Establishing a Schedule for Your Home Child Care and Daycare Business
One tough decision you have to make when starting a home daycare business is what your
daily schedule will look like. What hours should you be open? When should you serve snacks
and meals? How should you structure your day? These can be hard questions, but this guide
can help you think through the factors that should affect these decisions and help you
establish the right schedule for your style of care.
The first decision you need to make before getting started is what hours you will care
for children. There are several factors that should affect this decision. You need to
consider the needs of your family as well as the needs of the families you will care for.
If you have your own children that are school age, this decision becomes a little more
complicated. You need to consider whether you drop off and/or pick up your children from
school, the before and after school activities of your children, the homework schedules of
your children, how far the bus stop is from your house, and the school schedule.
If you need to be available to drop off and/or pick up your own children from school or
from extra-curricular activities, you need to take this into consideration when
establishing your hours for daycare. If you have a large vehicle with plenty of seat belts
and you get parental permission, you can take the daycare children with you to do this
running around. Some parents don't want you driving their children around, so this may
limit the clientele you take in.
You must have a seat belt for every child you carry in your vehicle and they are not
allowed to ride in the front seat. You also need to get WRITTEN parental permission to
transport children from other families. If you aren't going to be able to transport the
daycare children, you will need to have other arrangements worked out for your own
children. Maybe a friend can take them to school or other activities, or they could ride
the school bus.
If you need to accompany your children to the bus stop, take into consideration the
distance of the bus stop from your house. You will need to bring not only your children to
the bus stop, but also all of the children you care for. If you have to walk more than a
block or two to get to the bus stop, this can be a huge task. If you are caring for older
children, ages 3 and up, walking that distance won't be too difficult.
However, if you are caring for one or more infants or toddlers, this could be a big
issue. Consider the weather in your area. Does is snow there and get fairly cold? Do you
have a lot of rain? Does it get very hot? You will have to be taking out these little ones
daily to the bus stop in all sorts of weather. In my case, the bus stop was about ¼ of a
mile from our house. I knew that I couldn't get the children there every day. So I called
our bus barn and requested that they put in another bus stop at the end of my driveway.
I explained my situation to them and let them know that between my children and my
neighbor's children, we would be putting at least 5 children a day on the bus. The bus
barn agreed to investigate the location, since bus stops have certain regulations that
they must meet. After heavy consideration they agreed to put in a bus stop for us. It
certainly saved me a lot of hassle! You will also need to consider your children's
homework load. If your own children need a lot of assistance with homework or they need a
really quiet location for homework, completing their homework with the daycare kids there
is going to be difficult.