The only problem with this natural desire is that too many providers make the mistake of thinking that expressing their love means spending more money on the children.
But showing your love doesn’t mean spending more.
Some providers keep buying more toys every year until their closets, basement, and garage are all overflowing. Many providers have turned their habit of buying children’s items that they don’t really need into a “hobby.”
Certainly, toys are an important part of helping children learn. However, providing a hundred toys won’t help children learn that much more than far fewer toys, and it may even be counterproductive.
The parents of the children in your care won’t expect you to spend a lot of money on their children. In fact, if you do, they may feel uncomfortable and worry that they won’t be able to keep up with you.
Here are some responses from providers who responded to a survey I conducted as part of the research for my book Family Child Care Money Management and Retirement Guide:
“Learn to set a budget and don’t let your heart take over and buy too many things just because you love the kids. You have to set limits on holidays and birthdays. It’s really important to put the cash away for emergencies before you get into a situation where you have no extra money to spare.”
“Stop making so many purchases for your business. You really don’t need another book or toy. Use the resources you have. You don’t need one of each kind of whatever it is you want.”
“Stop spending money on your business – it’s too easy to ‘nickel and dime’ away your cash for new things that you don’t really need. I have updated my equipment and environment with quality items – but it’s the little stuff that really adds up without adding much to my business.”
“Stop buying so much stuff for your day care. Most providers I know continually buy junk because it’s on sale or a good deal at a garage sale. Then they have too much stuff, and complain that they can’t get organized.”
“Save, save, and spend only what you need to. Reduce, re-purpose, reuse, trade. You do have to be creative, but kids don’t need expense toys to be happy, and keep learning.”
This article was taken from my book Family Child Care Money Management & Retirement Guide.
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com
Image credit: thebutterflymaskarade.blogspot.com
For more information, see my book Family Child Care Money Management and Retirement Guide