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Closing After Only a Few Months

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  • Closing After Only a Few Months

    I had a child in September 2021. I already had a 4 year old and my husband and I worked odd hours which made it hard to find daycare for our children. I had already been watching my niece (2) on a pretty regular basis so I decided it might be a good idea to open an in home daycare and just watch a few kids to supplement my husbands income (he was a few months away from starting a new job that would almost double our income and we wanted to make sure he was going to get the job before I quit working altogether). I felt like doing the daycare would be a good way for me to spend time with family and make money. I love children. If I could have 10 of my own I would. I got licensed when my son was 6 weeks old and began watching my niece, then shortly after a 3yo girl and just within the last month a 12 mo little girl. I have been doing this for about 5-6 months now and I love it. But recently it’s because very stressful. I feel like I don’t have much work-life balance and I also feel as though some of the parents don’t respect me. Now that my husband has started his new job, I have a lot more responsibility around the house and as my son has started solids we have discovered he has many food allergies. He also has a lot of trouble sleeping and a couple other minor medical problems. This has caused me to develop a lot of stress and anxiety. I have also noticed some concerning behaviors from my daughter (who has a different father) and would really like to get her into therapy or counseling of some sort. Overall I just don’t feel like the daycare is working out and I wonder if I would be horrible to go ahead and give the parents a months notice and then close my doors? I feel horribly guilty and also embarrassed as it seems to other as though I jumped into this and made a decision that I didn’t follow through with but I honestly believe it would benefit my family greatly if I stopped. I could give both of my children the attention they need. I guess I’m just looking for reassurance that I’m not horrible for this and advice on how to tell the parents. Especially because they are all people I have known for a while and I don’t want them to be mad. Also the 12 month old just started a month ago and she has never been away from her mom so she’s just now getting over her separation anxiety and settling in with the other kids.
    I don’t want the parents to think it’s their kids or that I don’t enjoy what I’m doing.

  • #2
    It sounds like you started the job because of good intentions but without the expectations and stamina needed to make this a good experience on either end. This is a lot more "business" than many people find pleasant.

    Most daycares go bust in the first months, just like most restaurants. Better to get out now instead of dragging this out. If it's not for you, the longer it goes on, the more unhappy you'll be and the more mistakes you'll make. This is not a job with a lot of room for mistakes; the liability is too high.

    My daughter had severe food allergies and has diagnosed ADHD. I don't allow any outside bags or food, and we have a relative who pays for a private school where my daughter is thriving. It works for us, because our needs and resources, for the most part, match up just enough that nobody is falling apart. It works because this is a job I planned for in advance; it's a job I built skills for through other jobs I've held; it works because I don't find much conflict between this job and the life I want to live, and I push the rest of my family around to get them into the positions I want them so that all this works. I take up a lot of space in my household and that's just the balance we all found ourselves in.

    You have listed a lot of reasons you feel daycare is in conflict with your other needs and responsibilities. I don't think that adjusting those needs and responsibilities will make daycare work for you. The big picture is: your passions lie elsewhere. Putting out all the little fires won't make the fires stop popping up. There will always be new conflicts that make you feel divided and unable to care for your family while doing this job. It's time to shut it down and get back to building the life you want.


    • #3
      "This is a lot more "business" than many people find pleasant."

      Nothing truer than that.

      The only way to survive this is to realize that childcare is not a charity. It is not a right. It is something the parents were supposed to plan and save for BEFORE having children. They are their children, not ours. We owe them nothing. We do this job as a way to raise our own children. For income. Their needs and wants are no more important than ours.

      We are not public servants. We don't work for the state. We don't work for the department of ed. We don't work for politicians. We are not here to solve society's problems.

      We are here to provide a service for pay. If we do some good while we are at it, that is over and above, so long as it does not detract from our family's resources or time.

      Attached Files
      Last edited by Cat Herder; 02-24-2022, 11:34 AM.


      • #4
        Originally posted by BaileeB View Post
        I guess I’m just looking for reassurance that I’m not horrible for this and advice on how to tell the parents.
        You're not horrible for wanting to close. This job is not for everyone and it sounds as though you have a lot going on with your own kids. You need to do what works best for you and your family. I'm sure there will be some anxiety when you let your dc parents know you plan to close but the fact that you're giving them a month to find another daycare should help.

        If it were me, I would hand them a note explaining that due to unforeseen circumstances, I plan to close on XX date. I'd maybe include a list of local daycare providers and centers with contact information and I'd apologize for any inconvenience this unexpected turn of events might cause them. When I handed them the note, I'd just add any additional information I wanted to like, "It was a difficult decision to make. I really enjoyed caring for your child and will miss her...." Good luck! I hope parents are understanding and supportive. If they're mad, they'll get over it. Just remind yourself that your own family is your priority. This, too, shall pass.