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Home Daycare

25 Things Only Home Daycare Providers Understand

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1. Sharing your home with 5 or more other families.

2. Sweeping the kitchen floor 5 times each day just to keep it passable.

3. The internal debate over whether to call a parent out on this morning’s dope & drop.

4. The feeling of demoralization when a parent “forgets” to bring the week’s payment.

5. Watching a child get more and more anxious when their parent is late … again.

6. Why Play-Doh and glitter is only used for VERY special occasions (… and maybe not even then, because it’s just so … special).

7. Helping 5 toddlers do a beautiful craft, knowing full well that it will end up in the recycling bin at home this evening.  It’s “the process, not the result” anyway, right?

8. Norovirus.

9. Rocking two babies to sleep while reading a story to three toddlers.

10. The last ditch effort of writing “More Diapers Please” on the front of a toddler’s diaper when they’ve used up your emergency stash and the parents keep forgetting to bring more.

11. The feeling of pure rage that flashes through your mind when someone rings the doorbell during naptime.

12. Keeping your lights off and curtains drawn on your day off, because you don’t want someone to try to drop off their child.

13. The parents that still don’t know how many of your own kids you have.

14. What a late night really does to a toddler the next day.

15. The pure heroism involved when taking a group of preschoolers on a field trip.

16. How time-outs are really just a distraction technique for most kids.

17. Why parents shouldn’t buy the same toys for home that you have at daycare.

18. The feeling you get when a child comes to you for comfort.

19. Resisting the temptation to play favourites with your own child.

20. The futility of trying to carry on a phone conversation while working.

21. The complete and total change in the children’s behaviour when a potential new family visits during daycare hours.

22. Changing 25 diapers in a day.

23. Wondering why “that parent” doesn’t think your payday is as important as their own.

24. The dislike for buttons, crocs, strappy sandals, laces, and one piece outfits.

25. Just how much that cup of coffee or pot of flowers means when it comes from a daycare parent!

What would you add to this list?

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!

31 Comments

  1. Robin Masshole mommy

    I don’t even have a home day care and I need to sweep my kitchen floors at least 5 times a day! LOL!

  2. Stefany

    I did home daycare for several years when my son was younger. I hated when people didn’t pay me or “forgot” and needed to bring it by later. What I hated most was the parents that were late because they went grocery shopping or got a manicure because they needed to do that “without kids”. Ummm, yeah, me too! Ha!
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  3. Tiffanie

    I can relate completely with each of these!

  4. Michele

    I never had a day care center but I can’t imagine what one of their days must really be like. I would get pretty angry too if I suddenly didn’t get paid on time by one of my bookkeeping client (and yeah it did happen a time or three)–not to pay the person who is taking care of your most precious possession(s) is inconceivable to me.
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  5. Aimee fauci

    I’m on my 8th year of having a home daycare. These are spot on! I’d like to add to the list…. How much a simple Thank You means to the provider.

  6. milagro

    had to laugh at #11, totally feel that way.

  7. Alli

    I’ve never had a home daycare, but I oversee the church nursery and preschool departments. I’m still surprised at the parents that show up with their baby and NO diaper bag in sight. I mean, really???
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  8. Jeannette

    I tried out keeping a few kids in my home a few years ago and I’ll say it was tough. I just never could make it all work but it sounds like you’ve got a good grasp on it.
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  9. Sarah

    I have been a home day care provider for almost 30 yrs and these are spot on. For me # 18 and the little hugs and cuddles make most of the others bearable.

  10. Mary

    I can’t imagine how much work goes into a home daycare. I would imagine you would need a great sense of humor!
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  11. Kiwi

    How funny my mom is a daycare provider and majority of this list I know she would really relate to! Especially about the demoralization when a parent doesnt pay when they are supposed to…they would never do that at a facility. Also growing up as a home daycare actual child to the provider…I felt sometimes my mom would pick favorites and did have twinge feelings of being left out. Great list again many should relate!

    Also daycare “clients” should treat the provider as a teacher too so its ok to get them mothers day card, christmas cards, birthday…I sometimes would get mad that my mom would do stuff for her clients and they couldnt do the same for her after all she does for their kids.

    Oh and dont get me started on potty training method…my mom would almost have the kids potty trained and the parents would keep slapping diapers on them!
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    • Donna

      I have been running an in-home child care for over 36 years. I am so happy to have found this blog, you certainly have a great handle on the things that make or mar our days! Then you have the parents who make good money and want to browbeat you down in your prices. I work over 60 hours a week and we figured it out, we make usually less than a total of $10-12 an hour, keeping 5-6 children, and then the parents “stiff” us on thank you’s or gifts for Christmas or birthdays, when we give our everything to the care, love and training of these children. Whooo, load off chest, lol.

    • Bd

      Yes omg yes

  12. Felicita Moncada

    It definitely takes a special person to run a home daycare. I can imagine the struggles and challenges. My aunt has an in home daycare and she is the sweetest loving person i’ve ever meant some people are just meant to take care of kids and make them feel loved.
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  13. Susan Hartline

    I have done Child Care for 30 years, excellent piece ! It was spot on!!!!!

  14. rika

    great list, its very hard to share home with other families
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  15. Susan Quackenbush

    I come from a long line of early education teachers and childcare providers and I absolutely agree! It’s amazing how quickly other parents lose sight of the role you’re playing in their child’s life. They take it all for granted. But at least we know we are doing right by the children! 🙂
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  16. Ourfamilyworld

    I never had a daycare in my home, but with my twins, it’s like I’m taking care of 10 kids at the same time. I can relate!
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  17. Lisa Meyer

    Having a child arrive at 5 minutes after you’ve cleaned up breakfast only to hear the dreaded words, ” S/he hasn’t eaten yet!

    • Gi

      I had to put my foot down and start putting in the contract under the rules section “meal times are at 8 and 12 snack times are at 10, 2, and 4. If you are not here in time for breakfast please be sure your child has eaten or they will have to wait until snack time. Please also remember that we only partake in meals at meal time and no outside snacks are permitted to keep the children on task and the day running smoothly”. I had a child that constantly showed up with chips, donuts, cookies, sodas, kool aid etc for breakfast. Obviously the other children wanted it and it caused so much grief that I had to put an end to it. Luckily, after a couple of months that same child is also better behaved and better able to keep up with the rest of the kids so I feel like it worked put best for everyone. The policy seems strict but if parents know you’re serious they rarely violate it (and when they do I have a fruit bowl I keep stocked, I just don’t make that knowledge readily available to the parents)

  18. Joanne T Ferguson

    What a great list and how interesting to see! I will be sharing this will my friends who also may understand today!

  19. chanelle

    What an enlightening list! It’s easy for us parents to drop off and run. I often wonder how daycare providers have so much patience. Also, I have just been reminded of how much time my daughter spends at daycare (40+ hours) when she’s began calling me “Samantha” (her friend’s name), instead of Mommy.
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  20. Paula Beckerman

    So true! I ran my home preschool and kindergarten for 16 years. I have to add the kid that owns the toilet, and sits there forever when 3 others are doing the potty dance by the door, how amazing it is when a parent (very very few!!!) tips you or gives cash for Christmas, how awful it is when someone poops themselves and then does tell you, but manages to spread it all over the bathroom (commode, floor, side of bath tub, walls, in the grout between the floor tiles…). How fantastic it is when parents tell you “he’s starting to read!” (yeah, I know, we’ve been working on it). Nothing I’ve ever done has been more challenging, more intense, more all encompassing than caring for a group of children in my home. It’s also the most emotionally rewarding job. If only the money and respect were comparable to a professional salary!
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  21. Angelic Sinova

    A family friend of mine works in a daycare and she always talks about the amount of diapers she has to change in a day (and than she has to go home and change her kids diapers lol) I don’t know if i’d have the patience for that <3
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  22. Ali

    Always a sticky kitchen floor and a torn screen on the screendoor.

  23. Paula Schuck

    These are so true. My Daughter works at a daycare and she says the same thing about sparkles and play dough.

  24. Dyson

    My kids get to do things at the day care that we usually don’t get to do and we do things at home that they don’t do there. There they have a great pond and park that they walk to from her house almost every day and here we have the city park that our back yard opens up to that they get to play in on the days they are home.

  25. LESLIE

    Taking care of children is rewarding but it is not an easy job. Parents out of all people should understand this and have consideration for their children care taker.

  26. Crystal

    I’m a provider in Iowa and one thing that drives me crazy is the DHS spot checkers stopping randomly thinking you can just talk to them and the fact that they have no clue how to run a daycare. They should require 3 years working in a daycare before getting that job. Lol

  27. Crystal

    Oh and parents sending toys and food with their child, only for them and none to share. I take away a lot from kids and they get so upset.

  28. Vella Tolliver

    I would add to the list, getting a phone call 5 minutes before pick up that the parent will be late.

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