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  • fivestarday
    commented on 's reply
    Oh My Cat Herder! You've got a lot going on. I wish you good weather and energy.

  • Cat Herder
    replied
    I've been in this field since my first job, at 15, back in the 80's. I am tired. So tired, today, I don't even have energy to answer all of your questions.

    I did not want to ignore you, either. I will answer when I catch a break. It is tree's falling everywhere, rake that yard again, teaching adult ed, my training feels always due and budget reconciliation time for me. Agggh...

    Leave a comment:


  • Snowmom
    replied
    Licensed since 2007. I will be closing on my 15th year anniversary this spring.
    Honestly, I'm realizing now that I should have quit much sooner if I planned to be taken seriously in the professional realm. I feel bad for saying that because this has been by far the hardest, most challenging job I've ever had. But people do not take this profession seriously. I've been "proving my skills" much harder than I ever had to in my 20's and early 30's in sales/marketing.

    Over the course of 15 years, I've switched focus here quite a bit. I learned that focusing on the business aspect alone (it's never personal) made this job much easier in terms of enforcing policies and creating a healthier environment. I shortened my working hours early on, which I think avoided early burnout that happens to many of us. I learned that saying NO was not a reflection on me as a business owner as much as a reflection of the quality of clients I was choosing. I am now much pickier with choosing who I work with and it shows (mutual respect).

    Like others, I've found my niche (12 months-3 years old) and I tend to stick with solely those ages for my sanity. I incorporate a preschool program to appease the parents but it's streamlined and easy to execute. It's basically small projects that keep our fingers busy and sparks conversation for group time.
    At the start of the pandemic, I cut out a few more things off my plate- like posting menus. Now, I may have a 2 or 3 day plan, but not as elaborate (or spendy) as I use to cook. I also stopped letting parents inside and kept that policy- this way, I don't have to clean my entry and main level as well as I did pre-covid. I allow my own kids to be messy, which was hard for me to allow before, since it was also my business space. It's much less stressful and also saved my entry rugs and door handles!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Sahm121
    replied
    I have been in business 13 years. I was pregnant with my 2nd when I started and had a 1 year old. Similar to BC, this was never my goal, I got laid off while pregnant and figured I’d ‘babysit’
    for the summer until I had my DD. Then I realized I was really good at it and I loved being home with My kids. I originally said I’d do it until my first went to school full day. Then I had my 3rd kid and she had special needs and finding a childcare for her would’ve been too expensive. So I said I’d so it until she went to school
    full day. Then all 3 kids were in school full time and I expanded with a full time assistant and I loved the flexibility. I could attend every school
    function and I was on cloud 9. then covid happened and I had some horrible families. It made me realize that I eventually want my house back and that I was tired. Now im Currently At a cross road. I will be earning my degree right when a big pre-K is being built less than a mile from my house and they’re actively looking for pre-K teachers. The dilema is do I take a pay cut for less hours and getting my house back? Or do I continue doing this and enjoy the freedom it gives me with my kids. Decisions decisions

    Leave a comment:


  • Sahm121
    replied
    @ BC - “Personally I don't believe any child NEEDS preschool or any type of structured environment but instead need parents and/or caregivers that teach them how to be independent and responsible kids. Structured environments are pointless if you can't pull your own pants up or use silverware or have any type of empathy for others, understanding of your own self and zero skills on how to function within a group of others. Preschool is a multi-billion dollar waste of money.”

    do you remember from your ECE classes why preschool was invented? It was because the kids in low income families weren’t receiving the exposure to language and learning the skills they learn at daycare. It was created to level the playing field. THEN it somehow got lost along the way where families think it’s daycare, then pre-k, then school, when In reality most of us do way more than a preschool ever Can do because we have the benefit of being able to bring up the kids learning since infancy. Preschool has one year to teach them all you said AND also do
    worksheets to keep the parents happy.

    I am in the process of obtaining my bachelors in ECE. I am currently placed in a pre-K classroom once a week…. And let me tell you, WE do more at daycare than they do at pre-K. I’ve been giving tips to the pre-K teachers on ideas and ways to encourage them to GO PLAY (I think that was from nanny de?). Crazy isn’t it? So every family who has left my daycare for a ‘preschool’ basically switched from me to an overpriced place that does less than I do 🤷‍♀️
    Last edited by Sahm121; 03-11-2022, 09:17 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • fivestarday
    replied
    Blackcat31 Your reply made me nod my head in agreement, laugh out loud, and think "Man, she ought to write a book!" I feel at ease about many of my own children's behaviors because I have been exposed to so many other children at this point. Children, like all people, are individuals. But there are certainly patterns that are typically followed in development. To me, a baby reaching up and snatching your glasses from your face is just as much as a milestone as crawling. I wish more parents understood this journey as one that is special but not necessarily entirely unique. Many of the articles I've read when I've felt down about my own children's development have either been the sarcastic mommy blog type or the rosy and ultimately neutral medical type. Discovering this forum has taught me so much.

    "Then the funniest thing happened. I realized the more structured and academic my program got, the unhappier I was." YES! That's exactly how I have felt too. And to put in all that work just to have parents sort of shrug at it. As I was saying to dh just the other night, "You know what? I used to want to have the different learning zones like at the preschool facility I worked at. But now? I could care less about that structure. I LOVE THESE KIDS UP! And my love, goofiness, singing, dancing, endless question answering and sometimes annoyed face TEACHES them so much. And the fact that I can be affirmed in this belief through this forum is huge. I feel like I am doing my best, even as the rallying cry for universal preschool continues endlessly.

    Let me know if you want to write that book! LOL btw, my DH just said "You type so fast it looks fake" giggle.

    Leave a comment:


  • Valerie928
    replied
    Been in business since 2014

    Leave a comment:


  • Valerie928
    replied
    Originally posted by Blackcat31 View Post
    I've been in the business for 30 or so years now. My favorite age group changes from time to time. Currently I like the 1.5 yr olds to 2.5 yr olds.
    Kids under a year and a half are too much work and the over 2.5 yr olds are way too whiney and unwilling. lol!

    Personally I don't believe any child NEEDS preschool or any type of structured environment but instead need parents and/or caregivers that teach them how to be independent and responsible kids. Structured environments are pointless if you can't pull your own pants up or use silverware or have any type of empathy for others, understanding of your own self and zero skills on how to function within a group of others. Preschool is a multi-billion dollar waste of money.

    I am an accidental child care provider and never meant to be in this line of work or anything related to it. My own child was struggling to thrive in the care environment he was in so I did as any parent would and figured out a way to do what was best for him while still maintaining an income for my family. Fast forward a few years and he started school and no longer needed daycare. However in that time, I had found I was good at this and was making a really good income AND had the ability to control my own work hours/days so I stayed in the business and returned to college (I had quit to start daycare) and earned my bachelor's degree in ECE. (Originally I planned to be a paralegal and dreamt of being a lawyer).

    I used to take kids 6 weeks to 12 yrs old but quickly found mixed aged groups made it hard and created a myriad of issues I hated dealing with. Big kids swearing or playing in ways that were totally inappropriate for younger kids etc... so I stopped taking kids once they got old enough to be in Kindy. Then I had a grand idea of being super academic and teaching preschool while caring for kids birth to age 5 only. This made keeping infants hard and disruptive to my plan so I stopped taking infants and enrolled only after kids were 15-18 months. That plan proved to be hard on my finances as most families had already found care by the time their kids were 15-18 months old so why leave?

    Then the funniest thing happened. I realized the more structured and academic my program got, the unhappier I was. It was ALOT of work to write lesson plans, do observations, and assessments and worst of all try to get parents to see the value in what I was doing when all they really wanted was a safe, secure place to leave their child while they were working. Most families weren't willing to pay for preschool. I don't believe many are now either (of course, they'll take free if offered).

    So I went back to basics. I now enroll kids as infants ONLY if they are born into a currently enrolled family. Otherwise they must be 12 months old. Beyond the the strict regulations required for infant care. New parents of infants are hard to manage. (Once they've parented a full year they aren't so bad and are more in touch with reality. lol!) I now teach the kids the basic ABC's and 1,2,3's but it is embedded within play. They learn but don't really know they are leaning.

    They all leave here knowing what most kids attending brick and mortar preschool know but they also know how to share, how to wait their turn, how to wait in line, how to use spoons and forks, how to take off and put on their own clothes and shoes. They know how to clean up toys, play unassisted without adult intervention and how to occupy themselves without the use of tablets, smart phones or any type of battery operated toys. They know please, and thank you, not to pick their nose as well as the difference between good tattling and bad tattling. They know how to pull their weight and earn a reward, treat or self satisfaction. None of them get a reward simply because someone else earned one. Basically I am trying really hard to make sure these kiddos know how to cope with the real world and not some version of utopia. My goal is to make sure none of these kids live in their parent's basements playing Fortnite until they're 40.

    I should mention too that I have a separate house for my daycare. I have my kiddos separated into age groups too. Infants are 100% separate from others. One room has the 1 yr olds and 2.5 yr olds while the other room has the 2.5/3 yr old to 5 yr olds. Makes play easier as the groups have different needs. The older kids' room is sorted and organized while the younger kids room has open shelves and large bins for storage. The younger kids have a climber so they can climb and slide whereas the older kids room has a quiet area where they can go read a book, listen to music or just sit alone for a bit.

    I am licensed for 12 and have 12 right now. ALL girls... (Lordy!)

    My journey is definitely a unique one and one I never planned to take or make permanent but yet here I am.
    As for retirement or quitting... who knows. Life is funny and one can plan for many things but the one thing you can't plan for is the future because no matter what we think will happen down the road, there's always a curve or a fork we didn't account for.

    I have ALL GIRLS too!! It's been this way for me since 2015!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Blackcat31
    commented on 's reply
    Oh and I should also mention, I don't "play" with the kids much. I am here to supervise and intervene when necessary. I am not a playmate or a peer. Of course, I read to them, sing songs with them and help them when they need it. I rock babies, give hugs and fix ouchies but other than that, I don't engage in THEIR daily play. Personally, I don't believe it's beneficial for them. The kids all know I care about their well being and do my best to make sure they are nurtured, encouraged and supported while they are here but that is the extent of it.

  • Blackcat31
    replied
    I've been in the business for 30 or so years now. My favorite age group changes from time to time. Currently I like the 1.5 yr olds to 2.5 yr olds.
    Kids under a year and a half are too much work and the over 2.5 yr olds are way too whiney and unwilling. lol!

    Personally I don't believe any child NEEDS preschool or any type of structured environment but instead need parents and/or caregivers that teach them how to be independent and responsible kids. Structured environments are pointless if you can't pull your own pants up or use silverware or have any type of empathy for others, understanding of your own self and zero skills on how to function within a group of others. Preschool is a multi-billion dollar waste of money.

    I am an accidental child care provider and never meant to be in this line of work or anything related to it. My own child was struggling to thrive in the care environment he was in so I did as any parent would and figured out a way to do what was best for him while still maintaining an income for my family. Fast forward a few years and he started school and no longer needed daycare. However in that time, I had found I was good at this and was making a really good income AND had the ability to control my own work hours/days so I stayed in the business and returned to college (I had quit to start daycare) and earned my bachelor's degree in ECE. (Originally I planned to be a paralegal and dreamt of being a lawyer).

    I used to take kids 6 weeks to 12 yrs old but quickly found mixed aged groups made it hard and created a myriad of issues I hated dealing with. Big kids swearing or playing in ways that were totally inappropriate for younger kids etc... so I stopped taking kids once they got old enough to be in Kindy. Then I had a grand idea of being super academic and teaching preschool while caring for kids birth to age 5 only. This made keeping infants hard and disruptive to my plan so I stopped taking infants and enrolled only after kids were 15-18 months. That plan proved to be hard on my finances as most families had already found care by the time their kids were 15-18 months old so why leave?

    Then the funniest thing happened. I realized the more structured and academic my program got, the unhappier I was. It was ALOT of work to write lesson plans, do observations, and assessments and worst of all try to get parents to see the value in what I was doing when all they really wanted was a safe, secure place to leave their child while they were working. Most families weren't willing to pay for preschool. I don't believe many are now either (of course, they'll take free if offered).

    So I went back to basics. I now enroll kids as infants ONLY if they are born into a currently enrolled family. Otherwise they must be 12 months old. Beyond the the strict regulations required for infant care. New parents of infants are hard to manage. (Once they've parented a full year they aren't so bad and are more in touch with reality. lol!) I now teach the kids the basic ABC's and 1,2,3's but it is embedded within play. They learn but don't really know they are leaning.

    They all leave here knowing what most kids attending brick and mortar preschool know but they also know how to share, how to wait their turn, how to wait in line, how to use spoons and forks, how to take off and put on their own clothes and shoes. They know how to clean up toys, play unassisted without adult intervention and how to occupy themselves without the use of tablets, smart phones or any type of battery operated toys. They know please, and thank you, not to pick their nose as well as the difference between good tattling and bad tattling. They know how to pull their weight and earn a reward, treat or self satisfaction. None of them get a reward simply because someone else earned one. Basically I am trying really hard to make sure these kiddos know how to cope with the real world and not some version of utopia. My goal is to make sure none of these kids live in their parent's basements playing Fortnite until they're 40.

    I should mention too that I have a separate house for my daycare. I have my kiddos separated into age groups too. Infants are 100% separate from others. One room has the 1 yr olds and 2.5 yr olds while the other room has the 2.5/3 yr old to 5 yr olds. Makes play easier as the groups have different needs. The older kids' room is sorted and organized while the younger kids room has open shelves and large bins for storage. The younger kids have a climber so they can climb and slide whereas the older kids room has a quiet area where they can go read a book, listen to music or just sit alone for a bit.

    I am licensed for 12 and have 12 right now. ALL girls... (Lordy!)

    My journey is definitely a unique one and one I never planned to take or make permanent but yet here I am.
    As for retirement or quitting... who knows. Life is funny and one can plan for many things but the one thing you can't plan for is the future because no matter what we think will happen down the road, there's always a curve or a fork we didn't account for.


    Leave a comment:


  • fivestarday
    replied
    I think I know a little bit of how you feel when you say sometimes you feel you could do the job til retirement, and other times you don't feel you can stand another minute. LOL
    I know the parents don't mean to hurt my feelings, and I know they respect me, but when they say things like "At Preschool, big sis gets to do all sorts of fun activities every week. Art and worksheets and etc!" I tell them, you know, I'd love to do more activities. But with such a big age spread, I just can't. And then I think to myself, I bet there are providers out there who are capable of doing activities for multiple ages and having more structured learning. But I'm just not one of them. I am very interactive with the kids. I love them up! Read, sing, and play with them. But they may not come home with alphabet worksheets and fresh paintings.

    I think your rule of taking on only one infant at a time (under 2) is very smart. To me, they are still babies until about age 2. Mouthing everything they can get their hands on, barreling over the top of each other, wanting held--all that is baby stuff. Two babies are delightful without any other ages interfering. Three babies is exhausting.. I'm about to let one new dcf go because three babies is too much.

    Leave a comment:


  • e.j.
    replied
    I've been in business for a little over 25 years and there have been ups and downs. There were times when I didn't think I'd last another minute and other times when I knew I'd be happy doing this job until I retire. Right now, I'm feeling as though I'm not going to last another minute but with only 3 or 4 years to go until I can maybe retire, I think I'll try to hang in there! lol

    I've cared for all ages, but I enjoy the 2-4 year olds most. I stopped taking SA kids several years ago and that helped ease some of the stress I was feeling. Up until the past 2 years, I had made it a rule to take only one infant (under 2) into my care at any given time. During the pandemic, my families experienced a bit of a baby boom so I ended up with multiple babies needing care. I took them on - gradually since I'm allowed to take 3 kids under 15mo as long as 1 is walking) but I won't be doing that again! I love each and every one of them and I'm glad I have them but it has been exhausting. I plan to go back to my rule of taking only one child under 2 years of age at a time. I'll lose two kids to kindergarten this fall and by that time, most of the other kids will be approximately 1-3 years old with only one being 4 if he doesn't end up going to full time preschool. I'm looking forward to a group of kids that are closer in age than the group I have now. I think it'll be easier at that point.

    Leave a comment:


  • fivestarday
    started a topic How Long Have You Been in Business?

    How Long Have You Been in Business?

    Just curious. How many years have you been in business? I am very happy doing this work, but sometimes I doubt I will want to continue after my dd8months is old enough to be in preschool. Sometimes, though, I think I could do this for the next 20 years. My favorite age group is about age 12 months to 2 or 18 months to 3.5.

    After about 3.5, I think kids do better in a more structured place like preschool with more kids to play with. I say this because of my experience with my own ds4 and some of my past dc kids. I'm unlicensed, and so limited to caring for 5 kids. If I have only 2 year olds, I'm happy to have 4 daycare kiddos, (plus my dd8months). But if the kids are under age 2, I prefer to only have one in my care. I know what I can handle, and what my house can handle. LOL. It limits me financially, but I'm OK with that.

    So as I consider the future, my own childrens' ages, I imagine myself being happy to do this for only a couple years more. Then I may take a year's hiatus and start back up with me watching very specific ages only. 4 year olds are just SO loud. They don't nap anymore and I'm constantly protecting the younger kids from their naps being interrupted.

    In fact, right now, I'm pretty excited about sending my ds4 to preschool. I've tried this before, but covid policies kept him home more than half of the month. It wasn't worth the money and it was so inconsistent, he never got into the groove of going to school. I appreciate every age, but my ideal would be to only serve kids who are fresh 2s and keep them for two years. That way I develop a pretty good relationship with families and I have a consistent care routine. Then, at 4, I'd send thedcf on their merry way to PreK. Or alternatively, get them at 18 months and keep them until they are 3.5. I like this idea because then I would be able to structure the playground and indoor environment to suit that specific age group. I wouldn't be fighting to keep babies from ruining 4 year old's art or constantly keeping 4 year old's choking hazard activities up high away from babies. I feel stretched thin financially anyway as I try to provide age appropriate toys for an age span of baby to 4year old.

    But what have YOU done? What's worked for you? Let me know. THANKS!
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