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xiv INTRODUCTION COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL scale observers; and potential clients. Therefore, this book is written for your reference when you have people visit your home for a variety of purposes: inspection monitoring evaluation support •• •• •• •• accountability technical assistance investigation assessment of your services Why We Wrote This Manual As providers caring for children, you have the most important job in the world: loving, nurturing, teaching, and guiding young children during their most formative and vulnerable years. When planning and operating your child care business, you attend to the children: their health, safety, and developmental needs the families of the children: their needs and demands (requests about naptime, discipline, payment schedules, siblings, and TV watch- ing, to name just a few) your own family: their schedules, feelings of jealousy, need for per- sonal time with you business operation: financial, budgeting, scheduling, marketing, and regulatory requirements All of these are important parts of your business plan, and you address them with amazing patience and insight. In talking with hundreds of providers across the United States, we have learned that many of you have questions, comments, frustrations, and strong opinions about how to handle the representatives who visit your homes for the purposes mentioned above. Typical comments go like this: “This is my home, and they are trying to run my business.” “My licensor is unreasonable.” COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL