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Old 07-13-2012, 11:17 AM
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Southernmama Southernmama is offline
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Hi, I started my in home daycare back in April and filled up quickly. I care for 4 kids. Some days are stressfull as I have an infant screamer who want my attention 24/7 that really wears me thin at times but all in all I love what I do. Plus it allows me to be home with my daughter while still helping provide income for my family which means the world. I have a couple questions that maybe y'all could help with or give advice.

First how do you do arts and crafts when you have 4 and all are on different development levels? I try coloring, markers, paint, play dough etc and all that they want to do is eat it all It ends up beening more of a hassle than it's worth. So we just end up playing together with toys all day etc. I have a 6 month old (very time consuming one), 15mth old(my dd), almost 2yr old boy, almost 3yr old boy and 3yr old girl. The 2 boys seem behind on A LOT of stuff. The younger boy acts as if he is going to be 13-14mths next month not 2 and brother like he is going to be 2 not 3.

I hear people on here doing outings with their dckids and doing walks, but I'm terrified LOL. I would love to be able to go to town/park etc and not feel so trapped in my home. How do you do your outings? Also do you provide car seats or make the parents leave theirs? How do you keep them from running from you like in a parking lot or when like unloading and loading kids from van?

Also I really want to add 1 more child but in my state you can only keep 4 unlicensed. I do want to become licensed I have from the beginnning but every time I look into it, it all becomes so overwhelming and intimidating. Is getting licensed really that complicated? How long does the process actually take? I'm also lost when it comes to the taxes side of things.


I feel really lost with everything. I am in Tennessee btw.


Any help would be great. Thanks
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:40 AM
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Kiki Kiki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southernmama View Post
First how do you do arts and crafts when you have 4 and all are on different development levels? I try coloring, markers, paint, play dough etc and all that they want to do is eat it all It ends up beening more of a hassle than it's worth. So we just end up playing together with toys all day etc. I have a 6 month old (very time consuming one), 15mth old(my dd), almost 2yr old boy, almost 3yr old boy and 3yr old girl. The 2 boys seem behind on A LOT of stuff. The younger boy acts as if he is going to be 13-14mths next month not 2 and brother like he is going to be 2 not 3.

Edible play dough! I can get you a recipe if you'd like, the kids here love it, we make it, mold it, then eat it. (there are paints you can make at home too that aren't harmful if they eat them, a lot of flour/baking soda based ones) As far as eating the crayons and markers, honestly it's normal and all you can do is re-direct and hope they learn from it.

I hear people on here doing outings with their dckids and doing walks, but I'm terrified LOL. I would love to be able to go to town/park etc and not feel so trapped in my home. How do you do your outings? Also do you provide car seats or make the parents leave theirs? How do you keep them from running from you like in a parking lot or when like unloading and loading kids from van?

I don't transport, so I can't answer the parts about a car, I can however answer the walking parts. We 'make a train' here, the oldest children are the conductors, the younger children are the carts, and me and the stroller are the caboose. Really all it is is a long line of children holding hands, but they think it's pretty funny to be a train on walks. There are a ton of ideas for walks, rings, ropes, grabbing the back of shirts, the list goes on. I'd try a few and then go with whatever had the best outcome.

Also I really want to add 1 more child but in my state you can only keep 4 unlicensed. I do want to become licensed I have from the beginnning but every time I look into it, it all becomes so overwhelming and intimidating. Is getting licensed really that complicated? How long does the process actually take? I'm also lost when it comes to the taxes side of things.

It is overwhelming, but really easy! I broke it down. Do one step at a time, obviously do the easy stuff first like childproofing, and making sure you have all the basic items, so on. I started 'working' on my license in February, but I didn't actually really sit down and complete everything until May, it's now almost August, and I'm just waiting for the inspector to come out to my home for it to be completed. Honestly the length of time probably depends on your state, and how dedicated you really are to getting it done. You can do it though!


Any help would be great. Thanks
I answered in bold, just some suggestions, I'm sure the more seasoned providers here will even better ideas for you!
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  #3  
Old 07-13-2012, 11:54 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southernmama View Post
Hi, I started my in home daycare back in April and filled up quickly. I care for 4 kids. Some days are stressfull as I have an infant screamer who want my attention 24/7 that really wears me thin at times but all in all I love what I do. Plus it allows me to be home with my daughter while still helping provide income for my family which means the world. I have a couple questions that maybe y'all could help with or give advice.

First how do you do arts and crafts when you have 4 and all are on different development levels? I try coloring, markers, paint, play dough etc and all that they want to do is eat it all It ends up beening more of a hassle than it's worth. So we just end up playing together with toys all day etc. I have a 6 month old (very time consuming one), 15mth old(my dd), almost 2yr old boy, almost 3yr old boy and 3yr old girl. The 2 boys seem behind on A LOT of stuff. The younger boy acts as if he is going to be 13-14mths next month not 2 and brother like he is going to be 2 not 3.

If I were you, I would personally not focus so much on the arts and crafts and the projects themselves but would focus on the process itself. The age your DCK's are at would be a great age to learn how to use the items you provide without a specific end result in mind. Put out a couple of crayons at a time and focus on making marks on the paper and using the crayon sideways and normally as well as allowing the kids to tear off the wrappers and really explore and "get to know" their items.

Traditional arts and crafts do NOT have to be part of your day as kids learn through a ton of different ways and the run of the mill arts/crafts aren't always developmentally appropriate, especially when dealing with the littler children. I would do things like sensory tables and activities that involve touching, feeling and experiencing things before I would even attempt any sort of tangible craft project from kids under 2-2.5 yrs
old.

I hear people on here doing outings with their dckids and doing walks, but I'm terrified LOL. I would love to be able to go to town/park etc and not feel so trapped in my home. How do you do your outings? Also do you provide car seats or make the parents leave theirs? How do you keep them from running from you like in a parking lot or when like unloading and loading kids from van?

I don't transport my daycare children but we do take walks daily. I use a walking rope and a double stroller for my youngest. All the other kids buddy-up and use the loops on a walking rope and we traverse our neighborhood. When I first started out and whenever aI get a newbie, we start small. Maybe only a short trip around the block or sometimes even just the yard until I know each individual child understands what we are doing and how to follow simple directions. As the kids get better equipped with how we do things, we venture further.

I don't transport for a few reasons, one being it isnt the norm around here to do so and because taking car seats ina nd out of cars is NOT a liability area I want to get into.


Also I really want to add 1 more child but in my state you can only keep 4 unlicensed. I do want to become licensed I have from the beginnning but every time I look into it, it all becomes so overwhelming and intimidating. Is getting licensed really that complicated? How long does the process actually take? I'm also lost when it comes to the taxes side of things.

I am not sure how licensing works in your area but for me, licensing was super easy and although the paperwork looked a bit daunting, it really was a lot of repeated info and common sense things spelled out. Once you do it, though, you only have to re-license which is only 10% the work licensing was so I say go for it.

Every state is different in how long it takes to get your license depending on background checks and how compliant you already are to meeting your state's standards.

The tax side is where I struggle so I simply hire a tax professional to do it for me. It costs me less than $300 and she does an excellent job. There are alos software programs available too so if your good at numbers and such, you can do it yourself. We also have a really good tax thread on the forum that is wonderful with tax info.



I feel really lost with everything. I am in Tennessee btw.


Any help would be great. Thanks
Welcome to the forum!

I also answered in bold
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:07 PM
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Countrygal Countrygal is offline
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I am going to only answer part of your questions, as since I re-opened this time around I've only had pre-schoolers. The age mix hasn't happened yet, so I'll probably find myself where you are in the future!

I liked Blackcat's answers about the arts and crafts. Most of your children are kind of "below" the arts and crafts age. Just gluing, learning to cut for the older ones (with safety scissors), play dough, sensory things. We make a lot of posters and the kids love them and love doing them. For example, we go on a walk and collect things with different shapes, or smells, or textures. Then we glue them all on a poster/collage together. The kids love doing this kind of thing and all ages can participate!

As far as licensing goes, I am certified, but not licensed. I've been opened almost a year and am probably going to start the licensing process in the next few months. I could NOT have handled it at first. I had all I could possibly handle between the certification, youngstar, food program and the kids and setting up the daycare !!! I would have given up!!! My advice is not to attempt it until you feel a little settled in. There are always issues, but none of them are as bad as those initial start-up issues with any of the programs.

Wishing you all the best!!
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  #5  
Old 07-13-2012, 12:36 PM
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cheerfuldom cheerfuldom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southernmama View Post
Hi, I started my in home daycare back in April and filled up quickly. I care for 4 kids. Some days are stressfull as I have an infant screamer who want my attention 24/7 that really wears me thin at times but all in all I love what I do. Plus it allows me to be home with my daughter while still helping provide income for my family which means the world. I have a couple questions that maybe y'all could help with or give advice.

First how do you do arts and crafts when you have 4 and all are on different development levels? I try coloring, markers, paint, play dough etc and all that they want to do is eat it all It ends up beening more of a hassle than it's worth. So we just end up playing together with toys all day etc. I have a 6 month old (very time consuming one), 15mth old(my dd), almost 2yr old boy, almost 3yr old boy and 3yr old girl. The 2 boys seem behind on A LOT of stuff. The younger boy acts as if he is going to be 13-14mths next month not 2 and brother like he is going to be 2 not 3.

The reality of your group is that you are going to be doing a lot of infant/baby care tasks and there wont be a ton of arts and crafts you can do. I wouldnt expect any kids under 2 (or developmentally under 2) to be able to do much with out direct supervision. You are right, at this point, it is a hassle to do much of anything with that for now so dont stress about not having that as part of your program. You can shoot for one art time, one craft time a week each so that you arent stressing too much over it. if the kids are happy with out it, no big deal!

I hear people on here doing outings with their dckids and doing walks, but I'm terrified LOL. I would love to be able to go to town/park etc and not feel so trapped in my home. How do you do your outings? Also do you provide car seats or make the parents leave theirs? How do you keep them from running from you like in a parking lot or when like unloading and loading kids from van?

Again, I think you have too many young ones to expect to do much in the way of getting out of the house. I would try doing the smallest one in a carrier (back would be best so you dont get worn out) and then the next two smallest in the double stroller and then the others walk. its going to take time to teach them to stay by you. you can get wrist straps and also teach them to hold hands or hold onto the stroller. I would never take that many young ones out in the car because it is just not worth it plus there is the liability of so many.

Also I really want to add 1 more child but in my state you can only keep 4 unlicensed. I do want to become licensed I have from the beginnning but every time I look into it, it all becomes so overwhelming and intimidating. Is getting licensed really that complicated? How long does the process actually take? I'm also lost when it comes to the taxes side of things.


I feel really lost with everything. I am in Tennessee btw.


Any help would be great. Thanks
good luck with your new daycare and stick around here for more help
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  #6  
Old 07-13-2012, 01:05 PM
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Truly Scrumptious Truly Scrumptious is offline
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I'm in TN too...and I know what you're talking about when it comes to being licensed.
It's not so bad trying to meet licensing standards....it's the assessment we have to go through. It's not fun and it's very unrealistic.
For example: One of the items that providers have to meet is- whether you sit in an adult size chair during the day. (mind you now, this is to determine whether you are providing quality care). The assessor has to observe this twice while she is at your day care. Oh...and you get extra points if the chair is soft.
Now you tell me how sitting in a "grown up" chair determines quality?
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:24 PM
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spud912 spud912 is offline
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Activities
I try to limit to 2 age groups for this reason (right now I have 18 month olds and preschoolers). With that being said, I primarily plan activities around the preschoolers (since the little ones don't necessarily need scheduled activities) and let the 18 month olds participate if they so desire. Usually the toddlers have a very short attention span, so they only participate for 5-10 minutes and then they are off to something else. For the super messy crafts, I do them outside (so everyone can be hosed off) or at the kitchen table so the toddlers don't "spread" it around the playroom. Another tool I use is a superyard to separate the activities.

As far as the types of activities, I allow everyone to participate to an extent, but if they are not doing it properly (such as eating the crayons or playdoh), then they are redirected to a different activity.

The best activities for the littles are sensory play (like painting with pudding, playing in a bucket of water, painting with whipping cream, painting with edible finger paint, etc.).

Walks/Field Trips
I don't do field trips unless I'm down to one dck and they are 2 years old or older. The reason? I don't have enough space in my van for all of them and I will only transport with a carseat that I own (and I currently own one extra). I also will only do it if I have a helper available (the parent, my back-up, or my husband). I just don't like the liability.

As far as walks, we do it almost every day in the nice season (anytime except for summer). In the past, I have used a wagon or a double stroller for the little ones and a walking rope for the big kids. By the time fall rolls around, everyone will be big enough to walk on their own. For the two younger children, I will be getting an additional walking rope that attaches to them with velcro since one of my 18 month olds is very slow and the other one is a runner.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:14 PM
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nothingwithoutjoy nothingwithoutjoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southernmama View Post
Hi, I started my in home daycare back in April and filled up quickly. I care for 4 kids. Some days are stressfull as I have an infant screamer who want my attention 24/7 that really wears me thin at times but all in all I love what I do. Plus it allows me to be home with my daughter while still helping provide income for my family which means the world. I have a couple questions that maybe y'all could help with or give advice.

First how do you do arts and crafts when you have 4 and all are on different development levels? I try coloring, markers, paint, play dough etc and all that they want to do is eat it all It ends up beening more of a hassle than it's worth. So we just end up playing together with toys all day etc. I have a 6 month old (very time consuming one), 15mth old(my dd), almost 2yr old boy, almost 3yr old boy and 3yr old girl. The 2 boys seem behind on A LOT of stuff. The younger boy acts as if he is going to be 13-14mths next month not 2 and brother like he is going to be 2 not 3.
Your group sounds very similar to the group I started with--I had 4 or 5 at a time, all between 2 months and 2 1/2 years. I don't do crafts with children, but free exploration of art materials is a huge part of what we do each day. I have one room devoted to studio space. It's stocked with a lot more stuff now, but when they were all that little, it was more basic. Fat crayons, fat colored pencils, markers, various kinds of paper, watercolor paints, easel paints, clay, glue sticks, glue, tape, scissors, and lots of recycled and natural materials. The kids have free access to it all, and I arranged it on the shelves so the safest, easiest stuff is on the lower shelves and the more difficult stuff is on the higher shelves (floor to ceiling shelves). That way they could see it all. If they could reach it, they could help themselves. If it was higher up, they'd have to ask. The answer was usually yes, but if I were overwhelmed or too busy, it was "yes, later..." I set up materials sometimes to introduce them and that age liking to herd together as they do, they'd usually all join in. The reason they could use them safely/appropriately is that they had constant exposure; lots and lots of practice. I'd usually have the smallest baby on my lap or on me in the sling, but I remember my youngest taught me when he was ready to join in (and after him, I "listened" to whatever the babies were telling me). At 8 months, he pulled up to the table where the kids were all painting and reached for a brush, so he was included after that. At 14 months, he decided it was time to learn scissors, so we worked on it (my rule was he had to be on my lap to do it). The key is to remember that at this age, it's all about exploration and learning what the materials can do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southernmama View Post
I hear people on here doing outings with their dckids and doing walks, but I'm terrified LOL. I would love to be able to go to town/park etc and not feel so trapped in my home. How do you do your outings? Also do you provide car seats or make the parents leave theirs? How do you keep them from running from you like in a parking lot or when like unloading and loading kids from van?
We go out a lot, but never in a car. I loved my double jog stroller and my sling. With your group, I'd probably wear the 6-month-old (since you say he cries, and that would probably be more soothing than the stroller), put the next two youngest in the stroller, and have the two three-year-olds walk. Or I'd put the two youngest in the stroller and have everyone else walk. I had little ones hold my hand or the stroller or the strap that comes on a jog stroller. But soon I started them on walking two by two (on the safer streets), holding hands and keeping each other in line (of course I watch them like a hawk, too.) At the beginning, I practice listening skills by asking for random waits: "when you get to that big tree, wait for me." We do that A LOT at the beginning, and I ease off when I know they'll consistently do it. And as we approach busy streets, I move in front of them (otherwise they're in front of me so I can see them). Crossing a street, or walking on a busy street, I had them all holding on in some form or another. (usually I'd push the stroller with one hand and have each other child holding one finger on my other hand so I could keep a good grip on them until I was sure they could do it alone).

Now my kids are 3-8, and we head out without the stroller, two by two.

It's not nearly as daunting as it seems. I remember at the beginning, I'd walk into the library or a store with my 5 in tow, and the person working there would look up in fear. :-) Then by the time we left they'd be smiling and complimenting us. Kids who are in the habit of going out and about and trusted to do it well, can do it well.

In general, my advice is trust children's competence, and they will live up to your expectations. They are way more capable than they're usually given credit for.

I think you'll enjoy both of these additions so much once you get into a rhythm. If I'm ever having a rough day, going somewhere fun usually helps immensely.
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