We caught Julie enjoying a rare moment -- a quiet day in her family childcare home. Licensed for up to 8 children from newborn to kindergarten, its usually VERY busy, but today with her daughter ill -- the majority of her daycare parents opted to find alternative arrangements, leaving Julie to enjoy some time without the usual hustle and bustle.
Julie -- a mom for 21 years -- has been a licensed provider for the past 3. She has done a wonderful job creating a very close knit family atmosphere in her childcare home.
"The parents and children feel like they are at their own home" Julie explained.
When asked what the most challenging part of her career in childcare has been she thought for a moment and answered, "The parents".
"It's taken a long time for parents to realize that family childcare providers are not babysitters. I'd say the attitude has improved over the last year and a half. My clients know that this is my profession". Julie added.
Her wish is just to see family childcare as a more highly regarded profession.
"After all," she explains, "Most childcare professionals have extensive early childhood education, attend workshops constantly, and a lot of providers are even joining the childcare unions now. It's a career."
She came to ProviderWatch the first time a year ago. Julie said, "I feel it's very important that providers get paid! I'm a mentor - I help train newly licensed providers. I tell every provider I work with about the services ProviderWatch offers. It helps all of us stay networked together."
Julie offered this advice for anyone considering the childcare profession, "You have to look at this career for the love of children, helping them develop properly. It can't be about the money. It's about loving children."
To the parents out there, Julie cautioned against choosing a childcare provider based on the cost of tuition. She suggested interviewing carefully, do your homework and remember that this person should be considered a member of your family. After all, they are going to help care for your children!