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Old 10-05-2010, 10:21 AM
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Hi everybody! I am brand new to this forum and have a big question. I would truly appreciate any insight.

I am currently preparing and remodeling my home a bit in order to start accepting a few children next summer. My wonderful husband loves being around children (and they sure love him too) and has expressed interest in partnering with me to run the daycare, perhaps even renting a small location outside of our home.

My only real concern is having a man on the premises. Will this make parents nervous enough to go elsewhere? I know when I was enrolling my daughter in preschool a few years ago, one of my requirements was that there be no men employed there, although I hate to admit that. But my husband felt the same way.

Any thoughts? Experiences?
Thanks everybody. Any comments are helpful.

-Shan
  #2  
Old 10-05-2010, 05:43 PM
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If it is with a certified daycare, the men will need to get clearances just like the women that work there. When my son was about 3 years old, there was a man (student) that worked at his daycare. He loved him to pieces. Fast forward ....... I work at a center that has employed several men over the years. The after school boys like the activities they have planned, follow them around, these men may be the only normal men in their lives. Many have no dad at home or even in their lives. Or they have TOO many men that really do not interact with them on a good level. It did take some of the girls a bit longer to feel comfortable with the men, but eventually they too were engaged in learning activities.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:15 AM
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My sister-in-law took her then-4 year old daughter to the home of a single mom for daycare. She was very comfortable with the woman and the way she ran her program. My niece was with her through her Kindergarten year (about age 6), then my brother & sister-in-law moved a few miles away, putting them in a different school boundary, so she no longer went there, although the daycare lady's kids and my niece remained friends. A year later, when my niece was about 7 (as was the daycare lady's daughter), the truth came out that when grandpa visited the daycare house 2-3 times per week, he was "feeling up" the little girls, including his own granddaughter. Apparently he would sit in a comfy stuffed chair and have the girls - sometimes 2 at a time - sit on his lap to watch cartoons. Daycare lady would use this time to get her household chores done, and had no idea anything was going on. For this reason, I would be leery. I'm not trying to paint all men with the same brush, but you just never know.

I'm also very careful about appearances when it comes to my husband being home during daycare hours. He gets home about 2:00, and I make it known that he goes in the back office room of our home. I try not to make it an obvious statement, but I say it in passing and hint that he likes his peace and quiet when he gets home.

I guess I'm just skiddish because about 15-16 years ago when I had just started doing daycare, I had a dad who would be anywhere from 15 -45 min late. One night he was an hour late, and I had someplace to be. Hubby said to go and he'd watch the kids. The next day, the girl told me that her dad had asked her if my husband had "done anything wrong to her". From then on, I've been a thousand times more careful than I probably need to be. I do NOT need that kind of an accusation made!! Nothing came of it, and I made up an excuse to terminate the family.

Just my thoughts. Sorry it's so long. I don't expect you to use my experience as your reasoning to do one thing or another, just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in.
  #4  
Old 10-06-2010, 12:47 AM
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i think it's odd for a man to want to do daycare in GENERAL. that doesn't mean i think all men who do it are child molesters because that would make me ignorant, but as you admitted - in general - it seems odd.

lots of people disagree and it's a hot topic, but it's just my opinion. it's not common for women to be lumberjacks or work on landscaping crews - and it's not common for men to work in daycare - or want to - by nature.

i worked with a man in a school age program and he was great with the kids, but school age is a little different than infants or toddlers. a lot of people were still uncomfortable with him being there. my husband thought it was weird. not many men want to change diapers for a living just like not many women want to drive dump trucks. it does happen, but it's not the norm.

everyone has a different opinion about it, but if you're asking if it'll affect your business and enrollment - i say yes, it will. even if people are wrong, they're judgemental, and there will be people who won't bring their child to a daycare with a male employee. it could be because they're ignorant, or it could be because they're women who have had bad experiences with men (and many women have) when they were children so they don't trust it. you didn't want your own child going somewhere with a male on the premises - so there's your answer.
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:25 AM
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I think it really depends on the way your husband presents himself. If he is part of the interview process, well dressed, professional, it would probably be okay. But the fact that you and your husband both insisted on a "no man involved" dc should tell you a lot about conceptions.

My husband gets home at 4:45 and my kids usually leave at 5:15. He is usually home for interviews, so my families meet him right away. I have 2 teenage sons who are homeschooled, therefore here all day long, who are my helpers. My families know that, and meet them at interview. I don't think I've lost any families to the fact that there are men around. However, when my kids were little, I had interviewed with a dcp, and even decided to take my children there. Day one I dropped my kids off, and there is husband, walking toward us into the kitchen, in sweats, no shirt, scratching himself. That was the only day my kids stayed there. I pulled them that day. That's why I say if your husband is presentable and professional, it should be fine.
  #6  
Old 10-06-2010, 04:42 AM
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My husband is here, at times, and all parents either accept this or dont get to be part of our family. They have seen him in everything from interview clothes to laid up on his side propped with pillows on the couch singing songs and reading books to the kids after spine surgery. When someone enrolls here they arent a client they are family. And because of that I feel just as comfortable with them around every member of my family as they are me. Ours is a strange business. In my home,... we are family. They are my day friends, I visit them when they are born in the hospital, I go to birthday parties, weddings, and when the time comes,... their own childs births. Having my husband here enriches their bond with our family and I believe that a strong male presence in their life is something they all can use more of. I say GO FOR IT!!!! Your husband may be the role model the kids look to for how they treat THEIR children some day.
  #7  
Old 10-06-2010, 05:45 AM
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My parents are all comfortable with my husband being around. He has Monday off and up until this week didn't leave until 10 a.m. so he was here somewhat. I don't have a single parent that has problems with me going to doctor's appt's on a random Monday. All my kids love him and some even prefer him over me! lol

I do think you need to be upfront with people and make sure everyone knows he's there. Also, like a pp have him dress professionally. I would also make sure he has a certain level of friendliness but not overly friendly...if that makes sense.

I have had 2 personal life experiences (not my own) where the father's of daughter's have sexually abused them....it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and very leery. It however doesn't make me believe ALL men are that way, just would leave me as a parent on high alert for things out of the norm with my child.

I do think you should be prepared to lose clients because of this if you decide to do an actual center or small seperate home location. However, I think that shouldn't deter you completely, just do your homework.
  #8  
Old 10-06-2010, 06:02 AM
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My husband is my partner for the daycare. He works a 4 tens split shift, so is home every afternoon from 1:45pm to 5:15pm and all day on Thursday. He also doesn't leave for work until 8:15 AM so is home in the morning while a couple DCKs are here (anywhere from two hours to half an hour). He's also my first back-up provider if I'm sick or need to leave for any reason, and it's explained up front that he will watch all the kids if needed--if I'm too sick to work, he can take a half day off work so that we don't have to close, if I or DD need to go to the doctor or something else, he watches the kids, etc.

While he is here, he is my full partner, doing everything from playing to changing diapers, to giving bottles and taking kids outside. The parents all know this, sometimes from the phone call or emails before an interview, or at least at the interview. DH is home for almost all the interviews, and we always stress that he loves kids, is working on getting his teaching license to be a high school history teacher, and helps out in any way necessary when he's home. We explain his schedule and the fact that he's home a lot. Every parent knows this coming in, and while it may have lost me a few clients, I've never heard about it. I figure that more of the "failed interviews" were due to the cost of my daycare and/or the fact that I suck at doing interviews!

Only one family has ever mentioned anything about being uncomfortable with DH helping--that was my very first family after their very first week. They evidently didn't listen very well when we explained what DH's involvement would be and were "taken aback"--I offered to adjust things for them and have DH not have anything to do with the daycare while their DD was here (we were very, very desperate for the income at the time and they were our only clients at first!) but they relaxed and said that wasn't necessary--it just surprised them.

I guess what I'm saying is that it will work out just fine--if there is a family that isn't comfortable with your DH helping out, then they won't use you, it's that simple. I doubt it will lose you very many clients, so long as you explain it all from the get-go. Don't be anything other than matter-of-fact about it. Have your DH there for interviews. Style yourself a "family daycare" and that might help, too--it stresses that the family is doing daycare, not just you.
  #9  
Old 10-06-2010, 07:14 AM
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hmm, my dh chats it up with all the dads that pick up their kids, but I think its different to have your immediate family there once in a while compared to having them there all day. I wouldn't like it if my dh was home all day because this is my job not his.
  #10  
Old 10-06-2010, 07:31 AM
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My husband works from home as well so he is here every day. Not in the "daycare" area unless he needs to talk to me, but he works outside in the shop or garage. He does come in to help me if I'm in a bind and ALL of my parents are fine with this. ALL of my parents are fine with him stayinf with the kids if I have an appointment, which I usually try to make at nap time but our daughter is generally here too if that happens and it doens't happen often. In every interview I tell them my husband works from home. He has to pass the criminal history background as well as my daughter (18) and myself. I think some people could be "bothered" by it.
  #11  
Old 10-06-2010, 08:02 AM
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My husband lost employment 2 yrs ago Nov and is home all day every day. He became certified as my assistant 1 year ago. He is our 'recess lady' and helps me tremendously with childcare. I have never had anyone voice any discomfort with the fact that he helps and if someone is concerned then they shall find other care. We as providers live under a microscope so you can be certain that NOTHING is going to happen here. If we are accused of misconduct in any way you can be assured that our lives and our livelihood will be destroyed because we would have to prove our innocence to care for children again.

I get the problem that people have with men in daycare and sometime it is justified. Just like my concern is justified when a child goes home to a parent I feel is abusive.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:33 AM
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My husband has worked with me, full-time, for 12 years. My families love him, the children love him and I have NEVER had a family interview that did not sign with us. He is a real asset to te program, a role model for the children without a Father Figure in their lives and adds so much joy and fun to our day that I wouldn't have it any other way, and neither would any of my families I say go for it!
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:34 AM
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In all your advertisements make sure his name is there too. Those who don't like the idea will not call you. In your first conversation on the phone mention him, so if they didn't know ahead of time, they will not spend any more of your time talking. Be prepared to hear from friends and other providers that parents were creeped out by a man there, but knowing that the parent won't tell you themselves, they will tell other people they interview with.

Will he take direction from you? If he won't, don't do it. Because who's business is it? Yours, and someone has to be in charge. You both can't be. If he's wearing a dirty shirt and hasn't showered today and you tell him to go change will he? Because the parents will notice and then it will effect your name in the community.

Would you have any concerns about what he might tell interviewing parents on how he disciplines, or teaches, or handles children's conflicts, or (literally anything), because your differences will be glaring at that interview time, unless of course, you modify yourself to make him look less an ogre.

Do you have outside interests that allow each of you to be with other people? A good relationship now can turn sour when you work 10-12 hours a day together.

Are you happily married? Because if he's your partner and you divorce, you'll likely owe him money for his share of the interest in the business.

Voice of experience here. Been there, done all those things.

Looking back, I don't think it was a good idea.
  #14  
Old 10-06-2010, 09:49 AM
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I believe having a man around is an amazing experience for alot of kids who may not have a good male role model in their lives. For many kids, seeing a man who stays in one place, with one family, is unique and I think they should be exposed to what a responsible man actually looks like.

My husband is here in the mornings til about 8, and he gets home around 5 or so. That makes him here during daycare hours for about 3 hours each day. However, I don't ask for his help with any of the daycare kids at all. His job is to get our own kids up and ready for school, and then to occupy them after work til daycare is done. My big issue is not what parents would think if my husband were helping with feeding, diapers, etc. My thing is keeping him protected from any false accusations. I would never leave him here alone with dc kids or ask him to help a kid in the bathroom, just because I would never want to give anyone the opportunity to accuse or suspect him of anything (whether it be dc parents, neighbours, or whoever). I KNOW I can trust my husband -- it's the parents I don't know as well. Who knows if someone has some kind of malicious intent. I worked in Children's Ministries and we spent alot of time on child protection policies. Seeing case study after case study of the awful things that can happen in churches AND how easy it is for someone to make a false accusation, have made me hyper-aware of keeping my own family covered. So to me, it's all about appearances. I want to make sure that there is as little chance possible of any kind of allegation holding up in court.

Anyway, that's a large part of my reason for not including my husband in my job. It's just one more thing you may want to consider if you do decide to go into business with your husband -- whether he's okay with that kind of risk (ie. increased potential for false accusations), and also, if there are ways that you can decrease the chances of anybody misinterpreting his actions (ie. making sure he's never alone with only one child, or whatever).

And yes, you can never completely safeguard yourself against stuff like this, but I figure as long as I strive for due diligence, I've done what I can .
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:05 AM
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I think it's great that your husband wants to partner with you in your business. When working in a center, we LOVED having male teachers as we had a lot of kids that did not have dads at home, so they always loved the running around crazy play that the male teachers would do that the female teachers were less likely to do (not trying to generalize, just saying what we experienced).

I think it would be a shame if families didn't want to go with a provider because one of the providers was male, but I think that some families may choose to not sign up with you. Hopefully you have some long term families that would definitely stay and they can then be references for you and your husband when you get more families.
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:33 PM
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The parents here now don't have a problem with my husband at all. In fact, they like him. I'm just very leery about a nutcase coming in and after their kids being here a month or so, falsely accuse my husband of something. I personally have no problem with him being here, but there's gonna be that ONE parent to cause the problems, and I'd rather avoid it.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:11 PM
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Personally, I have never worked with a male in a child care centre (but I haven't been working very long), but I do remember as a child having several male camp counselors and they were great. I think it would be great to have men working in child care centres (obviously they would need criminal checks and so forth) but I honestly don't see how a man could pose more of a threat than a women in child care. Just like there are some bad men out there, there are bad women too. To me a person's sex should have no baring on how good a person is, or how well they work with children.

As for a home daycare, again I think it's great that some husbands want to help out. I agree that they should look professional, etc. It would just add to that "family" feeling that home day cares have.

Having men can be excellent sources of positive role models for children, boys especially. Others mentioned how it is also great for children who don't have positive male figures in their lives. Children need to learn that regardless of what may have happened at home or in the past, there are men that can be trusted and confided in.

As for parents who are uneasy about this, well I can't say I have much of a perspective on that, as I do not have any children, but I don't see why males can make excellent teachers but not childcare workers.

That's just my opinion on it; I didn't mean for it to get so long.
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamBig View Post
Personally, I have never worked with a male in a child care centre (but I haven't been working very long), but I do remember as a child having several male camp counselors and they were great. I think it would be great to have men working in child care centres (obviously they would need criminal checks and so forth) but I honestly don't see how a man could pose more of a threat than a women in child care. Just like there are some bad men out there, there are bad women too. To me a person's sex should have no baring on how good a person is, or how well they work with children.

As for a home daycare, again I think it's great that some husbands want to help out. I agree that they should look professional, etc. It would just add to that "family" feeling that home day cares have.

Having men can be excellent sources of positive role models for children, boys especially. Others mentioned how it is also great for children who don't have positive male figures in their lives. Children need to learn that regardless of what may have happened at home or in the past, there are men that can be trusted and confided in.

As for parents who are uneasy about this, well I can't say I have much of a perspective on that, as I do not have any children, but I don't see why males can make excellent teachers but not childcare workers.

That's just my opinion on it; I didn't mean for it to get so long.
I could not agree more! There is nothing wrong with a man who wants to work in child care! I am honestly a little surprised by some of the comments about men working in child care. We would never discourage a boy from playing in the doll area so I guess I am just suprised in this day and age of single fathers and more dad's getting primary custody that so many parents would have a problem with men in child care. I think it is great and men have alot to offer. I agree with your comment that just as there are bad men, there are bad women too. Neglect and abuse knows no sexual orientation so for someone to assume that men can not be excellent provider's or should not be in child care is just another form of discrimination.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:04 PM
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Neglect and abuse knows no sexual orientation so for someone to assume that men can not be excellent provider's or should not be in child care is just another form of discrimination.
I just wanted to make sure that my opinion didn't come across wrongly (I know I'm not the only contributor to the con side, but regardless ...). I totally agree with Blackcat31's statement. Statistically, though, there are higher ratios of male sexual offenders to female sexual offenders. If someone wants to make a false accusation, a man in some form of child care is a prime target. I choose to protect my husband (and my sons, for that matter) from that possibility by not having them help me with the daycare kids.

I've worked with some very gifted child care workers who happen to be men, and I think that's an amazing thing. I also think, though, that they need to be more careful, in the same way a woman working a late shift at the hospital needs to be careful walking home at 2 in the morning. She isn't doing anything wrong, and she has every right to be walking home whenever she wants to, but she needs to be extra careful to protect herself because statistically more bad things happen to women at night on deserted streets than during the day in rush hour.

I think the only way to change cultural assumptions about men in child care is to provide more opportunities for them while keeping them as safe as possible. My husband really has no desire to work with kids, but like most husbands, he would help out if I asked him too. If the OP's husband wants to work with kids, I think he should. I just think he should make sure he's keeping himself protected (as much as possible) from crazy parents .
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I could not agree more! There is nothing wrong with a man who wants to work in child care! I am honestly a little surprised by some of the comments about men working in child care. We would never discourage a boy from playing in the doll area so I guess I am just suprised in this day and age of single fathers and more dad's getting primary custody that so many parents would have a problem with men in child care. I think it is great and men have alot to offer. I agree with your comment that just as there are bad men, there are bad women too. Neglect and abuse knows no sexual orientation so for someone to assume that men can not be excellent provider's or should not be in child care is just another form of discrimination.
With all respect (honestly - I don't want this to be one of those argument postings!) I think some are missing the point.

There is NOTHING wrong with the man himself wanting to do childcare.

There is NOTHING wrong with having a man DO child care.

Men can provide wonderful enrichment to children.

Men can be just as good of a Provider as Women.

That being said, I think the people (myself included) on the CON side are saying that it's the worry of the CLIENTS that we are concerned with. Ok, maybe I'll just speak for myself. As I explained in my 1st posting on this thread, I had a parent once grill their daughter to see if my husband "did anything wrong" to her. I don't need that wacko parent coming in and causing problems. Especially THAT kind of problem. It's NOT the man, it's not me or my program. I can't emphasize that enough. It's being 1,000 times cautious and presenting a safe-LOOKING atmosphere in the parents' eyes. Yes, I know my husband is safe, but you have to admit there are trigger-fingered, litigious parents out there who would see a handshake and call it fondling. That's an exaggeration, but that's where the 1,000 times cautiousness comes from.

I hope this makes sense that we're (I'm) not bashing men in the slightest. Not even close. It's the leery parent who looks at things through suspicious eyes.
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