Daycare Provider Shout Out

Hey! We all need encouragement, don’t we?

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO OPEN YOUR OWN IN HOME DAYCARE?

MARY  In 1997, Chet’s (Husband) position at the bank was relocated and we did not want to move to Grand Rapids. I had been working in physical therapy for 15 years. Our finances were secure so we decided to do work that would be fun and also rewarding. We opened Golden Years Daycare, a licensed group home for 12 children. Yes, we opened it together and for the first 2 years ran it together with a part time assistant. Papa Chet is wonderful with children. We were very fortunate in the 10 years that we had four wonderful women work with us. Most of the time we had 2 caregivers here with me at one time and felt it very beneficial for the children.

YOU AND CHET DECIDED TO OPEN DAYCARE BUSINESS TOGETHER. WAS IT CHALLENGING TO WORK WITH YOUR HUSBAND?

MARY  Not challenging because we were both committed to it from the start. Chet is fabulous with children – “Papa Chet” they called him. Also, we were financially secure which allowed us to hire assistants. Chet and I are a team always… so yes – beneficial!

WHAT IS/WAS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT DAYCARE?

MARY  My favorite thing about daycare is/was giving the children a safe, loving environment in our home. I knew they loved being with us. Plus I got to stay home and play everyday. We were very organized and traditional in our way of caring for the children.

WHAT IS/WAS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT DAYCARE?

MARY  My least favorite thing was dealing with parents who didn’t comply with our way of doing things, also having to make contracts and be firm.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE DISH YOU MADE FOR DAYCARE KIDS?

MARY  Definitely GOULASH – Busia’s recipe. The kids LOVED it!

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK THAT YOU READ TO DAYCARE KIDS?

MARY  The story about Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese

WHAT ADVICE COULD YOU GIVE TO DAYCARE PROVIDERS?

MARY  I loved mentoring new daycare providers. I really felt that because we were older and more experienced in child care, the new providers could benefit from advice and suggestions. And I was happy to give that to them. I often would visit daycares to meet providers and see how they did things.  Our daycare was always full, mostly school teacher’s children, so I really needed to be careful when recommending a provider to prospective parents.
I think I would advise daycare providers to not only love and care for the children, but to take care of their business as a business by keeping meticulous records, having a good tax person and knowing the state regulations.

ANY FUNNY DAYCARE STORIES YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?

MARY  Funny stories? Oh so many! One that stands out is about Barbie Dolls. I did not have Barbie Dolls at daycare, but two of my younger workers wanted to have a Barbie Day. When they knew I was going to be gone, they secretly let the girls bring their dolls and stuff from home. They thought they were pulling a fast one on me, but they took pictures of the fun they were having – so the secret was OUT! Hahaha!

HOW ABOUT A HEART TOUCHING STORY?

MARY  Recently four of my first girls who are now 18 and in college wanted to have dinner with me. I asked them to pick a restaurant where we could meet, but they did not want to go out to dinner. Instead – they wanted to come to my house and make goulash (daycare favorite) with me. These four girls have been best friends since being in daycare together. So not only did we make dinner, but afterwards they re-created a picture I had of them in grocery sack paper vests. Yup, after dinner they sat at my table cutting and coloring and gluing and laughing the whole time! I then took a new picture. My heart was bursting with love for and from them that night.

THANKS SO MUCH, MARY! YOU DID A GREAT JOB AND YOU ARE TRULY AN INSPIRATION!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.