a blog about parenting, home daycare, adoption and life in general.
Life In General

Why I Quit Home Daycare

While I love helping others run their own home daycare, I actually don’t do it myself any longer. 

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I loved the ability to make a great income while not having to pay for my own kids to be in care, and I loved the kids I cared for.

However, eventually the disadvantages started to outweigh the advantages, and I decided to give up the daycare.  While I should have done things differently when I gave my notice, my daycare parents were very gracious and understanding.

Here are my 5 top reasons for quitting home daycare:

  1. Sick Days Are Complicated.   When a home daycare provider is sick at night and can’t work the next day, it’s not just a matter of one call to the boss.  It means 5 or more phone calls or texts to each of the parents.  There’s never a morning where you can roll over and say “I’ll just call in sick later this morning”, because those kids will start showing up at your door if you don’t contact them before they leave home.
  2. It Takes Over Your House.  The setup of our house works really well for home daycare, but not so well for home daycare AND for living in.  My family became much more familiar with using our unfinished basement as a living room, than using our actual living room.
  3. Chasing Down Your Paycheck Is Frustrating.  While I had some awesome parents near the end of my run, it took awhile to find them.  In the meantime, I had bills each week for each parent, with a Red Card system for “forgetting” a payment.  Training the “forgetful” parents to remember to pay every week can be draining!
  4. There’s No Time To Volunteer At School.  Going on field trips with my kids was pretty much a no-go.  If I booked a day off, it meant a huge decrease in my income, as well as setting myself up for some unhappy parents.  Once I quit doing daycare, I plunged into volunteering at my kid’s school.  As a result, I got to know the teachers much better.  My kids’ grades actually started to go up, and the child that needed extra support suddenly got it (after waiting a few years for it!).  This one reason in itself made quitting daycare completely worth it.
  5. My Kids Weren’t Comfortable In Their Own Home.  Often they would come home from school, grab a snack, and then disappear until all of the daycare kids were gone.  Now, they grab a snack and disappear for a bit, but are much more easily enticed to come out and tell me about their day.  Surprisingly, the least talkative of my kids loves telling me about his day immediately when he walks in the door.  I missed having the chance to listen for all those years while I was doing daycare.

Now that I’ve “been there, done that”, I’m happy to share my experiences with other home daycare providers ( you can check out my YouTube Channel for lots of videos answering home daycare questions!).  But I’m also very happy with my decision to quit.  Other opportunities have presented themselves for contributing to my family’s income (this blog is one of them!), and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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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!

7 Comments

  1. Beverly

    I also closed my home daycare after 18 years. I start my new job today as a administrator assistant at a daycare center. I hope this is a better balance in my work/life.

    • Megan Elford

      Congratulations on your new job! I hope it goes well – there’s alot to be said for being able to leave your work at the office 🙂

  2. Kim Radley

    Yes to all of this. I closed got a year for the same reasons. I reopened with better setup. Better family understanding and better parent screening. Hard lessons learned.

    • Megan Elford

      Good for you! So many are burned from the bad experiences they have, but I’m glad to hear you’re taking what you’ve learned to make things work for you!

  3. Amber

    We are a military family so setting up home care in a base house is a breeze. Everything we need is at our finger tips. I’m getting ready to start up again and love your blog 😉

  4. Charmaine Sanderson

    Just stumbled upon your blog and am Loving it!! I’m in my 20th year of running a dayhome and beginning to get burnt out, for all the reasons you have stated. So now I’ve decided to design a dayhome directory to replace my income and give me back my life. Dayhome Connections will go across
    Canada, just got to work the finial bugs out.

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