I weighed the pro's and con's for my daycare:
- work at home
- be able to care for my own children on my terms
- work at home
- never get to leave work
- some privacy will be lost
If I gave each of the pro's and each of the con's a value, pro #2 had a value that outweighed every other pro and con there was. I needed to find a way for separating the daycare from our home. It was about managing our living space and our "stuff". Let's face it, our "stuff" is important to us. Especially when it is in "our house". At the time, I had a 3, 6 and 9 year old. I was inviting other people to bring their children into our home to hang out for 9-10 hours a day Monday through Friday. The home that is supposed to be a haven from the outside world for my children. These were children who would undoubtedly want to come in and touch their toys and go into their rooms. Before I could invite these people in, I needed to set up some basic guidelines to protect my children and their things.
How to keep our home as a sanctuary for my family:
- Write a handbook of rules and restrictions for my daycare, including hours of operation, holidays, things I will and will not offer in my daycare.
- All bedrooms will be off-limits to daycare children. My children need to go and close their door.
- All toys that are not deemed daycare toys will be off-limits to daycare children.
- My children are not required to include daycare children in their daily activities. They are entitled to as many of freedom's as we can afford while running a daycare in our home.
Here is a summary of what my handbook now includes, after 7 years of running a daycare:
Required Forms List
Sample of a Typical Day
What Your Child Will Need to Bring
Potty Training Policy
Food Program and Policy
Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Patterns
Infant Meal Requirements
Sample Contract between Parents and Provider
Payment Policy, Daycare Hours, Vacation, Holidays and Current Pricing
Guidelines for Exclusion of Children Who Are Ill
Well Child Recommendations
Fire Escape, Tornado Shelter, Storm and Flood Plans
Disaster and Serious Injury Plan
Yup, all that, just to be able to watch a handful of children, in my home. Honestly, it seemed a bit redundant to me. I mean, really, isn't most of this common sense? Apparently, it's not. People really don't all have the exact same knowledge and belief about raising children and so spelling it out, in written form, in a handbook, was the only way to go.
I am totally open to answering questions about what my handbook contains, if anyone would like to know.
Next week, I'll talk a little bit about recruiting families to come to my daycare.