- Q. To whom it may concern:
I am a mother who is looking to start a day care in the basement
of my home. I have no idea how to get the information I would
need on doing this legitimately. I am in the State of New Jersey.
I was wondering if you had some advice on where I may begin my
search for such information. Hope you can help.
Looking forward to hearing from you. BTW, I would like to be
able to access such information on the Internet, if possible.
Thank you for any information you may have.
A. Dear Joanne,
- The first thing
you must do is identify the licensing agency in your county and
state. This varies from state to state, but you can usually get
directed if you start by calling the local Department of Social
Services or the Health Department.
- Once identified,
call up and find out about rules and regulations in your area.
- Here are some
things you will want to consider...
- 1 - Zoning -
Do your zoning laws have regulations prohibiting you from having
a daycare center in your neighborhood?
- 2 - Ratio of
children to providers - What is the ratio of different age children
you are allowed to watch?
- 3 - Training
Available - Are you required to complete a certain amount of
training each year? If so, does the licensing agency provide
- 4 - Childproofing
and Safety considerations - What are the requirements and where
does your home stand in terms of safety?
- 5 - After you
have had your questions answered, be sure to make a list of rules,
late fees and other miscellaneous information to give new clients,
and then, begin advertising. A contract is a definite must-have,
as is an application form you can refer to as you get to know
your new customers!
- Best of luck
|Q. I'm a mother of 2 preschoolers, and have managed
to run a very low overhead company doing paralegal work from
my home for 2 years until....I lost the largest and quite frankly
the only account I had due to corporate downsizing and the need
to cut any outside costs. My entire lifestyle was gone in a matter
It's now been 4 months since that happened, and I'm now doing
medical transcription from home (for peanuts), working in the
church nursery one night a week, working for a sole practicing
attorney very sporadically, selling Pampered Chef and listed
as a temporary employee for temporary job placement companies.
I am quickly going insane trying to handle this schedule and
unfortunately all of these part time jobs are not bringing in
even half of what I need to pay the bills that my husband's check
does not cover. We do not have any savings to pull from and we
are at the breaking point of putting our children in daycare
(which I loathe) and working full time at an office. All of this
would be fine except to cover the cost of daycare, I have to
make more money that what someone with my skills will make in
the town I'm from. The daycare alone costs more than our home
I need help. Any suggestions as to what to do. I am a dedicated
worker and want to get this off and running before it's too late
and we lose our home or I lose my sanity, whichever comes first.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
- A. Quality daycare is expensive and the
quagmire you are describing is one that so many women go through.
If I had a dime for every woman who said, "I'm working to
support the childcare," well, that would be a terrific source
of income for me :-).
- After I had
my second child, I had a similar problem. My client-load had
dropped. We really needed money, but I couldn't afford daycare
until I found a decent paying client. Here's how I solved the
- I found a neighbor
(an interior designer) who had small children, and someone I
knew and trusted, who was also looking for some time off to prospect
her business. We set up a childcare swap arrangement. I had her
children two days per week and she had mine for two days per
week. While it wasn't full-time, it was just enough time for
me to resume the networking I had done prior to having my baby.
I attended some luncheon meetings, put together some written
materials and press releases, and focused on finding new clients
by marketing myself. Because we didn't pay each other, it didn't
cost me a dime, just those two days of babysitting for her children,
which was a relatively simple process. Before long I had serious
clients and was able to afford a five day per week formal daycare
- If you do decide
to swap babysitting, be sure that you write up a document with
all the particulars and treat the arrangement as a serious one.
I failed to write up a contract, and as a result, began to feel
very "put upon" when the neighbor started coming later
and later to pick up her children. A written contract should
explain what is expected of each party and what happens in the
event of... (think up situations, e.g., you get sick and can't
babysit that day, etc.).
- Another possible
alternative is sharing one babysitter, which I graduated to after
my swap arrangement. Again, you will have to work out the details
ON PAPER with your co-employer to ensure that the arrangement
will not sour.
- Good luck,
- Q. Hi there,
- Thank you for
a great web-site. My husband and I are considering starting a
family towards the end of next year, and moving my office home.
- Could you please
tell me about research which has proved the benefits for a child
by having his mother at home with him versus being dropped with
a nanny all day? I am sure it is vast, but I would still like
to know the facts.
- Thank you,
- Carina Marais, SA
- A. I posed your question to Ellen Galinsky, President of the Families
and Work Institute, an organization devoted to researching
and publishing information about familes and work. The research
is done and statistically, there is nothing to indicate that
a child is better off with her mother than she is in childcare.
Here is her exact reply...
- "Over four
decades of studies have probed the question posed. After such
considerable time and effort, nothing much has been found. In
other words, the fact that a child's mother works -- or doesn't
work -- tells us very little about how that child will turn out.
Other things, however, are important.
- First there
is attitude. If the mother is doing what she thinks is right
(staying home or working), her child is more likely to flourish.
- Second is economics
-- families with more resources have more to give to their children.
- Third is work.
Work can eat parents up or energize them, which can have an impact
on their children.
- Finally, there
is the quality of child care, which can affect children positively
- Thank you for
your question and good luck in your quest for perfect childcare!
- EP Note: This is an issue near and dear to the
hearts of Lisa and deB,
co-founders of EP. While we agree with every point mentioned above,
we would like to add the following considerations:
- 1. The quality
of childcare is the central issue for many EPs. Even if the facts are neutral, the reality is
that the pool of talent in the childcare field is slim. In other
words, demand for high-quality nannies and day care centers far
exceeds market at the present time. However, quality supplemental
childcare is easier to find than quality full-time childcare.
- 2. While it's
of course important for families to have enough income to cover
basic living expenses in a community they feel comfortable building
a home in, "more" does not necessarily mean "more"
when it comes to providing material resources to your children.
- 3. Follow your
heart. You don't need a study on childcare -- pro or con
-- to know what is good for your own family.
|Q. I am a new mom and out of work. My husband is in
construction and doesn't make enough to provide for our family.
I am trying to find something that I can do to supplement our
income, continuously pay bills and stay afloat. I am very interested
in working at home, however, I am considering leaving the home
to an office type setting.
I am trying to find a list of companies that offer on-site day
care so that I can know where my 3 month old son is at all times.
None of the day care centers in our area are accepting new enrollment
infants until the middle of 1999. I am desperate!!!! I would
greatly appreciate any advice.
A. There are three magazines you might want
to check out before you start sending out resumes.
They are Working Mother's October issue, where
they have their annual list of 100 Best Companies for Working
Mothers, September's Business Week, which also
listed the Best Companies to Work For and the upcoming
January issue of Fortune which will feature a list
highlighting companies with innovative programs and benefits
to help people balance work and life issues.
balancing act is becoming of increasing concern to Human Resource
departments nationwide, who are looking for good workers and
want to attract and maintain talent. The Working Mother
list mentions which companies have onsite daycare facilities.
Keep in mind, though, that getting a job with a company with
an onsite facility doesn't necessarily mean that you will be
assured a place in the center. Waiting lists have unfortunately
become standard because quality daycare of any kind is hard to
come by. I suggest you seek out the better centers, put your
baby on the waiting lists and do what you can to supplement your
income at home while your baby is still young. You can get "bumped
up" the line if someone ahead of you finds another situation
or no longer needs daycare.
Good luck. I
know how hard it is but quality daycare is worth the wait, no
matter how you have to scrimp and save to keep going in the meantime.