Which Is The Best Age Group Mix For Your In Home Daycare Business?
By Debbie Yost
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.
- Can anyone else weigh in with other suggestions for running an in home daycare business?
See Debbie Yost’s previous series at Home Biz Notes on running an in home daycare business -
Read Part 1: It’s Not Just Babysitting - Intro To Running An In Home Daycare Business
Read Part 2: In Home Daycare Business Series - You’re The Boss Of The Parents Too
Read Part 3: In Home Daycare Business Series - Appearances Do Matter
Read Part 4: In Home Daycare Business Series - Find Your Own Niche
Debbie Yost is a work at home mom who has run a small in-home day care, The Tot Stop, for the last five years. She and her husband have three daughters ages 11, 5 and 3. Debbie’s youngest daughter has Down syndrome.
Because of her daughter, Debbie has become an advocate for people with Down syndrome to ensure they have the same opportunities to live a full and rewarding life as others.
Debbie writes from home whenever she finds time between bottles, diapers, naps and other parental duties. Her personal blog is Three Weddings.
© Bio photo courtesy of Debbie Yost.
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