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  #1  
Old 06-23-2012, 06:23 PM
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Hunni Bee Hunni Bee is offline
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Default Serious Question - Home Daycare Providers, Opinions/Advice Needed

Especially Blackcat, Meeko, and those of you who own an second home for daycare.

Many of you know I am completely over the center I'm working at now, and I really am trying to leave there. I have finished my CDA stuff, and just have to take the test in a couple weeks. I don't feel great about walking as soon as I get my CDA, but I truly feel like I've given that place all it deserves from me, and I'm not being arrogant.

I also dread going to work in another center, even a good one. I've applied to a couple other centers just because it makes the most sense. But I really really REALLY want to open my own. I feel like I've learned enough between my center, my CDA coursework, and you guys that I can do it.

The problem is, I have zero startup at this point. I have very little money saved up, I live in an apartment, and I know of at least two family day homes less than a block away from where I'm living now.

So my questions are:

1.Can you operate a family day home (FDH) in a residence that you do not live in, in VA? I've searched the regulation book, but I can't find anything that speaks directly to this. But it seems that anything outside the providers home is a considered a center ...which is a whole 'nother can of worms licensing wise.

2. Are there grants to start up a FDH? Has anyone ever gotten one?

3. Loans - has anybody gotten a loan to start their FDH? I'm not completely thrilled about this aspect, as my credit isn't great, I already have student loans and I fear what may happen if it takes a while for business to pick up.

I know that I'm not at all ready, but I've been working in childcare for over 5 years and with older children for three years longer, and I know I'm ready to give up the "institution" part. I want to own my own business. I'm not afraid of licensing, health, fire, etc inspections because I've done all that where I'm at.

I can't see myself toiling in somebody else's center for 5 more years with two degrees and all the other training and certification I have. I just have to get started . All advice, flaming, etc welcome.
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2012, 05:48 AM
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Sugar Magnolia Sugar Magnolia is offline
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Congrats on finishing cda! Yep, I agree, you would make a great provider on your own. I have no advice on opening home daycare, but in my state, unless you live in the building full time, you have to have a center license. But you would make an awesome Director too!
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2012, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunni Bee View Post
Especially Blackcat, Meeko, and those of you who own an second home for daycare.

Many of you know I am completely over the center I'm working at now, and I really am trying to leave there. I have finished my CDA stuff, and just have to take the test in a couple weeks. I don't feel great about walking as soon as I get my CDA, but I truly feel like I've given that place all it deserves from me, and I'm not being arrogant.

I also dread going to work in another center, even a good one. I've applied to a couple other centers just because it makes the most sense. But I really really REALLY want to open my own. I feel like I've learned enough between my center, my CDA coursework, and you guys that I can do it.

The problem is, I have zero startup at this point. I have very little money saved up, I live in an apartment, and I know of at least two family day homes less than a block away from where I'm living now.

So my questions are:

1.Can you operate a family day home (FDH) in a residence that you do not live in, in VA? I've searched the regulation book, but I can't find anything that speaks directly to this. But it seems that anything outside the providers home is a considered a center ...which is a whole 'nother can of worms licensing wise.

2. Are there grants to start up a FDH? Has anyone ever gotten one?

3. Loans - has anybody gotten a loan to start their FDH? I'm not completely thrilled about this aspect, as my credit isn't great, I already have student loans and I fear what may happen if it takes a while for business to pick up.

I know that I'm not at all ready, but I've been working in childcare for over 5 years and with older children for three years longer, and I know I'm ready to give up the "institution" part. I want to own my own business. I'm not afraid of licensing, health, fire, etc inspections because I've done all that where I'm at.

I can't see myself toiling in somebody else's center for 5 more years with two degrees and all the other training and certification I have. I just have to get started . All advice, flaming, etc welcome.
Congratulations on getting your CDA!! You should be extremely proud! I am very happy for you!!

As for your questions. This is what I have found so far.

In regards to residing in the actual home or center, I am pretty sure (although I would definitely call your licenisng office for clarification) that you are correct as the definitions of center and dayhome in your state say: "Family day home" means a child day program offered in the residence of the provider or the home of any of the children in care for one through 12 children under the age of 13 exclusive of the provider's own children and any children who reside in the home, when at least one child receives care for compensation." and a center is described as: "Child day center" means a child day program offered to (i) two or more children under the age of 13 in a facility that is not the residence of the provider or of any of the children in care or (ii) 13 or more children at any location." so I am thinking that you ARE required to reside in the home.

In regards to grants for start up costs I would call your local Child Care Resource & Referral as my state grants and help for start up are all listed through them. They also have a department that is geared toward providers who are in need of guidance and assistance in opening their programs. It says that they offer providers one-on-one assistance with understanding the licensing rules and regs as well as set up and a myriad of other things. So I would definitely call them. http://vachildcare.org/

Other grants and start up costs can be found here: http://daycaregrants.org/virginia and here http://www.governmentgrants.us./
I would also make sure you ask your CCR&R for everything that is available in your area as there are often many programs and grants that are area specific depending on your community's need for the type of services you are offering.

You can also reasearch loans for start up costs. Here are a few sites that I have kept in my resources as I have found or heard about them over the years. http://www.self-help.org/business-an...o-1/child-care and this site is really helpful http://childcareaware.org/child-care...aring-a-budget and your state offers a specific program just for child care providers. Info can be found here: http://www.dba.virginia.gov/vsbfa_ChildCare.shtml

Oh, and you mentioned you have student loans....You might be able to have a portion of your undergraduate FFEL or Direct Stafford Loan forgiven if you are a child care provider. Here is the site that will explain if you qualify for loan forgiveness here: http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALS...p?tab=repaying

So I think you are definitely right about how you wil be more useful and more personally satisfied being your own boss! I think you should look into being a separate center. Just because you are a center doesn't mean you HAVE to have a 100 kids...kwim? You could still be licensed as a center but only serve a small number of kids so that you would in essence be a family child care provider but be licensed on paper as a center. Much like Sugar does. Her center is small and family-like and far from institutional as most centers can be.

I think you are a wonderful provider and I know this seems daunting but I really think you should dig deeper and do what ever it takes to do what your heart is telling you to do. I think there are kids/families out there just waiting for someone like you to come into their lives.

I can probably dig up a ton more info for you if you need (as research is my thing.... and I love doing it) so please let me know if you need any more leads as this was just what I have found with a quick search and only one cup of coffee.

Either way, don't give up. Starting up is tough but it can be done and you should defintely not let go of this idea! You deserve to work in a place that truly appreciates you and lets your obvious love of this field be highlighted! I say, no matter the roadblocks, GO FOR IT!!

Last edited by Blackcat31; 06-24-2012 at 07:58 AM. Reason: re-read and realized in my flurry of researching, I seem to have forgotten how to spell and type.
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2012, 07:39 AM
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Thank you ladies so much. Blackcat, those websites were exactly where I need to start, thanks a million for locating that info for me.

I know its going to be a ton of work, but I know this is what I want to do. Thanks for your encouragement!

Anyone else who wants to add, please do! I'm looking for all the info I can get.
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2012, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Congratulations on getting your CDA!! You should be extremely proud! I am very happy for you!!

As for your questions. This is what I have found so far.

In regards to residing in the actual home or center, I am pretty sure (although I would definitely call your licenisng office for clarifiaction) that you are correct as the definitions if center and dayhome in your state say a dayhome is : "Family day home" means a child day program offered in the residence of the provider or the home of any of the children in care for one through 12 children under the age of 13 exclusive of the provider's own children and any children who reside in the home, when at least one child receives care for compensation." and a center is described as: "Child day center" means a child day program offered to (i) two or more children under the age of 13 in a facility that is not the residence of the provider or of any of the children in care or (ii) 13 or more children at any location." so I am thinking that you ARE required to reside in the home.

In regards to grants for start up costs I would call your local Child Care Resource & Referral as my state grants and hep for start up are all listed through them. They also have a department that is geared toward providers who are in need of guidance and assistance in opening their programs. It says that they offer providers one-on-one assistance with understanding the licensing rules and regs as well as set up and a myriad of other things. So I would definitely call them. http://vachildcare.org/

Other grants and start up costs can be found here: http://daycaregrants.org/virginia and here http://www.governmentgrants.us./
I would also make sure you ask your CCR&R for everything that is available in your area as there are often many programs and grants that are area specific depending on your communities need for the type of services you are offering.

You can also reasearch loans for start up costs. Here are a few sites that I have kept in my resources as I have found or heard about them over the years. http://www.self-help.org/business-an...o-1/child-care and this site is really helpful http://childcareaware.org/child-care...aring-a-budget and your state offers a specific program just for child care providers. Info can be found here: http://www.dba.virginia.gov/vsbfa_ChildCare.shtml

Oh, and you mentioned you have student loans....You might be able to have a portion of your undergraduate FFEL or Direct Stafford Loan forgiven if you are a child care provider. Here is the site that will explain if you qualify for loan forgiveness here: http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALS...p?tab=repaying

So I think you are definitely right about how you wil be more useful and more personally satisfied being your own boss! I think you should look into being a separate center. Just because you are a cneter doesn't mena you HAVE ot have a 100 kids...kwim? You could still be licensed as a center but only serve a small number of kids so that you would in essence be a family child care provider but be licensed on paper as a center. Much like Sugar does. Her center is small and family like and far from institutional as most centers can be.

I think you are a wonderful provider and I know this seems daunting but I really think you should dig deeper and do what ever it takes to do what your heart is telling you to do. I think there are kids/families out there just waiting for someone like you to come into their lives.

I can probably dig up a ton more info for you if you need (as research is my thing.... and I love doing it) so please let me know if you need any more leads as this was just what I have found with a quick search and only one cup of coffee.

Either way, don't give up. Starting up is tough but it can be done and you should defintely not let go of this idea! You deserve to work in a place that truly appreciates you and lets your obvious love of this field be highlighted! I say, no matter the roadblocks GO FOR IT!!
Yep! All of this! Excellent advice and helpful links! Thanks for the props too :-)
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  #6  
Old 06-24-2012, 10:56 AM
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Abigail Abigail is offline
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I was at another daycare working but told my boss that after we purchased a house and had enough ready for daycare that I was going to start my own to she knew. We are still good friendsd so I was not risking getting fired.

My advice is to find out what it takes to be licensed. Do you have to have letters of recommendation from parents who you have cared for their kids for at least one year? If so start thinking about who you would ask and see if you should ask your current boss first if it doesn't put your job into jeopardy.

Then find out what the basics are required for licensing. Here I picked up a licensing packet nearly a year before I was even serious about doing my own licensed daycare. It gave me plenty of time while at the other daycare to be doing my research on requirements. The big thing was creating a handbook and contract. Do you have those done at least to the general basic?

The other parts required were making sure cpr/first aid were current. Then making a one week menu to turn in for example and a daily schedule. then making sure i had money for two fire extinguishers. It was mostly a lot of paper prep and background checks. The only thing I could not do until we moved was create a floorplan for emergency exits and get the inspectors in here and baby proof before licensing came.

Licensing here doesn't care if you have shelves and a ton of toys. They are looking for safety and BARE minimum when you begin. You'll do great!
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:21 PM
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I would caution on taking out loans to start up. I am a freak about not owing people money though!

I would start with just the basics. You do not need a TON of brand new stuff to open. Once you get kids in and get a few months under your belt you will be able to make really wise choices about what fits in your home, what works with your program, what you really need. I bought a lot to start with and have completely gone in another direction.

Good luck!
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:26 PM
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Have you considered working as a nanny until you get things transitioned once your education is complete? This is assuming that you live in an area that has people willing to pay the cost of an educated and qualified nanny.....might be an option to work in a better situation before moving on to work in your own center. What about pursuing jobs as a director of a different center?
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cheerfuldom View Post
Have you considered working as a nanny until you get things transitioned once your education is complete? This is assuming that you live in an area that has people willing to pay the cost of an educated and qualified nanny.....might be an option to work in a better situation before moving on to work in your own center. What about pursuing jobs as a director of a different center?
I never considered being a nanny. Wait, I did very shallowly when I was in college... I know the immediate city I live in, isn't a place where people would pay for a good nanny. But perhaps out in the counties, where more affluent people live...its something to think about.

And I'm prepared for the reality that I may have to work in another center. I don't want to get into anything long term - I really never planned to spend five years where I'm at.

I'm really serious about this. I've been giving lip service to it for the past couple years, but it's like a lightening bolt of seriousness hit me this weekend. I know it may take me a couple more years, but I've got a lot to do.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:45 AM
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Blackcats advice was right on......... I too feel you should pursue this move. Your an awesome provider and I agree don't take on loans, hold your time while you collect everything you need to start up. Yard Sales, craigslist, other daycare closings, grants, and just do your research and hang in there until you are able to break into your own- When your close to being where you want to be let your boss know your intentions- Call your local licensing agent, they will help you and put you in the right direction- Best of luck
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