Tips for the Beginning Child Care Provider

I was a child care provider for many years. For all those who really have a knack for getting along with and caring for children, this career is a good one. With CHILD CARE referral services and information on center care, you can learn more about the benefits of being a child care professional. After going through all this you will be able to manage your childcare business. As I was a professional in this field for a long time, I will share some of my insights with you. 

I’m sure that most people interested in this job are probably wondering how much can be made and for how many children. I watched a grand total of 5 children in my home daycare center (at a time) 5 days a week and made around $3,000 a month plus travel expenses, field trips and food. I only had one child whose parents paid me out of pocket and the other children were paid for by the PCOE (the local Office of Education). 

That is one tip I would definitely recommend. The local Office of Education can help providers get clients for their child care centers that are in the ‘welfare back to work program’ (in which I supported and was active in as a worthy cause) and pay them very well for services rendered. The paperwork is simple and the child care provider fills it out as they go.

So, besides this tip here are a few more:

Child care providers should always have personalized spreadsheets and forms that consist of a contract of payment, attendance record per child, scheduled daily activities, a weekly menu of meals and snacks provided, hours of operation and any services that are provided (like transportation, tutoring, etc.). When a parent signs the contract they should get a packet that includes one of each informational sheet for their own reference.

Child care providers are allowed to be reimbursed for any expenses they incur. So, that means the educational materials, toys that are both constructive and fun should be included along with field trips, experiments, etc. Be sure to add these when filing taxes and when getting paid through any agencies that may be funding your child care center.

Child care providers should never try and ‘substitute’ as a parent. This can only damage your reputation and overall business. I have seen this happen before and it is never a good thing. I have personally only seen it with providers that have no children but I do not know, necessarily, that it is limited to them. Attachment should be restricted; providers are professional people and need to act as such. By trying to act as the ‘parent’ to a child you compromise your livelihood. If the child refuses to go with the parent and would rather stay at the child care location then there can arise problems with the parents. Of course, I too have had a child or two behave like this (to a lesser extent) but a modification in activities followed to remind the small children how much they loved and missed mommy and daddy.

Child care providers are special to our society and live on their reputation. I wouldn’t leave my dog in some of the home daycares that I have seen under the care and protection of some of the providers I have met over the years so a parent needs a good reputation to count on. First and foremost, a child care provider should worry less about getting more clients and more about building a professional status. By working closely with the state or other agencies a child care provider can do just that. 

Patrick

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Patrick is a part-time fitness trainer and pursuing his Master’s in American Literature from Stanford University. He wishes to share his fitness plan with others to help them achieve their goals in terms of fitness and education.