If you can't afford $250/month deposit, it would be concerning, because this is approximately 1/4 of what you'll be paying for full-time care.
No, the deposit is to hold your placement. I can't accept another child for that spot as long as you are paying that deposit.
No, the deposit is to hold your placement until your child enrolls. If you determine that you will not enroll your child, you forfeit that deposit. Again, I cannot accept another child for that spot as long as you are paying a deposit.
If I determine that I cannot enroll your child, for any reason, I will refund your deposit in full.
No. I only allow people in if I have openings, and then appointments are scheduled for before or after care. If I do not have an opening, I do not interview parents. Why? Several reasons. My off time is sacred for rejuvenation, so I only schedule appointments when I have an opening. I will not allow strangers around my family or my daycare family for safety's sake, due to COVID and other risks.
I do not provide drop-in child care.
I do not have a specified curriculum in place (i.e. Montessori). The children I care for are under four years of age, so their time with me consists of a lot of play and informal learning. For example, if playing with blocks, we use that to learn our colors, shapes, words. This is, in essence, my philosophy. This goes along with another often-asked question related to what the children do daily. They play, eat, and sleep. During playtime is a good time to teach colors, numbers, and letters.
No. When you separate from your child, your anxiety is going to be greater than your child's, which is why the urge to drop in to visit with them. However, doing this will only cause anxiety for your child because if you show up, he/she is going to think you're there for pick up. Do this enough times and full-blown separation anxiety will begin on a daily basis. This counters the safe, secure, and loving environment that I try my best to provide. However, I do have an open-door policy in that you do not need to knock at drop off / pick up times.
I try not to be overly strict, however, I have my reasons for wanting you to stick as close to those times you specify as possible. If you drop off way past your designated time, it can throw a wrench into our schedule, especially as I tend to plan meals around those who will be in attendance. This is also why I request you let me know at least 24 hours in advance if your child will be absent.
Related to pick up times - knowing when you'll arrive allows me to have your child ready to go. If you show up unannounced, there is disruption as I try to get your child ready, plus the waiting you'll have to do.
If you think you're going to arrive late on either side of the day, all I ask is that you shoot me a text to let me know. Please do try to stay within 10-15 minutes of your time at pick up. If you think you'll be picking up early on a given day, text me about 10 minutes ahead of arrival, so I can get your child ready to leave.
If picking up during naptime, you'll need to text me when you arrive so that I can bring your child outside to you. This is to prevent disruption to nap time.
As a state-registered provider, I am allowed up to 10 children; however, the most I watch is six. Break-down of ages: Two under the age of two, Four - ages two to four. Another question I’m asked is related to supervision of the children. The children are never out of my sight. Even when I’m in the kitchen making meals, they are often gathered around the gate to watch. If the children move away from the kitchen gate - back to the play area - I will step out often to check on them. If I need to go to the restroom, they are generally standing next to the door, pounding on it (as a parent, you probably have this happen to you also).
Toddler meals are. Infant formula is not included in the cost of care. When your child is able to sit on their own and begin experimenting with foods, I will start providing for them; however, formula and whole milk is provided by parents. Once the child moves to drinking water with meals, sending formula or milk can stop. Supplies brought in by parents are kept separate. When those supplies run low, a text is sent for re-supply. Why can’t I supply for infants? Primarily, there are too many variables, the biggest of which is parental preferences: formula, diapers, wipes, cream. To supply everything, I would have to raise rates.
That being said, if you aren't particular about brands and want me to take it upon myself to purchase formula, diapers, and wipes for your infant and pull-ups, milk for your toddler, simply let me know and we can adjust your rate to include those purchases. Once your child moves out of pull-ups and is fully potty trained, the rate would be adjusted to the current standard rate.
The quick answer is that I have a home and family to support also. Expanded answer: If I charged only by days or hours attended, I would need to more than double the number of children I care for just to pay my bills and feed myself, my family, and my daycare family. Also, could you imagine what would happen if all of my daycare families took vacation the same week? I'd get zero income. Moreover, since the state limits the number of children I'm allowed to care for and since I charge less than most daycare facilities in this area, I don't prorate. If you reduce my actual hourly rate, I charge less than what you would pay for a babysitter, so I don't earn that much. Also, put the shoe on the other foot - if you went to work for someone and they decided they shouldn't have to pay you for your time off, no matter what that time off was for, e.g. vacation, sick time, mental health day, maternity/paternity leave, death in the family....(the list goes on), would you be able to survive if they only paid you for those hours that you showed up to work?
Parents have a page that is for them alone. On this page, I provide updates such as upcoming closures, vacation dates, state-regulated updates, etc. There is also a chart for each child which lists: meal times and diaper changes.
I prefer to watch six. How many attend daily is up to the parents’ schedules. Some days I only have four in attendance, while others I have six. Since there is only me caring for the little ones, six is my maximum even though the state permits ten.
We listen to music a lot, however, shows are limited to snacks and lunch alone and strictly educational (e.g. Word World and Brainiacs).
I will not begin assisting with potty training until after age two and only if a child is capable of communicating. Whether that's saying "pee" "potty" "pooh" or simply grabbing their diaper. At that time, the child will move to pull ups. I will take the child to the potty every two hours, consistently with patience and lots of communicating on why we're there. Expectations: in order to be successful, it's a team effort, so parents must be willing to continue the cycle at home in the evenings and on days away from daycare. Consistency will make the process easier and faster. Without the aid from the parents, the potty training will drag on and will become unnecessarily stressful for me and your child. If, as parents, you feel you are unable to assist, then it will be best to follow the current train of thought - that the child will move to using the restroom on their own, eventually. I will not train your child alone for you.
There's another train of thought that allowing a child to run around 'commando' will make going to the potty easier and more desirable for the toddler. I don't hold to that train of thought as every parent in my care who's attempted this has done no more than have to clean up pee and pooh off of their floors. I have also had parents ask if I will allow their child to go 'commando' here at daycare. The answer is a resounding no, as I have carpeted floors.
It's also important that parents understand that the daycare environment is far different than that at home - far more distractions, so even if your child is going to the potty at home, they must still be brought to daycare in pull ups as they must be able to communicate the need to go while here.
Even though COVID is technically behind us, I still clean as if it isn’t. This is because there are always illness spreading to contend with, including respiratory distress and the flu.
Currently, it is important that parents follow the sick policy to ensure that all who attend remain safe and I will continue to clean as if we are still in a pandemic state. If your child has a runny nose (clear snot) or a throat cough (tickle from the snot running down the back of the throat), this is a normal childhood annoyance. A child may come to daycare. If a child has any signs of a communicable illness (i.e. pink eye, lice) they must remain home until cleared by a physician. Fever, green or yellow snot, barking chest cough, unexplained rash, diarrhea, vomiting - all must remain home. This is not the extent of the sick leave policy, but that can be located on the contract. I do my utmost to remain open for my parents (and rarely close), but I also expect parents to be respectful of others and keep their child home if they even suspect their child might make another child ill with more than the common cold. I will call for a pick up (or turn a child away at the door) if it's obvious they should not be here that day.
I use the parent portal as a way to update parents on important information, to post their child’s daily diaper changes, feedings, bathroom runs, etc. If I will be closing daycare for vacation or holiday, that is posted on the website and on the front door. If supplies are needed, I send out a text. I will also text in the event of an emergency and/or closure.
Related to emergencies: There is a breakdown, on the parent page, of where I will be in the event of a natural disaster. If a different emergency arises, I will send out a text stating that all parents must arrive within a given time to pick up their child. If an emergency occurs in which a child is severely injured (which has never happened, thank God), I will call 911 followed by a call to the parents, followed by a text to remaining parents for immediate pick up. Other less traumatic emergencies are dealt with as they occur, but the same applies - a text requesting pick up. RE: power outages - per state regulations, daycare cannot remain open if power is out for more than an hour. A text requiring immediate pickup will be sent if power is out for an hour. RE: snow - if it starts snowing and sticking, a time will be text for pick up. Generally before sunset, because roads get more treacherous after that time. If it's been snowing steadily the night before, then daycare will likely close. Even if other roads are clear, including the highways, the decision to close will be based on road conditions around my home. So, if I call for a closure, it's due to those conditions and must be respected (thank you).
Infants are provided their own playpen to sleep in. Each has a crib mattress for comfort and a blanket. This is for their use alone. Once a toddler transitions from the playpen to the floor, I provide them with a mat to sleep on. Parents are required to send a blanket and pillow that can be left here for the entire week. The blanket and pillow are sent home at week’s end to be washed. Parents return them the following week.
I'm a Christian, however, I do not believe it is my place to teach children Christianity. I also do not hold to any attempts to indoctrinate children into the current political climate related to things that are best left to parents to teach their child. In short, I do not bring politics, religion, or my cultural beliefs into my daycare setting, nor will I permit parents / government to attempt to enforce their beliefs inside my daycare setting. While I respect others beliefs and cultures, it is up to the parents to teach them about what they want their child to learn. It is my place to feed, love, and provide a safe environment for daycare children.
No. I find entertainment indoors on rainy days and leave it to the parents to take their children outside in the rain if they want to do that. Why? Because not all parents want their children playing in the rain; because the littlest ones can't go outside in the rain so I wouldn't be able to supervise the toddlers if they went outside; and because I would have to change all of the children's clothing afterward and it's already a super busy day for me without adding additional tasks to it.
I'm a mother to four daughters and was single a majority of my time raising them, so I simply treat my daycare responsibilities in a similar fashion - by setting a scheduled routine. This ensures that children feel safe and secure throughout their day with me and keeps me sane :-). Additionally, I spent time in a second-grade classroom, so if I can handle 30+ rowdy 2nd graders, I can easily manage six children.
I'm grateful that I was blessed with a strong constitution, so rarely get sick; however, I do afford 5 sick days per year, similar to anyone who works for an employer. I've rarely taken those days, but feel it's necessary to have them available so that I do not try to tend to your children if I can potentially get them sick - which I'm certain no parent would appreciate.
For several reasons: 1) It would require me purchasing a commercial vehicle which would readily accommodate six children, 2) owning a commercial vehicle would require additional expenses that I would have to pass on to the parents in the form of higher rates, 3) I run daycare alone, so transporting children on a fieldtrip would be impractical, especially as two of the children in my care are infants.
I used to walk the children to that park once or twice a week for them to play, but too many people started bringing their dogs, unleashed, which puts the children at risk. Also, I have a lot of fun activities for the children to do in my backyard, so packing six children up to walk across to the park isn't really necessary or practical.
I've been in business for 10 years (as of July, 2023). I have a Master's in Education and participate in continuing education classes each year to keep my skills fresh.
I take one week off each year. I know that isn't a lot of time, but I made a commitment to be available for my daycare parents, so only take the one week vacation, along with ALL Federal holidays. I also have 2 floating days off, which I will use if I want to extend my vacation a couple of days, or if I have an appointment that it isn't possible to take a weekend to get done. As far as my vacation time, I give parents more than two months notice to ensure they have plenty of time to find alternate care. If I need to take a day off for an appointment (this is extraordinarily rare), I try to give parents at least a week's notice. Any closures are posted on the website and on the front door, so parents are never taken by surprise. IMPORTANT NOTE: I request parents stop by the website at least once a week because some information isn't posted on the front door or texted. Also, related to my annual vacation or other closures - I post any closure for the upcoming month on the front door, but NOT until the first of each month. In order to get the two month notification of my vacation closure, you'll need to check the website for that information, otherwise, you may very well be caught unawares.
I'm not fond of them because of the potential messes that go along with cloth diapers; however, I do permit children to use them at daycare. Parents need to send in plenty of cloth diapers for the week, along with a secure, leak proof covering. Additionally, parents will need to send in a plastic bag daily in which to place dirty diapers to send home at the end of each day.
I generally will accept toddlers from between 20-25 months. The reason for the restrictions? First, the state restricts the number, and age, of children in my care. Second, it is more difficult for an older toddler to adapt to a new environment, especially when they have been in a different childcare setting since birth. Finally, the younger the child enrolls the easier it will be for him/her to adjust and the longer they'll remain enrolled before needing to transition to preschool. Toddler placements are difficult to fill for these reasons, so the younger they enroll the easier it is for all parties to adapt to the new environment.
Yes, as long as I receive 24 hours notice along with $60 for the added day However, there is a caveat. Some days, if I know my regular attendees will be absent on a given day, I will close daycare and take the opportunity to take care of appointments, etc., so if any of my regulars are absent, I may decline to open for a non-scheduled child..
No. The payment you make is for your scheduled days, If your child normally attends M-W-F, but you need to work on the Tues, simply give me 24 hours notice plus pay the $60 for the extra day. See the prior note related to this policy. ALSO, you may not add an extra day in lieu of a holiday. Example: you work M-W-F, but Monday is a holiday. You cannot just decide to come T-W-F that week. Your payment incorporates Federal holidays, so if you want your child to attend a different day other than your scheduled day, you need to provide 24 hours notice and $60 for the extra day.
I don't drink, smoke, or do drugs, nor am I on any prescription medications that would impair my ability to tend to children. While I understand that people are free to do what they want in the privacy of their own home, it is against state regulations to smoke, drink, or do drugs especially when tending to children. Moreover, I don't want to do anything that would inhibit my ability to tend to those little ones in my care.
The first meet and greet will be done via Zoom so that I can answer any general questions that parents may have - not posted here in the Q&A. I request parents prepare a list of questions ahead of time because the Zoom call is limited to 30 minutes and is held on Friday evenings. If parents are interested in moving forward, we will set up a time for them to stop by for a quick walk through. This is very limited but will allow your child a chance to meet others already in attendance. If a toddler, I recommend coming by for outdoor time, so that your child can enjoy some fun play, which helps them adjust far quicker - if weather permits. If an infant, time is limited to a quick walk through and introduction. Again, these limitations are in place for the safety and wellbeing of my family and daycare family.
If you will be enrolling your child outside of 4 weeks, you'll fill in the deposit form and pay a monthly deposit in order to hold your child's placement. Within the last two weeks, you'll need to fill in the daycare contract and make your first payment. After that, it is simply a matter of ensuring you have those items needed - listed on the contract - prior to your scheduled start date. I am always available for any questions, via email, so don't hesitate to get in touch.