In-home daycare workers share secrets

For decades now, women have had children and gone back to work shortly thereafter. And for decades, we working mothers rely heavily on in-home daycare providers and daycare centers.

Personally, I was so thankful and fortunate in finding the right in-home daycare for each of my children, and I found myself taking these hardworking women for granted now and then. But, if you think about it, these in-home daycare providers get up and "go" to work just as the working mothers whose children they take care of. In fact, I would be willing to bet, they work harder than the women who head to their desk jobs every day. I will be the first to say — I will never run a daycare!

Did you know that in Minnesota, there are:

 • 202,518 women in the workforce with children younger than 6.

 • 353,500 women in the workforce with children younger than 18.


 • 108,271 single women in the workforce with children younger than 18.

 • 2,061 daycare centers.

 • 11,847 in-home daycare facilities.

 • 54 percent of children of working mothers use in-home daycares.

It costs, on an average:

 • $12,800 annually for an infant in a center.

 • $7,150 annually for an infant at an in-home daycare.

 • $9,700 annually for a 4-year-old in a center.


 • $6,400 annually for a 4-year-old at an in-home daycare.

Through word of mouth, I have heard about these two in-home daycare owners, and I wanted to get the inside look at what "going to work" meant for them.

Andria Jensen of Kasson has been doing daycare in her home for 11 years. Her advice to someone who is thinking about running their own daycare (again, not me) is to work in a daycare setting first. She also recommends starting with a smaller group and working your way up.

Crystal Hellkamp started her daycare in 2004. Her recommendations include making sure they possess patience, good organizational skills, and love for children. Don’t be in it for the money, be in it for the right reasons of the children’s well-being and wanting to watch children grow into wonderful little people.

Andria and Crystal both weighed in with almost the same disadvantages (which do not outweigh the advantages) such as wear and tear on the house, long hours, noise, illnesses, always cleaning, having more toys and crafts around, more paperwork and some resentment from the older children.

Being a child care provider is not an easy job by any means, and it is a very important job at that. It is one of the most low paying and least celebrated. The providers we working moms take our children to work hard, and sometimes they don’t get the respect they deserve.

What To Read Next
Get Local