- 1 How to Set up a Successful Licensed Family Child Care
How to Set up a Successful Licensed Family Child Care
A home child care business offers a valuable service to working parents and, if done well, can generate a good income. Here are some tips on how to start outright.
Running a successful home daycare takes skill, patience, hard work, an innate love of children and a safe and usable space to do it in. What it doesn’t take is a huge cash outlay or a long start up time. Here are some things to think about before getting started and tips for being a success in the family child care business.
Qualities of a Success Family Child Care Business Owner
To be successful at owning and operating a home daycare, a person needs the following:
- A Genuine Liking for Children – Many people who get into the home daycare business do so as a way to be home with their own children. This is fine but is not a guarantee of success. Loving one’s own children is not the same as having a genuine liking for children in general. .
- Knowledge About Child Development – A degree in early childhood isn’t necessary to be a good provider, but some basic knowledge about child development is crucial.
- Patience – small children don’t know how to wait. Dealing all day with half-a-dozen children who make constant demands takes a great deal of patience.
- Basic Business Skills – A licensed daycare home is a business and requires the ability to keep good records and deal with financial issues in a business-like way.
- Independence – Being the only adult with a raft of kids every day not only can get lonely at times but requires a very self-motivated and independent personality.
- Reliability – It is key to ongoing success for a provider to be extremely reliable and to give parents as much warning as possible about schedule changes or illness.
- Family Support – Home daycare is a business that impacts the entire family so the entire family needs to be willing to have other people’s children in their house on a daily basis and to pitch in and help when needed.
Research State Home Day Care Licensing Requirements Carefully
Every state has its own rules and regulations concerning licensed family daycare on their website, usually listed under their Department of Human Services. All states require a criminal background check and most requiring some training and a safety inspection of the house before issuing a license. It saves time and money to make absolutely sure you’ve complied with all requirements before scheduling an inspection.
Look for Low-Cost Ways to Furnish a Day Care Home
The biggest expense when beginning a home child care business is the added furniture, toys, and supplies needed to accommodate a large number of children throughout the day. Some sources for low priced furnishings, equipment and toys are:
- Thrift stores and garage sales
- Relatives and friends with stuff their kids have outgrown
- Day care homes or centers that are upgrading or going out of business
- Special sales at school supply outlets
Connect With Other Family Child Care Providers in the Area
There are many local and state family child care groups and associations that a new daycare provider can hook up with. This is a very good idea for several reasons.
- It provides experienced peers to talk to for support and advice.
- Most family child care associations provide a parent referral service for members.
- It is a good way to keep up with what is going on in the profession on state and national levels.
- Most associations and groups offer classes that members can attend for a reduced rate.
Other child care providers in the area can also give good advice on such things as what the going rate for childcare is in the area, ideas for activities to do with children and will keep each other posted about parents who don’t pay their bills or are difficult to work with.
Establish Good Home Day Care Business Practices
To have successful daycare business, establish good business practices from the beginning.
- Have an office or office area with a file cabinet.
- Set up an easy accounting system and keep careful track of finances.
- Make sure all paperwork for each child is complete and quick to find.
- Establish a payment policy and enforce it. Many providers require payment at the beginning of the week or month rather than the end.
- Fill out and file all reports, tax forms and other paperwork clearly, completely and on time.
Having a Successful Home Day Care Business
Anyone who truly loves children is patient and has good family support is a good candidate for starting a successful home daycare. If they research thoroughly, find low-cost ways to get started, network with other providers and follow good business practices, they will reap many rewards, both financial and emotional, for years to come.