Advancing as a profession: A home-based program’s identity rebrand

In 2020, Vermont early childhood educators reached consensus on a professional identity aligned with the Unifying Framework for the Early Childhood Education Profession: the name of the profession is early childhood education, and the name of the professional is early childhood educator. They also established the role, responsibilities, and boundaries of the profession. Since then, early childhood educators have worked to implement this professional identity and to shift away from terms like “daycare.”

20 years ago, Tammie Hazlett of Thetford launched her home-based early childhood education program under the name “Tammie’s Day Care.” In the years since, the “Day Care” part of her name posed a dilemma: “I have wanted to change the name of my business for quite some time now. The dilemma here is how much work would it be to change my business name,” she said: how expensive? What are the steps? Does she need to replace her custom sign? And she’s planning to retire in a few years – is it worth it?

If “daycare” is in your home-based ECE program’s name,
how much work is it to change it to align with our professional identity?

For home-based ECEs facing a similar question – how to rebrand if “daycare” is in your program name? – here is the process Tammie is using:

Tammie decided to formally and completely change her name. The process is simpler and less expensive than she anticipated.

Here’s what Tammie learned:

Note: there are fees associated with filing an amendment and registering under an assumed business name (as well as annual fees).

In Tammie’s case, the only formal change she needs to make is to send a note to the IRS.

Here’s a short list of other places to update a business name:

  • Your website, if you have one.
  • Social media: You should be able to make changes through your profile settings. Here are directions for Facebook and Instagram.
  • Search results: If you have a business profile on Google, learn how to edit it here. If you would like to register a new profile, you can do that here.
  • Your name may appear other places, like your Front Porch Forum handle, or on Vermont Child Care Lynx.

When it comes to letting her families know about her name change, Tammie decided to let them in on the process and have a name selection contest – while offering them some education around her decision. In the meantime, she is pricing out changes to her custom sign.

The letter Tammie is sending her families:

It’s time for a new name! I am changing the name of my early childhood education program and am excited to invite families to be part of the process. The family that comes up with the winning name will receive a prize!

When I registered my program 20 years ago, I called it Tammie’s Day Care, which was similar to what a lot of programs were called. I am now in the process of officially changing the name. For years now I have not felt as though “Day Care” accurately reflects what children experience at my home. I am a trained early childhood educator, and I am proud that children receive high-quality, play-based early childhood education here. Families expect their children to be safe and loved here, and I hope you also expect that they will learn important skills, social development, and an appreciation for the natural world and healthy food.

So, I ask you to join me in moving away from calling my program “Day Care.” I look forward to discovering the new name! And, you can keep calling me Tammie, or your children’s teacher or their educator. 

Thank you! I am grateful for your support and the gift of helping your wonderful children grow.

Tammie Hazlett is an early childhood educator with a registered home-based program in Thetford that will soon be known by a new name!

She is a member of the Advancing ECE as a Profession Task Force, co-leader of her network, and active in ECE leadership statewide.

Learn more about Vermont early childhood educators’ work to establish a professional identity.

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