Childcare Debate

I’ve been debating and debating about what I want to do with my childcare….maybe you all can chime in and help me think this all through.

Right now, I am registered.  With being registered, there are LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of regulations.  I’m getting so tired of the regulations.  They are overwhelming and often quite senseless….let me explain.

Being I am registered I have to:
Take CPR and First Aide class every 2 years
Take Mandatory Child Abuse every 5 years
16 hours of continuing education training
Take a food training class
Keep records on the children with up to date physical and shot records with all the “i’s” dotted and all the “t’s” crossed
Keep records of and practice fire and tornado drills monthly

There’s more…including criminal background checks for everyone who regularly comes to my home and is exposed to the children.  That means Kelli and Kalissa along with Hubby who are exposed to the kids all have to have background checks regularly.

I am required to have a yearly physical…I do that already but I hate being “required” to.

Image result for childcare registration

There’s even more if you want to be a “more highly rated childcare”.  More and more and more requirements so before long my home no longer looks like a home and instead turns into a childcare.

Now, even more is being added.  I have to take a 12 hour “essentials” class every five years.  I went to the first of the series on Wednesday.  It was so much of a waste of time.  I spent an hour listening to the rules about car seats and seat belt safety.  I don’t transport kids.  I don’t give them a ride anywhere that requires a seat belt.  Another hour of the training was about playground safety.  I don’t have playground equipment.  I can’t change the surfacing at the park that we visit.   I spend more time listening to how I can’t have a trampoline….the safe way to have a pool..neither or which I have or will have.  The training was a waste of time.  The other hour of training was about emergency preparedness.  I am now required to have a plan in case an intruder comes into my home during childcare hours.  I am “suppose to go on my PA system and announce it so everyone can get to safety”.  I am suppose to “barricade myself and the children into a room”.

WHAT??  I am a home provider.  I don’t have a PA system and I don’t have a room on my main floor with a lock.

The training is the hugest joke.  Coming up I have to listen to an hour of train on SIDS-Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  Hmmm…I’ve had that training already…several times.  I’ve had a great niece and a great nephew die from SIDS.  I am practicing everything as far as SIDS is concerned.  Why waste my time?

Another new change for this year…I am required to write a 14 page Emergency Preparedness Plan.  It’s all inclusive.  I have to have all the shot records and health physical papers uploaded and put “in the cloud” so that I have them in case there is a fire or flood.  I have NEVER looked at those shot records or physical records….I talk to my parents daily and know about my kids….The only time I look at them is if I know an inspector is coming soon so I have current ones in the file.  I have to have a flood plan.  As seen by all you blog readers, our home doesn’t get flooded.  Why do I have to write out an evacuation plan for flooding?  With that lockdown/intruder plan…I live in a home.  How and where I exit depends on where I am at the time…where the intruder is at the time and where the children are at the time.  How can I possibly know those factors to plan.  I feel like writing…”I will put myself in front of any child at any time.  I will take a bullet for them if necessary.  I will do whatever it is to keep them safe…but I don’t know how to fill our your paper”.

The new rule that bothers me the most…If Kelli or Kalissa would watch the children for me while I am not here, they would be required to take that 12 hour Essentials class too.  I am no longer allowed to let Kelli or Kalissa care for the children if I am not here.  That is CRAZY to me.  Both of the girls are CPR certified.  Both of them know the kids and the families…they are like aunts to the kids!!  They know my home and the routine.  They are both nurses but neither if no longer qualified to watch the childcare kids for me.  Previously they did for an hour or two so I could get blood drawn or to an appointment at the end of the day.

I currently work 10 hour days-five days a week.  I don’t have time to write reports like this on my off time.  I don’t want to spend my time that way and I certainly don’t get paid for it.

The requirements are sucking the fun out of my job.  They are sucking time away from the kids.  They are sucking away my home and turning it into a childcare center.  I am so frustrated.

I run a pretty safe and tidy ship here with the kiddos.  I feel we operate quite safely.  Now another new required item.  If the child is under one…no ride on toys.  If the child is older than one and riding on anything with wheels, they have to have a helmet.  Oh my.  My two year old ride tike bikes…they are on them for one minute then off doing something else then on again for a minute.  I can’t imagine chasing after them trying to get helmets on them.  Once kids are riding a bicycle I totally think helmets are the right thing..but two year olds on tike bikes…no.

Every time I turn around it’s a new requirement.  I can’t keep up with them.

Image result for brownies

The only real benefit I get from being required is this..I can be part of the food program and can get reimbursed for food I feed the kids.  I also have to make extensive records on that feeding only required food that need to be entered daily.  If I do something totally human like accidentally put pm instead of am on a time that children arrive or leave, I am docked for the meal and will not get paid.  It’s another set of hoops to jump through.
We got a whole new set of requirements with that too….  No more treats…as in treats, granola bars count as a treat.  No doughnuts.  No chocolate milk.  If it sounds like something fun I could make with the kids, chances are, I can’t make it…it won’t meet the requirements.  It’s all annoying.  I understand the necessity of feeding kids healthy things but now they’ve taken something away too.  When we did have treats I would tell the kids, “Brownies are a treat food.  That’s a food you just have one of.”  That was a good lesson…It can’t be taught by me anymore.

For those of you who don’t know I did childcare for eight years previously.  The rules and regulations bothered me so bad then.  I actually think the rules were part of what made me leave.  It’s all too much.  Back then at least the trainings we had to attend for continuing education were hands on.  Now meetings are all about rules, rules, rules.

The rules have doubled and at some point I think it’s going to be a force that messes with me again.  This time rather than quit childcare, I think I am quitting the rules.

So far..the only thing I think I’ll miss is the food check.  I think it’s worth it though….

Remember me working these schedules trying to make kids and families fit in?  I do and I hate it.


Right now 3 and 4 year old in our school district go to school 4 days a week.  Wednesdays they all need childcare.  Where can they go?  Likely no longer to childcare homes because they are full with full time kids.  Those kids often put childcare providers over their allotted numbers.

I believe the number of children guidelines are good…however, there are exceptions.    On day a week, with kids that already know the routine, it’s okay for me to have one extra kid….at least that’s what I believe.  If caught…I’d loose my registration.

Being I am registered and on the food program, people are in the house regularly…checking this…checking that.

I am tired of it all.  I think the regulations are good for some.  In this small town, with us living here for so long, I really don’t think my family needs to have background checks.  Everyone know us…everyone has a link to the gossip line…everyone reads the paper.  I don’t think I need to waste my time protecting child files from fire and flood when the children I care for, I know…really know.  I know their grandparents.  I know their aunts and uncles…it’s not like if I lost the parents phone number that I couldn’t get the parents reunited with their children if a disaster did happen.

I would change very little if I wasn’t registered.  I’d stay up to date on CPR..I’d feed good foods to the kids…I take good care of the children.  I wouldn’t go to meetings.  I wouldn’t worry about records and imposed deadlines.  Instead of going to meetings, maybe I could create activities or organize art projects for the kids….doesn’t that sound a whole lot better??  It sure does to me.  I believe I have a good moral compass and wouldn’t do anything that would put the children in jeopardy…I don’t need mandated rules for that.

Hubby’s on board with me letting my registration lapse.  I am too…our kids are too.  I’m just over it.  Too much is too much.  The only thing I have left to check before I completely let it go is to see if I can get insurance and not be registered.  At this point I’m beginning to believe that either I step away from the registration requirements, or I step away from childcare…and I don’t want to do that.

45 thoughts on “Childcare Debate”

  1. WOW! I have heard how complicated this was getting, but I had no idea! I’m with you, forget the registered status and make your life a whole lot easier. You have enough on your plate already…..and the kids are the important part.

  2. I truly understand Jo. This happened to me as a Girl Scout leader(volunteer position) & took all the joy out of scouting for me. With all the requirements, continual & repeated training, classes & paperwork that escalated each yr I rarely had time to develop a complete program for the girls. The required paperwork for me to complete that really did me in was I had to (discreetly) find out the nationality of each member of our troop so the national organization could apply for funding especially if a girl was a nationality other than Caucasian yet schools were even trying to eliminate this labeling or differences of cultures. When younger most of the girls didn’t know the percentages & even tho I explained why when I asked some of the parents(my friends) they were offended ~all leaders in town seemed to experience this. The last year I got myself in trouble by stating my troop members were all American Girl Scout. I felt bad about using & wasting so much paper for required paperwork! I even had to be fingerprinted yrly at the local police station! I had been a Girl Scout through high school & just wanted to share scouting with my daughter & her school mates. I could write & write my complaints but I rather just remember the good times with the girls. So I totally understand if your let your registration lapse!!

  3. What do the parents of your daycare kids think of you dropping your registration? Its been a while, but I appreciated my childcare provider letting me know when her husband or one of her kids were going to be caring for my child. I also liked knowing when she refreshed her cpr, etc. classes. I live in a small community and understand your dilemma. It sounds like the rules were made for large child care centers and not a home setting. Praying you make the best decision for all.

  4. Wow… What a bunch of government red tape! My big question would be do any of the children’s parent use Health Savings Funds to pay you? Meaning thru my employer I can have X dollars withheld from my paycheck, pre-taxed and use towards a registered childcare provider. I know Dale and Molly use a program like this to help save money. If I had kids, I’d use my HSA to help pay for childcare. Or are there any other assistance programs that the parents use and require a registered provider? Personally, I would let the registration expire but I’d hate to see any of the parents lose out on any programs or tax savings.

  5. Wow, it sounds like all this registration/paperwork is sucking the joy out of your childcare set up. You do live in a small town and in that situation you are correct that everyone does know everyone. You have been doing this for awhile and have parents who could be used as references for new parents and since everyone knows everyone is much easier. I think a discussion with your parents would be helpful and to know if they would leave if you let your registration drop ( such as they use there Flex to pay for childcare). Good luck in what ever you decide..

  6. Talk to the parents about this. I bet they support you. It doesn’t sound like registration is a legal requirement. I know that the rules are created because of BAD caregivers but it sure punishes good caregivers. This statement is true in so many businesses.

  7. I did childcare for about 15 years. I was never registered. There is extremely shortage of providers in my area, so parents were just happy to have a good childcare provider. You can take a deduction on your taxes for food without all the restrictions in my state.

  8. If the regulations are by the state of Iowa can you talk to your legislators about this for a change in the laws for home providers? You are probably not the only home provider questioning this.
    It is so hard to be a small business owner nowadays, too many regulations stifle everything.
    Tough decision to make when you enjoy doing what you are doing.

  9. I do in home and let mine go. This is our home and I wasn’t letting people require locks on our bathroom cupboards. I’m not dumb, one of our bathrooms has towels and toilet paper, nothing else. We provide a safe environment and come with high recommendations. My sister quit due to regulations. She could make a living with the number of kids allowed. We live 25 minutes from 2 major hospitals and provide care for several nurses and there schedules are different than 8-5 families. I ran a daycare center and run this house similar. We have menus with required foods, I spend my free time with themed weeks and the children here are safe and we’ll cared for. My husband helps me and would NEVER take those trainings. I am up to date on my cpr and trainings by choice. They are chasing away licensed providers. Man quit the helicopter care and let them be kids

  10. I think that I’d tell the parents that you are planning on dropping being ‘registered’ and
    ask them if that would affect your status as their child’s caregiver. I don’t blame you for
    thinking that all those regulations are unreasonable for a small in-home daycare.

  11. You can get insurance with out being registered. At least I have it. I haven’t been registered and very carefully stay under the limit. Like you it was more of a hassle than anything. Good luck.

  12. Jo, My daughter in law is a non registered daycare provider in western IA & my sister in law is a registered daycare provider locally. I have heard the stories from both of them. You need to look at all the time you are spending on the book keeping, which is taking away from child monitoring, and see if the $$ you receive for the program pays your time outside of daycare hours. It most likely is not. Also knowing you & the small town values, your existing parents choose you, most likely, because they trust you & your values not because you are registered. After you verify your insurance is valid, have a heart to heart with the parents & explain the situation of the registration requirements. I believe most will say – we’ll keep coming. Good luck!!!!

  13. I think presenting the situation to the parents and getting their opinion (which they may need a few days to examine any impacts on them) would be a good next step. It may not influence what you do, but it does allow them time to consider before realizing they need to find a new arrangment. It is sad that the world is such that so many of these things need to be required, especially in larger settings, but also frustrating where they don’t seem to apply. And yet, people with absolutely no training or thought can have a child they can do with as they please. Hope you can find a good solution for all.

  14. What a quandary. I live in a small town, with a registered provider very close. There’s NO way in hell that I would use her, I see what goes on. She’s also the only person in our small town who has regular openings. If I were to need childcare, being registered or not, would not play into my decision. I have a feeling that the parents of your kiddos will feel the same way that I do.

  15. When our kids were going to daycare, I didn’t take my kids to someone because they were or weren’t registered. I took them to the person because I knew them and how they ran their home/daycare. I knew they cared about kids and treated them as their own. Jo, you’re a wonderful person and daycare provider. You know what is best for you and all these regulations are not. I’m sure they are needed but it really has just gotten way out of hand. I would bet it will not matter to the parents if you’re registered or not. Go with your heart.

  16. years ago I did child care at home and of course back then there were no regulations, I can’t imagine trying to do it now. It sounds like all these regulations are not taking into an account of the difference of home child care and business childcare. I would drop the registration and let the parents know of all the bother it is and give them the option of changing care if they want to. The background checks on family alone would really bother me and all the other things as well. This is going to the extreme of government regulations

  17. I am a stay at home g ma who babysits my g girls and I don’t have any limits as to what I can do or not do with them. (common sense) I understand all the child care rules……..but whatever happened to common sense and trust. If I had to do all this paper work just to babysit …… even for money, I’d quit. Parents don’t have to be educated on how to care for their own kids………and that’s who should be getting the education.

  18. Wow! It’s incredible what you have to go through in order to do a job that you love! Makes me so sad! I hope you can make it more pleasurable again!

  19. I think you have already solved it own debate Jo! If u only do if for the food check and they have taken the fun outta food even then what really is the point? And for that matter you cud prolly ask the parents to contribute to snacks just like they do at preschools… We did snacks for 22 and a 25$ gift card to the local gas/grocery store for snacks… It wud certainly help! And I would be willing to even tho u have Bria only on random emergency days! Lol as far as letting your parents goes I’m sure they all read the blog post and even if they didn’t I think I can honestly say it wouldn’t affect a single child’s status at ur daycare you are the best daycare in the area and everyone knows it!!! And I am also sure they will all support you in you decision whatever it is!

  20. I do believe it is a little ridiculous to expect in-home daycare to meet the same requirements as daycare centers. Daycare centers where they have a separate building that is used exclusively for daycare and more staff than one person, maybe needs some regulations to make sure safety issues are being meet and followed. I know when we looked for daycare, it was the feel/impression of the place and the people in the center that was in the end the determining factors for us.
    Explain to your parents the insane amount of work and effort that is required for being registered and make sure they are okay with dropping being registered. Let them know what you feel is necessary to keep up on your own, ex: CPR, good food choices, safe and loving environment. If you are up front with them they probably will be okay with it and they are actually your best source of new business, whether you are registered or not, if someone recommends a daycare provider chances are that is more weight than a state registration.
    Good luck with the decision, it will be tough, but in the end do what is best for you.

  21. While I can understand some of the regulations, like CPR, fire drills, etc., it seems like the government is getting so involved with “protecting” children that all they are doing is running good providers out of the industry.

    This seems to be what is happening every where.

    Government workers get so involved with rules that they miss the big picture and the actual people involved.

    I understand your position and can completely sympathize.

    Good luck with your decision.

  22. It sounds like you already know what you want to do. Having your family behind you, and knowing that the child care parents would support any decision you make should certainly help. I’m sure you will do what is best for you.

  23. My advice-.give up your childcare, rest up for your health, and enjoy your beautiful grandson. You worked so hard to create your dream house, don’t turn it into a daycare center. You are a quilt expert and love it so use that long arm to quilt for money. YES, you are more than good enough. Also, I like plain quilt backing so that the quilting shows. Get bolts of wide good quality muslin and eliminate the stress you appear to have when choosing a backing.

  24. Wow, who knew there was so much regulation and useless paperwork involved in childcare! And all the meetings and classes….most of which turn out to be a waste of time after doing childcare for a while, which you have. Keep in mind that rules made by government employed bureaucrats are usually made to justify their own jobs. It was much the same in the library world….meetings, classes, reports, statistical reports, strategic plans, accreditation with senseless requirements(example: library employees were supposed to be members of four community organizations as representatives of the library, but those organizations couldn’t be church or hobby related) all for rock bottom pay. I got fed up and retired…so have several other’s in my area. What is going to happen in childcare is that good providers are going to quit and childcare will become even more scarce. You love the kids so I say keep doing what you are doing and drop the registration along with all the useless meetings, paperwork, etc. You know what’s really important and common sense will take care of that.

  25. Jo,
    I wish I lived in your small town and could have had you for a childcare provider when my children were young! Living in the Twin Cities, finding any daycare was the most stressful part of having kids! I am not kidding! And then the government puts regulation on top of regulation to try to push good people out of being providers. In MN, our “wonderful” governor promised his union cronies that he would repay them for their help in getting him re-elected by unionizing in home daycare providers!! Can you imagine that?! This type of thing is what happens when government gets involved in ANYTHING! (sorry for my small rant.) I feel the less the government is involved in anything the better.

  26. Betty (from Canada)

    That is totally nuts. Anyone can have a baby without any pre-requirements. Why do you have to follow all these silly “rules”? If you can get insurance without all the “rules” go for it. I think you should give a copy of these “rules” to each parent and see what they think. I my self would be more concerned with how my kids are being cared for,what they are given to eat, and what activities they do. To heck with the rules.

  27. I read Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” decades ago. Not having a good memory maybe I am recalling what seemed to be one of the main thymes incorrectly. I seem to remember the politicians and powerful making an incredible amount of rules and regulations. So many in fact that nobody could follow them all therefore leaving the politicians and powerful people the ability to always find a rule or regulation broken by someone they wanted to destroy. And then destroy they would. We have been heading in this direction for a long time now.

    How sad for what is happening to you and how foolish for the regulators to drive the best caretakers out of the business. Thinking of you and feeling so badly for you.

  28. Jo, Too much Government involvement! I’m just a bit past you in age and the day in and day out of regulations is so annoying. You have a daycare to service your hometown families, not the Government. What ever happened to common sense? Apparently the officials don’t have it for a business such as yours. You will make the decision that is best for you and I bet all your families will stand 100% behind you as your own family does. Please keep us posted. A daily blog reader from Illinois.

  29. Have you talked with your child care families? How do they feel about your plans? If they are alright with your plans, maybe they could pay a little extra to help with the food, and other than making sure the kids shots are up to date, you should be able to do what you love and have done for a long time without all the added stress of registration. Hope all works out as you desire.

  30. As a parent of small kids, I’d rather take them to someone like you, especially in a small town environment (similar to where I live) as an unregistered daycare provider, than to someplace registered. If I have a personal relationship with you, I trust you to do the right thing. I’d much rather have a child-care provider to have the flexibility to take an extra kid for two hours, or have you stay open and have your kids watch the kids, than a registration which doesn’t mean squat and have you risk losing your license.

    Dorothy – why in the world not?? Just because someone sits through the training and checks the boxes doesn’t mean they actually follow through. Background checks are largely useless, and don’t catch actual molesters. Jerry Sandusky would and did pass background checks. (The sad truth is that in over 90% of cases, if a child is being molested it’s by whomever is sleeping with their mom.) Putting faith in registrations and certifications doesn’t do a darn bit of good.

  31. Stop being licensed and add a charge for food to make up the food costs. If parents don’t want to pay it, they will have to provide their own food. Your reputation is more important than a license has been my experience.

  32. My neighbor has an adult special needs 33 year old man that has lived with her for 20 years. He is just like her son and is treated this way. They have to go through the same things except she doesn’t get reimbursed for her food. She can’t have dead bolt locks on the doors because they might no be able to work them (not true). Now they want him to be able to lock his bedroom door. The problem with that is he has seizures and if his door was locked how could she get to him in an emergency. Dumb rules that they just don’t think through.

  33. I am a provider in Massachusetts . ..I have to have 10 hours per year training , cpr EVERY year. Sids, transportation , 5 rights of medicine etc etc.
    Not only did I and my husband have to have Cori’s done we had to be FINGERPRINTED with the FBI!!!!!
    I have been a licensed provider for 24 years, and the regulations have become outlandish . I truly believe that the goal is to do away with “family” childcare and just have centers.

    1. I agree the in-home providers are being pushed out. It’s so ridiculous. I want out and I really think I’m going…that is leaving registration and keeping the kids. My families are fine with it.

  34. So ridiculous and such a waste of time! Too many rules and so little common sense. Reminds me of the time a friend tried to donate her daughters high chair to Salvation Army. It was unacceptable as she had a piece of tape on a tiny tear in the vinyl. So go throw it out? It was good enough for her daughter but deemed unusable- makes no sense to me. I say chuck the registration and do what works for you. A good, safe, caring home is more important than paperwork any day in my book. Hugs are more important than paper files.

  35. I totally understand. I live what I do and my parent’s love me caring for their little ones. The regulations are getting ridiculous. I actually think they’re trying to put registered homes out of business. The center’s are loosing business. Everyone in my home must have background and fingerprinting over 14. Mind you, everyone was born and lives in the state all their lives. It seems like they want homes to be more like licensed centers. It’s actually making me want to closeup as well. It’s not worth the headache, but I will miss my parent’s and children.

  36. Seems to me some of those rules shouldn’t apply to family day cares but rather to the big commercial day cares. I’d rather have my kids cared for in a home setting like yours than in a commercial day care. I’m sure the parents who use you as their care provider would too – registered or not.

  37. I am so sorry that it is all that way….boy–I know what I went through when I had my mother with Alzheimer’s….some things are just crazy.. and so often the people with all the ideas never did any caregiving…Like you say–people know you and your family….Go with what your heart is telling you…what is the deal with no treats–it is the only time in your life you can eat fun things…Ha…..

  38. In Kansas, you are allowed to have up to two children whose hours total no more than 20/week (10 each, 7/13, 15/5 etc). If/when the state catches wind of you doing more than those 20 hours, they send a surveyor out. If you are caught with more than the 2 kids, all the kids are sent home immediately and you are no longer allowed to have ANY kids in your home.

    I am currently working on getting licensed and I have had to do classes and CPR training and TB skin tests (for everyone in my home) and tDaP shots and criminal background checks and the list goes on and on.

    I agree that there’s too many governing rules and policies for the care of children in a home setting. And if I hadn’t had 3 back surgeries and could get a job anywhere, I’d probably do it just to avoid the paperwork that comes with a home daycare. But I can’t, so I guess it’s a really good thing that I love kids and want a houseful of them!

  39. I offer these words. 1. What if the children you provide an education for was your children or grandchildren. 2. The requirements are not for you, they are for the safety and well being for the children in your care. 3. The parents of the children you provide care for are trusting you with the lives of their child each time they make a choice to bring their child to your facility. 4. If the regulations are the worst thing about your responsibilities with these children and you have to struggle making a decision to maintain, then the only words I can offer to you is, leave the profession because it’s not about the regulations or you again, it all about the children who has their lives in your hands. I have been a licensed family child care educator for more than 20 years.

  40. Skip the registration. My kids had a caregiver who sounds so much like you. My kids loved going to her place. She lives on a farm so there’s a big yard, animals to see, and lots of outdoor toys to play with. No sitting in front of a TV! She has a big garden and the kids “help” her in the garden. They go for walks in the woods. She treated my kids like they were her own. Since I had no choice but work outside my home, having my kids stay with her was the next best thing to them being at home with me. And guess what? Three years ago when my daughter had twin boys, the person she wanted as their caregiver was none other than her own former caregiver! I truly believe if their caregiver had to comply with all the rules and regulations that you have, she would no longer be watching any children in her home.

  41. My daycare (in home) isn’t registered for those same reasons! We love her like family and I can’t imagine any one else watching my boys! I’m sure your daycare families feel the same way!! Save yourself the hassle and quit the registered stuff! Then you can focus on the fun of childcare!

  42. I did childcare through an agency in my home and there were TONS of regulations. What was the advantage for me, The parents paid the agency and the agency paid me, they had someone I worked w when I had a difficult child (more like parents that needed training) and when I had a biter.
    I still like you had an occasional kid, b4 and after school, or when school was out.
    But I would really draw the line if they made every sub caregiver I used go through that rigamarole.
    I got most of my kids through word of mouth the agency did bring me a few though.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top