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Which Is The Best Age Group Mix For Your In Home Daycare Business?

by Yvonne Russell on September 10th, 2008


Guest Post
By Debbie Yost

Reader Questions:
Do you think that it would be too much to watch a baby or two plus two older kids (grade school age) is it better to watch just one age group?
At the daycare that I’m at now, I watch 4 babies plus at least 6 older kids (grade school and preschool). It’s ok, but it tends to get hectic sometimes. As a lone child care provider, I think I’m only allowed to have 4 kids in my care (which suits me fine). I just don’t want to overwhelm myself by mixing in too many age groups. What do you think about this?

Debbie Yost Answers:
No, not if you enjoy all those age groups. I know many providers that do just that. Infants require additional time with diapering and feeding but they sleep more. Older kids can feed themselves, but they need more structured play and like to do crafts and other activities. I am not the kind of person that can set a child free with a jar of finger paint.

I get easily frustrated when a toddler challenges the rules. I realized early on that I did not work well with these age groups and I enjoyed watching infants. Many providers don’t understand how anyone would want to watch infants. Others love all age groups. Sometimes it’s trial and error.

Keep in mind the older kids often love to help with the babies. I often enlisted my preschool daughter to entertain an infant while I was busy with another. It is important to remember when deciding on age ranges how you will handle emergencies. If there is a fire, you only have two arms to carry infants. The other children will have to get out on their own.

1 opinion for Which Is The Best Age Group Mix For Your In Home Daycare Business?

  • Mary Emma Allen
    Sep 10, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks, Debbie, for stopping by and providing us with some more guest posts. You always have helpful information to share.

    If anyone else has questions for Debbie or daycare experiences to share, leave your comments below.

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