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Daycare Is Not For Sissies

Daycare Is Not For Sissies

If you are going to do childcare you have to be tough. It’s a hard job!

Often when providers start out they have a vision it will be easy to take on a kid or two while they have the luxury of staying home with their own little ones. Over time many providers realize the huge income difference with just adding one additional child and before you know it they have a full house of day care kids plus their own children. Once they become acclimated to the higher salary and live the life that salary allows then the need to get and retain clients becomes more and more a part of the foundation of their business and their family’s way of life.

On the Forum, My4SunshineGirlsNY commented on

“I just added 2 girls a couple of weeks ago ages 2 (almost 3) and 4. I have been falling behind on EVERYTHING…I can’t keep up with the messes, arguments, my laundry is slipping behind, and I feel like my house is always a mess…and when all my kids and school age daycare girls get home it’s a nightmare!!” This is a common growing pain of adding new children into care especially if you already have a busy household of your own.

I’ve learned a lot over the years.  One thing I know for sure is that a successful home childcare should try to make changes gradually with good timing. When you bring in new children it’s best not to start more than one family at a time if you possibly can.

The dynamics of meshing the new client and child into your home is taxing on even the most seasoned provider. There are multiple relationships to consider.:
– Your children with the new child.
– The other daycare children and the new child.
– Your relationship with the new child.
– Your new relationship with new clients.
– The new child’s adjustment and what they bring to your group.
– The workload of the newness of the child and family.
– When integrating new kids into the child care it’s important to be as organized as you can.

I try to have as much of the grunt work done before the child starts. Making meals up in advance is one of the biggest time savers.  At the end of each day get set up for the next day so when the newbie walks in the door you have as much time as possible to focus on the child care and supervision of the new kid with your crew. It’s your job to conduct  their new relationship and work with the new child to learn your ways.
Even with the hardest work and planning it can get rough. Sometimes you feel exhausted by the end of the week and wonder what the heck you just got yourself into.

Forum member “Daycare” posted her top ten survival tips which are a good place to start:
#1 your not failing…
#2 have a plan, set days that you will do laundry, cook dinner(s), eat left over’s who takes Billy to T-ball and etc.
#3 everyone has a chore, no matter what age
#4 Don’t stress if it does not get done right away.
#5 There is no arguing. If you don’t want to help do something, you get nothing., This rule is for my older kids ages 13 and 15. You dont have to clean anything, but then you don’t get anything. AND I mean anything. .
#6. Make time for yourself, even if its a 10min walk around the block
#7 reward everyone in the house when you have a great day. maybe ice cream after dinner or an extra 15 min of TV time.
#8 when things go crazy, don’t let yourself go crazy. remove yourself and take time to refresh.
#9 no one is perfect, and as long as you are trying you will never fail.
#10 when everything falls apart, let it. Take your kids to the park let everyone distress and then come back to take care of matters later.

Dbug had my favorite tip: “I try to get as much work done during my 12-hour daycare day as possible (kitchen & playroom done while kids are playing, laundry during nap). Then when 6:00 rolls around, I can sit down and (hopefully) not have to move.”

I couldn’t have said it better. A seasoned provider will tell you that the best day is a day that is done when the last little one walks out your door.

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