When I was first considering starting this business eight years ago, I did not feel qualified to care for other people's children. Sure, I had my own, but if i messed them up I had to live with the consequences!! Even though I felt like a decent parent, I still had doubts about how to handle certain types of behaviors. Completely unrelated, my son's preschool teacher asked me to work as her assistant because her current employee was leaving. I decided working in her preschool program was a great place to start my own learning. So I went to work. And learned a lot. I not only observed the kids, but I listened to & observed the director's every move. How she handled certain situations, what questions she asked the kids, and how she presented material. But I really admired her for her ability, patience, and desire to work with and never judge those children who needed a little extra help - the ones who hit, take toys away from other kids, etc. Not only did these kids do better in the environment she created, but I feel as though I profited as well because of her great example! I really enjoyed my job & working with children so I decided to go to school.
Early childhood education classes are not like most college classes I took; you know, the ones where you might go to class, never read the book, cram for the test then forget everything you were supposed to have learned after the test was over. I was surprised at the information and real learning that ECE classes offered. My best guess is because the people who teach these classes are passionate about working with children. They have all done it, whether in family day cares, preschools, etc. They understand that if they don't teach their students properly, then that lack of understanding is going to be passed down to & effect the lives of children. This is where I picked up ideas like Constructivism, process vs. product, and even certain tips and ideas of how to handle behavior. Then I got to implement all these new ideas in the preschool where I was acting in the capacity of a teacher. This helped solidify the methods that worked for me and the kids into my repertoire of tricks.
Last year, my husband accepted a job in the Seattle area. I had to quit my job at the Preschool. I was sad to be leaving my hometown, but I was excited to embark on this new journey. And the only way I could make money was caring for children in my home because I had a toddler. I took in two children. (Washington only has mandatory childcare orientations once a quarter, so it is really hard to become licensed based solely on time constraints.) It was very different providing child care in my home. The hours were certainly longer and I didn't have an extra adult there to provide breaks, but I enjoyed it all the same. That year let me test the waters of having an in-home preschool-like child care.
Now we are living in Brentwood, Ca. Just an hour south of my family in Sacramento! We are so thankful to be back in Northern California where we get to see family and close friends at least once every two weeks! I am also thankful because I am familiar with California child care laws and regulations. And my college education was geared toward California requirements for working with children. I want to continue to be able to be in the home with my young son. So, I am in the process of applying for my California family child care license. I look forward to caring for and working with your children!!