Life as a home child care provider

Ten years ago, I set out to be a home child care provider so I could care for my own children, while providing care for others. I was pretty selective about the families and children I cared for. I made sure I did all the right steps to make sure children we cared for in a loving and safe home. This week, I bring you a “blog” from a home child care provider (who asked to be anonymous) on her reflection of 25 years of providing care. Although, it can be humorous it creates a picture of why she loves doing home child care:

“Reflection: This is my 25th year of providing child care. My hubby asked me a couple of years ago if I wanted to just hang up the child care hat when I reached 25 years, and I said there was no way. First of all, do you think for one minute that after being my own boss for 25 years that I would adapt to having a boss easily? (I might even get fired the first day, ha!) Honestly, the relationships that I have formed over the past 25 years with the children and their families are priceless. I have been fortunate enough to have had really great families to provide care for, and I feel blessed that they chose me to care for their precious kiddos! (Some of my child care kiddos are married, have their own babies, and starting careers!)

“I graduated from a business college after high school, and I did work for a couple of years in my field of study – until – I got married and we started our family. The whole reason I decided to start child care, was because I didn’t know who I could trust to take care of my own babies. Sometimes I do miss the business world, but I do still use my business background with having my own in-home child care. I have also done some transcription on the side over the years and currently have a part-time typing job that keeps my “business-side” need fulfilled.

“Being a registered child care provider has changed over the years. (DHS requirements) Things like taking continuing ed classes, being First Aid/CPR certified, taking Mandatory Reporting, Universal Precautions, etc. – don’t bother me because I believe in quality child care and I typically learn something new at the classes, so it only helps make me a better provider.

“I remember back in the day, I thought I’d go back to work outside of the home when my own kids started school. That day came and went, and I was too close to the families that I was providing care for, so there was no way I could make that move. Today, I still have no desire to work outside of the home. The hugs, kisses, smiles, thank yous, the a-ha moments when the kids discover or learn something new … still outweigh the drag of DHS requirements, the poopy diapers and snotty noses. Here’s a thought – think about how many kiddos I have helped potty train over the years! Think about how much the garbage guys probably hate stopping at my house each week to pick up a 39 gallon garbage can half filled with dirty diapers! Ha! It’s not always easy, as when I have to take a day off, it affects at least six families’ lives. I try to make my appointments for Saturday’s, but that’s not always possible. Then I think about all of the amazing kids I’ve had a hand in molding/raising and how many lives I’ve touched over the years. Child care is hard, yes. Many people tell me that they could NEVER do what I do. Truth is, I probably couldn’t do what they do either. But “I” think I have a pretty great job, and that’s what matters! So THANK YOU to all of my past and current child care families, for entrusting your children in my care and allowing me to continue doing what I love!

“If you have a child care provider – say thank you, reward them, and let them know you appreciate what they are doing for your children. They help your child grow, learn, socialize and play in unimaginable ways.”

At the next column we will look at what’s available for child care providers, define what quality child care looks like, and give you some important resources when looking for child care.


Carrie Kube is a director for Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Board. All thoughts and opinions expressed are that of the author and not the board and/or its community partners.