I have made the decision to close my childcare for the summer. It was not an easy decision to make. When you do family childcare, the children you care for and their families, become part of the family. Yes, it is a business, but it's the business of caring for children, and you can't do that without falling in love with the children you care for. I've been contemplating a change in schedule for a while. I have been trying to coordinate camps and swim lessons and summer vacation and thinking about other things we'd like to do. But unless I relied completely on others to transport my kids everywhere, none of that was going to happen. I just don't have room in my van for the number of kids I would have here on a daily basis. My kids deserve to have a summer...where they get to go to the beach or have friends over or spontaneously go on a field trip to the zoo, or just head into Boston on a whim.
It was so difficult for me to break the news to each of my families. Two of them may need to leave because they need fulltime care year round. That someone else will be caring for MY daycare kids just about breaks my heart. Someone who doesn't know that M is nervous about getting changed on a changing table so she gets the changing pad on the floor when its time for a new diaper. Someone who isn't familiar with S's signs and little gestures that are her only means of communication. Someone who doesn't know them and love them like I do. I hate that this decision puts more stress on the parent's shoulders too. But, I know their parents will chose alternate care carefully, and in time my daycare kids will settle in with their new caretakers.
So...with that behind me, I am getting so excited about our summer. I have signed the kids up for their various camps, and swim lessons and we've booked our week on the Rhode Island coast. We are all looking forward to a leisurely summer; a summer that we can laze around if we want to or pick up and go on an adventure at a moment's notice, a summer we can fill with memories. I don't think I've been this excited about summer since I was a kid. I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to spend this summer with my kids. Four years ago, I decided to leave teaching so I could be home with my kids and that was a painful decision. I've just had to make another painful work decision. But I don't regret either one. And now the kids and I are on our way to filling up our new summer scrapbooks with all our adventures. Stay tuned!