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  #1  
Old 05-13-2014, 07:49 AM
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Default Infants and Toddlers Only?

I'm considering changing the structure of my business to be 6 weeks -- 3 years only (and by 3 years, I mean third birthday. Possibly fall after 3rd birthday if they turn three after January). I like the idea of fewer age groups to have to cater to, less pressure to do preschool and kindergarten readiness, and in some respects less pressure to go outside even in crappy weather :P

I want to be able to charge more and have a smaller group, too. But to attract more clients and have a "niche" I need to do something different.

So!

I'm thinking of cloth diapering everyone. I have a HUGE stash of prefolds--I just need new/more covers. I'm thinking that probably 2/kid would be sufficient as I expect I'd be washing diapers every day. Parents would supply me with 5 sposies/dipes of their own I'd put them in just before pick up.

Thoughts? Any other ideas for things I can do that make me stand out in a tough market for home daycare? I can't do field trips or anything.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:55 AM
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I think that is a great idea!

I'd love to do that same age group since I am so much better with babies and toddlers than the 4 and up crowd. I've kind of headed that way already but not officially

Some parents may like the idea of the younger crowd simply because the older kids can get rowdy around younger ones

It's great that you recognize your strengths!
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:28 AM
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I would "graduate" them with the school year. That way, they can be in a preschool program for 2 years, then off to Kindy.

I had a friend years ago that did this. She would take 3 to start, adding a 4th once they were 5 months or so. She also studied with Magda Gerber at RIE, so that was her "niche".

She had one big room, off her kitchen, set up just for infants, then toddlers. Cozy spaces, soft toys, softer colors, and a heated floor (WI). For shelves, she used those "tower" shelves set on their sides, and each toy or basket had a place in there. Also, a mirror down low. For seating, she had the "me do it chairs" from Community Playthings.

Her other daycare room was a dark bedroom with 4 cribs. WI licensing requires a crib or pnp until a year, so she couldn't do the mats-on-the-floor thing Madga suggested. But, the kiddos were completely on their own schedule. If they rubbed eyes, whimpered, etc, she'd say "oh, it looks like you're tired. Let me help you go to bed". Then, in they went. They did develop a routine eventually, but for a while, it was probably pretty nuts there.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:35 AM
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Graduating with the school year poses a minor problem if they turn three in october :P How do you handle something like that?
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
Graduating with the school year poses a minor problem if they turn three in october :P How do you handle something like that?
I'd graduate them in the fall, even if they aren't 3 yet. Maybe if there is a Montessori school in your area, you could partner with them. First, you'd need to find out what their minimum age is. Then, you could create a "feeder" program, where you take the infants, and they go to the Montessori afterwards. You'd be catering to the same type of parents with a "RIE" or Reggio Emelia inspired infant toddler program. They, in turn could refer clients to you.

Honestly, with this type of program, you will be picking your families, I think! You could specifically pick children who's birthday's come at the right time for you. What you don't want is to end up with an old 3 year old and a new set of babies for a whole year. ewww!
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:53 AM
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I swear I commented on this yesterday

I'm doing 0-3 and graduating them the fall after they turn 3. I had a big thing about how my playroom is set up and my future plans for it, but I'll have to rewrite it later on.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:56 AM
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I think it's great too! I always shy away from infants because of sids etc. In my heart I know if I advertised for infants I would have more dcks. If you focus on how nurturing you can be because infants and young toddlers are your specialty and use that in your advertising, you will have a positive response, I'm sure!! Good for you!
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:44 AM
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I think that's a great idea.
Not sure about how to do graduation, around here most places won't take preschoolers until actually three, and preschools follow the school calendar.
So, unless you wanted to keep them until almost 4 in some cases, that might be tough.
It would be perfect if you had a school to work with, though, that you could pass kids on to at three
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:49 AM
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I don't kick kids out at 3 years old but for the last 5-6 years it seems that is the age they leave to go to preschool anyway so my program is really geared towards 3 and unders. Cloth diapering wouldn't be a huge selling point here, not in a real natural/organic area - but if you think it would be something parents would pay more for in your area you should give it a try!
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2014, 09:59 AM
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This is my program. I take 6 weeks to 3 years, they go to preschool the fall they turn 3.

I am actually considering only doing 6 weeks to 2 years after my two 3 year olds head out this fall. I LOVE babies, I do not enjoy the 2-3 year olds all that much. The babies don't fight, don't make a huge mess with toys or crafts, etc.

I have always taken 2 newborns at a time, and I like it that way, when they start crawling, and I have an openings, I take two more infants. I also have never struggled to fill an infant spot.
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2014, 10:07 AM
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I love, love, love babies & toddlers!!! I try hard to fill my spots with an infant or 1yo. They don't have food hang up & haven't had the chance to learn to be bratty, whiny or have mommie meltdowns.
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2014, 10:21 AM
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I think this is a wonderful idea. I'm jealous and wish I had the space for this. I read the RIE books I have and begin my wishful thinking.

If you go for it I'd really love to hear your updates! I was thinking that I would do something similar eventually when my own kids get older and don't count within my ratios but my youngest is 9 months so it'll be at least 10 years before I can do this .

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Old 05-13-2014, 10:30 AM
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I swear I commented on this yesterday
There was another similar post recently
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2014, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolconfidentme View Post
I love, love, love babies & toddlers!!! I try hard to fill my spots with an infant or 1yo. They don't have food hang up & haven't had the chance to learn to be bratty, whiny or have mommie meltdowns.


YES!!! This is exactly why I prefer under 3. I currently have a 3.5yr old and its rough! She definitely needs a preschool environment and I'm thinking she will go in June when they have an opening for her. My next oldest is 2.5 so there's quite a difference in maturity levels. I currently have 1 three yr old, 3 two yr olds and 2 one yr olds. The under 3's are cake, but the 3yr old is really my tough one. The picky eating, the sassy talk, the crying, the whining...

Ultimately, like when my youngest is in school and this job isn't an alternative to putting him in daycare, I would like to do infant & toddler only. Limit it to 6 kids including my youngest so really only 4-5 DCKs max and charge a higher rate. Of course I would like to move to a bigger house with a dedicated childcare room and more nap rooms.
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:40 PM
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I would love this but in Ohio licensing is 3 under two and 6 kids max so... that would mean that I would have to have 3 under the 2 and the other 3 would be 2 yrs old so when they "turned over to 3" I would have to replace 3 kids and the under 2's might not fill in nicely to those spots. I think I would always be looking for 2 yr olds to have them for a year...
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:49 PM
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I think it's a great idea!
I basically, but not officially, do this. I do have one 3 year old and the rest are 2.5 and under. I thought about only doing infant to 3 because while I'm all for home preschools, I am not one and don't desire to be one. I think the older kids would benefit going to a preschool program rather than here. In fact when I have openings for the 30 month and older and someone calls for a 4 year old, I often suggest they look for a preschool, that they would probably be bored here. But on the other hand, I can only have 4 under 30 months and the rest have to be over so I don't "officially" only do up to 3. Most calls are for infant and toddlers anyways.

Anyways, I think it's a great idea! You can advertise that you specialize in infant and toddler care!
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  #17  
Old 05-13-2014, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post


YES!!! This The under 3's are cake, but the 3yr old is really my tough one. The picky eating, the sassy talk, the crying, the whining...
I think we share the same 3yr old!!!
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  #18  
Old 05-13-2014, 05:00 PM
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DO IT!!!! Infant care is ALWAYS in demand.

Blandino is doing this, too! You guys should chat!!!


My friend does this also. She takes 4 at a time, 2 under 2 and 2 age 2-3. When they turn 3, she refers them to me. It's PERFECT, we share a lot of the same child care ideals and she encourages independence, so I get capable, polite, nice kids from her who are ready for a preschool setting!
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
DO IT!!!! Infant care is ALWAYS in demand.

Blandino is doing this, too! You guys should chat!!!


My friend does this also. She takes 4 at a time, 2 under 2 and 2 age 2-3. When they turn 3, she refers them to me. It's PERFECT, we share a lot of the same child care ideals and she encourages independence, so I get capable, polite, nice kids from her who are ready for a preschool setting!
I'd love to have a partner for this. There are no good full-time preschool's here, though, to be honest. There are daycare centers, but they're not so special. The school districts here all have part-time K4, though. Still, I have no 3 year olds now because....

So far, since going back to daycare, I haven't gotten any to age 3. I termed the first 4 (all in one family...outlandish behavior x4), the next one moved to CA just before his 3rd bday (ended up with a friend of Crystal's, thanks to her referral). Next one just got termed for being "Jaws", at 2 1/2, and the rest are babies again.

My current group is 10 m, 16m, 16m, and soon another 8 mo. Until one of the other mom's has another baby, that'll be my group.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:37 PM
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I'd love to have a partner for this. There are no good full-time preschool's here, though, to be honest. There are daycare centers, but they're not so special. The school districts here all have part-time K4, though. Still, I have no 3 year olds now because....

So far, since going back to daycare, I haven't gotten any to age 3. I termed the first 4 (all in one family...outlandish behavior x4), the next one moved to CA just before his 3rd bday (ended up with a friend of Crystal's, thanks to her referral). Next one just got termed for being "Jaws", at 2 1/2, and the rest are babies again.

My current group is 10 m, 16m, 16m, and soon another 8 mo. Until one of the other mom's has another baby, that'll be my group.
I should move, I'd have the market cornered!
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  #21  
Old 05-13-2014, 06:02 PM
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I should move, I'd have the market cornered!
You would!

The cost of living here is pretty low. You could get an awesome house, in town, for $200K or so. Daycare rates for preschoolers are about $150 a week, in town. Jobs for spouses, if applicable, though, might not be great..depends on what he (or she) does.
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