I'm an in-home daycare provider. My mother was an in-home daycare provider for my entire childhood, and I was a nanny for many years prior to doing in home. I have six kids at my house, two, three-year-olds, and four, five-year-olds. I love my job. I do field trips twice a week, to museums, inflatable bounce houses, imaginariums, splash pads, pools, nature centers, parks, etc etc.. and crafts, and coloring, and letters, and songs and I have a large fenced in back yard with many toys, and there are no electronics on inside my house between the hours of 8-5, and I am fortunate enough to be home with my daughter everyday.
But growing up in a daycare, and being a nanny, are totally different than owning, and running your own. And these are the rants I wish I could tell my parents…
1. My hours are 6:30 AM - 6:00 PM, that means I am open for 11.5 hours a day. That means you shouldn't pull up at 6:22 to drop your kids off, nor should you pick them up at 6:15, unless it has previously been arranged. My mornings are spent prepping for the day, getting breakfast in the oven, picking up whatever got left out last night, and just preparing myself for the day, when you show up, even 8 minutes early, you cut into "my time". And likewise for showing up late, your kid has been here for 11.5 hours, pick them up on time. I have my own family and kid to tend to after yours are gone.
2. If you get off work at noon, and live four houses down from me, it's going to upset me if you still don't pick up your kid until 6:00 on the dot. Your kids want to spend time with you too, and if I can have 1 or 2 less kids at my house, it's easier on everyone. I understand you want your "alone time" as well, but getting off at noon, multiple times a week, and still leaving your kid at my house until 6:00, is unacceptable. Especially when I drive by to get kids from school and can see you laying on your couch watching TV.
3. Please don't feed your kids Pop Tots and Oreo's for dinner. I know you don't get home till late, and it's hard cooking dinner every night after working all day, but when your kids are used to eating junk food every night at your house, its a fight everyday to get them to eat healthy at mine. I don't like cooking a big healthy meal everyday, and putting it down in front of little Johnny, only to hear him say, "I don't like this." Every.Single.Day. You're doing your kid a huge disservice, please feed them some real food.
4. For the love of God. Please make your kids do things for themselves, if they are age appropriate. I don't want to help Little Johnny put his coat on, and zip it up, if he is perfectly capable of doing it himself. Even my 20 month old daughter is expected to put her coat on herself. Believe it or not, it can be quite an ordeal getting five youngsters ready and out the door on time, it makes it that much harder if they are constantly wanting my help with something, that they are perfectly capable of doing alone. "But my Mom does it for me!" Yes little Johnny, and that is why the three girls, who are sitting nicely by the front door all ready to go, and are all two years younger than you, are able to get themselves ready to go, by themselves, in the amount of time that you are able to put one shoe on. I have no problem helping a child that needs help, but doing everything for your kid, is not teaching them anything, except how to depend on others.
5. If you tell your kids you are going to pick them up from school, or early, or do anything different that what was already planned, make sure you do it. I can't count how many parents I have had tell me they are going to pick their kids up from school, and then they never show up! What would have happened if I hadn't seen Little Johnny get off the bus and no one there to get him? What would have happened if Little Johnny had been left at the school all alone? And at the very least, if you can't make it on time, have the courtesy to let me know, so that I am not calling you, wondering if you got in a car accident, only to have you show up 10 minutes later, saying that you are sorry, but you just, "lost track of time", only to have your daughter tell me the next day that you were late to pick up Little Johnny because you and her were home watching TV.