There are many advantages to take advantage of for parents whose children attend home daycare – child to caretaker ratios tend to be low, a safe home-like environment provides little ones with extra comfort, and the cost is usually more affordable than preschool programs. Because home daycare is so popular, you shouldn't have a problem finding plenty of potential clients to tap into. But you may have to compete with other nearby providers like Star-Brite Learning Program in order to fill your roster. Here's how you can give your home daycare an edge over the competition:
Put Your Television on Wheels
Most parents don't want to pay for child care just so their kids can lounge around all day mindlessly watching television. In fact too much television watching can lead to social development problems, attention disorders, and less class engagement once they reach school age. So, it's in the best interested of the kids you watch to have no access to television while under your care. Put your television on wheels so you can keep it in a closet during daycare hours, and roll it out during your personal time or for those rare times when you are showing a special educational video to the kids.
This will take all focus off of cartoons and DVDs so the kids spend more time socializing and improving their skills by reading books, playing with puzzles, and drawing or coloring. Keeping the television out of sight and reach also ensures that it can't be knocked down during play and the cord cannot be tripped over.
Dedicate Space for Sleeping and Eating
Dedicating space in your home daycare for naps and meals is an effective way to show your commitment to maintaining a healthy environment for the kids. Sleeping and eating spaces need to be free of germs to minimize the chance of bugs being passed to one another. Kids shouldn't eat where they play with toys or change their clothes, which are activities that tend to involve quite the collection of germs.
The spaces used for sleeping and eating should feature flat surfaces that are easy to wipe down with a damp cloth and disinfectant every day. If possible, provide vinyl mats for kids to nap on that can also be wiped and disinfected on a daily basis. In eating spaces, eliminate carpeting and use plastic covers on the tables for easy cleanup.
Have Backup for Illness and Emergencies
A major concern for parents using a home daycare center is whether or not they can count on care when the owner isn't feeling well or an emergency occurs. A great way to stand out from the competition is to make sure that you have backup available in case of an illness or emergency. Your backup should be someone who is a part of the regular routine at your daycare center, and who knows the children very well.
Your backup should also be available to work at your daycare center on their own, but also be willing to host the kids somewhere else if something like a fire happens at your home. You may find it useful to secure two or three backups for your convenience and for the peace of mind of your daycare clients. Consider scheduling one day a month for your backup providers to take over for you so that they're used to the process in case they are needed.
Incorporate Preschool Curriculum
The most important thing you can do to give your home daycare an edge over the competition is to incorporate preschool curriculum into each day's plans. One of the reasons parents choose to send their kids to preschool is so they'll be exposed to learning tools that prepare them for kindergarten, and there is no reason you can't provide that atmosphere in your own home.
Decorate the main daycare space in your home like a classroom, complete with colorful walls and hanging ABCs. Paint a chalkboard on the wall and put a small utility table in the middle of the room that the kids can use as desk space. And fill bookshelves with fun reading books and preschool curriculum. Many outlets offer curriculum kits that are designed for interactive learning and school readiness preparation, giving you plenty of material to use for weeks at a time.
As a home daycare provider, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on your community by taking a part in helping local children gain the skills they need to create and maintain a successful life.