Are You Burnt Out With Daycare?

If you are feeling burnt out, you've come to the right place! Are you a childcare provider who is feeling sad or depressed or just sick and tired of doing daycare? Are you a provider wondering whether or not you should quit your daycare business? The members of the daycare group, Provider's Playground, have some awesome suggestions and advice for you.

Join this list, Provider's Playground (find us on FaceBook), for support! It makes all the difference! Another thing that seems to really help me is to make some changes. One example would be to rearrange the room or rooms. Makes it look new and different. To prevent burnout I've found that if I regularly schedule days off for myself that really does help.

I think that burn out occurs because providers try to do it all.

When starting out many providers have hours that are too long. New Providers tend to think more about their clients' needs than they do about their own needs. There has to be an even balance.

This method has worked well for me to prevent burn out on my part.

I have been in the business licensed continually for 21 years. My childcare day starts at 7:30 AM and ends at 4:30 PM Monday-Friday year round.

In my booklet I have this statement:

"Holidays and vacation time prevents burn out on my part and gives the children a break from their normal childcare experience."

I take 4 weeks of vacation each year. One week between Christmas and New Year's, a week at the end of February, a week at the end of April, and a week at the end of July. These are all paid weeks. I also take the normal 9 other Holidays each year. Parents are entitled to take 1 enrolled week unpaid vacation and 1 enrolled week unpaid for illness. I can then plan on being paid 50 of the 52 weeks each year.

My favorite "burn out" cure is to Get Away on a weekend with just my husband. When that is not possible, I relax in my Spa. We had ours installed indoors in the 4th bedroom (guest room) that we do not use. When we do have guests, we tell 'em that they are staying in the Hotel Suite! And beverages always help you relax!

Some days when the burn out isn't as bad as other days just a little trim of the hair and a lunch date is enough for me. I have others that can run the childcare in my absence. Other times when I am maxed out I take a week off and do something with my sister while my dh and helpers run the childcare in my absence. It is fantastic but I know that I am lucky to have people I can trust fill in when I am gone.

For light "burn out" days, I read this list :-). Truly, it's been great therapy for me. I feel as if I am not alone in a sea of children, LOL!

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For really bad days, I have a nice big drink (adult drink), turn on some tunes, and cook to my heart's content WITHOUT family interruptions. Then I usually have a nice long bath with candles and read something I enjoy that is NOT childcare related :-).

When I feel burn out coming on I will try to take a day off and just do nothing. Sometimes I will get a manicure and a pedicure if money is tight then I will do it myself on Friday night get into a comfy pair of jammies put on a good movie and pamper myself. Other times when I feel it starting I will just let the dcks have a week of play with no theme plan except what I put on the parent board and I call it Brain Fade week and all the dcps know that we have no plans for that week and that I am tired and need a break from our normal routine.

I know that I have scheduled adequate Holidays and Vacations but providers need to take care of themselves also. To prevent burn out I make sure that I take 1 hour to myself daily. I either go for a walk, sit and read an "escape" novel, sit in the hot tub (It is in our basement and we purchased it 9 years ago. It is great all year round. Best after a day of skiing tho'.) or even take a nap. Some days I take advantage of doing more than one! All of these relaxing things are usually done after I have run the daily errands to the PO and the grocery store. Even doing those things allows a change of scenery!

When I start the downhill slide towards burnout, I turn on some music. I also have been known to pick up one magazine from my stash of luxury building plan magazines and just dream..... In other words, I totally zone out from my surroundings.....

I spend lots of time on my computer during the day when the kids are playing and these lists have helped me so much! I feel like I have over 200 new friends that work with me! Not only has it been a great resource but also a place to have adult chat and get advice from people who know what's it's like being a provider!


I enjoy going to some kind of training. It seems to re-motivate me, and sometimes just taking a day off. I just now going back to work this morning, I took the 2nd off glad I did, I would have only had 1 kid show if I hadn't- and that would have totally ticked me off. Would Love to hear everyone's ideas, burnout is a big problem in our profession.

I think training is the best way to avoid burn out. I took a class at Community College this fall, that was too basic for me, but I made many great new friends and had some refresher into basics. Some were new to cc and some were "old timers" LOL, Another thing is we all need to take care of ourselves, Have a Hobby ( I read, craft & work on the website), Exercise, Drink enough water and do something fun!!! I love to go to Denver Nuggets Games and movies. Associations monthly meetings are a great way to get out and enjoy time with other providers. Pedicures and massages are wonderful also!!!

It's just time to re-invent what you do, rearrange the furniture, paint the kitchen a new color. Get rid of kids or parents that bug you. Biggest tip is to get out of the house more often and do something for yourself -eat dinner out at a nice" place, change the colors you wear, start doing your nails again if you've been letting that go. Change your hairstyle or color!

Conferences refresh me - I get so many new ideas and meet providers and teachers from different areas. Sometimes this gives me just the push (and courage) to change things that really need changing! Sometimes starting in a few new kids are what keeps things interesting especially if they are an age you haven't had in a long time.

I have certainly have had my ups and downs over the last twelve years. I have to say that the last three years have been much better with this group to turn to. I believe that all of us spend our days and much of the nights caring for everyone else. We never sit back and care for ourselves and see what we need. I think we all have to spend more time caring for ourselves before we care for other people. I have found that over the years when I am involved in a weekly treat I am always happier. I have done things like go to local auctions, join ceramics, go for coffee with a friend, get a manicure or my hair done and now I joined Curves and I work out every morning before daycare. I know when I feel better about myself everything else follows.

Since our spouses do not understand and think we have it easy I would say support and talking it out with girlfriends and online chat areas(this one is the best!) I watch infants and I will find myself missing stimulating conversation and will talk someone's ear off at the drop of a hat! Plus training, doing something new each week helps with burnout. :)

Schedule yourself one extra holiday each year. I can't wait to see the look on my parents' faces when they see the new handbook. This year I'm taking President's Day off. I'm up to 11 holidays now. He hehe!!!!

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