Program engagement specialist Michelle Terry recently caught up with Indianapolis’ newest family child care home owner, Yasmine Caruthers, the week before she received her child care license. Child Care Answers supported Safe Haven Learning Academy through the journey to become licensed, including completing a mock inspection the day of this interview. Thanks to Yasmine for sharing her triumphs and struggles with us!
What made you want to start your own child care business?
What was your knowledge of the process prior to taking Orientation I and II trainings?
Just basic, as far as knowing what to expect as far as what the state was looking for…making sure the file folders were full of all that documentation that the children needed and how to get the background checks. Other than that, minimal to none.
What was your first step after your training?
I think securing the location was my first initial step, as well as getting the funds for start-up costs.
At what point did you say, “I need some help”?
Immediately! For me, I do not shy away from any type of help at all. When I took that Orientation II, I’m like, “I’m going to be on it!” I used everything, so immediately I [decided] I’m going to get help or assistance where I can.
Where did you go to utilize resources?
My go-to was that manual from Orientation II. From front to back, I used that, and it provided so much for me. I was able to get in contact with Child Care Answers. I was able to get in contact with my state licensing consultant for this area. I also got in contact with Brighter Futures Indiana.
What has been the most challenging part of the licensing process?
The patience to wait from the submitting of the application to actually hearing, “Okay, you get your license.”
What has been the most rewarding part of the licensing process?
Take us through what a typical day looks like for you as you’re preparing for inspections, preparing the documentation and application, etc.
I started with the documentation piece, so there were a lot of trips to the library and printing. I made sure that I had everything in hand that I needed that my state licensing consultant would need, so I did that first.
After that, I focused on this house, making sure everything…that I got from the mock inspection [checklist]… I had it all taken care of. Coming here, cleaning, getting things set up, going back and forth to get supplies for this school. It was a lot of running around, but…especially also being a mother to a newborn, it was a lot. But it is fulflling.
What are some things you wish you would have known prior to starting the process?
When I got to the submission of the application, I was like, “am I doing this right?”. There was a piece that I had like a little speed bump…so I got in touch with who I needed to…fill these out.