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How To Start A Home Daycare & Make Money

If you are a stay at home mom but would like need to make extra money,  read on to learn how to start a home daycare and earn money from home – all while your children stay with you! 

A home daycare means you could stay home with your baby and make some money at the same time.

It would also allow your own child to learn socialization skills like sharing and playing nicely together without you even needing to leave your home!

How to start a home daycare

 

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Starting your own daycare might be the solution you’re looking for. You can make a reasonable income and spend all day with your child.

How To Start A Home Daycare

Find Out Your State or Province’s Requirements

Take the first step and find out how to start a home daycare in your state or province. 

Laws vary from state to state, be sure you know yours. You might need to be licensed; you might only need to register with the state.

There are limits to how many children you can watch, depending on their ages.

This website has a nice breakdown of the regulations for each state: http://nrckids.org/STATES/states.htm

If you are in Canada, you can look at the website for your province, for example, Ontario provides a whole guide to starting a daycare.

Meet all the requirements

Many people have no idea how to start a home daycare and assume it’s just like being a babysitter. The truth is, you will be working long hours and need to make sure you have the skills necessary.

You might need to take a course, get a physical, take first aid and/or CPR training, get a fire safety inspection, and more.

Find out all the requirements and meet them. Make sure to keep your certification up-to-date every year and have it on hand to show perspective parents at interviews.

Even if your state doesn’t require a criminal background check, it is a good idea to get one done to show parents.

I also believe that every adult in your home should also have a background check on hand, this includes tenants and adult family members that stay with you.

How many children do you want to care for?

Find out the going rate in your community by calling a couple other providers and make some inquiries. You will probably find that pricing varies a lot based on experience and qualifications.

If you have an education in childcare, you can charge more than someone with no experience. 

To give you an idea, in my area which is the suburbs of a major city, the going rate varies from$40-65 a day for a home daycare. 

If your state does not have a maximum number of children allowed, you might decide to hire some help and take on a few more children to make more money. 

Do bear in mind if you have a lot of children, you will be limited in the kinds of outings and day trips you can make. A smaller group can be fun to take in the care to library story times and local parks.

 Depending on where you live, a single child might create $200 a week or more in income for you. You might not need as many kids as you think

Also consider what age child you would prefer. Every age has its advantages and disadvantages. You should also think about if you want 5 kids under the age of 2 versus a mix of toddlers and babies.

Stock up on supplies

Depending on the ages of the children, you’ll need age appropriate toys, seats, swings, dishes, and more.

Older youngsters also like to do craft projects and play with Playdoh and paint. 

How To Start A Home Daycare – Sample Schedule

Parents will often ask you for a sample day schedule so you want to have some kind of plan of how your days will go.A set routine will be easier for the children to adapt and will make the days go by faster in general. 

Here is a sample daycare schedule:

7:30-8:55 Daycare opens/free play

9:00-9:40 Morning snack/bathroom

9:45-10:50 Circle time

10:50-11:50 Outdoor play 

12:00-12:45 Lunch/bathroom/get ready for sleep time

12:45-3:00 Nap time

3:00-3:15 Wake up/beds away/bathroom

3:20-4:00 Snack/get ready for outdoor play

4:00-5:00 Outdoor play

5:00 Daycare closes

What to include in your Home Daycare Contract

Even though you may consider your home daycare a casual business, you need to create some sort of a contract. A contract will ensure that parents are clear on what to expect and you don’t have to have awkward situations later on. 

A few things to include in your daycare contract:

Hours

Make sure to have set hours and days and note the holidays/ days that you will be closed. 

For example: 

The daycare is closed on all statutory holidays and weekends.

Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve will be a half day of operation, and closure will be at 12:30 p.m.

The daycare will close if the School Board closes.

Fees will not vary due to snow closures.

The daycare will remain open if only buses have been cancelled.

Regular Fees

How you expect to be paid and what kind of schedule(monthly, weekly etc).

Sample Contract Language

A monthly fee schedule will be provided for each month of the calendar year, prior to the child’s first day of care.

Payments are to be made in the form of post-dated cheques, and dated for either the 1st of the month, or divided between the 1st and 15th of the month.

All post-dated cheques are to be provided for the calendar year, and before the child’s first day of attendance.

If the provider needs to close early for an appointment, and the daycare has been open for at least 8 hours, and 2 snacks and lunch have been served, then full daily fees are due, and no refunds will be issued.

If the provider needs to close early for an appointment, and morning snack and lunch have been served, then a $40 minimum charge will apply.

Late Pickup/Early drop-off Fees

This is an important one as parents may arrive late due to traffic, work or weather. Once is forgivable but you will start to be annoyed if it happens a lot when you are supposed to be done for the day.

Make sure to have a policy in your contract:

Late pickup fees will apply  if a child has stayed beyond the contracted hours listed on the contract.

A one time grace period of 5 minutes will be given with a verbal warning at the time of the first instance.

The second instance will incur a late fee charge of $20 per child per 30 minutes. 

Late fees are still due during poor weather conditions.

My clock is set to CNN.com to determine late/early fees.

Items To Be Supplied By Parents:

  • Diapers/pull-ups
  • wipe
  • diaper rash cream
  • Sunhat/sunblock
  • baby formula/baby food
  • Change of indoor clothes/indoor shoes

Items Provided by the Daycare

Make sure to outline what food you will be providing and also if you are able to accommodate allergies/preferences (for example almond milk or gluten-free snacks). 

Typical meals provided at a home daycare are morning and afternoon snack and a hot lunch.

Children’s Vacation/Sick Days/Holidays Policy

Make sure to note if parents will be required to pay if their children are sick or on vacation. .

Your Vacation/Closures

Most daycares are closed for 2 weeks a year and it varies whether payment is required. It is worth seeing how it works in your area. 

Daycare Children’s Illness

You want to make sure you have a policy in place in the event of a child becoming ill in your care or before school. 

Sample Policy

If a child is not well enough to participate in all aspects of the program, including indoor and outdoor activities, and active play, then your child should be kept home from the program until they are well enough to do so.

Please do not bring children to the program if they have been sick in the last 24 hrs, and do not give fever reducers (Tylenol) and then drop them off at daycare. If they are unwell enough to need Tylenol, then they should not be here.

The following circumstances will be reason enough to send any child home from the program:

1.Fever of 101 degrees(may not return until fever free without meds for 24hrs.)

2.Vomiting(symptom free for 24 hrs. before returning)

3.Diarrhea of 2 or more instances(symptom free for 24hrs. before returning)

4.Child is lethargic and cannot participate in some aspect of the program.

5.Change in behaviour with any of the above symptoms. 

6.Pink eye(may not return until after 24hrs. on antibiotics)

7.Impetigo(24hrs on prescription meds, and fever free)   

8.Severe cold with constant green/yellow nasal discharge.

9.Any undiagnosed rash(may return only with doctor’s note stating the nature of the illness, and that the child is not contagious, and must be fever free)

10.A cough which is of a wheezing/gagging/barking/croupy nature.

11. Contagious diseases such as measles/chickenpox/hand foot and mouth/fifths disease/strep throat(24hrs on meds)/mumps(5 day exclusion)/whooping cough(5 days on medication)/roseola/ringworm(on meds 24hrs).

All children with these issues must be fever free for 24hrs/all sores and blisters must be scabbed over/all rashes must be accompanied by a doctor’s note and fever free.

12. If your child(infant/toddler) has been immunized during the day, please keep them home for the rest of the day to ensure there are no adverse medical reactions.

13. If your child has a low grade fever with any of the following: lethargy; loss of appetite; inconsolable crying; diarrhea; inability to participate in both indoor/outdoor activities.

Other Things To Consider When Starting A Home Daycare

If you plan on using your own car to transport the kids, you will need carseats. Also check with your insurance as your policy may change. 

Make sure to note how much notice you need for termination of the agreement

Try and provide references to parents as they may like to speak to other parents who have used you before they send their child. 

Baby proof your house and make sure to remove any breakables from arms-reach. 

Advertising Your Home daycare

Join Facebook groups of moms and promote your daycare there. You can also advertise on sites like Kijiji and Craigslist. 

Word of mouth is your most powerful source of new clients so make sure to spread the word about your new business.

How To Start A Home Daycare – Conclusion

Starting your own daycare might be the solution you’re looking for. You can make a reasonable income and spend all day with your child. Take the first step and find out all the requirements for your state.

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