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.

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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.

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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.