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Old 02-11-2011, 10:17 PM
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Question Remember When You First Decided To Open Your Daycare?

I'm obviously planning to open a daycare of my own and have the wonderful opportunity to stay home with my children when that time comes. I already know I want to be licensed and recently decided (from someone on this site, thanks!) that I may as well begin working on my CDA since I work at a daycare and I'm doing trainings online. I have a few questions below, anyone can answer. Thanks!

When you think back to when you first started, whether it was this year or twenty years ago....what did you think being a daycare provider would be like?

Did you plan on furthering your education? Earning a CDA? Getting a license? Just be a stay at home mom with one other family to watch?

How did it all work out afterall now that it's today?
Would you have changed anything you did over the years?
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:46 PM
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i personally don't think a CDA is worth the paper it's printed on. i know i'll get flamed for saying that, but unless i was working at a daycare that offered a raise in pay for obtaining a CDA, i wouldn't bother - especially if i already had a degree (which i do, and i think from reading previous posts, you do also).

my daycare story isn't a "success story," but you asked for all experiences.

i never truly felt that it would be a long term thing, but i gave it a shot. i worked in daycare centers and in schools while i earned my early childhood degree. i had a job i enjoyed for awhile after graduating, but after i lost that job due to funding, it seemed logical to do child care from home since that was my "field" and also because my own children never had a "stay at home mom." i figured it was a good way to earn money considering the situation. i sacrificed a lot of time with my children to earn my degree as a working mom.

it started out GREAT - i charged high rates and felt like i was making a lot of money for doing what any other stay at home mom does bc i had a small group - and was making about what i made using my degree. after awhile, i realized it just wasn't for me. i HATE being at home. call me a horrible person/mother/whatever - i enjoyed it during the "honeymoon phase" bc it was the first time i had ever stayed at home, but after that wore off - it sucked. i don't feel guilty one BIT saying that. everyone has their own idea of success.

some people feel successful if they stay home and raise their children. some people feel successful if they're work-a-holics. some people feel successful based on the level of education they receive. personally, my idea of success is a mixture. i'm a mother and i want to be a good/successful one - but being a mother didn't make the nagging to go to school or work go away. i feel on top of the world personally when i work away from home, obtain education, and balance motherhood. i've come to realize that i'll probably go to school for the rest of my life! i went back to school for my BSN (registered nurse) but i'm already thinking (and i haven't even gotten that degree yet) that being a nurse won't satisfy me - i'll want to be a doctor and then a....and then a....

it's just my personality. i'm always looking to reach a little higher and obtain a little more. any time i tried to be a 'stay at home mom' i got nothing out of it except a fat butt and a bout of depression. i couldn't be a good mother because i wasn't happy. i could sit at home all day (not working) and not do a thing with my kids. i can work 10 hours and then take my kids to the park and clean the house after that!

i wouldn't change a thing that i've done. i was a single/poor mom starting out and according to the stats i should still be one. i think everything happens for a reason - and just because i didn't "succeed" at child care doesn't mean i didn't do a good job or that i should've never done it. sometimes i do think to myself, "i should've just gone to nursing school and i'd already be working to be a MD." i have a higher education than most of the nurses that are teaching me actually, but i digress. i think child care was a stepping stone for me personally. my EC degree will come in handy later bc i see myself working in pediatrics so it wasn't a total waste, and there are also LOTS of opportunities to teach in the medical field.

i don't think you can gauge how things might work out for you based on other experiences. if someone had told me five years ago that i'd be a nurse i would've told them they were NUTS because i could NOT handle blood or poop or smells, etc. and i MEANT it. there are other people who say, "i've always known i wanted to work with kids" or "i've always known i wanted to be a nurse," but for me - i only THOUGHT i knew what i wanted to do - and i did know what i wanted to do at the time, but as i get older, i change. the things that i want to do change also.

nobody goes to school (and acquires the debt) to be a teacher because they think they'll be a nurse. nobody marries tom because they think they'll get a divorce and end up with bob. experience is the best teacher and only time can tell.

sorry if that's a little deep - but i often read your posts about what you "will do" or "would have done" and while i often agree and admire your poise (like when you give letter writing advice) i can't help but to remember that you haven't done it yet. don't take that personally. i think eventually you'll know what i mean.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:38 AM
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I started a year and a half ago. I have a bachelor's degree and I used to be a working mom, and I was doing quite well beginning my career with a wonderful company. I was happy there, I understand what QualiTCare said about feeling on top of the world as a working mom. I felt like I was becoming successful, and darn good at what I was doing! But part of me felt guilty sending my kids to daycare every day. My husband transferred to TX and we were able to buy our first house with his income alone. We decided we could make it with his income and on a small income that I could receive from watching 1-3 children. I never wanted to be licensed, and in my state you can watch up to 3 besides your own without being registered/licensed. I went into it with a plan that I would stop doing daycare when my son went to kindergarten (he was 18 months at the time).

I still have the same plan, same mindset as when I got into it. I still have no desire to become licensed, no desire to expand, and no desire to continue after my son is in kindergarten. I see positives and negatives in doing daycare vs being a working mom; and for the time being the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:01 AM
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I've been doing this for almost 2 years now and just became licensed. I was a working mom with my son in daycare and pregnant with number 2. I had just found the work/life balance that I had been searching for since I became a mom...... AND my company laid us all off unexpectedly and suddenly.

I was pregnant and competiting for jobs with a lot of my coworkers (who I have to say at times had better resumes even though I was WAY better!) and finding a job was just extremely difficult.

I talked to my old daycare and told her that I planned to babysit for the summer until I had my daughter and my old daycare provider became my mentor. She pushed me towards doing daycare and so far I love it. Don't get me wrong the income is about half of what I used to make, but being my own boss is just amazing. There are days that I really really miss the 'corporate world' but then there are days that I am in heaving dancing the day away with the kiddos.

I was waaayyy too nice in the beginning and have had that bite me in the bumm, so I would change that. I do plan on eventually continuing my education but I havent decided when or with what. I plan on doing this for about another 3 years (until all my kids are in school) and then possibly looking at expanding to a center... or winning the lottery
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:15 AM
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Since I was 6 years old, I'd always wanted to be an elementary school teacher. It was an unwavering dream. But I got married and then got pregnant unexpectedly right before I started student teaching. Well I got through it and obtained my teaching degree and license, and leaving my daughter at daycare wasn't an issue for me. However, finding a full-time job where I live was darn near impossible! The only thing I could get was subbing and after-school tutoring jobs! No one wanted to hire a new teacher (and my shyness during interviews certainly didn't help )

Anyway, after 3 years of this crap, I became pregnant again and decided to stay at home for a while and go back to school for special education. Right after this decision, my best friend had a daycare "emergency". Her daycare lady couldn't handle taking in her newborn and gave her no notice. So I agreed to watch her 4 month old baby full-time for 6 weeks along with my 2 kids while she gave her notice at work.

I LOVED it so much and finally felt that I found my calling! I finished school, got my license and tried the special ed teaching for a while. No luck again.

So 4 years of trying and I still didn't have a teaching job. September came and with no job, I decided to put out a craiglslist ad for daycare. I've been doing it ever since (2 years). I just got my license last week and am very happy with my new-found career.

In my opinion, though I've strayed from the original dream, I still feel that I'm using my education every day, just with a smaller and younger audience. I keep getting asked when I'm going to go back to teaching, just because my family and friends have seen me passionately pursuing teaching for over 20 years, but I just tell them that I AM teaching! And the best part is that I get to be with my kids while I do what I love! No regrets! Dreams change! This is what I was meant to do.

The only thing I would have changed is to terminate my first dck earlier than I did, but I think a backbone comes with time
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2011, 11:14 AM
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I personally opened my daycare to be able to stay home with DS. My mother died when my brother and I were little and the memories I have of her were from doing all the things she did with us because she was able to stay home too. Id like for my DS to have mommy memories too. Regardless if I die at 95 or at 30, like she did. I have a "live like today's your last day" approach to my life and have for the past 16yrs.

That being said, I wasnt always a stay at home mom. I worked for a marketing firm for 4 yrs before I decided to stay home. Before marketing I did facility daycare. My son will be 2 in July and its been almost a year (at the end of this month itll be a year!) that Ive stayed home. My marketing company changed face after I had my DS and on lunch breaks I worked on getting my Child development Certification. Once that was obtained along with all the CPR/AED/First Aid certs I threw in the towel and had enough. I worked long hours for crap wages and treatment and was missing out on the only child El Hub and I were going to have.

I love this job. I have moments of wanting to scream at all the crap that comes with it but I wouldnt have it any other way (well except for maybe being rich and not having to do anything lol.). I feel productive, I have wonderful DC children (yes, even dcg who chews like a new puppy) and I get to have exceptional time with my son.

Im going to school for my degree in Business Management too. My ultimate goal is to run/open my own facility once DS goes to school.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:15 PM
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i was a single teenage mom, fresh out of an abusive relationship, and sort of on my own. i say that because although i had my mom to watch my son, she made life VERY difficult for me. which i absolutely don't blame her, and thank her for. she charged me room and board, (after i had to move home) and charged me to watch my son. she didnt cut me ANY slack. i wasnt allowed out of the house unless i was working. she woke me up to take care of the baby in the middle of the night after pulling a 12 hour shift. she wasnt gonna do it for me. she was out to teach me a lesson and you can bet i never got pregnant again. (until i was married)

even though she was wonderful to my son, and i appreciated her watching him, i never saw him. i missed ALOT of his firsts. so i was determined after i got married that i was going to stay home with any future children. (i did have another son with my husband...he also adopted my first son) but with money tight, daycare was a way for me to bring in an income.

i absolutely love what i do, and make no apologies for it. i love being home, i love working with kids. its the best of both worlds. i honestly dont see myself ever doing anything else. although, someday, i'd like to buy a building and open a center there. i'm slowly working on a degree, but at the rate i'm going, that may be a while

there are good days and bad days, of course. but i take them as i roll. some of my parents may drive me nuts, but so would coworkers at a job. my licensor has bad days, but so would my boss. there may be times when the kids stress me out, but so would last minute deadlines. it gets lonely sometimes, but so would sitting in a cubicle somewhere for 8 hours. i have no commute, no car to warm up at 6 in the morning. i can go to work in my pj's. i'm there for my kids. (even if it means dragging 6 others to school to watch his concert or attend a holiday luncheon). i figure, if i have to work, its going to be something i enjoy doing and get personal satisfaction out of. we may struggle with money, and balancing the daycare with personal and family time, but i wouldnt want to do anything else.

some of my choices in life have caused me to take the hard road for sure, but everything i've been through has made me who i am. i am right where i'm supposed to be, and i would'nt change a thing.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:33 PM
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I opened my first daycare 25 years ago. I was in Kroger's and this lady was talking to one of the workers and the worker was telling her that she saw the babysitter that was taking care of her little girl slap her in the face outside, she also told this lady that her little girl was made to play outside for most of the day by herself.

I took it upon myself to say "what did you just say this babysitter was doing?" When the lasy looked up at me she was crying, I put my arms around her and told her "get your child out of there" she said "I have too, but if I miss one more day of work they will fire me. This little girl was 3 years old and I leaned down to her and ask her if the babysitter slaps her and she said "If I tell you, she will hurt me more". I introduced myself to this lady and she said in tears "Hi, I am Lisa and this is Gretchen. I had my daughter with me and she was 3 years old too and my daughter hugged Gretchen. I told Lisa that I would LOVE to watch Gretchen and I knew she would have a hard time ever trusting someone again. She came to my house the next day with Gretchen and my daycare began

Lisa told another person about me and a week later I had a little 3 year old boy Joel. And Joel's story was a sad one too. both these Mothers were single moms struggling very hard. I decided at this moment i would only take single moms children and help them out.

I called to become licensed and on my first visit I had everything and got my license. This took 3 weeks. In another 3 weeks I was full. All single moms!

These children became a part of our family and all I knew was that I had a special bond with children and I enjoyed playing in THEIR WORLD!!

I still LOVE and enjoy watching children to this day!! I got pictures from Kevin & Michelle (my 3rd children 25 years ago) a couple weeks ago, they are 27 & 28.

I have always been involved in children somehow in my life, we did a independent living home for teens and they all had babies, 10 girls ages 15 to 17 and within 3 months we had 10 babies too Now that was FUN!!!

Did I ever go to school? NO, would I now? NO

Would I change anything? NO, God has led me throughout my journey and will continue to lead me.

Did I think daycare would be what I thought? I got more than I thought I would. I got more LOVE and happiness from all these little children. I got to watch children grow up and watch those group of single moms make something of themselves. I have something from EACH child I have ever taken care of....MEMORIES


So, that trip to the store some 25 years ago, a Mother named Lisa, a child named Gretchen, a BRAVE worker at Kroger's, and God for putting me there at that moment gave me my calling to open a daycare
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little People View Post
I opened my first daycare 25 years ago. I was in Kroger's and this lady was talking to one of the workers and the worker was telling her that she saw the babysitter that was taking care of her little girl slap her in the face outside, she also told this lady that her little girl was made to play outside for most of the day by herself.

I took it upon myself to say "what did you just say this babysitter was doing?" When the lasy looked up at me she was crying, I put my arms around her and told her "get your child out of there" she said "I have too, but if I miss one more day of work they will fire me. This little girl was 3 years old and I leaned down to her and ask her if the babysitter slaps her and she said "If I tell you, she will hurt me more". I introduced myself to this lady and she said in tears "Hi, I am Lisa and this is Gretchen. I had my daughter with me and she was 3 years old too and my daughter hugged Gretchen. I told Lisa that I would LOVE to watch Gretchen and I knew she would have a hard time ever trusting someone again. She came to my house the next day with Gretchen and my daycare began

Lisa told another person about me and a week later I had a little 3 year old boy Joel. And Joel's story was a sad one too. both these Mothers were single moms struggling very hard. I decided at this moment i would only take single moms children and help them out.

I called to become licensed and on my first visit I had everything and got my license. This took 3 weeks. In another 3 weeks I was full. All single moms!

These children became a part of our family and all I knew was that I had a special bond with children and I enjoyed playing in THEIR WORLD!!

I still LOVE and enjoy watching children to this day!! I got pictures from Kevin & Michelle (my 3rd children 25 years ago) a couple weeks ago, they are 27 & 28.

I have always been involved in children somehow in my life, we did a independent living home for teens and they all had babies, 10 girls ages 15 to 17 and within 3 months we had 10 babies too Now that was FUN!!!

Did I ever go to school? NO, would I now? NO

Would I change anything? NO, God has led me throughout my journey and will continue to lead me.

Did I think daycare would be what I thought? I got more than I thought I would. I got more LOVE and happiness from all these little children. I got to watch children grow up and watch those group of single moms make something of themselves. I have something from EACH child I have ever taken care of....MEMORIES


So, that trip to the store some 25 years ago, a Mother named Lisa, a child named Gretchen, a BRAVE worker at Kroger's, and God for putting me there at that moment gave me my calling to open a daycare
Now I am sitting here crying...thanks alot What a BEAUTIFUL story! Thank you SO much for sharing!
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:15 PM
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after I had my sdd (and one yr mat leave) I was so dreading going back to my full time nursing job (ya I made awesome money but) so I signed up with a program who would place children in my care. That lasted 3 months, the program was awful, I was watching a little girl for over 12 hours for 25 dollars a day, so not worth it. So I had to go back to my job in the nursing feild.
So after 1 month being at work, I went in one day and quit, right there. Omg, the pressure was lifted off my shoulders. No more weekends, no more dragging 2 kids to my moms house and picking them up.
So we lived in that house for 2 more yrs. I scrimpted all the money and we moved (me pregnant with #3) to a old house in the country.
After I had #4 (all the kids are less then 2 yrs apart) I set up my daycare. So here I was with 4 kids of my own, and starting out. I got this lady who had to immediately remove her children from the home daycare they were at, this kids were 4 and 6. This summer was the last year I had them as the youngest is now 10 yrs old.
I never really had a plan, all I knew was that I needed to stay home because "I" couldn't afford daycare, and who was going to hire me when I could only work during school hours. I wanted to be home when the kids got off the bus, I wanted to be there to get them on the bus, I wanted to make sure they ate a good dinner and homework was taken care off and they were driven to activities, dh, well he's like everyone elses dh.
So here I am, my oldest is going to be 13 yrs old next month, I've been at this for 6 yrs (same age as my youngest dd) my income has paid for activities, vacations and anything else and I have the best job. I never worry about holidays or weekends or missing the kids stuff at school. I'm always there.
So here's my future plan, its to continue to work in my home daycare to send all 4 kids thru university/college.
I still dont have a plan from day to day, but thats ok. I know that the kids are well taken care off and they love coming here. You cant beat that.
Oh, I should mention, my odd is now watching dcks to earn money. How sweet is that.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QualiTcare View Post
sorry if that's a little deep - but i often read your posts about what you "will do" or "would have done" and while i often agree and admire your poise (like when you give letter writing advice) i can't help but to remember that you haven't done it yet. don't take that personally. i think eventually you'll know what i mean.
I understand what you mean. I do believe I have a good head on my shoulders so I do my best to give out the "I will" and "I would have done" opinions. It's helping me develop as a person and future caregiver and mother. It's really frustrating waiting and waiting to have my own daycare since A. I can't do it in my apartment and B. we can't buy a house quite yet.

I do feel it's part of my journey through life because God would have given us the opportunity for a home if I was meant to already have my own daycare. I'm not ready to be a mother yet either, but I know the future will go as He plans and it's His way of showing me to just keep up on my dreams of being a future child care provider and do what I can while I wait. I'm also the kind of person to hurry up and rush to just end up waiting so it's good that I have to pace myself now. LOL
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little People View Post
I opened my first daycare 25 years ago. I was in Kroger's and this lady was talking to one of the workers and the worker was telling her that she saw the babysitter that was taking care of her little girl slap her in the face outside, she also told this lady that her little girl was made to play outside for most of the day by herself.

I took it upon myself to say "what did you just say this babysitter was doing?" When the lasy looked up at me she was crying, I put my arms around her and told her "get your child out of there" she said "I have too, but if I miss one more day of work they will fire me. This little girl was 3 years old and I leaned down to her and ask her if the babysitter slaps her and she said "If I tell you, she will hurt me more". I introduced myself to this lady and she said in tears "Hi, I am Lisa and this is Gretchen. I had my daughter with me and she was 3 years old too and my daughter hugged Gretchen. I told Lisa that I would LOVE to watch Gretchen and I knew she would have a hard time ever trusting someone again. She came to my house the next day with Gretchen and my daycare began

Lisa told another person about me and a week later I had a little 3 year old boy Joel. And Joel's story was a sad one too. both these Mothers were single moms struggling very hard. I decided at this moment i would only take single moms children and help them out.

I called to become licensed and on my first visit I had everything and got my license. This took 3 weeks. In another 3 weeks I was full. All single moms!

These children became a part of our family and all I knew was that I had a special bond with children and I enjoyed playing in THEIR WORLD!!

I still LOVE and enjoy watching children to this day!! I got pictures from Kevin & Michelle (my 3rd children 25 years ago) a couple weeks ago, they are 27 & 28.

I have always been involved in children somehow in my life, we did a independent living home for teens and they all had babies, 10 girls ages 15 to 17 and within 3 months we had 10 babies too Now that was FUN!!!

Did I ever go to school? NO, would I now? NO

Would I change anything? NO, God has led me throughout my journey and will continue to lead me.

Did I think daycare would be what I thought? I got more than I thought I would. I got more LOVE and happiness from all these little children. I got to watch children grow up and watch those group of single moms make something of themselves. I have something from EACH child I have ever taken care of....MEMORIES


So, that trip to the store some 25 years ago, a Mother named Lisa, a child named Gretchen, a BRAVE worker at Kroger's, and God for putting me there at that moment gave me my calling to open a daycare
what a sweet sweet story. it truely brought tears to my eyes. i hope my story turns out to be a great as yours!
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:27 PM
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I was going to be a Marine Biologist. While earning my graduate degree, we couldn't find good care for my daughter (TERRIBLE center, and dayhome lady who told me that my daughter was mean spirited and a troublemaker for hitting another child when my DD was 2 yrs old so we pulled her).

I got pregnant with DD (now 2) and decided that grad school was not for me, so I started babysitting. I originally planned to do it for a few years, until all my kids were in school (i'm now preg with #3, so that will be a few more years now), but since starting daycare, I found I really love it.

I know what everyone means about finding professional satisfaction in their job, but I have managed to do that but really staying on top of the most recent child development research, and implementing strategies to make my daycare as good as I can make it.

I would eventually like to start an outdoor 'forest' Waldorf preschool NOT IN MY OWN HOME and make it a lifelong career, but who knows. When my kids are a bit older, I might be sick raising preschoolers and move on to something else.
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