At Home Daycares

Bonnie - posted on 05/01/2011 ( 29 moms have responded )

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I am seriously thinking of starting an at home daycare through an agency and I am wondering if any of you ladies who have one of your own, send your child to one, or know of someone who has one could give any positives or negatives to them? Your thoughts? Opinions? Thanks.

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Krista - posted on 05/01/2011

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I don't really know about the car thing. My son goes to an at-home daycare, but she only watches three children besides her own grandson. And they just have a regular car. If they want to bring the kids to the park or the library, they walk (putting the babies in the double stroller), as they're within walking distance of everything.

Personally, I love our at-home daycare, because it's so much smaller than a daycare facility, but my kid still gets to socialize a bit.

One thing you'll want to consider is meals. Some daycare providers also provide the meals. In some ways, that can be easier, because then you're just making one meal for all the kids, and it's done. But it's also tougher, if you're dealing with pickiness or allergies. My daycare provider gets the parents to provide their kids' meals. Some parents send their kid with a lunch and snacks every day. I send a bunch of pre-made food (like cooked pasta that I then freeze) over every couple of weeks, for her to pop in her freezer, and she can then just heat up a meal for him when lunchtime rolls around. If you DO provide them with meals, you'll want to make sure that you're providing healthy food and a good variety, as some parents (like myself) are conscientious of that and don't want their kids eating Spaghetti-O's every day.

Other than that, have a wide variety of toys, make sure that the place is thoroughly childproofed, and that you have enough spare rooms/playpens for naptime. My sitter lives in a three-bedroom bungalow. So when naptime rolls around, the two babies go in playpens, each in a bedroom, and the two older kids are on little cots, one in the third bedroom, and one in the living room. So that's something you'll want to think about: how you'd arrange naps.

As well, a lot of parents appreciate it if you do some educational stuff (and it helps provide structure to the day as well). If you look online, you'll find a lot of resources that you can use for educational activities with the kids.

Establish a "sick" policy. My sitter will take them if they have colds, but for anything else, she won't. And also set up your policy for absences. With my sitter, she gets paid for the week even if I don't use her all 5 days. But if SHE has to cancel for some reason or another, then she doesn't get paid.

And lastly, make sure your washing machine is up to snuff, because you'll be doing a lot of laundry. Yes, the parents should provide spare clothes for the kids, but there will still be times that you'll have to wash and dry the kids' clothes.

That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure you'll get some great advice from the others here.

Alahnna - posted on 05/01/2011

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I run my own in home daycare through an agency, but I am located in Canada, so our rulings and such may be different than in the US.

We do have strict rulings to follow. I provide 2 snacks and one lunch daily that follow Canada's food guide. I have a somewhat structures day, we have a schedule and while it is flexible, I try to keep to is as much as possible. We have educational activities every day, I have circle time with a story and we do a small group activity/art activity every afternoon. We go outside twice a day weather permitting. I am allowed 6 children in my care at a time, including my own 2 children.

I have to have a seperate sleeping area for my infants and they must sleep in cribs until 18 months, playpens are not allowed. My infants also have to have high chairs and I can only have 2 infants in my 6 children ratio, if I have 3 infants in my care, I can ONLY have those 3 infants. In my 6 child ratio, I also can only have 3 of them under the age of 2, the other 3 have to be age 3 or older.

My agency director visits my home once a month to visit with the childre and I. She provides things I may need like cribs, high chairs, car seats, baby gates, toys if needed,etc. I am allowed to transport my children if I want to, but I have to have special insurance on my vehicle and I have transportation wavers that my parents sign whenever we go on an outing. I currently am in the process of getting a van, but I have used my car up until now. If I needed to transport all 6 children to an outing, my agency director will come pick us up in her van if she is available to do so and she brings us back to the daycare as well.

I have to have a lock on my fridge and also my medecine cabinet. I need medical forms filled out if I am to give a child medication while in my care and the medication needs to be in the original bottle, with the child's name, date, doctor's name, the dosage andf how often, etc.

If my agency director thinks I need it, I would have to have a fence put around my yard. So far, I have not needed one as I am quite far back from the road and my lawn area makes a natural type fence, but I will be putting up a fence this summer anyway, for my own peace of mind.

My agency director helps find children to fill my spots when I need it, so I don't have to do all the advertizing myself. Going through the agency, I am also able to accept children who have government subsidies,which is a big help to many of my parents.

September - posted on 05/02/2011

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Our son goes to an at home daycare program that is owned by the homeowner, Mona. He loves it there and so do we. She is licensed and she is amazing with the kids! I love that there is structure and activities to enjoy every. One day is never the same as the next, she's very creative and far from lazy and I love that about her! Oh and there's no tv so I know our son is not sitting around watching tv all day. It's also smaller than most programs so it has a home away from home feeling. She also cooks homemade meals every day for the kids and I think that's pretty awesome (breakfast and lunch) she also provides a snack after nap time. She offers a variety of healthy, well balanced meals, which is super important to me. When our son first starting going I sent his snacks and lunch until I realized how awesome her food was! In fact I’ve asked for some of her recipes because our son loves the food so much that he’s asked me to make them at home. The daycare is set up inside the house but is a huge room that is only used for the daycare. It's super kid friendly, clean and safe. She also has a playground in her back yard that the kids enjoy every day. Personally I love the at home daycare option as opposed to a day care facility. I love the one on one time that he gets while still having other kids to play with. Our experience with our at home day care has been just amazing! Good luck to you!

Juliana - posted on 05/01/2011

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Hi Bonnie,
I run an in-home daycare. I absolutely love it. Im here for my children whenever they need me and I get to spend so much more time with them. Some of the things that are required of you is structure, I have a routine that I try to follow everyday. Cleanliness is important, I vacuum and scrub floors everyday.
You have to have a very strong back bone, sometimes parents dont want to pay and you have to be firm with them. If you have any specific questions, your welcome to message me.

Bonnie - posted on 05/01/2011

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Yup, big fenced in yard. Currently have a sand box that my kids use and hoping to put in a little playground as well.

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Mabel - posted on 06/17/2011

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Glad for the update and I hope it goes well.Hey and while you are at it can you teach these kids some manners?You should meet some of the kids around here! WOW I didn't realize there were words like that !! =)

Bonnie - posted on 06/09/2011

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Just wanted to give you all an update. I will be starting my daycare on Monday. I hope i'm ready!

Veronique - posted on 05/04/2011

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My daughters go to a home daycare, and they love it and so do i. At first i was very worried sending to a home daycare cause you really don't know how the person will treat your child. I find with a home daycare they get more of the homy feeling. There's more attention for then cause there's not as many kids and it's always the same person taking care of them versus in a center where staff come and go. My daycare worker is so wonderful and she works with me instead of having to battle with her on issues regarding my children. She already knows that we want a
3rd baby and she told me to tell her as soon as i get pregnant because she'll clear a stop for that child lol :)
I was even planning on openning a home daycare but my house has been and will be under renovations for quite a while :(
Good luck......

Bonnie - posted on 05/03/2011

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Thanks Tonya. From what I understand it is a bit of a process especially when starting with an agency. It may be a while, but we'll see how it goes.

Mabel - posted on 05/03/2011

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I am currently looking into a home care service for Devin.He is almost 2 1/2 and I think he needs some interaction with other kids.He does fine when not with me and has a few friends of his own that come to play but I feel like he has me too much at times and I know I would love a break for 1 day a week.Hope it works if you do start one..=)

Medic - posted on 05/02/2011

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My kids go to an inhome daycare that is licensed through the state and I LOVE it. I lucked out and found a mom that has very similar values as we do and feeds and disciplines the same way we do. She feeds the kids breakfast, lunch and two snacks as well as keeps my toddlers cup full of milk and water all day which is what I asked. My kids have extra clothes over there and she will wash their stuff when it gets dirty and just put it back in the dresser. She has between 2 and 5 other kids and my daughter is the youngest and my son is the oldest not counting her own three that are there afterschool.

America3437 - posted on 05/02/2011

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Had one and loved it except for at the end of day work is home and home is work! Just be careful that parents fully understand this is your home and day care closes and all children are to be picked up by then.I also sent my kids to one when they were younger and although home was very clean bleach was not used to disinfect and my newborn ended up with roto virus and shortly after I withdrew my children all people in house ended up with worms!!!

Krista - posted on 05/02/2011

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I'm not sure if i've heard of it either and then your stuck giving each child a different lunch and snack because everyone has brought something different. The only benefit I can see to this, is that the provider knows the child will be eating foods they like or are used to from home.

I think in my sitter's case, she found that it was a bit too worrisome with regards to liability. Like I said, it doesn't bother me at all -- more often than not, my son gets leftovers from the night before anyway, or he'll get some food from the big batches that I send ahead of time. I know this isn't the usual way of doing things -- most daycare providers DO provide lunch. But, I'm content with it.

Mel - posted on 05/02/2011

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yeah I didnt think about that. Shes a health freak to so I know my daughter is getting the best foods she adds veges to all her cooked meals like mince and spaghetti etc. But Yeah I hope it works out for you :)

Bonnie - posted on 05/02/2011

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"my daughters inhome daycare provider just makes extra the night before when she prepares dinner and that is what the daycare kids have for lunch, they have NEVER not had a cooked meal for lunch"

Mel, I kind of like that idea. That would definitely save time with not having to actually cook something while the kids are in my care. I would just have to find out from the agency if that would be allowed or if it would have to be fresh (although it would be less than a day old).

Mel - posted on 05/02/2011

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the daycare centres I know of justhave a chef who prepares the meals, my daughters inhome daycare provider just makes extra the night before when she prepares dinner and that is what the daycare kids have for lunch, they have NEVER not had a cooked meal for lunch

Bonnie - posted on 05/02/2011

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I'm not sure if i've heard of it either and then your stuck giving each child a different lunch and snack because everyone has brought something different. The only benefit I can see to this, is that the provider knows the child will be eating foods they like or are used to from home.

Bonnie - posted on 05/02/2011

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I think my biggest concern right now is where I would fit everything that I would need hahaha.

Bonnie - posted on 05/02/2011

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Alahnna, I live in Canada as well, so I guess a lot of the things you mentioned would be the same for me.

Bonnie - posted on 05/02/2011

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Juliana, I am trying to get into an agency so I wouldn't have to deal with the money issues. The parents pay the agency and the agency pays me. I guess that's one major plus right there :-)

Krista - posted on 05/01/2011

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Yeah, that sounds very similar to mine, Krista. Morning snack if needed (depends on when the kid had breakfast), then lunch at 11am, nap at noon, and another snack at 3pm. I pay $100 a week, but meals are not included (she just found it left her too open to liability, what with allergies and all). I don't mind providing his meals, and have even instructed Wanda (my sitter) to feel free to share some of his stuff with the other kids, as some of the other moms don't bring very healthy things for their children. It's not like toddlers eat a ton anyway, and if it's a choice between sharing some pineapple and kiwi with the other kids, or having it spoil, well, it's a pretty easy choice.

Krista - posted on 05/01/2011

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I take my son to a day home, but she is not involved with an agency, she just does it on her own. (The Day Home Association in our town is kind of crap anyway...you see all the day home moms out at McDonald's or the play gym drinking coffee and visiting while all the kids run wild...) I pay $500 a month for full time care, including meals. She's very structured and has a great routine in place. They all nap at the same time everyday, snacks and lunch are at the same time. She has between 2 and 5 kids at a time, depending on the day. They're all pretty young, so she doesn't do crafts or educational stuff, and when they go anywhere they walk. I pay no matter whether I bring my son or not, but if she cancels on me, then I don't pay for those days.

Krista - posted on 05/01/2011

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Yeah, driving gets you into a WHOLE issue with liability and consent forms and all that stuff. I wouldn't even go there, if I were you.

Oh yeah, one other thing...is your yard fenced-in? You'll want to bring them outside to play sometimes, or else you'll go shack-wacky. And if your yard is fenced in, it makes life MUCH easier.

Bonnie - posted on 05/01/2011

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I know someone who has a daycare through an agency and she is not permitted to drive the kids anywhere. I am sure they can probably for walks and stuff like that. If anything, I have a fan, so transportation really isn't an issue.

Bonnie - posted on 05/01/2011

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Thank you as well Krista! Wow I was kind of thinking I may not get any responses to this, but that's great so far. Keep them coming!

Bonnie - posted on 05/01/2011

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Thanks Mel :-) My boys are going to be 3 and 5 this year. Yeah that's my biggest worry is how strict they are going to be with how I keep things and what is done. Plus throwing around the thought of trying for a third baby and then having to care for a new born and a few other kids plus my own is kinda scary lol.

Mel - posted on 05/01/2011

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Its quite hard work to have everything child proofed to their standards and you'd have to have a car that carries alot of kids thats the only things I can think of to mention. When I had a carer come in for my daughter, she is now running a home daycare and I send my daughter there, everything had to be done things you wouldnt even normally think of. She wasnt allowed outside, while the carer was there, my backyard isnt safe enough. Its quite strict anyhow. I think its great you want to start one :) oh also having to set up different themes every week or so like changing over toys from a toy libary and what not. Floors have to be vacuumed and mopped daily (if you dont already), as long as you dont mind doing that. I think its great for your own kids to have the interaction this ladys 2 yr old learnt to do everything early from all the other kids, however on the down side she didnt have her mum really from 4 months of age and has to sort of stay crying and wait for breast feeds wait to be put to bed etc, now now that shes older its better. I dont know how old your kids are :)

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