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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>To Preschool or not to Preschool that is my question??
Lperry2124 07:19 PM 08-06-2015
So i love all age groups especially my little two year olds those are my babies!! but i been thinking lately if i want to do every age group or should i stick to a certain age group i been thinking a lot if i should focus mainly on preschoolers or should i do a 2 (late 2s) 4. I dont know i am so confused .... So for those who do just one age group how do you feel about it what are the pros and cons???
Baby Beluga 08:35 PM 08-06-2015
I enroll children ages 18 months to 5 years. Currently my group is 18 months, 2 years, 2.5 years, 3 years, 3.5 years and 4 years. It can sometimes be difficult with such a wide range but can also be a positive.


Differing age group teaches all children to accept one another and learn to be gentle. Also offers a natural platform for the older children to become "helpers" with the littler ones.

With a younger child I can train them easier. Not having much (if any) prior daycare experience I get to form that mold.


Younger ones (in my experience) have more separation anxiety and it takes a little bit to become acclimated to DC.

I do a very hands on preschool curriculum with my kids. This can be difficult with a smaller child in the group. I often find however that the little one will want to participate on their skill level. And if not, I am okay with them doing a different activity during that time.
permanentvacation 06:09 AM 08-07-2015
When I first started, for years I watched ages 6 weeks - 12 years old. But after my van, which I used to transport the school kids back and forth to school, died, I went to only ages 6 weeks - 5 years old. I really love teaching the preschoolers and having the young babies in the mix make it a lot harder to do so. So I started only watching ages 18 months - 4 years. There have been plenty of times when I just had ages 2 -4 year olds and I LOVE it!

The only real problem that I've had is that sometimes I can't fill my spots with the age group I've chosen and due to income requirements, occasionally I've had to take kids out of my desired age group.

Pros to limiting your age groups -
It is much easier to tend to kids who's abilities and interests are more alike. If you only have older kids and no infants, you can stay focused on the activity you are doing longer without a baby needing to be fed, changed, or needing you to hold them, etc.

Everyone is on the same schedule, eating and napping at the same time. And everyone does almost the same activities. I include my 18 month olds in my preschool program. They just need a little more help than the other kids.

I'm not as stressed out when I work with my desired age group. If I work with only my favorite age group, of course I'm happier. I'm not forcing myself to work with ages that tend to irritate me or cause me added stress. It's like if you take a college professor and force him/her to teach kindergarten, that professor is going to be so much more frustrated, irritated, stressed, etc. It's the same with us. If we know we work best with one age group, we will be much calmer and happier if we can work only with that age group.

The happier and less stressed you are, the more likely you will be to go that extra mile and do more for your kids and daycare. You will be more excited and proud of your daycare and yourself that you are truly doing a good job rather than feeling like you hate your day, having no desire to put any effort into your day, and just waiting for your day to be over.

Then, if you are happier and less stressed with your age group, your parents will see a happier, non-stressed daycare provider when they arrive in the mornings and evenings. So there's more of a chance that you will not lose children due to the parents feeling like their child is not in the right daycare for them. You will be happier, your children will be happier, and your parents will be happier. It's a win-win-win situation!

During nap time, YOU can actually focus on what YOU need without a baby waking up from nap needing to be fed, changed, or simply crying refusing to nap which allows you uninterrupted time to do things such as wash dishes, cook meals (I cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the daycare kids), make business calls, business computer work, paper work, prepare preschool activities, clean your personal area of the house, etc. Or just take a break and do nothing but sit and enjoy the silence!

It limits your ages which limits your ability to fill your spaces which will effect your income. The more ages you take, of course the more chances you have of being able to fill your spaces. By only offering care for a select age group, there are many children who NEED childcare that you won't be willing to take. You will have to wait to get calls for just the right age group for your daycare.
So your income might be lower than you'd like it to be until you fill enough spaces.

However, that depends on the ages and amount of kids in your area. You might have PLENTY of kids in your desired age group in your area and have no problem filling up quickly even if you limit yourself to a certain age group.

Overall, I absolutely LOVE working with my desired age group and if you are able to do so, I would definitely suggest that you try it.
Blackcat31 07:33 AM 08-07-2015
I care for children 6 months to age 5.

I really like the Montessori approach and base my routine and plans according to many of it's ideals/methods. One of the highlights of this approach is the role younger and older kids play within the context of group care.

The younger ones learn from the older ones and the older ones learn from the younger ones. I like the way it works over all and couldn't imagine limiting myself to just one age. I like the age span of infant to pre-kindy.

No school age though....that just adds an element to the mix that I am not fond of.
Controlled Chaos 07:48 AM 08-07-2015
I love having mixed ages for preschool. I think they learn so much from each other and I couldn't risk my income - if I couldn't find a 2-4 year old. There are ALWAYS infants needing care. I am mostly play based, with occasional teacher directed activities so they learn to follow directions and I can check their skills as a group so I know what I need to offer more of (more scissor opportunities, more hand eye coordination opportunities etc.). I have a monthly theme that everyone experiences from 0-5
SilverSabre25 07:54 AM 08-07-2015
If you decide to go the route of no infants you have to decode ahead of time how you'll handle established clients having another baby, and make that plain at enrollment/interview.
Lperry2124 07:22 PM 08-08-2015
Thanks everyone the pros and cons everyone gave are really helpful i keep it all in mind. I think i might do ages 2-4 and after school children. I love babies they tend to need a little more.
Tags:daycare, kids, preschool, threes, twos
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