I have spent the biggest part of my life caring for children. At almost four years old, I became a big sister to my baby brother and my parents said I made it very clear to everyone, he was our baby. I took it upon myself to always watch out for him, even at a very young age, I had a lot of responsibility for his care, even when we were being watched by babysitters, I monitored them, and was sure that he was okay. (He would totally kill me if he knew I posted that picture of us!) When I started 6th grade, our mom opened her own in-home child care. I helped her whenever I could, and once I was old enough, the parents would hire me to watch their children in the evenings and weekends.
I babysat children off and on until I became a mother at the age of 25, then again at 26. I did watch children here and there while my children were young, and was even a helper to my best friend in her in-home child care business for a while, but I did not start my own business until 17 years ago. I decided to open my own in-home child care so that I could still be available for my then Jr. High school children, as well as doing what I have always known, take care of children.
My child care has changed and evolved a lot over the years, as I have learned, grown and studied more about the different learning genres and ways to work with children. I implement Montessori inspired invitations/provocations to play, open-ended resources, a lot of hands-on learning opportunities, as well as themes, process art, music, dance/exercise/yoga and plenty of fun.
Meals and snacks are mostly healthy options. Sometimes I will do fun with food where I will use cookie cutters, and other unique ideas to provide the children special meals, etc. geared toward the season, special day or theme at the time.
I spend a lot of time researching and planning, shopping and setting up to provide the children with the most fun, while also making sure we are working towards the learning goals we need to achieve, to have them ready for the next level of their growth.
I plan on sharing more of this part of my life here, because I know I get so many ideas from other child care providers who post on social media, bloggers, etc.