Doing Family Home Childcare is always a balancing act. We balance our Family Life with that of the Families we work with. My own Kids with the Daycare Kids... you get it. When my Sister started her Home Childcare business I was always like, "How do you do it? The kids always seem to leave around the age of 3 or 4" I felt like, here she is going through infancy, toddlerhood, the terrible twos, threes :)... potty training, and then the kids leave or graduate to a more preschool type daycare. One that costs sometimes 2 or 3 times the amount of money, has anywhere from 3 to 6 care givers a day, and sometimes a high turnover rate of employees. All in the name of Learning and Socialization.
So, when I started my own Family Childcare Home I wanted to figure out a way to keep my kids. To provide them the journey from infancy to kindergarten with the security of the same caregiver, environment, and love. I knew I could provide the "academic" part of the component, the crafts, the circle time, but I know a lot of Parent's are worried about Socialization. I only have spots for 5 kids. They have friends to play with, but I recognize that they need to learn to meet new friends, just the act of introducing themselves to new friends... joining in a new game... all skills they learn within a large group setting.
I explain to Parents that I can teach appropriate social skills within the small group setting, but I needed to come up with a way to get my kids with other kids also. So.... I hooked up with other Mom's and Providers that were willing to come over and have a craft time, or celebrate a Holiday with us, play in the yard, come for Story Time or meet us at the Playground... this way the kids get the best of both worlds. They have the security of one caregiver, who can give them the time they need to learn all those social skills to get through Toddlerhood... and eventually into Kindergarten.
I truly love my job and love that I can provide my families with the long term care they need. I am lucky that I have the space to invite friends over to have fun with us. That I am able to provide the mix of preschool with home.... a great combination for everyone!!!!