What It Takes To Successfully Operate A Family Child Care Business With the Owner of DJ Shining Stars Daycare, DeShonda Jennings
Successfully operating a family child care business requires a combination of creating a welcoming environment, building trust with parents, implementing effective policies and procedures, offering developmentally appropriate activities, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. By following the insights and advice shared by DeShonda Jennings, the owner of DJ Shining Star Daycare, aspiring or current childcare providers can enhance their skills and create an enriching environment for children. It takes dedication, passion, and continuous learning to thrive in this rewarding field.
In this article, we will explore the key elements required to run a successful family child care business. We will be hearing from DeShonda Jennings, the owner of DJ Shining Star Daycare, who will share her insights and experiences.
DJ Shining Stars Daycare has become a beacon of excellence in Family Childcare. Congratulations! What would you say are some of the most important skills for an early childhood educator to have?
DeShonda: If I had to pick the most important skills, I would definitely say effective communication. You have to have this in order to interact with the children and parents. Effective communication promotes understanding and positive relations in the learning environment. Patience and empathy. This involves understanding and responding to each child’s unique needs and emotions. Other important skills are creativity, observation, and flexibility. Creativity will help to spark children’s curiosity as well as it supports their cognitive, social and emotional growth. Flexibility will decrease behavior issues. All of these skills combined empower early childhood educators to establish a caring and engaging atmosphere that fosters children’s holistic growth and ignites a passion for learning from a young age
What does it take to successfully operate a family childcare business?
DeShonda: Organization is key. Business skill set is key. Being consistent, and I always say be transparent. Just let people know straight up front what your policies and procedures are. So there are no surprises. Just be transparent. In the long run, they’re going to respect you more. The main skills in addition to transparency that have helped me to be successful are my leadership skills and business management skills. Leadership skills are crucial for managing the business and staff. That could look like clear communication, making strategic decisions, and motivating staff to name a few. Business management skills involve understanding your finances, budgeting, and financial planning. Also staying up to date on child development and policy changes. Running your business as a business by keeping your personal finances separate from your business finances. Knowing the amount of income needed to run your business. Identifying and eliminating any revenue gaps. Clearly defining your breakeven point.
When working with young children, what is the most important thing to remember?
DeShonda: Safety, Quality interactions, and respecting culture differences.
You must prioritize their safety and engage in quality interactions all while respecting their uniqueness/culture. Creating a safe and nurturing environment for children is crucial for their healthy development and overall happiness. This includes providing supervision, age-appropriate activities, and fostering positive relationships with each child. Being attentive to their needs and emotions, and responding with patience and empathy, helps build trust and a strong foundation for their growth. As caregivers or educators, it is our responsibility to ensure their physical and emotional safety, allowing them to explore, learn, and thrive in a secure setting. By keeping their safety at the forefront, we contribute to their positive experiences and contribute to their healthy development.
In summary, quality interactions involve respectful communication, responsiveness, play-based learning, emotional support, and the building of strong relationships. You should use clear and age-appropriate language to effectively communicate with the children. Also actively listen to the children’s thoughts, ideas, and feelings, and respond with empathy and understanding. Asking open-ended questions, and having a back-and-forth dialogue is also key when working with young children.
In addition to owning a childcare business, you’re also a childcare coach. What are some vital topics you discuss when coaching your clients?
DeShonda: I encourage my clients to first embrace the power of a growth mindset. Once we do mindset work, they are open and are more willing to receive feedback and guidance. In the mindset work we discuss identifying what their unique gifts and talents are. What feature benefits do they offer their clients? That is extremely important when it comes down to pricing and coming up with a comparable rate without lowering the amount needed for their business. Other topics include creating a personal and business budget. In the Family Childacre space it is easy to mix the two. I discuss why they need a budget as well as how to have a profitable business. We cover ways to lower expenses without sacrificing quality. In addition to those things, we discuss what they want for their business, for each business owner has different goals for their business. We look at their business structure to see if the foundation is set up correctly. I have a FREE checklist that we use as a guide/audit. www.businesssetupnow.com
What advice would you have for anyone who wants to enter the childcare industry?
DeShonda: I would say my advice because I started this business as a parent. So for me, everything I do within this business, I see it through the eyes of a parent first, because I put myself on the other side. If this was me, how would I want someone to treat me or my child? So just having that compassionate piece, having that transparency piece, knowing what mistakes to avoid. I got a free resource that you can use, it’s www.10mistakest2avoid.com. It would definitely tell you the things on what not to do. It’ll tell you 10 of the top things to do in your business that way your business can be sustainable. Like I said, definitely connect with people in the place doing the things that you want to do. See your business as a business. Don’t look at it as a hobby. That’s the biggest thing. Realizing that this is a business and you need to run it like a business. Another one of my free resources, I have a checklist that I have for you, making sure that you get your foundation set up, www.businesssetnow.com. I even have a book that teaches you step by step how to start a quality home daycare business. That’s definitely a tool. It’s going to give you seven steps to get your business up and running within 60 days. If you need any one on one help, I’m definitely a childcare coach. You can reach out to me at www.10mistakes2avoid.com and I would love to work with you one on one.
My biggest advice is that you have to invest in yourself if you want families to invest their money in your services. What I mean is , that investment may be investing in professional development, investing in materials for your business, investing in a membership to your local, state, and/or national early childhood associations, and investing in a coach that can help you reach a higher level in your business as well as hold you accountable.