SAHM Looking to be a WAHM please help!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by DisneyMommyRoe, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. DisneyMommyRoe

    DisneyMommyRoe Earning My Ears

    Aug 4, 2006
    Hello I am a SAHM mom. A woman I met provides full time childcare from her home. I thought that sounded fantastic. So I started mentioning it to a few people that I am looking to babysit from my home. No leads as of yet. Any suggestions at all as how to get that started. Also as a parent leaving your child in a home environment as opposed to a daycare what are some features you would like to see or not see?
  2. robsmom

    robsmom loved it so much we might go back

    Mar 9, 2001
    As a working mom who would like to have someone in the neighborhood who could watch my child I would be looking for:

    1. Someone fairly close to my house (easier for me and my son would still be with friends in the neighborhood) - my suggestion would be to make up flyers and canvass your neighborhood.
    2. Someone who is a friend of a friend of a friend so to speak - I would like to have someone who i trust who could tell me that they trust you - my suggestion is be prepared with lots of local references to help make that link.
    3. State certified, unless i know you personally or someone i know really well knows you really well I would like to know that you had a background check and your house had been checked out - especially if you are going to have a bunch of children.
    4. flexible hours - the more flexible you can be the more parents you will be able to accomodate schedule wise. In particular morning hours are important for my job.
    5. The right enviornment - a yard that is fenced and has somethings to play on, some age appropriate toys or games.
    6. homework space - a place where older kids can quitely do their homework and a little bit of help if they need it. I like to go over all of his work with my son so i am not talking about replacing that but I think that a lot of working mom's would agree it would be nice if after school care was not all fun and games and then mom and dad were all about homework.
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  4. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

    Feb 24, 2002
    I used a variety of child-care options over the years, but the one I liked best was an at-home situation. I "lucked into" a good situation. My favorite daycare provider told me she was leaving the center to start an at-home daycare, and she asked if I wanted to become one of her clients.

    I already knew I liked her on a personal level, but here's what I liked about her home day care: the kids always told me good things about what they did during the day, the TV wasn't always on, her home was always spotless, the kids ate well at her house, and they did lots of reading and writing. She kept the kids to a schedule. She had lots of animals in the house, which my kids loved. She had little parties for the holidays, but they weren't full-fledged, overdone things -- usually just cupcakes and songs.

    She was state certified. I would not use a day care provider who was not certified -- I think that has to be your first step. I think you'll find that most people will not use a daycare provider -- no matter how good the references -- who's a stranger and isn't certified.

    What I disliked about her: She herself had some health problems, and she had no back-up when she was sick or had doctor's appointments. While I understood that her problems were genuine and she wasn't trying to cause me trouble, in our last year together I missed more work because of her sickness than both my children's little childhood illnesses combined! Her backyard was tiny.
  5. java

    java <font color=darkorchid>I am embracing the Turkey B

    Jan 18, 2005
    Our school allows sitters to post in the directory. I know the most successful one is the woman that offers on before school and after school prices. So working parents can drop their children off- the bus picks them up and then drops them off. I would think it would be easier with people you DO NOT know. (less likely to take advantage of the situation.) Do you want to watch infants or older children? Or both? I agree with state certification. That would be very important to me and make sure you are insured for injuries ect... Good luck (I did this not by choice- a friend of mine was in a bind so I watched her son after school- for free....maybe I would have felt differently about it if I was getting paid- but what I didn't like was the EVERYDAY aspect of it.So if I had something to do it had to wait until he wasn't there. But he was a great boy and easy to watch and it was only a few hours a day- That is the point I think many many parents need to fill gaps in their childcare- in other words before school starts.
  6. DisneyMommyRoe

    DisneyMommyRoe Earning My Ears

    Aug 4, 2006

    WOW what an awesome anwer! Thank You
    I live in Southern NJ too. I pretty much have the precise setup you described already in place. I have given alot of thought to having the ability to cater to all ages as babies sometimes have older siblings. I think telling parents that I would be happy to get the homework started if not completed is an excellant idea. My own child is trained with the idea to come home have a snack hit the books than playtime! Not planning on a bunch of kids though :)

    I have all my friends out there spreading the word so we will see.

    Again TY for the response :thumbsup2
  7. Cruz Family

    Cruz Family DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2005
    Hi, I have been a family childcare provider for 8yrs. First of all are you liscenced? I have found people are more comfortable when they know you have a liscence.
    Get business cards and flyers, as for the business cards hand them out to people you know well and ask if they can keep a few with them (purse, wallets, etc.) just incase someone they know is ever looking for childcare. For the flyers put those up places like local community colleges, grocery stores, gyms, and play places (jamboree, etc.). For cheap business cards check out you can get a basic card for free and just pay for s&h ($4 or so). Oh and on your flyers make sure you have those little tabs so people can pull off your phone #.
    If you need more play things (toys, books, blocks, etc.) yard sales are a great and cheap place to pick those things up.
    It is a good idea to make your space look like a real preschool class room with interesting and colorful things on the wall. If you have a Dollar Tree in your area they carry a lot of wall hangings (colors, shapes, ABC's, etc.) for really low prices.
    If you look professional people will feel more confident leaving their child with you.
    I hope I was able to help, if you have any other questions feel free to PM me. Good luck, Melissa
  8. ameraumi

    ameraumi DIS Veteran

    Jan 2, 2006
    I've also been a licensed child care provider for 8 years in Indiana. :wave:

    While I do think it is great to be licensed, you can be an exempt provider and still be just as good. Exempt means that the state says you can keep a certain number of children without being licensed (Indiana happens to be 5 not related to you). I would personally go thru the motions and do the things needed to be licensed and see if it is something you would like before going all the way.

    Another big thing, especially in my area, is the need for 2nd and 3rd shift. I personally do not offer it, just because I want family time.
  9. StephMK

    StephMK DIS Veteran

    Mar 22, 2004
    CPR/First Aid training would be important if you don't have it already. If you are willing to provide PT care, I know there are parents that usually look for that. If you're in a area, advertise on their childcare board. I do some before/after school care & I've found 3 families through advertising there.
  10. mjbaby

    mjbaby DIS Veteran

    Jun 27, 2004
    Before we moved from VA to PA, I looked into doing drop-in service. We lived near a brand-new, nice shopping district and thought that it would be cool to offer drop-in to parents who wanted to shop a spell or have an appointment or whatever without having the kids along.

    The way this works is that you collect information for your files on the first visit - the way a doctor does, say - and keep the info for subsequent visits. You might charge $6 an hour with a three hour minimum and require at least one hour notice. I had my business nearly ready to launch when the opportunity to move came up, but my projections and research showed a great demand and money making opportunity. PLUS! Because it wasn't an all-day, every-day thing, some days I could just be "booked" or not open. And, in VA the insurance for this kind of thing was much less and licensing didn't require the same hoops.

    So I'd say that, in addition to 2nd and 3rd shift, drop-in is a huge unsatisfied need. Do a google search and you'll find a few things to read to help should you decide to go this route.
  11. badblackpug

    badblackpug <font color=blue>If you knew her you would be shoc

    Oct 18, 2005
    I whole-heartedly agree with the state certification. I think (actually, I hope) that very few people, barring close friends, would be willing to use you without it. The idea of before/after school care is GREAT. Before school time is the most difficult time for working moms to find childcare, especially those who have shifts that start before school starts. The homework thing is great. I would like to see educational things for the preschool toddler set, too. (story times, ABC's, 123's, colors, shapes, etc) Also what was most reassuring when the kids were in daycare as infants (if you plan to watch infants) was the log that they kept. It detailed what they ate, how much they ate, what times. How many diapers were changed, when they were changed, content ::yes:: How long they slept what times etc. (gosh! I know that is a lot to do) also, weekly progress reports are great telling how child behaved, got along with others, etc.
    ...and as a nurse, I can't stress infant/child CPR enough!

    Lord, I hope I haven't overwhelmed you...but I live in SJ now...and although they are older is always good to keep in mind! Good Luck! :thumbsup2

    PS: Kindercare often sells it's playground equipment REALLY CHEAP :yay: when they update!
  12. va32h

    va32h DIS Veteran

    Mar 2, 2005
    First, you need to research any city, county, or state requirements for home childcare providers. Depending on where you live, you may need to obtain a license or a zoning variance to operate a business in your home. If you have a homeowner's association, you should also research any rules they have regarding home-based businesses.

    When I was offering home childcare, I emphasized smaller group size, less regimented, more relaxed atmosphere, big backyard, limited TV time, and lots of fun activities like cooking with the kids and crafts.

    Make sure you have a contract that specifically spells out your rates, when parents must pay you, and the consequences for late payment or late pickup. Dealing with the parents is a much a job as taking care of the children, and quite frankly it was more stressful for me.
  13. CEDmom

    CEDmom <font color=FF3300>Knows 101 things to do with an

    Apr 10, 2003
    Why don't you check out if there's a chapter of Monday Morning Moms in your area . I'm in Mercer County and we have one here. Basically it's a network of at home daycare - the organization takes care of the business side of things while you focus on the kids. They handle billing, buy equipment etc. If your sick for instance your kids can go to another Monday Morning Moms daycare. You have vacation time etc. I know someone who ran one and also someone who used them. Both thought it was positive.
  14. puffkin

    puffkin DVC Owner- SSR & AKV

    Apr 30, 2001
    We use an at home provider for our son who is almost 5 months old. Here are somethings I like:

    1. Structure. She has a general schedule for the day. It is not a free-for-all. She has meals, play time, circle time, outdoor time, naps and free time built into her schedule. It is still fairly relaxed, but the day still has a general order to it.

    2. Outdoor time. Our provider takes the kids out every day weather permitting.

    3. Structured play. Everyday the kids do some kind of structured play. For instance one day they might play kitchen and the next day they might play school. They also get free time to play, but I like that they also have play with some structure.

    4. As a parent, I like that our provider provides nutritious food. She won't provide it to the baby until he is a year old and on table foods, but it is nice to know that we won't have to worry about packing lunches.

    5. Journal. Our provider fills out a little journal everyday for Brady about his naps, eating and diapers. Helps me feel connected to how his day went.

    6. Cleanliness. Her home is rather small (I wish it were a little bigger) but it is always spotless.

    7. Pets. Our provider has 3 cats which I don't mind since we have pets too and I like Brady being around different animals. She keeps her house clean so it isn't an issue.

    8. Policies. Our provider gave us a written policies and procedures sheet. She was very specific (like a daycare center would be). It is nice to have it all in writing.

    9. Size. The sitter really wants to keep her business small, which I prefer. She wants to make sure that all the kids get equal attention. In our situation, she watches on a regular basis our infant, a 3 year old, 1 1/2 year old and her own 4 year old. Every now and then she watches another 3 year old. She doesn't want to get any bigger than that, and I don't think I would be comfortable with that either.

    10. Toys. She has a lot of the old fashioned (non battery) type toys. The wooden blocks and things like that. She also has TONS of books and doesn't let the kids watch TV (only exception is if it is raining for days straight and they can't get outside).
  15. DisneyMommyRoe

    DisneyMommyRoe Earning My Ears

    Aug 4, 2006

    Thank you all so much! Everyone has given such helpful posts.

  16. robsmom

    robsmom loved it so much we might go back

    Mar 9, 2001
    One other thought for you. When i was looking for child care i googled the subject and found checklists of what to look for in a day care center, at home care etc. If you got these types of lists you could sort of self-audit yourself and see what you are missing.
  17. Lizzy2

    Lizzy2 Disney freak-in-training

    Jul 3, 2006
    My Mom used to run a daycare for our church in VA and we have discussed this issue of starting up many times. The most important thing she talks about is insurance. What would you do if a child was hurt while in your care? Make sure you protect yourself.
  18. Pumbaa_

    Pumbaa_ >Hakuna Matata!< Moderator

    Jan 7, 2001
    Some other things to think about.

    Do you have the space to dedicate to this business?

    Are you able (and willing) to deal with the business side? taxes, receipts, annual statements, etc

    Is your family willing to have others intheir home every day?

    When parents run late, will you charge them a penalty fee?

    Will your family's dinner have to wait if parents are late? How will they deal with that?

    How will your family deal with sharing Mom?

    Be sure to consult a lawyer regarding. Pay to have them draw up your agreements with the parents. I can't tell you how often there are daycare disputes on People's Court!

    Good luck!

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