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Career Story: Daycare Owner And Teacher

Daycare Owner And Teacher

Job Title: Daycare Owner/Teacher

Type of Company: I own a daycare and provide childcare and pre-school for the community.

Education: BA, English •• attended graduate school in Education

Previous Experience: I worked as a social worker right out of college. Then I went back to school to get my education degree and became a middle school teacher.

Job Tasks: I own and operate a state-licensed family daycare and pre-school. I oversee all aspects of my business as well as teach and care for the children. I typically work 55-60 hours a week, with 50 of those hours representing hours of direct care.

My day begins at 6:45 a.m. when I prepare for the children to arrive. Between the hours of 7:15 and 8:00 the children arrive and I provide them with a choice of activities. From 8:00 until 9:00 I serve them breakfast and help them with toileting and clean up. From 9:00 until 11:00, we work on a pre-school curriculum that addresses social, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual growth. Sometimes we will take a field trip that complements the curriculum. Around 11:00 we go outside to play or take a walk around the neighborhood. After that, I prepare and serve lunch for the children and after lunch the children complete personal care tasks such as washing up, brushing their teeth and going to the bathroom. At 1:15, the kids take a rest, which typically lasts an hour and a half. Once rest time is finished, the children again have a choice of play activities and an afternoon snack. Following that, I complete daily assessments for each child to take home while the children have choice or outdoor play. Typically, the parents start arriving for the children around 4:30. I close my doors at 5:15 and perform cleaning tasks for the next 45 minutes to one hour. Accounting, shopping, planning, intense cleaning, and training to maintain my certifications are done in the evenings or on weekends.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is being able to help children grow and learn. I also enjoy being my own boss.

The worst part of my job is encountering children who've been ignored or slighted by very tired or extremely career-oriented parents.

Job Tips:
1. Get experience working in a child care center or with another daycare owner.

2. Make sure that you also learn basic accounting skills as well as get a minimum of an associates degree in early education or a similar field. Most states now require degrees since you must provide a pre-school curriculum for the children.

3. Make sure that you are healthy enough to handle the demands of this field. Take your health seriously. You don't get many sick days.

Additional Thoughts: To work in the child care field, you must like and love children. You will be asked every day to perform mundane tasks such as diaper changing, toilet training, cooking and cleaning up, brushing teeth, etc. While these tasks are sometimes monotonous, look at them as opportunities to talk with the children and help to mold their characters. Often, you will have more of an influence on them than you realize. You have more contact with them during their awake time than any other adult.

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