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Old 03-15-2017, 05:41 PM
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Default Island Of Misfit Toys Part 2

On top of all of that, my wife and I each work outside the home. She works 8 hour days each weekend in customer service at Walmart while I do the daycare. Until recently, I was working 34 hours during the week as a cashier at Walmart, 4:30pm to midnight, while she did the daycare. I had to go on leave because my wife had a major health crisis and couldn't handle the kids without me being home. Even when I return, I will only be able to work 16 hours, which means that we will have to pay for COBRA health insurance. Fewer hours and more expenses aren't exactly the way to be successful.

We bought a house to do the daycare, and our projections showed that if we were full, we could easily make the payments. Of course, we weren't full for the first 14 months we were open, which meant we had to work outside the home, which didn't bring in as much money as daycare would have. The house has also proven to be a money pit, needing major repairs to plumbing and windows, and putting off fixing carpet and light fixtures. It is also not airtight and very expensive to heat and cool.

My wife has serious health problems stemming from 2 major, and about 15 minor, surgeries for cancer, plus several knee surgeries that led to serious infections. She has fibromyalgia, and she needs a knee replacement. She shouldn't be working at all. Again, we thought that the daycare would provide enough income so that we wouldn't have to work outside the home and I could take care of her. But that's not how things worked out.

Nobody was honest about how much it costs to open a daycare. The costs to get licensed alone were several thousand dollars in order to upgrade the house. We have maxed out more credit cards than I care to admit, and we aren't making the payments on most of them. I wish we had never opened for business, because it's not worth it.

The honest truth is that doing daycare is killing both of us, since we have to work outside the home in order to make ends meet. We can't kick out the clients that are on assistance, because that is the only money we can consistently count on receiving. We can't close the daycare completely, because then we would lose the house. Our credit is so trashed from opening the daycare and getting behind on our mortgage and credit cards from not filling our spots (and medical crises) that we will likely never recover. I am planning on filing for bankruptcy in fall 2018 and somehow rise from the ashes.

There are just so many things that have gone wrong with our experience that I wish we were still in our leaky mobile home with broken air conditioner and black mold working 40 hour weeks.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:45 PM
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Wish I had something profound to say, but I don't. I'm sorry you are going through this. Keep you're head up, keep loving your wife, and keep trucking (down which ever path you need to).
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:26 AM
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I'm also sorry this has all happened to you and your wife. I can't say how to help because not knowing your area, your demand, etc., etc., every area is different and unique in its offerings and needs.
Has your local resource agency been any support at all? What about connecting up with other local providers?
A lot of people look to opening daycare as an easy way to make money and as you've found out, it clearly is not. I'm not saying you thought it was easy but someone led you to many misconceptions. It sounds like it's time to rethink your path and find something that would be less exhausting and draining.
I'm sorry you've had such a difficult time finding dcfs. What if you looked to filling a particular niche, such as infant only care or offering an open house? Without knowing what you and other local providers offer, as far as rates, curriculum, etc., offer it's truly hard to know where to begin. I wish you the very best and hope life gets smoother for you.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by badger411 View Post
On top of all of that, my wife and I each work outside the home. She works 8 hour days each weekend in customer service at Walmart while I do the daycare. Until recently, I was working 34 hours during the week as a cashier at Walmart, 4:30pm to midnight, while she did the daycare. I had to go on leave because my wife had a major health crisis and couldn't handle the kids without me being home. Even when I return, I will only be able to work 16 hours, which means that we will have to pay for COBRA health insurance. Fewer hours and more expenses aren't exactly the way to be successful.

We bought a house to do the daycare, and our projections showed that if we were full, we could easily make the payments. Of course, we weren't full for the first 14 months we were open, which meant we had to work outside the home, which didn't bring in as much money as daycare would have. The house has also proven to be a money pit, needing major repairs to plumbing and windows, and putting off fixing carpet and light fixtures. It is also not airtight and very expensive to heat and cool.

My wife has serious health problems stemming from 2 major, and about 15 minor, surgeries for cancer, plus several knee surgeries that led to serious infections. She has fibromyalgia, and she needs a knee replacement. She shouldn't be working at all. Again, we thought that the daycare would provide enough income so that we wouldn't have to work outside the home and I could take care of her. But that's not how things worked out.

Nobody was honest about how much it costs to open a daycare. The costs to get licensed alone were several thousand dollars in order to upgrade the house. We have maxed out more credit cards than I care to admit, and we aren't making the payments on most of them. I wish we had never opened for business, because it's not worth it.

The honest truth is that doing daycare is killing both of us, since we have to work outside the home in order to make ends meet. We can't kick out the clients that are on assistance, because that is the only money we can consistently count on receiving. We can't close the daycare completely, because then we would lose the house. Our credit is so trashed from opening the daycare and getting behind on our mortgage and credit cards from not filling our spots (and medical crises) that we will likely never recover. I am planning on filing for bankruptcy in fall 2018 and somehow rise from the ashes.

There are just so many things that have gone wrong with our experience that I wish we were still in our leaky mobile home with broken air conditioner and black mold working 40 hour weeks.
I too, wish I had something profoundly helpful or inspiring that would make it better for you but I don't.

Sadly your story is similar to many others in this field (and in general)and it breaks my heart that good honest, hard working people have to struggle so much just to make ends meet.

It's a common theme for working folks now days.

Have you considered consolidating everything you owe into one manageable payment? I think there are options for those that are struggling to make ends meet and haven't yet filed for bankruptcy yet. I'd see if you could talk to someone in legal aide and they can probably explain the different financial options available to you.

I know with credit card debt many states have companies that will consolidate the credit cards into one payment that you can afford so that you aren't drowning in penalties and interest.

Have you considered having someone else operate the child care? Thinking maybe your wife could be a helper verses the primary caregiver and that might make it easier for her to manage her medical issues.... I know hiring someone costs money you don't have but would they be able to bring in more kids so that it would make up for it? Maybe a trade type situation where the parent works nights and you have their child but they put in a few hours a day at daycare working in trade for the care they get? I don't know...I am just thinking out loud here.....

Maybe you could get out of the child care business all together or temporarily.... could you rent the daycare out to someone else that wants to operate a child care? They could make the payments (more if you charged rent higher than the house payment) and that would atleast help you keep the house as assets are always valuable.

I would also see about talking to someone at your DHS department about medical costs....I think there are situations where you can get coverage and not be forced to take COBRA (because it's so expensive) just to stay covered.

Wondering about foster care too... If you provide child care for hours that aren't standard then you more than likely have kids in care all hours of the day... if you can do that, have you considered being foster parents? You could bring in some consistent income and have a bit more control over the day to day care components of the children. (which nets you better behavior in some cases...) I have a friend that was burnt out big time from daycare (ran 24/7 for 18 yrs) and decided to become a foster parent and close her daycare. She now makes a much better living and has less kids. Even though they "live" with her now verses coming and going each day, it solved her issues of consistent routines (better behaved children) and consistent income so she could live with her head above water.

I don't know, like I said.....I'm just thinking out loud and trying to help you brainstorm ideas.

If I could/can do anything else to help or make the world seem less bleak... let me know! Sending you lots of good wishes for a brighter tomorrow
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:14 AM
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Could your wife qualify for Social Security Disability? If she could, then I'm pretty sure she would qualify for Medicaid too. That might ease some of your expenses and help with income.
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:06 AM
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If your home is your money pit do you have an extra bedroom? Maybe take on a roommate (they would need to be cleared due to the daycare)

Foster Care?

Have you considered offering 24 hour or evening/weekend care? If you do then you could market yourself to those in nursing or working shift work.....

I would say maybe see if you qualify for medical care thru the state or the affordable care act but that seems risky under this current president. (I personally wish our country offered universal health care and took the private market out of it all together)
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badger411 View Post
I am planning on filing for bankruptcy in fall 2018 and somehow rise from the ashes.
Have you considered selling or leasing your home to a land management company?

IMHO, the house purchase seems to be the central issue.

If you get out from under that, does your financial picture change?
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MyAngels View Post
Could your wife qualify for Social Security Disability? If she could, then I'm pretty sure she would qualify for Medicaid too. That might ease some of your expenses and help with income.
Was going to say this.

If you're low income, obamacare/ACA should be much more affordable than cobra.

In addition, could you sell the home, and rent somewhere for less? Many rentals will allow daycare if you carry insurance.

Daycare IS NOT steady/reliable income. It varies greatly across counties, let alone states in not only tuition rates but demand. I think one of you needs to have a regular, steady, income- daycare or not.
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:11 PM
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The only people I know who make money in child care are owners/administrators of group centers. They'll say they don't have much money due to their loans/debt, but seeing how they spend their money it seems like they have more to work with than my family does. (I'm not judging, just saying what it looks like from the outside...)
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:46 PM
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Starting out is tough, and expensive. And it's not going to happen overnight. You have to build up a reputation. I'm curious, what made you choose daycare as a career choice? Not to sound rude, but did it seem like easy money with little to no effort? It just seems like that was your motivator by reading your rant. If so, maybe the potential families are getting that vibe from you as well. Never did I read that you started because of your love of young children or early education. Curious as well, what is you or your wives background in childcare/early education?

If you have a strong background, a passion and stick with it, you may work up to building the reputation that gives you a full house and a waiting list. But it's not a guarantee, I'm constantly seeing people in my area starting up a childcare for rediculously low rates. That says a lot to me about their quality, because a well run daycare is expensive to operate.

My only advice to you is, life is short, figure out your priorities and if running this business is exhausting and making you miserable, find an out. If it's something you really want to happen stick with it, and re-evaluate what you think you need to do to make it more appealing to the clientele you are wanting to attract.

Good luck and best wishes
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:09 AM
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Rereading this post makes me realize you had a whole host of unfortunate things happen in your life. If the house you bought hadn't needed all the fixes, you'd be in better shape. If cancer hadn't happened, definitely life would be better.
I feel it might be time for both of you to seek out whatever services and resources you qualify for. Talk with whoever will listen locally who can help.
I don't know anything about bankruptcy but unfortunately it might be a good option at this point.
Your health and your wife's health should be top consideration through all of this. What's going on is definitely not helping. I believe it's more than getting better clients or people having you believe dc was an easy path. It sounds like you've had to dig into any personal resources you might have had to make things work. Now it's time to draw back from dc and seek help from local agencies, anything that can lend a hand.
Wishing you the best of luck and recovery for your wife!
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:07 AM
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Personally, I would start looking for a full time job and put the house up for sale. You should qualify for state assistance if your income is that low. Which could include food stamps, cash assistance etc. Contact community action- I don't know what the resource in your area would be but the health department or dhs would know, to see about insulation etc for the house.
Maybe call Dave Ramsey for some advice
You may have to file for bankruptcy but I would explore all avenues first. If you worked full time outside the house could you make it?
Is your wife doing any better at this time? Apply for disability?
If you still want to make a go of the childcare, identify plants etc and advertise to them.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyAngels View Post
Could your wife qualify for Social Security Disability? If she could, then I'm pretty sure she would qualify for Medicaid too. That might ease some of your expenses and help with income.
Yes, my wife has been on disability and Medicare for 5 1/2 years after 2 major cancer surgeries left her unable to work. We aren't poor enough to qualify for Medicaid for me and my daughter.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:27 PM
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Default Whole house is the daycare

Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGarden View Post
If your home is your money pit do you have an extra bedroom? Maybe take on a roommate (they would need to be cleared due to the daycare)

Foster Care?

Have you considered offering 24 hour or evening/weekend care? If you do then you could market yourself to those in nursing or working shift work.....

I would say maybe see if you qualify for medical care thru the state or the affordable care act but that seems risky under this current president. (I personally wish our country offered universal health care and took the private market out of it all together)
We use the whole house for the daycare, so there isn't any room for either a roommate or foster children. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

We already do care from 5:30am to 10pm, and I'm not sure if we could handle doing it 24 hours.

COBRA from my job at Walmart (which includes vision and dental) is actually cheaper than the 2 policies available in North Dakota through the insurance exchange. But it only lasts 18 months, and then I would have to find a different solution.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:42 PM
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Unhappy Thanks for the idea, however...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
Have you considered selling or leasing your home to a land management company?

IMHO, the house purchase seems to be the central issue.

If you get out from under that, does your financial picture change?
Unfortunately, we had a pipe break a week after we moved in, so the basement carpet got ruined, and we have never had it replaced. It also needs the roof reshingled after a hail storm last summer. The modifications we made to get licensed have decreased the value of the house because I had to get very creative in order to attach gates in ways that didn't pull out of the walls. Add in the extensive damage that the daycare kids have done to the interior of the house, and we would be lucky to get half of what we paid for it.

There were a lot of problems that were not disclosed at the time of sale that were completely missed by 2 inspectors. Basically, the house is a tear-down and start over situation.
The Masonite siding is rotting, the windows need to be replaced because the wood frames are rotting, the back deck is rotting and needs to be replaced, the pillars holding up the front porch roof are rotting, the porch roof itself is rotting. The whole house needs to be rewired, because the former owner thought he was a competent do-it-yourselfer when he redid some outlets, added some light fixtures and added on a workshop shed and wired it. The plumbing needs to be redone in the basement, because, basically, we have a pit that the toilet, shower, sink and washer empty into that somehow feeds into the sewer. (I found that out 9 months after moving in when Roto-Rooter had to come and work for over an hour to clean out the basement drain system.)

Overall, it is either stay in the house and try to keep up, or walk away from the whole thing. Our credit is below 500, so we would never qualify for an apartment or mobile home anywhere, so we are pretty much stuck.
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:11 PM
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Default County resource agents lied

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Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
I'm also sorry this has all happened to you and your wife. I can't say how to help because not knowing your area, your demand, etc., etc., every area is different and unique in its offerings and needs.
Has your local resource agency been any support at all? What about connecting up with other local providers?
A lot of people look to opening daycare as an easy way to make money and as you've found out, it clearly is not. I'm not saying you thought it was easy but someone led you to many misconceptions. It sounds like it's time to rethink your path and find something that would be less exhausting and draining.
Quite frankly, it's our local resource agency and local county licensors that caused the problem in the first place. We were taking care of 2 kids for a friend, and we enjoyed it, and wondered what the next step might be. So we went to the informational session and they presented statistics that the local licensed providers only filled 51% of the projected spots, and they told stories of multiple providers that were fully booked before they had even opened. All we had to do was register with the agency and the kids would drop out of the sky, parents begging us to enroll them, offering money to get on the waiting list, etc.

It was similar to immigrants in the early 1900s who had been told that the streets of America were paved with gold. We were told that all we had to do was get licensed and we would be full with no effort and before we even were open. But it was all a huge lie. We only had 5 kids for the first 5 months after opening, then we had some very part-time kids, and a few more trickled in. We then lost 5 kids (some part-time, some full-time) in May when school ended, and we didn't fill those spots until December. So it wasn't until December 2016, 15 months after opening, that we were consistently full.

Unfortunately, there is no job that I could get with my chronic anxiety and depression that even comes close to what we make from daycare each month. Between county assistance and food program payments, I couldn't make that even working 40 hours at Walmart.
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:26 AM
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Is there any state or federal resource that could help with fixing your home? Any grants out there? What does 'Habitat for Humanity' offer as far as those kinds of things?
You say your dc is full, is that what I read? So mainly the issues are health and housing that is draining your financial means? There have *got* to be agencies or something that can help you with improving your housing problems?? How long have you lived where you are? Absolutely no recourse with the problems that came with the house when you bought it??
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:31 AM
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Oh and BC is one smart cookie. We all come at this from different walks of life, different circumstances, so what she sees where she's at is different than what I experience or you might experience. But trust me, she has offered me so much help on this forum in so many ways, as have a lot of the members here. And we're only trying to offer suggestions through 'our eyes' that might help. You can either say thanks or no thanks.

I am truly sorry that your situation is what it is but it sounds like there must be services or agencies whether at the local level or state/federal who should step in to help. I wish you good luck!
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Old 12-19-2018, 12:10 PM
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It sounds like things have gotten worse not better since this thread
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