Monday, September 21, 2009

Top Four Worst Jobs I've Ever Had: # 4 Daycare

There are so many things about doing daycare that I loved, and so many that I hated. It is, in my opinion, a noble profession. To take in other peoples children, nurture them, teach them, love them, it takes much patience and hard work. It is the second hardest job out there, right behind parenting.

My daycare was extremely lucrative, well kind of. It made a lot of money, but I also put a lot of money back into it. I hired employees that, in theory I didn't need. In Washington, one person can legally take care of up to six kids, only two being under the age of two. I didn't think a six to one ratio offered very good odds as far as good quality care goes. Plus, kids have their quirks, their tantrums, their other issues, I wanted to be able to take a break when I needed it. So, I hired employees. I paid myself about $1000 a month, and put the rest back into the business.

It's hard work. I only took children under the age of five. I offered an educational program, nutritious meals, and educational toys. You're constantly changing diapers, solving fights, drying tears.

And then there's the parents. They sometimes are harder to deal with than the children. They want special food, special privileges, special rights, but when you're dealing with children, and before I closed, I had ten children in my care, you have to be consistent, you had to be fair. Everyone needed to be treated the same. I had been scolded, undermined, and pissed off in general by some of my daycare parents.

I had some that didn't pay, some that didn't show when they said they would, taking money out of my pocket. I had to deal with restraining orders, and CPS. It could get very stressful.

I closed the daycare for personal reasons, not relating to the business. some of the parents (especially the difficult ones) begged me to reopen or to nanny for them after. It is so hard to find good quality care out there, to find people who genuinely love your children. And I did. I loved every child that walked through my doors (even if they drove me nuts sometimes), and cried and felt a sense of loss when I closed those doors.

When asked to daycare or nanny again, the answer was always, I don't think so. The work is too hard, you get too emotionally involved. And many don't respect the profession.

So, that's my #4 worse job, owning a daycare. Thanks for reading.

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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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