- Family and Parenting
Work From Home: Using your House for a Home Daycare Center
So you think you want to start a home daycare?
Maybe you have always loved children, or maybe you have small children of your own.
Wouldn't it be nice to take in a couple of extra kids, make a few bucks,and give your own children some little playmates?
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you decide that this is the career for you.
- Do you have enough energy and patience to look after other people's children, in addition to your own? Remember, you can't just send them home if things go wrong. It's great when the kids are playing nicely, but anyone with kids knows this can change quickly. Squabbles happen. It can get really, really loud sometimes. You are the one who will have to deal with it.
- Can you tolerate a little messiness? Kids are messy. You can't freak out over every little toy you step on or every little crayon mark on the table. Buy washable colors and tidy up as you play, but don't expect your house to be perfectly clean at the end of the day. If you are a neat freak, this may not be the job for you.
- Does your family support your idea to turn their home into a daycare? Your children will have to share their mother, their toys and sometimes even their bedroom with other children. Consider your husband's feelings too. Unless you only take in children when he's at work, there will be kids around when he's home. He may get persnickety if he likes to flop in front of the tv when he gets home from work, only he can't because it's "daycare hours".
- Can you handle a fluctuating income?Kids get sick, or go on holidays, or grow up and don't need daycare anymore. The parents of the kids you watch can lose jobs. This will affect your income. However, working from home will eliminate your own daycare and transportation costs. You need to take this into account as well.
- Do you have enough space and equipment for extra children? You don't need a gymnasium sized living room to look after four or five kids, but you will need to make sure your space is organized well. You will need a play area, a quiet spot for kids to rest, a place for serving meals and a safe, fenced in yard. You will also need enough booster seats and high chairs for feedings, and some kind of transportation for outings. Strollers come in double, triple or quadruple size. Or you can get extra car seats for your vehicle.
Providing child care in your home is physically and mentally exhausting work. It's not for everyone, but I have personally found it to be rewarding. I am home when my kids need me. I feel good knowing that I am providing quality care to children while their parents are away. And it makes me happy (most days).
There is something special about looking into a sweet little scrunched up sleeping baby face that makes all the more challenging parts of the job worthwhile. And how many other jobs are there where you get hugs every day?
So if you are thinking about it, give it a try.
I recommend starting small, one or two part time kids at first. Then you can decide if you want to quit, or expand into a full time licensed daycare later on.
Good luck and happy playing!
For more information:
- How to Find the Childcare Provider of Your Dreams
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- Pros and Cons of Running a Home Daycare
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