Where are you located?
Holly's Petite Maison is located in a neighborhood near Semoran and Aloma, off Howell Branch. Below is a map with the general location.
What is your childcare philosophy?
I believe that how children are treated in the years 0-3 will impact how they see themselves, the world, and others for life. We need to build a more solid foundation for children to learn from and that can be accomplished through positive, encouraging, and kind interactions on a minute-to-minute basis. Children love to learn about the world through caregiver observations, narrations, and explanations for events going on around them. Even when dealing with negative behavior, there are ways to handle it that don't incorporate yelling, hitting, threats, belittling, teasing, punishment, etc. A calm, confident provider makes a calm, confident child.
Isn't a daycare provider just a babysitter that cares for children in her home?
Maybe some providers call themselves a babysitter, but the level of service that I provide is higher than that of a babysitter. I cook meals and snacks from scratch. I am a state-licensed provider (Registered Daycare) and must meet certain safety requirements. I must conduct monthly fire drills. I must pay self-employment taxes on my income. I must do 10 hours of yearly in-service training to keep up with industry standards. I assist with potty training, have a whole room in my home dedicated to my daycare program, redirect and guide behavior to show children how to behave, and have a vested interest in each child's well-being as well as the long-term success of my business.
"Family child care is a profession. It's a unique profession that requires a wide variety of skills: teacher, protector, cook, [...] bookkeeper, organizer, and much much more. It is a job that hundreds of thousands of women and men perform because they love children and they want to support their own family. When we talk about a family child care professional, we are not referring to a babysitter. A babysitter is someone who watches children (usually from just one family) for a few hours in the evening while the parents are away from home at a movie or social event. A family child care provider is someone who is in the business of teaching and nurturing young children to reach their highest potential, usually for more than 50 hours per week, year-round. A provider is intentional about planning activities and helping meet the individual, changing needs of the children in care. This is no easy job." --Top Copeland in "Family Child Care Marketing Guide"
A traditional "babysitter" generally doesn't have enough time to spend with kids to form an attachment or a relationship. Children may not be sure what to expect in a babysitter's care and may act out or cause problems. Babysitters generally let "anything go" because they generally don't have much child care experience (if young) or if they are older, they may not be able to keep up with the children's needs or ease of getting into things. They are in the children's home where the parents' rules dictate behavior. The babysitter may not be familiar with the parents' style of discipline or even the household rules. It's hard to enforce rules if you don't know them or how to redirect undesirable behavior. Babysitters are not required to have any training on child development and many of them are not parents. It's rare to find a middle-age caregiver unless she has kids of her own and is operating a business out of her home.
I am not a glorified babysitter. I do more than just meet a child's basic needs. Here we develop a nurturing home environment coupled with guidance and discipline that helps children learn social skills, cooperating, taking turns, helping, developing parallel play into cooperative play, discovery, and art activities that fine-tune a child's abundance of skills. Mostly from-scratch meals and snacks are cooked daily and provided as part of tuition. The provider also does all grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking, cleaning, washing of her children's bottles and cups, daycare dishes and cooking utensils, daycare laundry, as well as routine maintenance on supplies, outdoor equipment, the yard, and the house. Provider also keeps records of attendance, receipts, business purchase records, and much more.
This career is more than just the hours a child is in care! The services I offer are high-quality and my rates reflect that level of service. I want to provide a comprehensive service that includes all the things to make my clients' lives easier, all while at a great value.
What is the adult-to-child ratio?
I'd like to work with a group of 6-8 children on any given day. I'm registered for up to 10 children (depending on age).
Who cares for the children in your daycare? Is it just you or do you have a helper?
I'm a one-woman show, here! Most providers that care for children do it as a solo venture for many reasons (including in most centers- they will have a small group of children with 1 caregiver at any one time)- but mostly due to the cost and expense of hiring an employee, relying on their attendance to maintain ratios and quality, and also because I went into business to be my own boss and to not have to deal with employees/helpers!
Aaron, who is the father of my children, is around before and after his workday. He may have off 2 weekdays from work which means that he is around in the home. He keeps to himself in our room or in the front family living room (daycare room and kitchen/eating area are separate from these areas by baby gates).
I am solely responsible for the care of the daycare children and their needs. Mr. Aaron (as the kids call him) will say hi or may help with the care of our own 2 children, or take our youngest off my hands so I can devote more time to the older children.
Having Aaron home for 2 weekdays also limits the amount of days I would need to take off from working to care for our own children if ill, their appointments for: doctor well visits, doctor sick visits, eye and dentist appointments, ER Room trips, and many other things. I want to be a great, reliable service that parents can count on to be open for when they need to work. This alternative schedule of his allows this availability for me to extend to my clients!
What kind of experience do you have with caring for children?
When I was as young as 12 years old back in Minnesota, I would babysit children and babies on occasion. I once cared for 3-year-old twins while their parents went out on a Saturday afternoon for a few hours. I've cared for babies, older children, and became a mother in late 2013. I have an intrinsic knowledge about children and how to show them desirable behavior, curb inappropriate behavior, and to be a role model for children. I am big on reading/learning new things and am self-taught and have life experiences in many fields, such as: cleaning, cooking, baking, restaurant/food service, child care/child rearing, positive parenting, holistic lifestyle, nutrition, customer service, entrepreneurship/business skills, and bookkeeping.
While I don't have any formal degrees or education (aside from DCF's extensive training) on child development etc., I don't believe that a person has to hold a degree to be knowledgeable on a topic. (And actually, someone who holds a degree m74ay have book-sense but not life-sense about any topic, anyway). I continue to grow and learn about myself as a provider and parent as well as about children, their needs, and their care. I'm trying to constantly improve my services and skills. I don't pretend to know everything, though I do know a lot about children's topics. I may ask parents for ideas, insight, or alternative solutions to solve a problem if the methods I use aren't working (in general or with their child).
Do you have any degrees, certifications, etc?
High School Diploma : Winter Park High School, Honors Diploma, 3.5 GPA, June 2007
College Degree : Stetson University, BA, 3.35 GPA, May 2011
CPR, First-Aid, & AED Certified (& Pediatric) : November 2013
Registered Daycare Home : December 2013 - Present
Officially Opened : November 2016
SBA: Start-Up Basics Class
30-Hr Daycare Courses & Competency Exams : December 2013
Early Literacy & Language : November 2013
Basic Guidance & Discipline : November 2013
Guide to Record Keeping : November 2013
Playground Safety : September 2014
Effective Communication for Child Care Professionals : September 2014
Challenging Behaviors Awareness and Prevention : September 2014
Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Infants and Toddlers; Preschoolers : September 2015
10-Hr Daycare Center Courses : September 2015
Water Safety in Childcare Programs : April 2016
Standards for Quality After School Programs : April 2016
Quality in Child Care Settings : March 2017
Language and Vocabulary in the VPK Setting : *In Progress*
Do you have ongoing licensing, training, and education?
Membership to Organizations
Central Florida Association for Family Child Care (CFAFCC)
Florida Family Child Care Home Association (FFCCHA)
National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)
Business & Parenting Literature (*best books!)
How to Open and Operate a Financially Successful Child Care Service by Tina Musial
Start and Run a Home Daycare by Catherine M. Pruissen
How to Start a Home-Based Daycare Business by Shari Steelsmith
Business Planning Guide by Tom Copeland
The Truth About the Daycare System by Patti Smith
Family Child Care Marketing Guide by Tom Copeland JD
How to Boost Your Enrollment and Your Profits: Daycare Building Blocks for a Highly Profitable Childcare Business by Scott Meadows
FabJob Guide to Become a Daycare Owner by Alisa Gordaneer
Infants, Toddlers, and Caregivers: A Curriculum of Respectful, Responsive Care and Education by Janet Gonzalez-Mena and Dianne Widmeyer Eyer
From Babysitting to Business Owner : Getting the Most Out of your Home Child Care Business by Patricia Dischler
*The Discipline Book : How to Have a Better-Behaved Child From Birth to Age 10 by William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, RN
*The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp
Blindsided by a Diaper by Dana Bedford Hilmer
Waldorf Education: A Family Guide by Pamela Johnson Fenner and Karen L. Rivers
The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book by Lisa Hildreth
Their Name is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World by Johann Christoph Arnold
Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching From the Inside Out by Jack Petrash
You, Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade by Michael F Roizen MD and Mehmet C Oz MD
*The Four-Thirds Solution: Solving the Child-Care Crisis in America Today by Stanley I Greenspan MD with Jacqueline Salmon
The No-Cry Discipline Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
Parentology: Everything You Wanted to Know about the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted to Ask by Dalton Conley
*French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon
*Baby Signs by Linda Acredolo PhD and Susan Goodwyn PhD
Baby Sign Language for Hearing Babies by Karyn Warburton
Foundations of Responsive Caregiving: Infants, Toddlers, and Twos by Jean Barbre EdD
Bambini: The Italian Approach to Infant/Toddler Care edited by Lella Gandini and Carolyn Pope Edwards
Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing Our Children From Birth to Seven by Barbara J. Patterson and Pamela Bradley
*The Family Nutrition Book by William Sears MD
*The Discipline Book by William Sears MD
*The Successful Child by William Sears MD
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman
Positive Discipline A-Z: 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems by Jane Nelsen EdD (et al)
*Toddler Menus: A Mix-and-Match Guide to Healthy Eating by Penny Preston
*Infants, Toddlers, and Caregivers: A Curriculum of Respectful, Responsive Care and Education by Janet Gonzalez-Mena and Dianne Widmeyer Eyer
*Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide for Putting Positive Parenting Principles into Action in Early Childhood by Laura Ling and Rebecca Eanes
"Getting Clients and Keeping Clients for Your Service Business" by M.D. Weems
"Selling 101" by Zig Ziglar
"Positive Parenting : An Essential Guide" by Rebecca Eanes
"Contracts and Policies" by Tom Copeland
"Early Childhood Education Today" by George S. Morrison
Conferences, Workshops, Ongoing Training
NAFCC's National Child Care Conference, July 10-12, 2014 (Orlando, Florida)
How to Run a Home Daycare Online Video Course (paid course with 23, 45-min modules)
How are children disciplined?
Guidance, praise, redirection, and distraction are used as much as possible with young children. I use positive and gentle discipline for daycare children and my own children and show desirable behavior. For popular toys, I try to have duplicates to avoid disputes.
If it's something that needs immediate attention, like aggression, I tell them simply that what they did is inappropriate and why. I also tell them what they can do in that instance next time, "When you take Johnny's toy it makes him sad. You need to use your words." or "We don't take toys. If you want that, say 'Can I have that, please?' " or "We don't hit. Hitting hurts. Use your words." or "She has a toy you want? Say, 'Let's Trade!' and find a toy to trade with her."
Guidance and showing positive behavior/expectations: "We need to sit at the table to eat." or "If you're all done, you need to bus your dish." or "If you want to eat, you need to sit at the table." or "Let's use gentle touch. Here, I'll show you. Pat, pat. Gentle." or "We throw the ball FOR Trixie, not AT her. Like this. *demonstrate*" or "Indoor toys stay inside." or "Sand need to stay in the [sand] table. If you take sand out, we will close up the table for the day."
Natural consequences are used the most- a consequence of a child not eating their lunch is that they will have to wait until snack time if they become hungry. Or if they don't follow the rules that they will be excluded from activities for a few minutes. Or that if they use their crayons to color on the table (and not the paper) that they will be done with their art activity at that time and told why. Children can only understand and follow expectations if they are simply and clearly outlined and stated to them in a matter-of-fact way and not in a judgmental tone. They are learning and all these things are new to them! It takes patience and consistency to help raise a model citizen, but that is what we do here!
What precautions ensure safe play and other equipment?
I have a fire extinguisher, 3 working smoke/carbon monoxide detectors throughout the house. The kitchen, bathroom, and daycare areas have passed inspection and are hazard-free. All outlets have safety covers, all cords are out of reach or are secured to the wall, and all hazardous cupboards have childproof latches on them. Cleaning chemicals are kept on the highest shelf in the pantry, a separate room that the children don't have access to. Children are directly supervised at all times, including during outdoor play. Nap time has supervision through baby monitors and/or checking on the children as they rest/nap. Outdoor equipment is checked often for hazards and a visual assessment of the backyard is done to ensure there are no animals, pests, or ants present that may pose a hazard to children. The backyard is fully fenced and my home's exterior is checked weekly for pests and bee/hornet nests. Additionally, there are adult-height locks on all exterior doors and 2 gate latches on the fence gate to prevent children from escaping.
How long have you been in business?
I have been in business since 2013 (prepping, planning, organizing, acquiring materials, etc) and had my Grand Opening on November 28th, 2016.
If there's no availability for my child when I inquire, do you have a Wait List?
Yes, I have a waiting list. Once an opening comes up, I will text/call you to see if you're still searching for childcare and if so, schedule an interview/tour within the next 48 hours. For Wait List clients, they will have 3 days to decide if they want the spot after the tour/interview. After that time, the next person on the list will be contacted, and so forth.
What are your operational hours?
I am open from 7am-6pm Monday-Friday but considerations may be made for extended days/hours.
On the 2nd Friday of the month I offer a Parent's Night Out/Date Night from 6pm-midnight for an additional $30 for the first child and $10 for every additional child. Food and activities will be arranged. If interested in this service, payment is due on the 1st of the month in full. No refunds are given if paid and not used, though it may be redeemed another time, with ample notice.
What is your holiday schedule? On what days are you closed?
The daycare is closed for 12 paid holidays : New Year's Day, President's Day, Emancipation Day, Provider's Appreciation Day (Friday before Mother's Day), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve.
What about your sick/personal days?
I have 7 paid sick/personal days per calendar year. These may be given with ample notice or they may be last-minute for illnesses that may come up with my children or myself. We try to remain in good health to minimize the need for these days, but they are built into the pricing of my services. They do not accumulate from year-to-year and if I use more than these days in a calendar year, parents do not pay for them.
What kinds of food do you feed the children? Is it homemade or commercial?
Please take a look at my meals page. I prefer to cook homemade meals- they're cheaper, taste better, have more antioxidants from spices and seasonings, the food will have less salt and no preservatives, no chemicals, and be more nutritious. Not to mention that I'm one of the best cooks I know! ;]
We use organic items from time to time. I only serve water to the children but parents can provide milk or diluted juice in a sippy cup in the mornings for the child(ren) if desired. During nap time, only water will be given in sippy cups. Children using bottles will not have bottles with them during nap time as it poses a choking/suffocation risk. At nap time, babies/toddlers may use a pacifier and toddler children may have a lovey/toy.
Do you send updates throughout the day?
I try to spend as much of my time with the children as possible, but I do send picture updates of the child to parents so they can see what we are doing and that their child is in good hands and that we are having fun here!
What can I do to help my child acclimate to a daycare setting?
Parents can help by:
trying to give their child more independence in play and activities (not hovering, just let the child play and do what they'd like, as long as it's not destructive), talking to them a bit if they are fussing/crying (unless from an injury) versus immediately picking up and holding, having them stay seated during mealtimes and washing their hands immediately afterwards, having them help clean up toys and/or bus their dishes and utensils after a meal, giving them open-ended art activities at home (crayons and paper, play d'oh, etc), showing them how to use a spoon and fork (and a bowl) from 12 months onward, reading to them, letting them play independently during outdoor time (in the backyard or at a park- let them discover and do things), put them to sleep in their crib/bed on their back and then say "goodnight, I love you" and leave the room swiftly, when it's time to drop-off at daycare give them hugs and kisses and have a positive attitude about how much fun they will have here and then say "Mommy/daddy has to go! I'll see you later today! Have fun!" then leave swiftly and don't give in if they cry (only makes the separation harder on them), have them be in the care of others before age 1 (grandparents, babysitter, aunt, brother, even for just a few hours- after age 1 most kids have separation anxiety and if they are used to being separated from mom/dad before age 1, they will have an easier time with it), and guiding their behavior while at home to form good habits and behaviors (walking feet, gentle hands, no climbing, etc).
How quickly do children adjust to your program if they are new to a daycare setting?
Most children that are sent to a home daycare provider have often only ever had family members care for them, so it is a bit of an adjustment to have an unfamiliar person in a home environment taking care of them. But all the children that have joined my program have adapted in as little as 2 weeks! Some children who go to centers end up never adapting or take 1+ month to adjust to the routine, providers, etc.
Since here at my program I am the only provider, continuity of care is something that children get from the get-go. Through developing a deep relationship with each individual child and their needs, I am able to offer personalized care, attention, discipline/guidance and figure out their weak points as well as their strengths and draw on these observations to help them grow and to add to the group dynamic.
Who all is in the home/cares for the children?
My partner, Aaron, and I live in the home along with our 2 children (ages 3 years and 6 months, as of April 2017). Currently Aaron has off 2 weekdays and will be around the house, but usually keeps to himself and is in the front living room or our bedroom during business hours. His alternative work schedule is beneficial for us since he can take our kids to appointments and etc so that I don't need to miss work. Aaron has also passed Level 2 Background Screening for DCF's standards for my Registered Daycare Home. He is the father to our 2 children and is a very loving and gentle man. He may care for our younger son on his days off so I can focus more on the older kids. I am the only one that cares for the daycare children and all their needs are met by me- diaper changes, supervising, guidance/discipline, cooking/feeding, etc. While Mr. Aaron is in the home, he may say hi to the kids but he's not hanging out with us during program hours.
Do you offer a probationary period?
Yes, I offer a probationary period of 2 weeks. If you're dissatisfied or the arrangement doesn't seem like it'll work, on my end or yours, you can remove your child(ren) from daycare. I would prefer if you could address any concerns with me first (if you're shy, email or texting can be just fine and I will try to work with you to make any reasonable accommodations or changes).
If we are past the probationary period and you need to withdraw your child from care, a written notice of 2 weeks' time must be received and processed, using the "Notice of Withdrawal Form", which I can email to clients, if needed.
What is your tuition?
My daycare tuition fees reflect the quality of service I provide: nutritious food, a variety of home-cooked/prepared meals and snacks, incorporating organic ingredients, individualized attention and comforting, plenty of fun activities, art activities weekly, and Creative Curriculum that focuses on the natural development of each child with the intent of developing the "whole child" and not just academic topics/skills.
With the amount of time, care, and interest in the children's well-being as well as development, I charge more than a daycare that feeds their children pre-made, commercial foods or has limited supplies, activities, or experience caring for children. Also, a parent who wants the best for their child isn't making their childcare decision based solely on price but moreso on value and convenience (like meals and linens being provided, like they are in my program).
I know for a fact that my price is a better value than daycare centers that require parents to pack a lunch plus provide clean weekly linens. I also provide higher-quality service than most other daycare homes in the area, whether they are a mom or a Registered or Licensed program.
Full-time (4-5 days) is $150/week/child (paid every week, regardless of attendance)
Part-time (2-3 days) is $115/week/child (paid every week, regardless of attendance)
Drop-In (occasional/irregular care) is $45/day/child (paid only as used, will also have supply fee & application fee assessed)
These prices include all meals, snacks, and water for children eating table food, nap mats/pack n plays and linens, bibs, wipes, arts and craft activities, and all linens laundered weekly on-site.
Do you offer any special extended stays?
I offer a "Date Night" on the 2nd Friday of each month. I watch the children from 6pm-midnight and the fee is $30 for the first child, then $10 per additional child. I may extend my hours but it's to my discretion.
Do you offer sibling discounts?
I do not offer sibling discounts.
Do I pay if my child is ill or if we're on vacation?
Yes. Daycare fees are based on enrollment, not attendance. You pay for days your child does not come whether it's due to illness or some other reason. You are reserving your child's spot and that's why there's no discount in tuition amounts for missed days.
Do you supply diapers or wipes? What about baby powder, diaper rash ointment, etc?
I require that parent supply diapers. I have wipes. You will need to provide any extra items and I need to obtain written permission (via the "Non-Perscription Medication Form") from the parents if I am to administer any topical elements during a diaper change. I do not allow baby powder or any other powdered item during diaper changes as the powder poses a choking hazard if a child were to inhale it. Children have been known to die from this.
Do you encourage visits from parents?
I think it's a great idea to check out a daycare before you enroll as well as bring your chid(ren) with for the visit. I have an open door policy and currently enrolled parents can visit at any time during operating hours. Prospective parents can come visit with an appointment- I usually schedule tours with families on weekends or evenings since I can discuss all aspects of my business without distractions. Any parent is welcome to come and see what their child does during their time in my care.
What do I expect from you as a parent?
I expect punctuality, mutual respect, consideration, understanding, kindness, open and honest communication, and prompt payment for service. Any issues should be addressed promptly to help avoid build-up and to establish a partnership.
How do you communicate with parents?
I will talk with you briefly at drop-off and pick-up about your child, your family's activities, and how your child's day really went. I feel that even unpleasant information should be shared to establish trust between provider and parents. For questions or inquiries outside the workday, I can text, call, or e-mail (please do not do this unless necessary as I do have a busy weekend life). Texting is my favorite since it's instant and I always have my phone near me. I check my email once every few days so if you're looking for the most prompt response, texting or calling is best. During the workday, I send pictures of the kids to parents so that they can see what all we are doing and to put the parents at ease.
Will you give me a daily report or is there another process for informing me of what children did during the day?
I have a general schedule that we follow (meals, snacks, and nap time at the same time every day). If I'm spending time taking extensive notes then I'm not devoting my time to the children in my care. I can send parents pictures throughout the day. I will verbally give a quick synopsis of the day at pickup but cannot spend a long time with each parent. I will notify parents of any injuries, rashes, bug bites, cuts, or any other information that may be important for the parents to know (like how nap time and meal times went that day) and for big bumps, bruises, altercations with another child there will be a written incident report that will need to be signed by the parents.
What is your schedule like?
We tend to have a pretty flexible day, but mealtimes and naptimes are about the same time every day to give a sense of rhythm to the day. We do a morning and/or afternoon art activity and babies eat and nap on-demand, although I try to stick with their general schedule from home, if possible.
Afternoon Snack 3:30pm-4pm
Can I bring my child in for a pre-enrollment visit?
Absolutely! I generally schedule an interview for prospective clients on the weekend or after work where we ask each other qualifying questions, I show you around the daycare, and I go over my main policies and procedures per my Policy Handbook. Your child should come along so you can see them in my environment, see how I interact with them, and so we can chat and see if we have similar ideas of importance.
For newborns/infants I have a special program where if mom is going to be returning to work soon, you can drop your baby off with a scarf or blanket that has mom's scent on it. I will take care of the baby on 2 different days for up to 4 hours. This is a free service and is intended to help you adjust to the idea of having someone else care for your baby. This can be a very emotional and difficult time for both of you and I want to make it easier on you.
Are your toys and activities age-appropriate?
Yes, I have numerous toys per age group of children. I keep toys with smaller pieces away from infants and toddlers since they can be a choking hazard. I also have toys for boys and girls- I try to get them to play with toys not geared toward their gender since I believe children should have well-rounded experiences. There are dress-up clothes, a dramatic play area, a reading area, music area, block area, and an infant area.
Do you have a comfortable, childproof indoor play area where babies can safely explore and develop physical skills?
For babies, I have soft flooring in areas for them to explore freely on. I have plenty of baby toys for them to play with, 2 play mats, and fabric books.
Do you have a safe, enclosed outside play area that encourages large-motor skills?
Yes, my backyard is fenced and well-suited for children. I'd like to get a swingset and covered sandbox in the near future. I have several ride-on toys, a sand and water table, outdoor play balls, and a kid-size basketball hoop and small ball to play with it. I'm all about outdoor play, weather permitting! If it's too hot or raining, I have a large covered patio where we can play so that the children can expel energy without getting harmed. We will never be or play outside if there is lightning as it's a safety hazard. We may try again later to play outside.
What will my child be doing on any given day? May I see the daily schedule?
We have a schedule in the sense of snacks and meals at the same time every day, but there will be some unstructured playtime as well as some interactive playtime. This allows the children to express themselves and part take in activities that are of interest to them. We also do story time for 30 minutes a day, outdoor play twice a day, and art activities a few times a week. Artwork is sent home with parents when it is finished and has dried.
Do you allow smoking in the house?
Nope! Anyone who works for me needs to be a nonsmoker (also non-tobacco) and pass drug and background checks.
Do caregivers wash their hands after changing diapers and before feeding the children?
Absolutely! I also wash my hands before, during, and after I prepare/handle food. Children wash their hands before and after eating as well as after art time and outside time.
Are older children taught to wash their hands after using the potty?
Yes! There are many communicable diseases that are spread from fecal bacteria and this is totally preventable, especially E. Coli. We wash our hands often enough to remove germs but not too frequently as to have raw hands!
How often are the toys cleaned and replaced?
Toys are cleaned using disinfecting sanitary wipes and I replace toys if they become hazardous, too old, or develop rust. I rotate toys so children are constantly interested in something "new" and so they don't get bored. Any damaged or broken toys are promptly removed from the environment and either fixed or tossed out.
Are indoor and outdoor play areas childproof and escape-proof?
Yes. I have childproof adult-height door locks on all doors in my home, I lock the deadbolt lock as well as the adult-height lock on my front door at all times, and the fenced backyard has 2 gate locks, one at adult-height and one at hip height (they need to be opened simultaneously for the gate to open). I keep all chemicals, cleaners, and sharp knives out of reach (up high) or locked in a cabinet. All fencing is checked to be sure no child could crawl under it or through it.
Are the children ever left unattended?
Only while I am using the restroom! I try and make my bathroom time as quick as possible. When I am in the kitchen, I am listening and watching attentively to the children. I check on napping children to make sure everything is okay. I also use baby monitors for sleeping children in other rooms to be sure that they don't cry long before they are tended to.
Do you provide breakfast, lunch, and/or snack? If yes, what kind?
Yes. For specific examples of the kinds of foods I serve, please check out my Meals page. Everything is cut up into child-size pieces and all foods that are potential choking hazards are cut up in multiple pieces (grapes, etc), into sticks (carrots, zucchini, etc) or are not given until older (nuts, popcorn, eggs, honey, shellfish, etc). I also have child-size cutlery so they can learn self-help skills, build independence and autonomy, and learn table manners from an early age. We never serve hard, round, slippery foods or candies. These foods are also not allowed to come into my home as they pose a choking hazard, even for older children.
What if my child has a dislike for a certain food or has a food allergy?
For picky eaters, I encourage them to try new foods- the keyword is try. I eat the same things the kids eat for their meals so them seeing me eating as well as the other kids is usually incentive for them to try it too. Positive social pressure at mealtime is a very powerful medium to getting kids to eat a better variety of foods.
For allergies, it is very important that I know what they are. Please be honest with me if it is truly an allergy or if your child just doesn't like it. I will try to accommodate your child for allergies or food preferences (like for those that don't eat meat). I will need a physician's note stating the child's allergy.
Do you have a refrigerator for storing bottles of breast milk or formula?
Yes, of course! Just make sure there is somehow an indication of when it expires so I rotate the supply properly. You would need to furnish all supplies for this (all parts of the 5-6 daily bottles plus formula or breast milk).
Do you feed babies on demand or on a schedule?
I feed all kids on a schedule, but not babies. I ask parents what time their babies usually eat and how much so I'll know what to expect and feed based on babies cues. Babies can sometimes need more food because of growth spurts or other reasons. If a child has eaten their normal amount but still seems hungry, I'll give them a little bit more, make sure they're burped properly, and try soothing techniques if that doesn't seem to help.
Where do the children sleep for nap time?
Children sleep in pack-n-plays with nap mats inside them for added comfort. There is a crib sheet on the nap mat and toddlers may also have a lovey or a blanket in with them. I play nap time music for the children so they have a routine for nap time. I have 3 smoke/carbon monoxide detectors in my home. All children, regardless of age, are placed on their backs to sleep and young babies are put to sleep with no bulky bedding or other items in the pack-n-play/crib to avoid suffocation hazards. Young babies are closely monitored during nap time.
Do you have a nap schedule?
Yes, we have nap time from 1pm-3pm every day for the children ages 1 year+. Babies can sleep as-needed. I have baby monitors so that I can supervise them if the group is outside. At nap time, after 30 minutes of remaining awake, a child is allowed to come out and participate in quiet activities for the remainder of nap time. Activities include "resting their bones", reading, doing puzzles, or other quiet activities. Older kids also do similar activities.
Do you place babies on their back to sleep and follow other safe sleeping practices to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)?
Yes, I follow all guidelines for making sure the babies are safe while sleeping. I only put them to sleep on their back unless there's a physician's notice that states otherwise. I ensure that there are no toys, pillows, bulky bedding, or other suffocation hazards in their sleeping area.
What would you do if my baby/child cried inconsolably?
I would try to figure out what triggers the baby's crying, what makes it worse, what makes it better, and what may have caused it to worsen or improve. Making the right diagnosis requires a team approach. The parents' job is to act as keen observers and accurate reporters, while my role is to take those observations and use them as clues to come up with the right solution. This helps immensely!
There are 13 reasons a baby/child may be crying. I go through the checklist to see if any of these could be the culprit: hunger, a dirty diaper, needs sleep, wants to be held, tummy troubles, (for a baby) needs to burp, too cold or too hot, something small (a hair wrapped around a finger, itchy clothing or tag, etc), teething, wants more or less stimulation, atmosphere is too noisy or bright, not feeling well, or separation anxiety/newly separated from parents' care. I will never let a baby/child "cry it out" because that teaches them that their needs are not important and they don't feel loved. Even if the child is still crying, I will try to console them to the best of my ability. Just being there is sometimes all that they need. I offer hugs, holding, back rubs, and back scratches whenever needed.
What is the enrollment process?
Enrolling and/or reserving a future space for your child is simple. If looking for care within 4-6 weeks, contact us to schedule a time for your family and your child(ren) to do a tour. (If looking for care further out than 4-6 weeks, I will not schedule a tour. Please contact me during this window when you'd like to enroll and we can do a tour). During the tour, you'll have the opportunity to meet me and my family and learn more about what my program has to offer. This will give us all an opportunity to get to know one another. This is important and helps ensure that everyone is comfortable with the surroundings, expectations, and policies.
After the tour:
-Prospective client should read the handout called "My Daycare, At a Glance" and see if they agree to the policies (this is an abridged version of my Handbook)
-I will e-mail all the documents for enrollment: the Handbook, Enrollment Packet, Permission to Photograph, and Health and Safety Checklist
-Prospective client will read the Handbook cover-to-cover, prior to enrollment. All clients are required to do this and to agree to all policies in order to enroll
-If client is in agreement on all policies within, the enrollment process may begin
-The Enrollment Packet (all docs) will need to be filled out in their entierty
-Once they are completed, signed by parent(s), the Application and Supply Fees paid, 1st week's tuition paid, your child's space has been reserved
-Decide on a start date
(Parents can submit these documents by mailing them (address listed on first page of Handbook) or they can drop them off in-person and clip to my front door.)
What if I'm ready to enroll now but won't need to start care for a few weeks?
My policy on holding a spot:
If a client is looking for care for their child(ren) further out than 3 weeks, a weekly holding fee will need to be paid in addition to the application fee, supply fee, and 1st week’s care.
The holding fee is equal to ½ tuition per week for the desired attendance (PT/FT).
This amount = $50 app fee + $80 supply fee (or $120 supply fee for family of 2+ children) + 1st week’s care + [½ tuition * # of weeks until enrollment]).
This can be as little as ($230 plus $50-$100 weekly holding fee) or more.
If parents do not enroll children by said date or they change their mind about enrolling at Holly’s Petite Maison Home Daycare, they forfeit all monies paid and lose their spot(s). This will also be given in a written notice with copies for families and daycare provider with signatures and dates listed.
Winter Park, Florida 32792
Call or text 407-617-0637
DCF ID # R18SE2072
Text or call today to get more
information or set up a tour!
Holly's Petite Maison Home Daycare
A Holistic Approach to Nutrition and Childcare