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Old 02-25-2016, 04:33 AM
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Default Which Niche Would You Choose and Why?

I am hoping the experienced providers can give me some insight and help guide this decision:

I am at a great point in the business to market myself as a niche provider. I have had 2 infants since 12 weeks, they are a year old now, and I am ready to grow. I WILL NOT offer infant care.

My choices are toddlers 12-36 months or preschoolers 3-5.

Which would you choose and why?

I've read all of the 'fave' age threads and I'm torn for these reasons: toddlers are still dumpers and all the diaper changing is awful, whereas, preschoolers are difficult due to coming in with old habits and big attitudes... but the already-potty-trained part appeals to me.

Please, weigh in. I know my answer is here.
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Old 02-25-2016, 04:48 AM
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Depends on 2 questions:
1) Is there an age group you prefer? If you can work with just that group it will be more enjoyable for you.
2) Which is there more of a market for in your area? For that matter are niche programs common around you? Here they are met with a mix of confusion and skepticism because most licensed programs care for the whole range of ages.
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:26 AM
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In my experience as a mom, nanny, and volunteer in the children's ministry, I am able to adapt to all ages but seem to enjoy conversations and teaching, so preschoolers.

The need in my area is unknown. We are a community of middle class sub divisions with over populated schools. How would I learn the needs? Any ideas?
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:31 AM
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And remember, more and more 3 yos are not potty trained.
Even with diapers and potty training I prefer the younger ones. They're so cute, so much fun, do funny things without realizing it, easier to redirect, and haven't learned the sass yet.
BUT with that said, I'd also love to just have the prek group so I could do more activities and arts/crafts with them, set up more of a curriculum with them.
I think there are definite pros and cons to each. It comes down to what you prefer. Mixing ages is the hardest but I think whichever age group you pick will be great! And also another thing to consider, how many of those 3-5 yos will parents want to put into "real" school?
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:37 AM
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I say the younger crowd. I think it would be easier to fill the spot and I personally love and favor toddlers over preschoolers.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:03 AM
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I like preschoolers. But that is just my favorite age to work with.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:22 AM
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Considering all the talk about early education and the push towards universal preschool, I see a huge need that will happen in the infant/toddler category.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Considering all the talk about early education and the push towards universal preschool, I see a huge need that will happen in the infant/toddler category.
This is what I see in my area already. Most 3 yo here qualify for early preschool through the public school system, and it's free. Hard to compete with free. I would LOVE to have a preschool program, as I'm really just not a baby person, but it's just not a money make where I'm at.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Considering all the talk about early education and the push towards universal preschool, I see a huge need that will happen in the infant/toddler category.
That's an excellent forethought. I didn't realize this was happening!
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntymimi View Post
This is what I see in my area already. Most 3 yo here qualify for early preschool through the public school system, and it's free. Hard to compete with free. I would LOVE to have a preschool program, as I'm really just not a baby person, but it's just not a money make where I'm at.
We have Great Start for Readiness preschool, but I beleive family's have to fall into specific "needs" categories, which leaves many that won't.

Our community does not have a preschool only center. Our preschoolers just go to the area daycares until Kindy. Mine did, but I would have put her in a preschool if we had one.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:07 AM
AnneCordelia AnneCordelia is offline
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I prefer younger toddlers. They nap. They aren't as sassy and 3 and 4yos. They havent decided to be picky about food yet. Lol.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Suzanne View Post
We have Great Start for Readiness preschool, but I beleive family's have to fall into specific "needs" categories, which leaves many that won't.

Our community does not have a preschool only center. Our preschoolers just go to the area daycares until Kindy. Mine did, but I would have put her in a preschool if we had one.
In your case I could see preschool as being an option. That's great! Our area is very "needy" unfortunately, as rural Appalachia historically has always been. The personal income is short, but the government benefits are plenty. We have several preschools to take advantage of this. In fact, we have more available spots for preschool than daycare in our small town. It's interesting how region plays such a huge part in pay and the viability of this business.
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:59 PM
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I love 3 to 5's and would love to have all that age. Preschool programs cut into my program. One school has 4K three full days for free and 2 or 3 half days for 3's but they charge.

Another close school has all day, every day free 4K and now a 1/2 day five days a week 3K free, but not kids qualify. I can still get a good number of 3's and 4's who attend.

It just depends on your area.

I offer 1 yr. and up. I take before and after school too and summer as I can have 6 preschool children and 5 school age. As long as the SA have someone to play with and toys for older kids they are fine. I also have two dedicated dc rooms, so there is plenty room for SA kids.

I'm working on becoming a group family day care and then I 'll take fewer SA if any.
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Old 02-28-2016, 01:21 PM
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If i had my perfect scenario I would care for the younger group. I truly enjoy the care part of the equation with the younger group and being able to focus solely on them and their needs. Singing silly songs and rhymes and playing simple games. I have found that over the years it seems as if the preschool group is getting harder and harder to care for.
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:42 PM
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12 months to 36 months

I love all the exploration, learning and changes that grow through. I love the evolution of their personalties. They’re typically easily adaptable to the schedule.

Oh the dumping! I end that by shadowing and having them pick up the messes they make. They learn soon: You dump! You pick up!

It doesn’t take much to take the fun out of dumping.
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