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  • Ages of Providers on Here

    Hey there,

    I've been doing daycare for 7 years now which I know isn't a long time, but I think about the future. Are there any older providers in here? I'm in my 40s.

    I wonder how many people are able to do this occupation in to their 60s to retirement.

    Most days I like my job. I'm confident enough to be able to say that I'm good at it, but in the long term would I be able to keep up my income and continue to watch 8 children every day?

    There are other things too. Would it be nice to be able to take days off without the world turning upside down for everyone? Yes. Most of my parents are awesome about it, but I have one that acts like I'm doing it to mess up her whole life. I told her if she didn't like me having a vacation day then she could find a new place to go. She was fine with it then.

    Then of course there's covid. I have to do what my county says so if they say the family has to quarantine and they can't come here for so many days I have to follow it. End of story. (Insert yelling at me on the phone here and me getting to hear my parent's opinion about the pandemic on the phone).

    So now with it being Summer if I take a day off this parent will also be irate that I'm messing up her whole life because the county made her quarantine even though she chose to use up every last second she had of vacation for her job already this year.

    It all comes with the job I know. I'm just trying to figure out the long term. If I knew it was possible to keep doing this the way I do I could handle the digs and comments from the parents. I just don't want to be in my late 50s and find out that I can't do it anymore. The kids are great with our routine. They all seem to love coming here and I do love watching them grow up and learn. I'm just wondering how long some of you have been doing this for that are more experienced.

  • #2
    I am 55; 56 this fall and am on my 30th year of my own family child care; been in child care in clients homes, and centers since high school! My family/friends assure me that I've got 10-15-20 more years in me as the women in our family has longevity of years living. Total years in child care is about 38 years.
    Last edited by Annalee; 06-14-2022, 07:13 AM.

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    • #3
      I’m 52, and have pretty much always done this. I’ve had child care in my home for 30 years, and before that, I worked in daycare centers. My first solo babysitting gig was when I was eleven. 😁

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      • #4
        I am in my late Forty's, I started 8 years ago as licensed day care before that I just cared for my extended family and licensed foster care. I am up for my two year renewal this year and that will take me until my ds finishes K. After that I may quit depending on how I feel and where we are financial. If I had a dedicated space I would continue but my playroom is now my son's room and the cost of building an additional space we would need to take a second mortgage out.

        I would also love to homeschool my kids but just don't have the patience or organization to do homeschooling and day care at the same time.

        At age eleven my parents dropped me off at a red cross babysitting class and I started babysitting shortly after. (The baby of that family now works at my DD school)

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        • #5
          Wow! I wouldn’t keep that parent. That sounds awful and you don’t deserve to hear about it. You run a business, you’re not her personal nanny.

          I am 31. I started babysitting the neighbor’s kids at 14. I was a server at 16 and managed a pizza place at 18 while going to school for ECE. I quit school and went into sales at 21 because my starting salary was just as much as a teachers salary. As a single mom, “quick” money was important to me.

          I met my husband at 26 and got married shortly after. We had our second daughter in 2019 and my husband adopted our oldest daughter in 2020. During COVID, I worked at home with both girls. When it was time for me to go back to office, I couldn’t do it. I missed so much time with my oldest DD because of my career that I didn’t want to do it again with my second DD. At that time, DH was only in his second year of trade school and we couldn’t afford for me to be a SAHM. I decided to open my daycare and DH was totally onboard. I officially opened in August 2020. Nearly two years later, I know it’s the best decision I’ve ever made for my family.

          When DD2.5 goes to school, I don’t know what my plans will be. I really want to open a daycare center. I do know that if I don’t have the daycare out of my home by then, I’ll likely close up shop and go to work for the school system so I have the same days off/same hours as my kids.

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          • #6
            I'm past retirement age and still working, first licensed in my 20s. Have I had doubts that I could keep going? Sure, especially after a knee injury/surgery in my 40s. Do I ever wonder why I'm doing this? Yep, but there is nothing else that ever drew me as much as this. I actually like little kids, always have, and enjoy helping them find the work-arounds that help them learn to be their best selves. We all have those parts of ourselves that we struggle with, I think, and helping kids taught me ways of helping myself too.

            I ended up being a single parent early on, unexpectedly. Though we didn't live extravagantly, we took at least one vacation each year, visiting national parks, oceans, many many lakes, and a couple of other countries. I own a house, helped put my kid through college, and hoping for a pretty successful retirement, or at least semi-retirement (what can I say, I still like little kids!)

            When I'm unhappy with the business end of things, I try to look at it rationally and figure out a solution, even if it needs to be done in stages. More than once I've formulated a five year plan, or a three year plan. I first did this when I was feeling the lack of vacation time. I'd worked up to much more time off at my previous office job. So each year, I'd implement another policy or contract item, like adding in paid time off that I typically took one or two days at a time. The next year, maybe I'd change my vacation weeks to paid instead of unpaid. And the next, maybe change daycare families time off from half pay to fully paid. Some things I'd base on current market trends, and some I just jumped out on my own regardless of what other providers were doing. Remember, it's your business, and you can set a plan for change at any point.

            Currently I work a shorter week, as well as a shorter day. These things are encouraged by my rate structure - parents see it as cost-saving, but I see it as being better for my little kids, as well as nicer for me.

            As for parents, well, they come with the job. For the most part, the people I've liked also liked me. I try to be straight forward with prospective families, but also kind and understanding. Some I have told right out that yes, you will find providers with looser policies and contracts, but be sure to look at what the trade-offs are. Also, parenting styles have changed over the years, and will likely continue to do so. I had to make peace with that 😊 or be a fuddy duddy.
            I have learned to listen for the parents who are seeking solutions (not just the latest book or internet expert) and give my best ideas to them. I don't really bother with the ones who don't care about how I do things. It saves time and frustration. Last of all, some of it is just human nature. I try to see their side and empathize, but I could not stay in business if I did everything to benefit only the parents. Sometimes I explain, but more often I just tell them that - I couldn't stay in business if I did what they asked.

            I tried to answer the questions you asked; hope it helps a little.

            edited: added the paragraph about parents
            Last edited by SignMeUp; 06-14-2022, 11:13 AM.

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            • #7
              I'm 50 and have been in paid childcare since I was 13. I started watching my kid brother every school break and summer when I was 5. It was the 70's, latchkey was normal and we were not quite as helpless and irresponsible as todays kids have been raised to be. Sure we had higher fatality, morbidity and abduction rates, but the ones who survived were tough as nails and very independent. We are the reason you all have to see those whining boomer posts about why we never call or visit.

              Back then you only had to take a babysitting course at the red cross or YMCA (where I got mine) that offered basic meal prep (Kraft Mac, Chef Boyardee, Banquet Pot Pies, Sandwiches), CPR (Annie, Annie, are you ok??), First Aid (Mercurochrome lava) and Stranger Danger (rape whistle, crotch punch, pee your pants) to get your fancy certificate. That nifty 911 thing came along much later, you see. Mostly I read books, danced to MTV and played kickball with them until I turned 16 and got my first "real job" as a daycare playground attendant for $100 per week, cash (6a-6p). I thought I hit the lottery.

              By 50 you will be well able to tell your difficult parent to take a hike and know that you can fill the slot anytime you want. It will be super easy to enforce your own policies and you will be surprised you ever even gave their feelings a second thought. Their temper tantrums will become your entertainment. No worries.
              Last edited by Cat Herder; 06-14-2022, 11:10 AM.

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              • Annalee
                Annalee commented
                Editing a comment
                CH, we had concrete playgrounds and slides that landed on those concrete slabs and the slides were scalding HOT!!!! LOL

              • Cat Herder
                Cat Herder commented
                Editing a comment
                Us, too. Metal slides (Dante's fire chute) , metal merry-go-round (meat bag hurler) and metal monkey bars (the dislocator) that always had a two foot deep puddle of mud under and around them. Then there were the teether ball poles (face basher), yard darts (you feeling lucky?), and field balls of every size shape and color. Occasionally I'd take my boom box but we were limited to kids music (gasp, we were raised on metal and funk), mostly as a warning that I could turn it on if they got too violent. Fist fights were daily, but everyone was friends by afternoon. Nobody thought to come back with a gun, they might not get invited to a pool or skating party...
                Last edited by Cat Herder; 06-14-2022, 11:55 AM.

              • Annalee
                Annalee commented
                Editing a comment
                CH, you just made me laugh out loud and it's nap time. LOL But absolutely correct, those were the good ole days!

            • #8
              Originally posted by Cat Herder View Post

              By 50 you will be well able to tell your difficult parent to take a hike and know that you can fill the slot anytime you want. It will be super easy to enforce your own policies and you will be surprised you ever even gave their feelings a second thought. Their temper tantrums will become your entertainment. No worries.
              This.
              If you are able and willing to continue this profession beyond 50, this will more than likely apply to you. (general you).
              You come to realize what battles are worth it and which are not. Peace, harmony and a stress free environment become the goal and surprisingly they also become easier to gain.
              I put up with a lot of families, kids and situations "for the money". That isn't nearly as important to me anymore.

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              • Coloradoprovider
                Coloradoprovider commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes! Even though the energy level isn't the same as my younger years (61 years old), I'm enjoying childcare more. The ability to balance my needs with the business needs has gone ever more in my favor! Even though it has taken time, my backbone has grown stronger (ability to say what needs to be said, ie. enforce policies).

            • #9
              I'm 34 and started working when I was 22 so I'm planning to go until I can't anymore
              Christy Sewell

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              • #10
                I'm 63 and have been a provider for the past 25, almost 26 years. The running joke here for a while has been, "I'll probably continue working as a daycare provider until I'm so old, they'll be changing MY diapers!" At this point, though, I'm planning to stay open only until I hit full retirement age which should be in 3-4 years. I've been very lucky over the years to have been able to maintain a steady income. I mostly get families through word of mouth rather than advertising to the general public and I think that has helped in terms of bringing me fewer "problem" families. My dc parents have been great about only recommending those families they think would respect and appreciate me and my policies.

                As far as time off is concerned, I take a fair amount of it. I think parents are less resentful of the time I do take off because they know what to expect before they enroll. I'm open 8-4, M-Th and closed on Fridays. Having Fridays off gives me one day of the week to use for appointments or anything else I want to do so I rarely have to close on days parents need me to care for their kids. It also gives me the extra down time I need to keep doing this job. In addition to having Fridays off, I also take every holiday (minor and major) with pay and have 2 weeks of vacation time scheduled, unpaid. Maybe it's just my age or the pandemic or the group of kids I have right now - or all of the above - but I'll be honest and say despite my time off, this job still feels physically and mentally exhausting lately. I'll be losing 4 of the toughest kids by the end of the summer so I'm anxious to see if that makes a difference in how I feel. I'm crossing my fingers because right now, the thought that goes through my head constantly is, "I'm getting way too old for this!" and "I'm not sure I can last another 3-4 years!"

                In terms of the digs and comments from parents, I haven't had to deal with much of that but the few I do get don't bother me like they might have when I was younger. It may have something to do with the fact that rather than being a peer, I'm old enough to be my dc parents' mother. I treat their comments like I would comments from my own kids. I find I'm more patient for some reason and much more comfortable dealing with them head on. I had one parent who decided to push back on Covid policies that the state set and I had to follow, for instance. I must have texted back and forth with her for close to two hours one night and have to say that I found her snarky comments more comical than irritating or hurtful. I'm still working on my backbone even after all these years, but I think my age and experience has helped in that respect.

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                • #11
                  I’m 35 and been doing this for going on 6 years.

                  I agree, I think age plays a role. It has been difficult dealing with parents that are my peers. They do not respect me. They don’t think I know anything. My two best parents, one was older than me and she was very awesome. The other is my current family and she’s 5 years younger than me, but her mom did in-home daycare for 20 some years. So, she’s just really sweet and no BS.

                  My Aunt is retired, she’s in her 80s, but she did in-home until she retired. She just didn’t have the issues that I have been faced with. Parents reading one book and walking into my home and thinking they know everything and everything about their kids life has to change, immediately. That’s happened to me twice. Demanding I do things because the book says this or that and I know nothing. 🙄 All of the Dr. Googleologists too. People with untreated mental health issues and mood disorders. The drama queens when they want something. I just deal with all of them and it is what it is.

                  Anyway, all this to say we providers today just have to adjust to this change and learn to deal with it if we want to stay in it. Otherwise, get out because these parents are cray cray. Really, I don’t do this for the parents. My only goal with them is to make them feel at ease while they work. And not worry about their kids. Edited my comment to make it shorter.
                  Last edited by MissCait; 06-16-2022, 10:15 AM.

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                  • #12
                    I was in my 40's when I started this forum.

                    Comment


                    • e.j.
                      e.j. commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'm glad you did! It has kept me sane - for the most part. It helps to be able to read comments from so many other providers and find that I'm not the only one going through some of the same things we all go through with kids, parents, licensors, our own families... It's great to be able to come to a site like this where you know everyone else "gets" it. Thank you!

                    • Michael
                      Michael commented
                      Editing a comment
                      You’re welcome

                  • #13
                    So I'm "only" 35, and have been doing this for 14 years, but I am also disabled. About 3 years ago I just couldn't physically do it anymore. I was doing 9.5 hour a day daycare with preschool in the mornings (2-5's only). I also was planning on having surgery on my foot, which has a 10 month recovery (Covid canceled that... but that was the plan) I ended up deciding to do babies for 2-3 days a week. Got two newborns and had them for a year together. I had one family leave, and kept the other baby for another year by himself 3 days a week. I realized during this time, I'm not a baby person (I absolutely love this kid and his family, but I preferred teaching preschool!) When he was about 2.5 we started up preschool again, but this time only 4 days a week for 4 hours a day AND my bestfriend/roommate ended up quitting her job and working for me. (she ended up saying she'd be willing to offer nap and do it completely on her own, so we do offer full day *until 3:30* option as well) I seriously could NOT do it without her. Mostly I do the business aspect, planning and teaching lessons. She does everything else, she is my feet! I plan on doing this job as long as I can, but switching to just preschool has been the best change! Physically, it's what I needed, but it has so many other perks! The parents I have, either work at home or are stay at home parents... so if their kid is sick... they CHOOSE to keep them home! It's amazing! Closing for all holidays, spring break, Christmas break, and even some weeks during the summer isn't a problem for them! I got Covid in January and closed two weeks. My parents didn't blink an eye. And NOBODY complained about paying during that time!
                    Long story short, if you want to keep with the job as you get less physically able to do it, there are definitely ways you can continue to make it work! Also, kicking out parents that don't work with your groupdoes wonders!

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