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  1. #1
    Shy JessicaBogo's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
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    Lightbulb How Long Did It Take...

    I am doing some research as in the next yr or so I am planning on trying to start my own daycare. I am planning on starting it while I am on mat leave in order to transition my income.

    I am just wondering how long it took before you had at least 1 regular daycare child?

    I will have 2 of my own by that time & my oldest will be 3yrs old. I am hoping to get 2 full time daycare children between the ages of 3-5yrs old.

    Thanks for the help in advance..
    Working for my family by helping other families

  2. #2
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I find that age group harder to fill. I guess it depends where you are. I'm outside of Toronto too and the going's slow. When I started I got a one year old almost right away but he was the nephew of a friend. I'm looking to fill older spots too right now and I just took on a 3 day a week 3 year old after 3 months of looking. All depends on how much you advertise though and word of mouth. Wishing you all the best! It is worth the search!

  3. #3
    Euphoric ! mimi's Avatar
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    I think in order to get your first client, your daycare space should look like you are ready to open tomorrow. It will be easier for clients who you are interviewing to picture their child in the space and see where they will play, eat and sleep. Have your infant/child cpr certificate and have your area thoroughly baby proofed with some toys and books and some wall décor. Also ensure parents of fire safety by telling them your evacuation plan (have posted on wall) and show you have smoke detectors and co2 detectors on every level as well as a fire extinquisher. Also some references from neighbors or friends whom have seen you interact with children and love your style would also be helpful.

    When your clients see that you have put in the work, like your confidence and plans for your daycare, then, depending on your area and time of year, it is hard to predict. Join any home daycare provider groups that might operate in your town. Have a website, that is huge for getting clients.

    Your age group might have to be lowered. In ON some kids start JK at 31/2 if they will be turning 4 in that year so you might want to rethink that. Also, the older they are, the less likely they will nap and are more demanding of your time.

    Hope some of these suggestions help. You might also want to read some past posts to see what other providers have suggested. Good luck!!!
    Last edited by mimi; 09-08-2013 at 10:10 AM.

  4. #4
    Expansive...
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    Yes, definitely have your daycare space picture perfect and ready to go when you begin interviewing. And while it isn't impossible, that age group is more difficult to fill as by that age they are usually already settled in a daycare. The most response you will get will be for 12 month olds coming off of maternity leave. That being said, when I first opened, I began advertising in September and by mid October I signed on a pair of sisters aged 2 and 5. In December a 15 month old boy started. I stopped advertising to get a feel of how our day worked best with the numbers I had, and signed another child on the following spring. Spacing out their start dates worked best for me just starting out!

  5. #5
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I started my home daycare while on maternity leave as well, and signed on 2 siblings part-time before my mat leave ended (since you are allowed to make a small amount of income each week without it affecting your benefits). It was a mum who had just had a new baby and wanted her two older kids to have some socialization while giving her time with the new baby. It worked out well for me because it was a HUGE adjustment for me caring for someone else's kids all day, even though I had worked with children outside my home for years. It was totally different being in my own home and with my own young children there as well. Once I got into a routine and felt I had a good handle on things I slowly filled the rest of my spaces, allowing a month or two between new children. And I agree with the other ladies that I would look for younger children, maybe 18mo to 36mo as it is usually much easier to transition them, and they won't be leaving for school right away (kids here in NS don't start school until age 5)

  6. #6
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I think if you're willing to re-think your preferred age group, you should find it fairly straightforward to find a couple of children. I'm not sure where you're located, but check out the rates for care in your neighborhood (just to make sure that you're competitive) and certainly make sure that you have all your "nuts and bolts" stuff lined up. (adequate home insurance, First Aid training, make sure that your plans for running a daycare don't result in your mat leave benefits being reduced to nothing) As the ladies above have mentioned, when a child is 3 years of age they are usually established in a daycare. And not to sound overly harsh, but if they are looking for a new provider, you need to ask some questions about why they are looking - just to make sure that the child (or the family) isn't one that you don't want to take on. (i.e. cheque bouncers, habitually late picking up their child, does the child play well with others or are there some behaviours that you may not want to bring into your home) There are absolutely good reasons that a child of 3 could be looking for a caregiver (recent move, was at home with Mom on mat leave for sibling #2 etc.) but just be careful taking on older kids. I always find it's easier to start with a one year old, and then they get used to my routines here - no bad habits to break. =)

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