April 27, 2015

Mommas Makin Moola #2: Amber's Childcare Business

By Amy

Hi friends! And, welcome, new friends who are coming over from Sarah's blog. :) We're glad to have you here!

It's time for the second edition of the...

I'm so happy to share this momma's moola making experience...Amber was my across-the-street neighbor for three years and I love her! She is so fun and a fellow book nerd. She was cool enough to tell us about her childcare business! Enjoy. :)

Ok, Amber, tell us about you and your family.

Amber and her daughter Paige!
My family consists of me, my wonderful husband Shayne-who also is a small business owner, my twelve year old daughter Paige-who loves composing her own piano music, my ten year old son Payden-who is super duper artistic and comes up with the most creative idea's, and last but not least my six year old daughter Mara-who is the barefoot girl in the dress, wearing lipstick, outside playing in the dirt. Man I love my family, I am so blessed!

Please tell us about your business and how you got started. 

I make money as a full-time licensed childcare provider. I run a daycare out of my house and have been doing so since October of 2004. In fact I just celebrated my ten year mark this past October. Up until October of 2004, I was a licensed staff member for a State Farm Agent. I loved my job! The best part of my job was working along side my mom who was the office manager :). Even though there was so much I loved about my job, I really wanted to be home with my almost 2 year old daughter Paige and soon to be born son Payden. And honestly paying for two kids in daycare full-time is expensive and I wasn't sure how we would afford it even with us both working. Around this same time my sister-in-law decided to go back to school full-time to work towards her LPN degree and needed someone to watch her two kids. This was an answer to a prayer! My husband Shayne and I had been trying to figure out a way for me to stay at home with our kiddos and make it on one income...it seemed impossible until the opportunity arose to watch my Nephew and Niece. This would help me to still contribute while being able to stay home and I would be watching my Nephew and Niece which made it even better. Income would still be tight but if we budgeted right and had Faith, it would be OK. The best part was being able to fulfill my dream of being able to stay home! So I had my son Payden September 22, 2004 and started my daycare October 2004 and never looked back.

What is your work schedule?

My work schedule is 8am-6pm Monday through Friday. I do take Thanksgiving and Christmas off from watching kids. Plus I also take a few days off each summer for family reunions, etc. It works out to about 2.5-3 weeks off each year.

What do you love about your work?

I love being able to stay home. I love having the freedom of setting my own work schedule. I love having a fairly flexible schedule if I choose to. My husband Shayne fills in for me occasionally which is nice. But most of all, I LOVE kids!!!

What is hard about your work?

One of the toughest things about my job is that I hardly ever get to put myself first. In fact there are days I realize I forgot to make myself lunch. It can be exhausting...there are days that I'm just DONE by the time 6 o'clock comes. Sometimes I feel like my kids have to sacrifice a lot of what they want to do because of my job. Staying on top of cleaning and everyday chores is tough with several small children. It is definitely a balancing act. Although it's tough, I definitely believe the good out weighs the hard times.

How does a momma know if being a childcare provider is a good fit for her, and if so, how can she get started?

Deciding to become a childcare provider is not an easy decision and shouldn't be made hastily. You must have a genuine LOVE for children. You have to be consistent, dependable, and organized. Taking care of kids is NOT easy. I would recommend this to anyone who has the above qualities because there is nothing more rewarding than taking care of children. Not to be cliché but they are our future. If you think this would be a good path to take for you and your family here is what you'll need to get started. You'll need to contact your City offices to find out about getting licensed. I had to have a background check, be fingerprinted, pay a fee, 12 hours training each year, semi-annual and annual inspections by the Health Department, Fire Inspector, and Licensing Enforcement are just a few of the requirements. You'll also need CPR/First Aid training. It involves quite a bit of time and paperwork to get started.

What are your plans for your business in the future?

As far as the future of my business goes, I'm not sure what the future has in store. All of my kids are now in school full-time which gets me thinking of a possible change. But I have parent's begging me to keep watching their kids and honestly thinking about working outside the home now gives me a little anxiety haha. I do know that my goal is to eventually go back and finish my degree since I have all my prerequisites done. But first I have to decide what I want to get my degree in...which is the reason why I never finished.

What do you do to take care of yourself, de-stress, and find balance in your life?

 My favorite ways to recharge and relax are a hot bath and a good book. I also like to treat myself to a massage and pedicure every so often. I'm also guilty of Netflix binge-ing.  Don't know what I'd do without good friends always willing to listen, good friends are a must. I have 2 girls crafting retreats that I participate in each year with lots of friends...this is my out that I look forward to and it helps me de-stress. I've taken up running and love to get outdoors, there's just something that's so uplifting about being out in nature. My husband and I try to go on weekly dates, sometimes they are only 5 minutes but it's something. We try to plan family activities on the weekends and the kids look forward to that and the time together. I don't feel like I have the key to being perfect at balancing everything in my life. But I think being able to recognize when I need a break or time to myself has helped so much.

Alright, last one...just for fun, if you could take a vacation and visit ANYWHERE, where would you go?

If I could go anywhere I would take a vacation to Ireland. One of these days it will happen, I'm sure of it!!!

Thank you, Amber! She's amazing, don't you think ladies? How many of you have have been paid to watch children while caring for your own kids? How was your experience? Would you consider starting your own childcare business?

I've babysat for friends while watching my own kids a few days here and there, and by the end of the day I'm pretty freakin exhausted. Seriously, I think it was easier for me to manage a class of 7th graders with paintbrushes than 4 toddlers and a baby. Ha! :)

Thanks for reading, and check back in for another Mommas Makin Moola post next Monday! You are awesome. :)

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