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  #1  
Old 05-17-2017, 12:16 PM
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Default Your Misconceptions About Doing Daycare?

Think back to when you first started daycare. Was there anything that you had envisioned in your mind about what running a daycare in your home would be like that turned out to be completely different?

Like for me something I hadn't considered about running a daycare from home was that my family wouldn't be entirely on board. It wasn't that they weren't supportive, just that they didn't realize how important it was to follow licensing regulations. My husband, mother & sister constantly left cleaning products out, knives on the counters, glass within reach, wouldn't latch baby gates, left the front door opened, left purses/wallet laying around. They didn't think it was a big deal. I used to do daycare upstairs too before but stopped because it was too hard for me to keep two floors baby proofed.

Just curious if you all had any misconceptions about what it would be like which turned out to be completely different than what you thought.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:34 PM
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I thought most parents would care more about their child than I do.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:37 PM
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So many of the issues that come up with the parents. I really thought I'd have appreciative families who would want to spend as much time with their kids as possible since they were in care all day when they got done. I never envisioned parents who want you to keep their child for 12+ hours, ones who will fight you on being paid, the sick kids that arrive etc. I guess it's just an overall lack of respect that I didn't expect at all. I thought I could be "nice" and "help" and that it wouldn't be taken advantage of. Yet it has been, every time. As a result I am also much stricter on policies etc then I was at the start. I didn't think I would need "all that" when I started. Boy was that first year a wake up call!
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:54 PM
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I definitely had the rose colored glasses on.

I had the "it takes a village" mindset and thought the families I enrolled would respect and appreciate me, my home and the fact that I was caring for their most precious gift in life.

That was beaten outta me by year 2.
I'm now all business, all the time.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:56 PM
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Yes, very true. That's another for me. I knew I'd need a contract but I hadn't considered just how many policies I'd have to include. Things that were common sense to weren't for some parents. Like being paid on time, sick kids and bringing supplies.

I'm so glad I have great clients right now.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:20 PM
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I didn't realize how undervalued childcare has become.

I didn't realize how the high cost of childcare led to the devaluation of us by parents.

I didn't realize just how much the state wants a hand in this business and will do whatever it takes to get it.

I didn't realize that the difference between daycare and being a nanny would be so huge.

I didn't realize that after I had my own children, I would get burnt out so quickly from doing a job I have been doing for years.

I didn't realize the impact it had on my family's privacy.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:46 PM
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Not quite sure what I pictured as far as cleaning. I cleaned minimally when I worked in daycare centers while obtaining my teaching degree but not at all while student teaching....
I guess I didn't factor that in AT ALL. It was strictly a "work during business hours" job. But, that's not how I operate 100% here...I would never get teaching time if I did all my work during business hours.

But, holy cow. The amount of cleaning this job requires is truly crazy!
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:49 PM
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I did not realize there was so much back end business tasks. Sending out emails, receipts, pictures, updating the FB page, keeping track of paperwork, etc. It took me by surprise.

I also did not realize how life consuming this profession is. I am always thinking of/about my clients, classroom, upcoming lessons, activities, etc. Even when I try not to.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:50 PM
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I didn't realize I'd still be doing it 4.5 years later :-D

There's such a list of things I didn't realize that I hardly know where to start.

I definitely thought that other parent would always want to spend as much time with kids as possible. I didn't realize that those few parents who have "easy" kids would believe that parenting was actually easy. It's not--they just lucked out to not have serious problems. Most of us do have some serious problems.

Licensing's list of dos/don'ts was amazing--I thought my home was well child-proofed, but apparently not.
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Old 05-17-2017, 04:23 PM
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The reason I stayed home and started caring for other family's kids was so I could spend more time with mine. That was my first misconception; never had time to actually just be with them.
And I never imagined the state would be as involved in our business like it is now or how can they come up with such ridiculous time-consuming regulations 'for the sake of the children'.

I also never believed I'd see 10 years in this business, let alone 35.
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Old 05-17-2017, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I thought most parents would care more about their child than I do.
This exactly! It was very shocking and eye opening for me. I literally thought parents would be super concerned about the things their kids are doing, eating, sleeping etc but most don't care!
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Old 05-17-2017, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I thought most parents would care more about their child than I do.
I learned that one in my babysitting years.
One family was even considering letting me adopt one of their kids one day, for about 30 seconds. Oh well, that was a happy 30 seconds anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Two View Post
I didn't realize I'd still be doing it 4.5 years later :-D

There's such a list of things I didn't realize that I hardly know where to start.

I definitely thought that other parent would always want to spend as much time with kids as possible. I didn't realize that those few parents who have "easy" kids would believe that parenting was actually easy. It's not--they just lucked out to not have serious problems. Most of us do have some serious problems.

Licensing's list of dos/don'ts was amazing--I thought my home was well child-proofed, but apparently not.
I'm hoping to be going part time by this fall and full time by next spring, and if it does work out, stay in it for about 12 years while I prepare for retirement. Then probably just cut back a little, but keep going as long as I can.
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Old 05-17-2017, 04:50 PM
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I am still new but I did not realize how significantly difficult it would be for dd (10) or myself to share our space. I love teaching but realize it could not be in my home long term --- I wish California allowed a set up like Black Cat's.
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  #14  
Old 05-17-2017, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGarden View Post
I am still new but I did not realize how significantly difficult it would be for dd (10) or myself to share our space. I love teaching but realize it could not be in my home long term --- I wish California allowed a set up like Black Cat's.
I will always admit; Iwould have quit sometime in the first 3 years if I did this in my home.

Kudos to those of you that do!
Double for those of you that do AND have your own kids still at home!!

I couldn't do it.
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:45 PM
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I didn't realize how much time goes towards diaper changes, checking diapers for poop, and hand washing.

Or the fact at how much paperwork and record-keeping is necessary, though I don't mind it.

I went in with a solid handbook and etc but have found my voice and don't mind telling people no or that I can't do that. Or that their payment is past due with late fees accruing.

I have 2 young kids (3.5 years and 7 months) and do this in my home. Oh the cleaning.... lol. I do floors weekly and clean the kitchen after every meal.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:44 PM
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My misconseption would definitely be how horriblely rude and difficult the parents could be. I learned very quickly to stay firm with all of my policies because these California families will take advantage any way they can. The ones I'm talking about are the business people who have high paying jobs and looked down on me for being a lowly babysitter!! Ugh!!!!!!
I stopped accepting this type into my daycare. My interviewing technic became a little different. I learned what kind of questions to ask, to weed out this type of family. Now for the most part I have amazing and lovely families. Most of them I'm still in touch with.
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  #17  
Old 05-17-2017, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I will always admit; Iwould have quit sometime in the first 3 years if I did this in my home.

Kudos to those of you that do!
Double for those of you that do AND have your own kids still at home!!

I couldn't do it.
Kudos to me then!!!
I've been doing daycare in my home for 24yrs!
I did it with my two children in the daycare until they both went to kindergarten!

I've never had issue with my hubby, but my kids have complained many times!!
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  #18  
Old 05-17-2017, 08:30 PM
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I am baffled at how clients "fly by the seat of their pants and and have tunnel vision when it comes to their own kids".

I am a very precise/to the point person....I have faults but informing clients is my strong point so when a client pulls the "what, you meant what?" card, I am like

I never thought I would have to TELL human beings repeatedly where to park and how to get their kids to their vehicle safely.

I will end with....I consider myself to be trustworthy, so I have attempted to trust my clients...well, TRUSTWORTHINESS is not within all people.

So, said all of this to say this, after 25 years it is a BUSINESS! No room to develop relationships.
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  #19  
Old 05-17-2017, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annalee View Post
I am baffled at how clients "fly by the seat of their pants and and have tunnel vision when it comes to their own kids".

I am a very precise/to the point person....I have faults but informing clients is my strong point so when a client pulls the "what, you meant what?" card, I am like

I never thought I would have to TELL human beings repeatedly where to park and how to get their kids to their vehicle safely.

I will end with....I consider myself to be trustworthy, so I have attempted to trust my clients...well, TRUSTWORTHINESS is not within all people.

So, said all of this to say this, after 25 years it is a BUSINESS! No room to develop relationships.
That's my plans. Going to be much different than my babysitting years were.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
Like for me something I hadn't considered about running a daycare from home was that my family wouldn't be entirely on board.
Man that would be stressful! My family isn't really on board either but for different reasons. They think I'm making a mistake by leaving my big-girl corporate job some of my family understand it though. They know I'm not happy where I'm at (haven't been for years) and home daycare can be a really successful business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finsup View Post
I guess it's just an overall lack of respect that I didn't expect at all.
I can not thank this forum enough for giving me a wake up call on this area

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
I knew I'd need a contract but I hadn't considered just how many policies I'd have to include.
Yep again, thank you to this forum!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
That was my first misconception; never had time to actually just be with them.
My young kids are one of my reasons too. Not just spending more time with them, but ensuring they are getting plenty of outdoor play, stimulating activities, and eating nutritious foods.

Do you think if you could go back and do it differently, you could've incorporated some one-on-one time with them? Like having an early breakfast before DCKs arrive? Or putting your kids down for nap last so you could read a book to them?

Not trying to make you feel bad AT ALL! Just wondering if it can be done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annalee View Post
I never thought I would have to TELL human beings repeatedly where to park and how to get their kids to their vehicle safely.

I will end with....I consider myself to be trustworthy, so I have attempted to trust my clients...well, TRUSTWORTHINESS is not within all people.
Yeah you would think that would be common sense (getting kids to car safely)

I know I'm too trusting of others as well.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:32 AM
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I agree with many of above.

I thought that parents would only send their children only when at work.

I thought that parents would keep their sick children home..... and not complain about it.

I didn't think that parents would be untruthful about things that affect the care and well being of their child. This was so shocking to me.

I thought that the children would be the hard work of this equation. Nope, it's the parents.

I thought that all parents value the same things I do as a parent (good eating, fresh air, good sleep).

I thought that parents would value ME as they have chosen to leave their children with me each day. Most do but plenty do not.

I thought this job would be easier with my own children at home and in the same age group. NOPE!

I didn't think this job would burn me out as much as it has.

I didn't think that this job would show me how much I value having been able to be home with my own bunch. Over and over and over.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:03 AM
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Max, I did do a lot of those things but it just felt like there were too many moments in each day when I had to keep telling them to wait, wait, wait.
Eventually, as they came to accept living in a dc household, I feel they dealt with it a whole lot better than I did. Mommy guilt and all.

One other thing I didn't realize at the beginning, it would affect my own kids' wanting to have their own children in the way that it has. My youngest is 24, then 26, and oldest is 35, no signs of grandkids for me yet. Oldest says never, the other 2 have moved from the never stage to if.

With all the ups and downs through the years, I'm still very glad I chose this path.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:30 AM
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My biggest misconception was how much parent's valued their childcare and how much parents wanted to hang with their kids. I am still amazed at those things even after almost 5 years!
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:57 AM
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I did not realize I would become an unpaid State employee.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:05 AM
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I just agree with everything everyone has said.

I would have quit already if I hadn't been able to do a separate space. I WISH my state would allow me to run daycare out of a separate home (like BC) but they won't. I compromised and use my front entrance, front and side yard, and former living room/dining room for daycare.

My eat in kitchen with breakfast nook is NOT big enough for my family to have company, etc. and my family is DONE. Dh said recently he flat out LOATHES many of my clients. They are beyond rude and inconsiderate (blocking him in when he is trying to pull out for work, etc)
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcat31 View Post
i thought most parents would care more about their child than i do.
this ^^^
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
Like for me something I hadn't considered about running a daycare from home was that my family wouldn't be entirely on board. It wasn't that they weren't supportive, just that they didn't realize how important it was to follow licensing regulations. My husband, mother & sister constantly left cleaning products out, knives on the counters, glass within reach, wouldn't latch baby gates, left the front door opened, left purses/wallet laying around. They didn't think it was a big deal. I used to do daycare upstairs too before but stopped because it was too hard for me to keep two floors baby proofed.
Even though I've been a provider for 21 years and my husband and kids know the regulations I have to follow, I still have to walk around the house every night, double checking to make sure nothing has been left out that shouldn't have been. I'm constantly saying, "You're going to get me written up! You have to try to think like a provider!"[/quote]

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Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
One other thing I didn't realize at the beginning, it would affect my own kids' wanting to have their own children in the way that it has.
Same here! When my kids were in their teens, I used to joke about my day care being the best form of birth control ever. Now that my kids are getting older (23 and 26) and they are still saying they don't want to have kids, I wonder if I didn't blow my chances of being a grandparent some day.

When I first started out, I never anticipated the amount of work I'd be doing after hours. I also never considered the amount of wear and tear that would affect my home in general. I expected some wear and tear, especially in the day care room but for some reason, didn't expect so much wear and tear every where else - the porches, the driveway, the grass, the floors in my kitchen and bathroom and the furniture. I was just wondering last if I'm the only provider who has to replace her dining room set as often as I do. I buy a set and within a month, it's got fork marks in the table, scratches all over the seats, loose rungs, etc. At this point, my husband says there's no way we're going to replace our current set until after I stop doing day care.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:45 PM
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the paper work, paper work oh the paper work.....did I mention ..the paper work ?
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:10 PM
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Oops! A sentence in my reply should have read:

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I was just wondering last night if I'm the only provider who has to replace her dining room set as often as I do.
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:25 PM
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I didn't forsee child CARE turning into education.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGarden View Post
I am still new but I did not realize how significantly difficult it would be for dd (10) or myself to share our space. I love teaching but realize it could not be in my home long term --- I wish California allowed a set up like Black Cat's.
I don't quite remember black cats set up? I Beleive it's in another home just for daycare use? Anyway, I'm in California and we are in the beginning stages of adding an addition to our house, sort of like a mother in laws suite that will be used by my daughter till she finishes college. But we were planning on using for daycare after she is done. So is that not allowed in California? I need to rewatch this further. Sorry I'm off topic 😑

At first It didn't bother me that my home was used for daycare, i thought I wouldn't mind, but 9 years later and I'm ready to have my house back lol. Another misconception I had, I thought all parents cared and loved their kids like I love mine. I thought parents would follow all rules, pay on time, and respect me . That was a rude awakening when I started daycare!
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:21 AM
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Cleaning and cooking is something I enjoy, but I'm getting tired of it.
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  #33  
Old 05-20-2017, 06:06 AM
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I've only been in this for 4.5 years. I got in out of necessity since we needed a 2nd income, but DH's work schedule was so erratic that I couldn't commit to an outside work schedule - and it needed to allow me to continue homeschooling my 2 children (then, ages 8 and 9).

I had been working as a caregiver for Seniors in their homes and also volunteering in the church nursery for 4 years, so I had a decent amount of personal references to get started. In my state, you can keep less than 5 without needing a license, so I put an ad up on Craigslist and thought "what the heck, we'll see what happens."

I didn't expect to be here 4 years later. I thought I would be lucky to keep 1 dependable client that paid me on time (my Mom babysat when I was a kid and I remember her not getting paid, or having to track down parents because they didn't pick their kids up one night!!) So, I didn't expect to have a "full house" (for me). I didn't expect to have referrals being sent my way by church friends or former clients just as I'm about to advertise an open spot. I didn't expect to have people wanting more spots than I have open! I'm not flooded with business, but the timing always seems to work out. ☺️ That being said, I've been daily rate / pay as you go. I signed my first full rate clients last Fall.

I didn't expect to charge full rate, I thought it was unkind, but I eventually "got it" about the time that everyone started taking days off left and right! I've honored my rate for my first families that started with me - I've had their children since the beginning, they gave me the experience I will need to be able to charge those full time rates for years to come. ☺️

I didn't expect 40 year old, college-educated professionals to have the social graces and boundaries of a baboon! Oh my word!

I didn't expect to have to ask for payment when they had no problem asking my to be open at 6:15, or to pick up an hour late! I didn't expect to have to create payment deadlines and refuse care if not paid.

I didn't expect to interview the parents as much as they're interviewing me! I get it!

I didn't expect to have parents linger to visit with me for 45 minutes while I'm trying to manage 4 little ones, or stand in my driveway visiting with another parent for 20 minutes!? Or sit in their car on their phone for 10 minutes after I've kept their child for 10 hours that day! My last 2 "foundation" families will be leaving within a year. I've established policies on the key things and let the other things ride but new clients will start with a Parent Handbook of policies. This forum has given me the support to do what I need to in order to do this for as long as it continues to suit my family's needs.
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