When I first became a stay at home mom, I started a licensed family daycare. I ran it out of our home until my first child reached school age, and I felt the need to close it down so I could put more energy into homeschooling.
Some days I think about opening up another childcare business again as I genuinely do miss loving on other people’s children. In my current stage of life though running a daycare business would not be a good fit. So that part of me that misses having toddlers around is being filled by helping out in the two-year-old room at our church.
Providing childcare is so much more than having a friend who works outside the home ask you, an at-home mom, to watch their child during the day. Although for many moms in the family childcare field, that is precisely how it started, and for others, they are content to stay caring for one family’s children at a time, and that is fine too.
But if you know that you have a genuine love of all children both related and not related you, you are willing to learn more about caring for children, and you are willing to invest time and money into creating a space that meets governing authorities standards in your area then licensed family daycare might just be for you.
I won’t get into all the legal stuff that goes behind opening up a licensed family daycare as they differ from country to country and state to state or province to province; instead, I am going to concentrate on different types of childcare you might want to offer from your home.
Six types of childcare you can provide from your home
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1. Traditional family daycare
Traditional family daycare is what most people think of when they hear the words” I offer childcare out of my home.” Generally, traditional family daycare consists of taking in several families children of various ages and stages and caring for their needs in their various ages and stages. It might mean you have fewer children during the day while older siblings are at school and a hectic few hours once the school children arrive at your home.
Family daycare hours are typically Monday through Friday and included all year care, including school holidays. Days are usually long; I had my first children arrive at 6 a.m., and the last children left at 6:30 p.m.
You are essentially jumping into caring for a large family, except that family members can change from time to time. It is a lot of fun but requires lots of energy and planning. You are working full-time hours inside your own home, which can make it hard sometimes because you see the undone chores around your house, and yet you have to remember people are paying you to interact and care for their children not to ignore them while you quickly finish just one more chore.
2. Infant & Toddler care
Specializing in this one age group, such as toddlers and infants, will allow you to create an environment that centers around their development needs at that stage of life.
You can adapt your play space 100% to their needs, and not have to think about how to keep them away from the school-age children’s little piece toy sets. Naptime isn’t interrupted by children coming home full of energy and wanting to talk.
The drawback is you lose a bit of the family feel of the family daycare. There is nothing like watching a school-age child, help a toddler with his shoes, or a preschooler pass the baby a toy, and then try and make them smile.
3. After School Care
Specializing in just the after school care age is once again going to cost you the family feel of family daycare, but it does come with one significant benefit of shorter hours.
Typically the workday of an after school family childcare worker is around 4 hours long. If you love school-age children, need part-time income, and want to be at home after school, childcare could be a good fit for you.
You can decide whether you are going to provide care during school vacations.
4. Mom’s Day Out
If you love the toddler and preschool age children and you just really want a part-time at home job, you might want to consider doing a Mom’s day out program. Most mom’s day out programs typically run from 9 to 11:30 or 12 so that moms can take their little ones home for lunch and nap time.
You could offer this once a week, twice a week, or more, depending on how often you want to work and how great the need is for such a program in your area.
5. Date Night
Another variation of mom’s day out that I haven’t seen done yet, but I think would be a hit is mom and dad’s night out. I would go with Saturday night from 5 to 8 so that the parents can grab an early meal and a bit of time to chat before the children need to be getting home to bed.
Make the time for the kids fun, have a special kid-friendly meal planned, and a few activities, and I think this could be a hit, especially in bigger urban areas.
6. Summer Care
As noted above, not all after school programs whether a small family run one or a large corporately ran center offer summer care.
If you have a love of school-age children and are willing taking a few extra children in over the summer months, it could mean friendship time for your kids and peace of mind for families of parents who work outside the home, plus a bit of extra income for your family.
I met one mom at the water park one summer who told me she takes in one or two school-age children each summer of similar ages to her children so that her children have a summer playmate. She has the money to allow them to enjoy activities together, both her kids and her daycare kids, like the water park, or ice-cream out or a day at the zoo: truly a win-win for both families.
With all these six types of in-home daycare, you can provide you need to remember one more thing, your day does not begin when the children arrive and end when they leave, there is also planning, cleaning, and learning, so you can improve your childcare skills, involved. Make sure you leave room in your schedule and work expense budget for those things too.
Have you offered daycare in your home before? If so what advice would you add to a parent wanting to offer in-home childcare
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