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Angelwings36 10:18 AM 02-16-2011
I have been running my home daycare now for nearly 5 years. I plan on doing this long term and honestly could not imagine my life without my little ones. This past month or so though has been just so stressful for me.

We bought a new house mid December. Previously I had been running my daycare off of one floor as we had no functionable basement in the old house. Now I have a huge fully finshed basement so have turned that into my main daycare area. However, I do lunch, snacks and naps upstairs. So this means I am constantly running up and down my stairs with children all day long. This has proven to take a huge toll on me and I seem to be finding myself completely exhausted by the end of the day.

On top of that I had problems with two different daycare parents in the past month...

I had discussed the move with all of my clients previous to purchasing the house, all daycare parents were fine with the move and excited that the kids would have more space to play and nap in. The house we bought is only 4blocks away from our old house so this also meant that parent's would not have to worry about a transportation difference.

However, I had one mom get upset with me over the fact that I was not on the same floor with the children at all times. My kitchen is directly beside the basement enterance so when I do lunch or snack prep I leave the children to have free play time and run up to do so...making sure that I am peaking in on them every minute or so. I am also within hearing distance so can hear everything that is going on. I tried taking my dk's upstairs with me to do lunch and snack prep but it was completely disasterous...not only were they not willing to sit and WAIT for the whole duration of prep time...but by the time the meal was handed out they were so cranky for having to WAIT so long they barely ate anything. ***Just imagine a typical child waiting on a meal at a restraunt*** It really only takes 10-15 minutes to do lunch prep...but for a child this seems like half a day. Also my upstairs area's are adult zones so I can not just let the children run around while I'm making lunch. To me it makes more sense for everyone involved to have the children have free play time in my fully child proofed play area while I make lunch ensuring that I am checking on them regularily and am within hearing distance. Does this seem wrong to you?

The same mom also got upset with me for having to run to the washroom as that meant the children were not 100% supervised. I would like to note at this point that her son is two and a half years old.

She also did not like me running up the stairs to answer my door at the end of the day when other daycare parent's came to pick up their children. She didn't like that I helped them get their stuff and waited at the top of the landing of the stairs for them to get their children ready and off for the day.

This mom decided to pull out on me 2 days after paying me for the month of February. She never once spoke of any concerns with me until after she put a stop payment on her check and informed me she would not be coming back. She refused to pay her notice as stated in my contract and left me with a nsf charge on my account because of the check she reversed. I was so upset!!!!

The second mom got upset with the fact that I was not taking the children outside daily. I live in Canada and our winters are not very nice. In my contract it states that I take the children out 'weather permitting'. In all of my interviews I explain that we are outside as much as possible in the summer and not so much in the winter as I have little ones as well. If we do get out in the winter it usually only last for a whole 5 minutes before someone is freezing and wants to go back inside. So that means I spend upwards of half an hour bundling up all the children and half an hour unbundling all the children for a whole five minutes outside...seem it worth it?

On top of this we bought our new home in mid December so that means two things...

1. We were not able to bring any of our play equipment with us as it was froozen to the ground...

and...

2. My back yard is under 3 feet of snow...

So how exactly is a one year old child suppose to play in these conditions? I will note her daughter is 16 months old.

This mom did voice her concerns with me and we both agreed that another daycare would suit her needs better, in the phone call she did agree to honor her notice as stated in the contract. She had also paid a deposit to hold her space. In my contract it states that in order to recieve use of the deposit you must give a two week notice and honor it and then you will receive the deposit back in two additional weeks of childcare services. I do not refund deposits in cash. Well this mom shows up at my home the next day demanding that she receive her deposit back in cash, I pulled out my contract and went over what it said about deposits but she just would not hear it. She went on and on for about 15 minutes before I finally said I'm done and closed my landing door. How frustrating!

So this is where I sit now. My husband suggested I leave the two children's spots open for a month or two and do a little de-stressing with less kids. Which also gives me more time to adjust to our new home. I may take him up on this offer.

Boy sometimes this business is just so stressful....
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DCMomOf3 11:23 AM 02-16-2011
Welcome to the forum.

I have my basement as my daycare and also do meals and bathroom upstairs. i suggest strapping the kids in boosters (for littles high chairs) at the table with activities to do while you are preparing lunch. for instance, today I had 4 'stations' that they rotated through in 5 minute intervals; 1. small, soft stacking blocks, 2. magnet fishing, 3. pattern/sorting vehicles, 4. gluing tissue to a heart pattern. I sometimes have them color, look at books, etc, i just try to change it up so they don't get bored.

I try my hardest to time my bathroom breaks at meals so they can be on the same floor as i am, and secured in chairs. also, most of my parents will come down to get their kids out of the playroom and are good at getting the children out of my house quickly. There is one that won't come down and I will rush the child up and then return to the kids. I have come to trust my current parents to not leave the foyer so i feel comfortable enough to listen to make sure they leave instead if watching.

The outside thing is harder. Weather permitting here is 10 (F) and warmer, at least 15 minutes out each day. That could just be doing follow the leader in your driveway if it's big enough, or a short walk. We have been getting out about half of the days of the week so far this winter, although it's been bitter cold a lot so it's less than we did last year.

I agree with your husband, I would get settled, get into a new routine and THEN advertise your spots. You wouldn't want to add the stress of new kids/families when your day and methods are in flux.


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countrymom 11:24 AM 02-16-2011
hugs to you and welcome. I'm from canada too (ontario) so when you speak of snow, I hear ya. Today was a struggle as the snow is really thick and packing so the kids where getting stuck as they were walking. I too tell parents right away that I don't do winters. No one ever comes dressed, its always bone chilling cold here and I hate cold weather. Now spring and summer, we are outside all day.
The first mom, she sounded nuts, obv. she must take her kid everywhere including the bathroom and shower. My kitchen is on the other side of the house, but I can still hear the kids. I don't like them in my kitchen because I don't want them touching my stove.
I would take a break, catch up on things around the house and then start to advertise again. I'm so looking foward to monday because its "family day" it means I can have a break and catch up around the house.
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melskids 11:29 AM 02-16-2011
here, you have to be within sight and sound at all times of the children.

can you bring them upstairs and have them sit and color, or bring a special basket of toys they only get at prep time. i am not an advocate of TV at all, but can they watch TV while you prep?

is your only bathroom upstairs? again, we would not be allowed to leave the children unattended to use the bathroom. what about children who are potty training?

what if, and i'm just throwing this out there, you either put a kitchenette and bathroom downstairs, or, put the DC room upstairs, and the living/family room down stairs?

here, we go outside everyday, babies and all. AS LONG AS it is at least 20 degrees with no windchill. i would put a specific number in your handbook, that way parents can't argue what "weather permitting" means.

i would maybe scale back, if you can afford it, just until you get settled in a little better. buying a new home and moving while doing daycare can be stressful!!!!
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Little People 11:32 AM 02-16-2011
My brother in law builds houses and I don't know if you know this, but you can put a small bathroom downstairs and have a toilet (with plumbing) that will flush and water will go UP , so you would not have to have major plumbing go through your concrete flooring.
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AmandasFCC 12:21 PM 02-16-2011
I also run my daycare from my basement, and bring them upstairs for meals/snacks.

The way I avoid them being unsupervised while I prep lunch is that they go into my living room (off the kitchen) and watch Sesame Street. This is the only thing that has worked for me. I've tried having reading time at the table, craft time at the table, free play in the playroom while I quickly run up a throw something in the oven .... lots of different things, and this is the only thing that has worked for my group.

Licensing dictates that I must ALWAYS be on the same floor as the children, even when they're napping. My office is right beside the nap room in the basement, and this is where I stay at nap time. Means I cannot go clean my kitchen - it gets done during afternoon snack while the kids are eating.

I'm also in Canada, I know what you mean about cold winters and snow lol. Right now because of a thaw we've had my backyard and most side walks are a skating rink. It's a clear hazard, we cannot play out there. So what I do is bring some toys onto my deck, which is quite large but not nearly enough room for 7 kids to play, but it is what is it, and that's my only option ATM. Usually it works out ok, they get about a half hr of fresh air, then we come back to the playroom and do active play there.

As for running upstairs to let people in .... My parents come in my side door, which is between the kitchen and the basement (you go up 5 stairs to go to the kitchen, or down a full staircase to the basement). I can see the door from the bottom of the stairs (where I have a baby gate). I obviously know when people will be arriving, so I just tell them to walk in. I can always hear them coming, and if I don't, my dog does lol, so I greet them, get child ready and send them up to the parents to get shoes on and say goodbye. I keep all coats, snowpants, etc. downstairs in my entry way and parents can choose to come down and get their kid ready to go, or I do it for them, or help if the child can do it alone.

The bathroom thing is just silly. Everyone needs to pee at some point, and I dunno about you but I am not about to have a dck in the bathroom with me while I tinkle lol. That's just inappropriate IMO.

I think I agree with your husband. Get your new routines completely fine-tuned THEN start advertising. Moving is tough, and you've just been through the ringer with these moms. Take a little breather, get yourself and the kids settled again, and then work on filling up again
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Angelwings36 01:50 PM 02-16-2011
Originally Posted by melskids:
here, you have to be within sight and sound at all times of the children.

can you bring them upstairs and have them sit and color, or bring a special basket of toys they only get at prep time. i am not an advocate of TV at all, but can they watch TV while you prep?

is your only bathroom upstairs? again, we would not be allowed to leave the children unattended to use the bathroom. what about children who are potty training?

what if, and i'm just throwing this out there, you either put a kitchenette and bathroom downstairs, or, put the DC room upstairs, and the living/family room down stairs?

here, we go outside everyday, babies and all. AS LONG AS it is at least 20 degrees with no windchill. i would put a specific number in your handbook, that way parents can't argue what "weather permitting" means.

i would maybe scale back, if you can afford it, just until you get settled in a little better. buying a new home and moving while doing daycare can be stressful!!!!
The best that I could do is strap the kids into the high chairs and offer them toys or activities in their spots. However, even then I have two children who hate being in their high chairs even if they are eating so it would not be a smooth process. I do not allow any coloring or playing upstairs as our main floor was just completely re-done and we would like to keep it in good condition. My kitchen is also not big enough for 5 - 8 children (depending on if school is in or not) plus myself to be wandering around in at the same time. My upstairs living room is on the other side of the kitchen, this is where our upstairs tv is so I would not be able to see the children if they were in there and I have tons of expensive breakables in this room within reach.

At the moment my only functioning bathroom is upstairs. We are doing a massive renovation on the bathroom downstairs so it is completely guttered and not functionable.

I would not even think of putting a kitchen downstairs as it would just be much too expensive to do so and take up too much space. And moving the daycare room upstairs is not an option. When we bought this house we agreed that the upstairs would be our adult zone. When I get off work I get to leave work and go upstairs. This is really important to me. I do not see the daycare room again until the next day. Also as mentioned our upstairs has just been completely re-done.
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Angelwings36 02:04 PM 02-16-2011
Also I would like to note that at the time that this lady was enrolled I had a 16 month old, 18 month old, a 33 month old with delayed motor skills, a 3 year old and a 4 year old as well as 3 before and after school children. So regardless I would have to carry each little one up individually, strap them in their chairs and then return for the next child. This takes at least a minute and the children are not going to be 100% supervised at this time.
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melskids 03:17 AM 02-17-2011
oh, i see.

you wouldnt need a full kitchen though. a small sink (i dont know much about plumbing, but you could probably tie it into the bathroom somehow, since you have plumbing there already) a microwave, toaster oven, and a dorm size fridge.

i cook all my daycare meals for dinner the night before, and heat the leftovers for lunch in the microwave. i never use the oven during the day.

just a thought

i understand your positon, i was just saying that due to MY regs, i couldnt leave them downstairs alone.
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nannyde 05:16 AM 02-17-2011
However, I had one mom get upset with me over the fact that I was not on the same floor with the children at all times.

Considering the really young age of her child I could understand this. With the ages of your children "I" don't think it's safe to leave them (even with checking every few minutes) for fifteen minutes while you are making lunch.

I don't allow kids to be up and playing without an adult in the room at all times. I have a set up that if I am the only one here then when I have to go upstairs I lay all the kids in their pack n plays or beds and turn on TV. I have two rooms so I just separate them and confine them.

I have a staff assistant so it's rare that we have to do this but when she is absent then I just confine the kids while I am upstairs to go to the bathroom or fetch stuff for them. They know they are going to go in and out of bed a few times during the play time so I can get what I need.

I also have EVERYTHING humanly possible done before they even get here. I pour drinks, get the lunch in a microwaveable bowl, fruit already peeled and chopped and in a dish ready to serve, have silverware ready, and cloth napkins. I have everything on a tray and ready to bring to them before they arrive in the morning.

That way all I have to do is throw the main course in the microwave and bring the tray down to them. My kids eat in the basement at the table.

So I can really understand her concerns for daily times of no adult in the room. I would not do that because the nature of kids is that if they KNOW this is a daily time they will get used to THAT being the time they can get their naughty on and over time you will have problems in the room.

It doesn't hurt them to take a break for fifteen minutes and watch some TV and rest before lunch. If there is any way you can confine them for this time then I suggest you consider it.

The outside thing is rediculous. All she had to do is just park a couple of blocks from your house at drop off and pick up and WALK her kid to the car to get her some exercise and fresh air. SHE could easily manage doing that at a time when her kid was already bundled up. Expecting you to do that with a group is so silly.

That way I just have to nu
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