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Growing a garden with kids is super rewarding. I love seeing them get excited about finding a new tomato that's ripe or eating strawberries or peas fresh off the plant. They learn so much from gardening as well as get nourishment from it. It's amazing to watch kids try new things they would never try before.

I love growing unusual things with my kids because it's interesting, I learn a ton, and it's conversation inspiring as they teach other people what they have learned about growing things.

Did you know that luffas actually grow on a vine? They are a gourd. Yes, those sponges that you buy in spa packages actually can be grown in your back yard if you have plenty of hot days in the summer where you live.

You can grow luffas with your daycare kids and have a super fun learning experience for yourself and the families you serve. All you need is a tiny seed.

Click here to see more about how to grow luffa with kids in your children's garden.

Many of you have decided to reopen your daycare at the start of this month. Many of you have never closed, and a big handful of you are just getting started. No matter your position, I bet you are feeling a bit nervous for many reasons and rightfully so. Upon arrival, you are taking the temperature of the children each day, making sure they are practicing social distancing while at care, washing their hands frequently, being creative as you teach, cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing 10 times more than normal, on top of all of the normal chaos that you deal with on a day to day basis when it comes to having childcare. The best advice we can give you during this time is to BREATHE. Go ahead and do it. No matter where you are, stop, close your eyes and take in a DEEP breath and then release. Felt good, didn't it?! One day at a time is all you can do during this time. Here is an exercise I want you to try: I want you to visualize just one day in your program. I mean really sit there and picture how you want it to go from the time parents drop kids off until the time parents pick their kids up. Journal what you visualize and in doing so you will begin to SEE what you need to implement to make your day go by smoother. This type of visualization may seem a bit much, but I believe it will do wonders for you and help you to get organized during these crazy times. If you decide to try, let me know how it goes for you!

I have been a licensed childcare provider with my own in-home daycare for 25 years and I have made a lot of mistakes and learned a ton along the way. If you are thinking about opening your own daycare in your home, here’s where to start.

Is home daycare a good fit for you?

If you’d like to read all about opening your own home daycare and learn all there is to know about it, check out my book on Amazon here. This book goes into far greater detail than I have room to go into here. But here’s the quick version to know if you’d ever want to.

First, you need to check the regulations for your area. Some places require you to be licensed to keep even one child. Others allow you to be registered, licensed, or unlicensed legally and still others have other qualifications. Go to your local department of human services website and find out what you need to do to open your home to care for children.

Second, you need to make sure that your family is okay with their life being opened up to other people’s children. Not every family is a good fit for home daycare and not every person is a good fit as a provider. It’s a hard job. You’ll get frustrated. You’ll get tired. You’ll have to always be there. And you’ll have to always be able to handle other people in your personal life.

Third, if you think you can meet the requirements and you have the temperament yourself and the family that can handle it, then it’s time to figure out what you need to do to get it done. Are you looking for a business plan to see if it’s financially viable? Check this one out and figure all the expenses and income that you have the potential to need and use.

Getting your legal documents prepared for home daycare

If you’re sure you want to start this gig, then it’s time to dig into the professional side of things. You’ll need documents before you can open up such as contracts, policies, and more. Writing contracts and policies can be a daunting task, but you can do it. If you have plenty of time and want to go to all the trouble of making your own, this post could help you know what you need to include.

Check out some printable versions or if you’d rather have custom ones made for you, check here:

What else do you need to open a successful home daycare?

Once you have all of your paperwork in order and ready to go, you’ll need to think about what supplies you’ll need. You’ll have to have kid furniture and dishes, toys, games, art materials and so much more. Not to mention safety supplies. This post gives detail on what you should need to get started.

Once you go through everything it takes to set up the daycare in your home, you’re almost ready to get started. There are two more things you need to figure out. What are the kids going to do and eat, and how will you get business?

Lesson plans for home daycare

On the blog, there are a ton of fun activities you can do with your kids. Just click on kids’ activities on the main menu and explore to see if there is something you’d enjoy doing with kids. There are tons of free ideas you can use. You’ll want to keep the kids busy or they will keep you busy, and not always in a good way.

If you’d like to purchase a curriculum ready to go, check out these products from daycare time solutions. They have monthly printable lesson plans here

and printable busy binders here.

They have wonderful products that can save you a ton of time in collecting ideas yourself, so be sure to check them out.

You’ll also need to plan out what you are going to feed the kids. Are you going to be on the food program? There are extra regulations but you can make extra money, so I recommend getting on one. You’ll need to decide how much you need of what so you’ll have enough to feed them. There are a ton of great meal planning articles on the blog such as this one.

Also, check out Etsy for our meal planning sheets you can use to plan yours out with.

This even includes a free week of menus to get your creativity started. These meal plans follow the CACFP food program requirements.

If you’re wanting to save a ton of time on meal planning, you can also purchase some great menus from daycare time solutions here.

I wish these had been available when I started and didn’t know how to get it all done.

Now that you have everything you need to get started, where are you going to find kids to fill up your home daycare? I promise word of mouth is the number one way to fill your openings. But if no one knows you yet, how do you get people talking about you? Check out this post that’s filled with information on how to get started advertising.

You can also get a reasonably priced logo and advertising packet from daycare time solutions here. They can help you get started advertising, design a custom logo, do custom newsletters, as well as consult on your home daycare plans. These services are a great help to a new provider, check their shop page to check them out.

Daily planning

Now that you have all of your plans made and kids coming in, if you’re looking for a way to organize all of your home daycare ideas, lesson plans, family plans for the evening, menu plans, shopping lists, and a licensing checklist, click on this bundle you can print out and use.

There are a ton of resources on daycare time solutions as well as little sprouts learning blogs that will help you have success in your home daycare. I hope you will check them out and I wish you all the success in the world in your own home business loving children and serving the families in your community. There is no other job like it.



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