Nicole Perez opens up her home to 8 children each day and goes the extra mile to keep them safe. “Proper supervision and strong classroom management skills are the keys to classroom safety,” she says. When asked how she continues to receive high marks on licensing inspections she says, “Being organized is my secret.”
Perez is adamant when she discusses child safety, “I never intended to open this business and gives less than 110%!” To keep track of everything she writes important dates and activities on her calendar such as her annual renewal deadline, needed background checks, and fire extinguisher inspections. “It’s easy to lose track of time when you work from home in your own environment and have a repetitive routine,” she says. But having high standards for safety and organization doesn’t mean she’s not having fun. She describes her approach to child care as “fun-spirited” and intentionally creates an atmosphere that is comfortable, fun, and designed to foster creativity and social development in the children.
Perez is not new to providing child care, after college she worked in several nanny positions and provided care at various licensed child care centers. She even taught parenting classes after becoming a certified Parent Educator. After having children of her own she says she was blessed to be a stay at Pint-Size Playhouse Stands Tall in Licensed Home Care Community Child Care Licensing 11 home mom for four years before deciding to reenter the workforce.
In 2005, Perez opened a Registered Child Care Home. Then, in 2010 she applied to be a Licensed Child Care Home provider. She would recommend to anyone interested in starting up a Licensed Home to first start with a smaller group of kids in a Registered Home. “When you’re your own boss, administrator, bookkeeper, teacher, and nurse… having a smaller group at first is really helpful.” She also sought the advice and guidance of the Child Care Professionals of Greater Austin (CCPGA), a local child care association dedicated to supporting home care providers, which she says was invaluable to her small business getting off the ground.
Since opening up her licensed operation Perez has worked hard to provide quality care to the children she cares for each day, which means going above and beyond the Texas Licensing Minimum Standards. “They’re called Minimum Standards for a reason, meaning you can always perform better,” she says. If there is ever confusion about a state licensing requirement or policy, she picks up the phone and calls the agency. With a smile Perez says, “I’m in the Kid Business, this is serious stuff, and I love it.”