Providing childcare to working parents in your own home can be a rewarding way to make an income while doing something that you love.  If you enjoy caring for children and your home is a suitable environment, then consider if it is something you would want to do full-time.

If you are considering starting a business of providing child-care in your home, remember, it is a business.  Most states require some form of licensing for home daycare providers.  The states that do not require licensing still require that you register your daycare. Look up the rules for your state and determine what you would have to do to become licensed.

Daycare is a fast-growing market, and in-home daycares are becoming more and more popular. Working parents often feel more comfortable with their children in a home environment versus one of a large daycare center.

Providing a fun, safe, and educational environment for children in your home requires a great deal of work. Here are some things to consider as you decide if this is the right business path for you:

educational environment

  • The expenses associated with becoming licensed. These can include the actual licensing process, a TB test, having a home inspection, and a criminal background check. Most states only require licensing if you are keeping five or more children. You may decide to forego the licensing process and keep less than five children. Do not skip licensing if your state requires it for the number of children you will have. Fines can be steep.  Some states will fine you $2,500 for each child you have kept while unlicensed.  A penalty like this can quickly bankrupt your daycare business.
  • Assess how many daycares are in your area. What are their prices?  The research will help you establish your rates and determine if there is a need for more providers.
  • Factor in the cost of providing food, toys, and enrichment activities. Depending on the age of the children you keep, you will also have the overhead of equipment like cribs, changing tables, and high chairs.
  • You may also want to consider investing in nanny cams for the areas where you will be caring for children. The monitoring system is for your protection if a child is injured while in your care.  You can also choose to give parents access to the cameras remotely while their children are in your care.  Providing this kind of reassurance will help you attract parents and instill confidence that you are a trustworthy provider.
  • Determine how many children you will keep and what ages. Give careful consideration to how many children you can provide high-quality care for.  It is better to start with a smaller number of children, and once you have an established routine, you can add more.  Don’t forget to include your children in determining how many children you can provide care for.
  • Keep in mind the lack of flexibility you will have. Running errands, buying groceries, or picking up and dropping off your kids may be impossible if you are operating a daycare out of your home.

If you have given the above items careful consideration and feel this is the right move for you, you need to determine how you will advertise. If you only plan to keep a small number of children, you may be able to fill your vacancies with word-of-mouth and social media.  Once you establish an excellent reputation as a daycare provider, you may find yourself with a waiting list of children.

Invest in good bookkeeping software so that you can track your expenditures and income. Well-kept records will be invaluable at tax time. It also helps you to see how profitable your business is and determine any investments.  Freshbooks provides easy-to-use and affordable software for a small business. Keeping excellent records will benefit your business in many ways.  Generating profit and loss statements can help you attain financing if you decide to expand in the future.