Enough is enough! This is why I started a family day care…

Trying to balance 2 corporate careers in a household with a child who is continuously being sent home sick from day care can be challenging to say the least…..

I remember being in a teleconference with a client when my daughter threw up all over me. It would seem quite logical to stop the meeting but I embarrassingly continued in discussion with my client because I did not really think I could say no. At the time I was working for a Big 4 Accounting Firm and felt that by ending the teleconference that I would let my boss down.

It was just too much…I was embarrassed by my behaviour and could not believe that I had made the decision to continue with the teleconference and to let my family down. I knew then that something had to change…I could not continue compromising myself and my family for a job that really did not add much value to me or even really the client.

When I had my 2nd child I decided to take a year off and to find something different. It was a great opportunity for me to try something new whilst still having the security of my current job to go back to.

I remember searching through a number of different career opportunities and weighing up the pros and cons. One of the careers that really resonated with me was running a family day care business from home.

At first I was quite surprised that I was even considering such a drastic career change. It took quite a few weeks to get my mind around the idea. I wasn’t really sure whether it would be the best decision for me but the one thing I did know was that I could not continue in my corporate role.

Making the decision myself was one thing but telling my husband and friends about it was another. I knew that they were going to think I was absolutely crazy and they did. I studied for so long to become a Chartered Accountant and they did not really understand why I would give that up to become a family day care educator.

Their reaction brought some doubt back but at the same time I thought about what had happened that day during the teleconference and knew I could not go back there.

As a result I started doing some more research and decided to prove both to myself and my husband that this was either a really good idea or a bad one.

I had done a bit of research before and was already considering a reduction in work hours but did not really realise that by reducing my gross salary that I would actually be better off financially on a net tax basis. I was really quite excited by the prospect of not only earning a good salary but being able to spend more quality time with my children.

The prospect of starting up a family day care business was really quite appealing.

When my husband came back from work I showed him the numbers and explained to him how I could go about spending more time with the children at home. We both knew that having two corporate careers just did not work — it’s really hard when you have no support structure!

As a result we decided to give it a go whilst I was on maternity leave.

So I started doing more inquiries and met with a family day care scheme. They helped me get started. The most important thing was to start with my Certificate III. I had to get 3 modules behind me before I could open up my family day care business.

I was not really sure how I was going to study with a 4 month old baby but knew that I didn’t really have much of a choice — I really needed to make this work because going back to the corporate world was just really not a choice for me.

It took a lot of work to get my environment set up and compliant with all of the regulatory requirements but I managed to get my family day care business up and running within 3 months.

During this 3 month period I voluntarily looked after a few friend’s children to see if this was really something I could do. I loved it. I really enjoyed spending time with my children and their little friends. It gave me an opportunity to really bond with them and I welcomed the change.

During this voluntary period my friends valued the care that I provided to their children and decided to sign up as my first clients. This was a great starting point for me and helped during the parent interview process as I could show case not only my family day care environment but the education and care that I could provide.

This was the start of my career in family day care. Family Day Care has enabled me to completely transform my life and to look at the world through a different and more simple lens.

Sometimes I think life is just too complicated and it doesn’t really need to be.

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