I run a daycare. It's fully subsidized...by me (parents pay nothing). Legally, I can only have 6 children under five years old and a maximum of 2 children under 18 months, but I push the limits. I have been known to have up to 9 children, with me being the only adult.
My daycare opens at 7:30am and closes at 6pm. There is no need for parents to drop their children off, just send them over to my house on their own and I will care for them. Also, don't worry about picking your children. Trust me, I'll send them home.
I serve two snacks and a nutritious lunch everyday. Truth be told, I hand out homemade (and very colourful!) popsicles at least once a day. I provide an incredible amount of juice...until I get sick and tired of providing for all of the neighbourhood children and I tell them to drink from the hose. This thrills the children!
I hope that the parents enjoy their "time off". They have commented how lovely it is that they are free to clean their homes, prepare their dinners, and do errands without having to deal with pre-school children. Lucky them. They are able to mow their lawns, tend to their gardens, and read their books...in peace. I especially like that the parents are able to socialize with each other sans enfants, and even (gasp) have naps.
I know that the parents appreciate my efforts because they seem reluctant to leave. I have had dinner on the table with my family already eating, and the parents are literally (I'm not kidding, I swear!) standing at my kitchen door trying to talk to me. I have been loading my children into the car to leave, and the parents swarm the vehicle, hoping against hope that I am only joking about leaving. I'm not. I'm running away.
Most days, I have an enforced "quiet time" from 1pm until 2pm. At this time, I put Sarah and Cory to bed, and I let the twins watch TV. I use this time to clean and to do any work that is required of me. I also like to have a wee break. I realised just how valuable a service I provide when at 2pm, parents and children were lined up on the edge of my property waiting for us to come outside.
Running a daycare is absolutely exhausting. I haul out the Bouncy Thing, fill up the swimming pools, set up T-Ball games, and referee soccer tournaments. But at the end of the day, the other parents have had a break and I have had an awesome time with my kids. And, I have some amazing photographs to prove it! Lucky me!
Note: I feel so badly that the other parents don't have pictures of their children having the time of their lives that I've now starting emailing each neighbour pictures of their children.