older child comes home from school at 3:30, and can usually walk herself home, though I'm trying to get some other carpool parents to be back-up in case of bad weather.
Preschooler needs to get picked up from school (1/2 hour round trip). I've tried so hard to get him transportation to no avail.
I have the potential for other children, too, as I do foster care, but with any new children I can set boundaries with CPS around what I need from them (such as transport).

When do I make dinner in all this? I can't do crockpot meals every night. Preschooler is usually in bed between 6:30 and 7, so I serve dinner between 5:30 and 6.
When do I do the ridiculously extensive daily cleaning the state expects me to do? Not to mention all of the care and logistics for the foster kids -- bath time, homework help, arguing with CPS, etc.

I've considered doing a half day program, but concerned I can't afford it and that I won't get enough families.

How do you daycare veterans do it?
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Cat Herder 08:59 AM 02-19-2020
First, I would not be able to stay full offering only 830-430. Most here are 6-6, so I am already pushing it with 730-530.

Second, I get up at 4 am, do my housework/laundry and prep meals for the daycare, in advance. I prepare dinner for my own family during naptime. I clean the playroom, wash nap linens in the last hour of pick-ups and shut the door until the next day.

Third: I homeschooled (K-12, online public school) for preschool and much of elementary (when my husband had to travel extensively for work) then had my DH pick up for inclement weather/sick days in junior high. (He is a fulltime parent, too). We were not able to overcome the transportation issue, so found a workaround. Turns out online school was so much better than our local options and the kids went straight into the gifted/honors programs when they returned to brick and mortar.

Transportation of daycare kids is frowned upon here and few parents will give permission for it, anymore. Too much of a liability and most insurance won't cover it. Just the extra required training, alarm systems, car seats and paperwork make it not worth it.
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Ac114 09:11 AM 02-19-2020
Iím the same as CH. Iím one of the only few daycares that close at 5:30. Most inhome and centers around here close at 6 and open at 6am. I get up at 4:30 to go to the grocery store, get my childrenís lunches packed, clothes laid out, laundry, and basically anything that I can get done with some peace n quiet. Still at 5:30, as soon as the kids are gone I am usually out the door with other errands, running my kids to their practices, school events etc. Itís exhausting but it can be done. This is why I donít feel bad for taking time off for a mental health day if I need it to recharge or just to breath. I survive off of coffee most days. Lol
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Annalee 09:15 AM 02-19-2020
My hours are 6:00-4:30 but no one gets here before 7 very often because they get 9.5 hours when signed in not to exceed 4:30.

No one can be licensed in their home if they are foster parents here. Plus, like CH said, very few transport at all, too much liability.

Schedule and organization are the best advice I could give. But know upfront, In-home child care can be isolating. Plus, everyone seems to want you to do everything since you are "home" but not many, including family, understand that this is you livelihood.

Stick to your contracts and policies no matter what!

Good luck!
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SpringBear 09:18 AM 02-19-2020
When do you eat dinner?
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SpringBear 09:20 AM 02-19-2020
We have a number of combo daycare/foster homes in our state. I know at least 3 off the top of my head.
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Annalee 09:29 AM 02-19-2020
Originally Posted by SpringBear:
When do you eat dinner?
Generally around 6, give or take. The last few months have been off with my grandmother's care and her passing. But all in all, I have in my head when I buy groceries a ballpark of what I will have each day. I'm old and not as good as I used to be with my mind on this but I like organization and schedules. Like I said, some things like taking care of mamaw threw my schedule off but that's ok.
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Annalee 09:33 AM 02-19-2020
Originally Posted by Ac114:
Iím the same as CH. Iím one of the only few daycares that close at 5:30. Most inhome and centers around here close at 6 and open at 6am. I get up at 4:30 to go to the grocery store, get my childrenís lunches packed, clothes laid out, laundry, and basically anything that I can get done with some peace n quiet. Still at 5:30, as soon as the kids are gone I am usually out the door with other errands, running my kids to their practices, school events etc. Itís exhausting but it can be done. This is why I donít feel bad for taking time off for a mental health day if I need it to recharge or just to breath. I survive off of coffee most days. Lol
Yes on the coffee with lots of flavored creamer
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Cat Herder 09:35 AM 02-19-2020
Originally Posted by SpringBear:
When do you eat dinner?
When my kids still lived at home we sat down to eat at 5:30. My clients are required to be off the property by then. "Departure by 5:30, not at 5:30". Mine also never were part of the daycare, so generally set the table and filled glasses while I was walking the last child out. On nights my DH was home (public safety, former military), he'd set the table with them occasionally, but often would choose to cook so we could have some time together during nap.

Now that the kids are grown and living on their own, DH and I take an hour or so long walk in the local park before coming home to eat dinner. It is amazing to be able to delete the day before we sit down each evening. We also swap cooking days and split household chores, equally (always split the bills equally). He now works from home (several years, now) and appreciates just how much I actually did the years he was traveling. Sometimes it is hard for others to see until they are down in it. Stay strong on voicing your needs. This is year 26 for me.
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Rockgirl 10:14 AM 02-19-2020
I prep as much as I can ahead of time. This goes for everything, all day. During daycare, while kids are doing one activity, Iím getting things ready for their next activity.

Our dinners arenít too complicated hereóitís just me and my husband now. I buy big packages of chicken breasts and ground beef, cook it all, and freeze in recipe-size servings. Having pre-cooked meat saves a lot of time in the evenings. With that, I put together a salad and another veggie, and dinner is done. In warm weather, we grill outside.
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LittleExplorers 11:54 AM 02-19-2020
Do you currently work outside of the home? I used to commute to my job, leaving at 6:00 and getting home at 5 or 5:30 as a single parent. It can be done. You may need to rethink prek. How far uus the walk for your older kiddo? Kids can often handle more than we think.

Can your husband help with any of the household duties?

I am open 7-4:30 and find I have way more time than before. You can do cleaning etc while the kids nap. Meal planning will help with time management as will getting in a routine.
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Blackcat31 12:47 PM 02-19-2020
I haven't had a preschooler in my home for many years but I am curious isn't 6:30/7:00 really early for a bedtime?

It just seems super early I dunno.

I drive to and from my daycare home.
I am open from 7:30-5:00

My husband and I eat later than most and eat dinner 7/7:30.
We're both up around 5am.
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Cat Herder 01:04 PM 02-19-2020
I did not notice the betime, but it seems kind of early to me, too.

We did 8 pm on school nights until about 9 years (3rd grade), then 9 pm. During summer 10 pm was the general rule, mostly for us.
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Tags:bedtime, massachusetts requirements, opening new daycare
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