You managed to get your children awake, dressed, fed and out the door on time this morning, each one toting their homemade lunches to school. Any parent would agree this is something worth celebrating! It’s only 8:30 a.m. and your productive morning has you feeling optimistic about the rest of the day.
Your supermom status has you wondering if there’s a way to capitalize on your caring nature and can-do attitude. Well guess what — there is!
The hard work you invest in creating a safe, loving and stimulating environment for your own children has set you up to be a successful child care provider. But not everyone is equipped for this multifaceted job. We consulted the experts to help you determine whether you have what it takes to become a child care provider.
You make strong connections with nearly everyone you meet, whether it’s your mail carrier or your mother-in-law. Developing positive relationships is important to you, so you take time to get to know each person you encounter during your daily life.
Why it’s important in child care: “The most rewarding part of being a child care provider is the sense of extended family,” says child care provider Phil Seykora. “I get to be part of these kids’ lives not only when they are in my care, but also throughout their futures.”
As a child care provider, you’ll have the opportunity to develop lasting relationships with the kids in your care and their family members. Watching them grow and develop new skills will be almost as rewarding as it is with your own children.
You’ve spent your fair share of time scraping boogers off the table, wiping poop off the bathroom wall or patiently holding a tissue while your toddler experiments with the best way to blow his nose. Though none of these tasks are duties you look forward to, they are labors of love, and you don’t bat an eye when it comes to dealing with bodily fluids.
Why it’s important in child care: Exposure to germs is a daily occurrence for any child care provider. Kids in your care are not always 100 percent healthy or able to handle their own personal hygiene. As a child care provider, you will have the opportunity to teach kids how to take care of their health as well as be responsible for maintaining a sanitary environment.
You prefer being the one choosing how your time is spent. You are in charge of your weekly routine, and you plan your weekends to make sure that time alone with a good book and a cup of coffee is included. You feel trapped when too many other people mandate when you should come and go from work or how you should spend your free time.
Why it’s important in child care: Not all aspects of child care allow for flexibility, but being a home-based provider gives you more control of your schedule and environment than a typical job. You’ll get to call the shots as far as hours, rates and activities. You’ll have to operate like a business owner, writing up contracts, developing policies and marketing your services to potential clients.
It is not uncommon to find you chatting on the phone, cooking dinner, washing your child’s hands and adding important dates to your calendar all at once. For others this might sound stressful, but you juggle these tasks with ease. You only have so many hours in a day, which means you plan accordingly and get as much done as you can at once.
Why it’s important in child care: Child care providers are often supervising multiple children at the same time and are constantly being pulled in various directions. You must be able to prepare meals, settle disputes about sharing toys, soothe an upset child and respond to an unexpected emergency, all while remaining composed.
You’re always reading new books and binge-watching the best Netflix documentaries. You ask a lot of questions when you hear a new perspective on a controversial topic, and you smile as you witness the wonder in the eyes of a child as she examines a fallen snowflake for the first time. Simply put, you love learning.
Why it’s important in child care: “Every day is a new adventure and the children are so excited for you to join them on their journey,” says Wendy Ashbridge of St. John Neumann Parish. “To watch them grow socially, physically, emotionally and academically is such a rewarding experience.”
Children of all ages are naturally curious about the world surrounding them. As a child care provider, you’ll have the privilege of guiding them and participating in their quest for knowledge.
Not everyone is cut out for a career in child care. There are challenges that come with the rewards of caring for little ones and helping them learn and grow. But if you can handle the hard stuff, it’s a career that will keep you smiling and satisfied.
Can you relate with most of the statements above? If so, you’re already naturally inclined to become a child care provider. If you’re curious about what it would take to get started, check out our article: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Opening a Daycare.