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  1. #1

    Working full time but looking to switch to opening in home daycare. Need advice :)

    Hi ladies,
    So I am a Mom to a 1 year old. I just went back to work in an office, where 3/4's of my pay goes towards paying for my daughter's Day Care, and gas. I work as a receptionist, (not my career of choice) and so I hate that I am wasting time doing this for very little.
    I do love kids, I have a BA in Sociology, and I need to make more money than what I am doing now. After applying to various jobs, opening a home daycare seems to be my best solution. Here are my dilemmas:
    1.) How do I transition from working full time, to finding clients to come to my home?
    2.) I have a pool that is NOT fenced (yet). I plan to do this this spring, although I do have a fenced in yard. Do I have to wait until after my pool is fenced in to find clients?
    3.) Is it practical to share family room space with a Day Care space?
    4.) How difficult is it to find clients?
    5.) Do you ever get bored?
    6.) Any tips for handling separation anxiety for the children in your care?

    I am struggling with this decision, mostly because I am not 100% sure where to start. Other than my own baby, and babysitting as a teen, I don't have a lot of experience watching kids. But opening a home daycare gives me hope that I can have the balance of taking care of my baby while bringing in an income as well! My mother said she watched other kids while my brother and I were small to bring in extra money. She said she didn't like it, and thinks I won't either. I don't want to think this way, I want to enjoy this.
    Any tips you have would be wonderful!!!
    Thanks so much!
    Last edited by ab04ch; 02-20-2013 at 10:21 PM.

  2. #2
    apples and bananas
    I went from a full time job to running a daycare. You have to have enough money saved up to run 6 months without a full daycare in my opinion. I saved up my money and I went to it! Set up a website, research what others in your neighbourhood are doing, create a great contract! Most ladies here are happy to assist or share theirs. Advertise! I share all of my space iwth the daycare. I have a daycare room off my main tv room that holds all the toys. I have playpens and cots in all of my bedrooms. It's a pain in the tushy! But I put them away most nights and my kids dont' seem to even notice them anymore.

    Take time to plan properly for the change! It won't happen over night. You won't be able to give your 2 weeks notice tomorrow. It's almost like working 2 jobs for a few months just to get set up and ready.

    Congratulations on your first step... considering it! It's a hard road for about a year and then it's smooth sailing.

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Ottawa, Ontario
    1,469 Times in 1,125 Posts
    You don't say what province you live in. Each one has different rules about the number of children you can care for, licensing requirements, etc. If you can hook up with a childcare association in your area you will be able to get a lot of information through them. You could also consider one of the agencies that would help you set up your home, help with finding some clients, etc.

    If you are unhappy in your current job than that is a large part of the battle in making the transition to home care. It will be lonely at first and the novelty of being with your child 24/7 may in fact wear off and you will start craving other adults. That is where playgroups could be a good thing to take your group to.

    I might be inclined to set a date in the future for opening such as June or September which gives you time to get the pool fenced - a legal requirement in some provinces and the house set up so that you have a plan for where children will nap, eat, play, etc. You will need to formulate a contract to give the parents of what you expect from them and what they can expect from you. If you set up the transition over time it will make it seem more natural to you and also give a better chance of having lined up at least a couple of children for when you open.

    Ideally make sure that your family could still pay the basic bills - mortgage/rent, utilities, basic foods if you didn't work at all so that there isn't as much pressure to be full so again it might mean taking time to adjust things like how you spend discretionary money since you may have less of it in the future - ie get used to cooking simply and not eating out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    109 Times in 86 Posts
    I left a full time job to open my home daycare as well. I've been opened for a year almost to the day and just getting financialy stable. Once you made your decision and are setting up maybe you could start adervertising spaces before you actualy leave your job so you can have an income. Set a date for when you will be officialy opened. IME parents started to look way way in advance for daycare so even if I had all my spots filled I was only full one year later.

    If you plan to use the same space your family use (which is my case) you need to be very organised if you do not want to feel the daycare is taking over your house. There are some sapces in my home that is NOT used for daycare purposes such as my own kids bedrooms and my living room ( sometimes I use it for movie days ) I have storage in my kitchen cubbards just for daycare cups and dishes and all. I have ONE napping area for all daycare kids. For me it has worked well but like I said, even if I use my family space for daycare I do have special storage and accesories JUST for daycare. It takes a bit of time but you find your grove and routine and then ...it just flows but it's a leasson learn type of evolving. I've been opened a year and I am still tweaking to make life easier. This website is AMAZING to help find new ideas.

    You have to be prepared to be tested to the max. Some children can cry/scream for loooooooooooooooong HOURS, weeks even month when the start daycare. Make sure you know your limits and find yourself some strategy that works with what you beleive it and make sure you tell parents and find parents that think and see things the way you do. A great support system makes all the differences. This will sound awfull but bad days as a daycare provider can be really bad and exhausting but I still LOVE my job and do not regret one bit my decision.

    Hope this helps somewhat .

  5. #5
    Outgoing DisneyPrincess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    43 Times in 36 Posts
    I got lucky to be on EI since we moved province and so I had the time to plan, advertise, set up and money still came in. But at my previous home, it was just too risky to leave all and open a daycare.

    Plan as much as you can while still having you job. Advertise for summer/or september and see your response. If you cant have your daycare separately from your home space (basement for example) then set up as if you have a daycare already so when parents come and visit they see you are well set up. For the pool... you'll have to figure out to fence before opening of course.

    My kids are older now and I had to invest in toys for all ages, strollers for more then one, playpens, high chair (kijiji, second hand store, etc... Never pay new). In the end I still invested a lot of money. I had to do all my paperwork, contract, regime, menus, have educative equipment like letters and numbers and shape that I hung on the wall, by craft stuff and coloring books and puzzles etc.. get my first aid certificate and police record etc. It was lots and lots of work and thank god I wasnt working at the same time. If you need help with any paperwork, I'm always happy to share, just send me your email.

    I do find life pretty lonely. Winter season is killing me, has for other seasons I go outside more and see my co-daycare ppl. But I did work as a receptionnist/secretary and even when I was just a cashier... I miss the interaction with ppl even though I thought I wouldnt miss it. At first I was happy to just be home for my kids and of course take care of little ones because they are so precious. I thought hey, I'll have a little social time getting to know the parents, but most just come in and out !! They dont and shouldnt know my entire life anyways right ?! for them I'm just a person they pay to take care of their child. Dont get me wrong I do have a couple of parents that do talk to me and we have fun few chats, but you always have to be careful what you talk about and say !

    Would I go back to work in the city... one day I will !!!

  6. #6
    Trace of Angels
    Different mom's in my area always ask me these questions. And I always give them the same advice. There are two things that you must ABSOLUTELY have:
    1. Love for other peoples children........not like, LOVE.
    2. Appreciation for a mess.......in your home, in your yard.....even in your hair.

    If you have those two things everything else is just fluff that can and will be worked out over time.
    I LOVE kids. I want to be around them my entire life. They bring joy to my everyday being. I worked in a centre and loved it there too. BUT at home there is no "lady drama" with all the other staff members. Child care is not rocket science...........an d you must spend your life doing what you love. If I won a million dollars I would still have a home daycare, but I would do it for free instead :-)

  7. #7
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Ontario east
    278 Times in 201 Posts
    Hello! Looks like you are well covered in answers to your other questions; just wanted to cover the pool question. We have one too & I had booked the fence install before we even moved in...it was complete within a week of moving. I was too terrified of my then not even 2 year old finding his way out there. So, as a parent I would not even consider a daycare home with a pool that is not fenced in (not even one with the promise of one going in); I would want to actually see how secure that fencing is before committing to leaving my child. Just my 2 cents.
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.


  8. #8
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    479 Times in 345 Posts
    Welcome! insurance with a pool (with or without a fence) might be an issue with a lot of insurance companies. I would look into this first.

  9. #9
    Starting to feel at home...
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    19 Times in 18 Posts

    One question......are you planning to have another kid in the near future? cause if yes you also have to consider quitting your job and doing full time daycare doesnt come with maternity leave......I always wanted to do daycare but i waited until i had my second so i could get my maternity, it also gave me an entire year to set up, and look for clients i find it took alot of stress off of it cause i could take my time knowing i was recieving my maternity benefits. Just another thing to consider, hope this helped. Oh also just to add i have been doing daycare for less then a year and it was very hard transition learned alot about being choosy of what families to take in you have to have a back bone some ppl are just plain rude and always know in your heart that doing daycare is one of the most important jobs there is and do your best everyday

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    71 Times in 63 Posts
    When my daughter was in a home daycare, they decided to install an inground pool. They told us they were putting up a fence, but then decided not to. Luckily, I was already pregnant with my second child and was leaving before it's completion, because I would have been pulling my daughter out of there for that very reason alone. They had a sliding door to their backyard that her older children could open. It takes one second for a child to slip out the door and into the pool. Too much of a liability in my eyes. Definitely get it fenced before opening up.
    With that being said our current home we bought only a few years ago had an above ground pool and I did run my daycare here last summer. It was attached to our back deck and was gated off. The children were not allowed on the deck and no toys were allowed near it on the grass. However, my husband and I decided that it was too much of a liability with our children being so young, and having the daycare that we tore it down at the end of the summer. So no more pool. Not saying you have to go to our extreme, but parents like to know that I had rules in place along with the gate.

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