Question for You Mamas Who Provide In-home Daycare

Updated on January 27, 2011
L.V. asks from Arlington, TX
6 answers

Howdy Mamas!

I am an in-home daycare provider, and right now I only have infants-preschoolers. I am considering offering after school care for a couple of my neighbors' kids. What is your opinion? I am a little nervous about having so many kids in the house at the same time. Who has done this? What were your experiences, both good and bad? Thanks, Mamas!

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answers from St. Louis on

legally how many children are you allowed to have?

In MO, an unlicensed provider may have only 4 children who are unrelated to her. There are also restrictions as to the # & the age of the children, too. With licensing, I could have up to 8 kids.

Yes, I have had school-age kids, but be very aware that if you offer afterschool care....then those parents may also expect coverage for snow days & school holidays.....are you prepared for all summer & thru Christmas/Easter? !!

& I have found the mix of preschool & school age to be quite challenging! It can be done, but you have to be prepared to accommodate the social needs of those older kids. They will not be happy with the toys or media geared toward the preschool age group.... & they'll be quite vocal about it, too!!!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I have had a in home daycare for 17 years and have a mix of kids from about 6 months to 11 years. Yes, it is tough, sometimes it works out great, depending on the older kids personality. Some school age kids really don't
younger kids and some are great. School age kids can be mean, bossy, fussy with what they eat and do, get bored easily and complain a LOT. For me, boys are usually worse, unless you have a good place they can play outside. Be careful to stay within your ratios, do any of your current kids go home before the after schoolers arrive and what about summer vacation/days off school/storm days? If you charge enough, it can be good, but I don't see how I can charge enough to make it worth while. I will be starting soon with 2 sisters who are in kindergarten and grade 5, they love playing with the little kids so it works out great and when they are here all day, they are sweet girls (I have had them in the past but mom was laid off, going back soon).



answers from Honolulu on

Well, you HAVE to go by the child/adult ratio... by law.
And, are you licensed or not?
If not, you cannot have all those children in your care.
And, if you are not licensed, and someone claims you on their taxes.. .then what? But I assume you have a business license....

It boils down to child/adult ratio... and per the laws in your State.

You did not say, how many infants/preschoolers you now have, already.

You said you are nervous about having more kids in your home, per after-school care. So... why are you considering doing that?
And, your existing parents... will they be happy about your having more kids in your home?

I have done childcare for 2.5 years, before my son was born.
I had, a baby until she was a toddler, another baby... and a occasional child. Plus my daughter.

Schools... also (well in my State) provide afterschool care, on the school campus. This is public school I am talking about. It is $50/month/child, for that. At private schools, it costs more.

you need to go by the laws, in your State.



answers from Oklahoma City on

School agers are actually my preference. They are only here for a short time and I get full pay for them. I feed them snacks and get some games out or turn on the TV and they are quite happy to play and go home. The entertain themselves and unless they need something they usually just stay busy and don't have an real need of direct supervision.

It does put my ratio's out of whack if the other daytime kids stay longer than I anticipated or longer than they normally do. It is against the law to have too many kids and your licensing worker could come by, always stay within your licensed amount of kids and you'll be fine. In Texas it's a bit higher than the rest of us. In Oklahoma a Home child care giver can only have up to 6 children unless they are licensed for a large child care home and that is up to 12 kids but you have to have 2 adults at all times in the home working.

I guess it depends on what you are licensed as. The ratio's vary a bit but you'll still be limited if you have an infant/toddler and other kids there to only 6 total, no matter what ages they are. If you have younger ones you may want to decide how you want to handle this.

If you want to add some after school agers then just make sure all your kids under 2 years old are gone by the time the older kids get out of school.



answers from Sacramento on

HI L.,

I do this and it can be tough, especially if you don't have an assistant. I do part time and full-time care, so I only have after school kids (other than my own) two day a week. I have one for the days that I have the extra after school kids.

I love working with all ages of kids... love infants, love toddlers and preschoolers and so far love the elementary kids too... BUT having all of those different age ranges at the same time can be really chaotic. I guess it also depends largely on how many total kids we're talking about too...



answers from Dallas on

I am a registered day care home. Texas requirements are 6 preschoolers with no more than 4 being under 18 months of age. You can have an additional 6 after schoolers. If I were to go to 12 I would definetly hire a part-time assistant for the hours the after-schoolers are present. Also remember it is possible you will have them all day on school holidays and during the summer.

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