Post # 1
I’m currently TTC, but in the back of my mind is my dream to run my own small in-home daycare once we have a little and we’re settled into parenthood for a while. I’d love to stay home, but we’ll need a second income to keep us afloat and I would love to take care of my own child while caring for other little ones. This will also help me for when I need to find a daycare for my own child should the need arise.
So I ask you ladies: what qualities do you look for in a caregiver? What physical traits of the home would attract you (i.e. dedicated playroom, swingset in the yard, etc.)? What activities would you be impressed/happy to see (i.e. music time, arts and crafts, etc.) when interviewing potential daycare providers? Would it be a plus to you if the provider is a registered nurse? Feel free to share whatever would make you happy as a parent (since I’m not one yet!).
Post # 3
I have done in-home daycare for both my daughters. The things that made me pick the specific caregivers are kind of intangible so it is hard to explain. I will tell you about some of the things that I liked about my oldest daughter’s provider who she was with until she started school. The woman was married with 2 teenage daughters. She cared for 3 kids in her home and would do things like bake cookies and take the kids outside with her to garden. She had a dog that gave birth to puppies while my daughter was there one day. When my daughter was older they would take her in the family pool and on the trampoline with the teen girls. When I mentioned some of these things to other parents they were somewhat taken aback. But I loved it and so did my daughter. Those are the things that happen in real families. If I wanted a cold and sterile daycare center I would have put my kids in one. But I want them with a real family. That woman became like an aunt to my daughter. Now all that aside, I made sure she was state licensed, CPR certifed etc. The woman was a professional- she just was like a professional mom. I know that not all moms would want the experience that I described- but I just thought I would offer you my perspective.
Post # 4
I don’t have any kids yet, but we plan to start ttc next summer/fall and I’d really like to do a home daycare when the time comes. The things I would look for would be:
-Home is in a nice area
-Someone who’d be willing/able to pick up and comfort the baby when it’s crying.
-I’d like them to have a regular schedule for meals, nap time, arts & crafts (when baby’s old enough), etc.
There’s probably more I’d be able to come up with once I actually a baby, lol.
Post # 5
As someone who was initially against daycare (especially in-home daycare), I’m happy to say I have been reformed. 🙂 After we got rid of our nanny, we switched to an in-home daycare and couldn’t be happier. Here’s some of the reasons we chose the in-home daycare over one of the other centers in town and over hiring another private nanny:
- Our DCP’s (daycare provider) house has an open floor plan and is all on one level, so she could be almost anywhere in the house and still see all the kids. There’s also only one entrance/exit, so it’s a very controlled environment (although she encourages parents to drop by during the day, whenever they have a chance).
- She has two play areas: front and back yards, with plenty of play equipment (a couple different sizes of slides, a few different play houses, a sand box, a couple different heights of climbing equipment, etc…). The front yard gets a lot of sun, so they play there in the morning, and the back yard is very shady, so they move out there in the afternoon.
- She has a daily schedule posted, so parents can see the day’s activities when they drop their kids off. The main events (meals and naps) are at the same time every day, but infants and young toddlers eat, sleep, etc… on demand.
- Our DCP also uses a preschool program with all the kids, even the babies, so from a very young age they’re introduced to colors, letters, numbers, etc…
- The activities are varied and interesting. Once a month they have pajama and movie day (but otherwise do not watch tv at all) and they have a weekly music lesson with a local music teacher. They go on bi-weekly field trips to the beach, the fire station, the fishing pond, the library, the dentist’s office, etc…, and they go outside daily, at least for 15 minutes, unless the weather is really bad. They also do free play, story time/circle time, and art/crafts time daily. For most birthdays, they bake muffins or cookies, and she puts up an inflatable bounce house for the kids, which is awesome! (DD LOVES the bounce house. 🙂
- I also liked that our DCP hires Early Childhood Education students from the local community college to help out. It keeps the child:adult ratio low (usually it’s only 2 or 3 kids/adult), and the students are great with the kids. On her busiest days, she has 9 kids there, but most days she has 5 or less.
- As far as our DCP goes, I think she’s just wonderful. She’s been in the daycare business for over 20 years (running a couple of the big resort daycares in my area, as well as working for the best center in town for a while). She has a lot of early childhood education classes under her belt, as well as some specialized medical certifications (all of her helpers are also CPR and first aid certified). She has two teenage boys (one in college and one graduating high school this year) and her husband has a pretty flexible work schedule, so he’s there quite a bit, too. You can tell that children are her passion, and she really loves her job.
Post # 6
@eeniebeans: Wow, that sounds like quite a lady! That’s what I’m envisioning – I want a caring, compassionate learning setting. It would never be just a job to me. I love kids and can’t wait for my own family!
@Future MrsB: The regularly scheduled things – naps, movie time, music day, etc.- is what I’m hoping to do!
@Mrs. Spring: Wow! What a set up they have! One of the perks of my house is that we’re in a family-friendly area, my yard is fenced in, and I have a ranch with a finished basement. In the basement (where I envision the majority of the activities would take place) I have a full kitchen, so for lunch/snack times, I wouldn’t have to leave the kids alone or be in another room. It’s an open floor plan with a full bath and everything. I love the idea of a posted daily schedule and that the parents can come and go as they please! I also love the activities that you mentioned. My best friend is a music teacher and LOVES kids, so maybe I could get her in on this too :). How lucky you are to have found someone like that!
I see that we’re all in different parts of the country (I’m in NJ). Was there a large difference in cost between the day care centers and the in-home day care? Also, in NJ I wouldn’t be required to be licensed if I have 5 or fewer kids under my care… although I wonder if I should just bite the bullet and get licensed, zoned, etc. when that time comes.
Post # 7
@shimmerofheaven: There was no difference in cost, for me, between the in-home daycare we use and the best daycare center in town, but the center had a one year waiting list and the in-home daycare only had a couple month waiting list. We’re of the mind, though, that we’d rather pay more to ensure our daughter is getting quality care, so cost is definitely at the bottom of our list.
It’s much more regulated in CA; I think you can only watch 2 children here, before you get a license. Personally, although it would probably make it a little more expensive and a little more work on your part, I wouldalways pick a licensed daycare over a non-licensed daycare. Part of being licensed means that the state does annual checks and that I can call and check to see if my daycare provider has had any violations or complaints, which I think is invaluable information.