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How to Open a Daycare in Your Home

Parenting and Child Care

If you’re looking for a way to stay home with your child or you just love children and are seeking a great business opportunity, an in-home daycare may be just the ticket. This is surprisingly an easy process, particularly if you are only looking to do unlicensed childcare or babysitting. However, as with any business, there are certain steps you’re going to need to take, and there are plenty of books and kits available to help get things started. If you’re considering this and want to know some of the basics, then here are some tips for how to open a daycare in your home.

  1. Do your research first. Every state has different rules and regulations regarding the opening of a daycare, and even if you’re not opening a commercial location, you still need to know what requirements you’re going to have to meet. First, you need to find out if it’s even legal in your area to offer unlicensed childcare in your home. The easiest way to find out the laws in your city/state is to contact your state’s business regulatory agency. This will, in turn, give you some idea of what, if any, changes or improvements you’ll need to make to your home, if there are limits as to how many children you can watch at a time, and so on.
  2. Set up the business end of things. To open a daycare in your home, you will next need to turn to the business end of things. You will need to set hours and fees, as well as decide how vacation and sick days will be handled, both when you or a child is sick. You will also need to determine what items you will provide and what you want parents to bring. For instance, you might require parents to bring diapers and formula, while you provide wipes, meals, and snacks. Finally, you’ll need to set up a good accounting system and figure out the best way to advertise in your area.
  3. Ready your home. You’re going to have to provide a clean, safe, kid-friendly environment for your little charges, and it’s best to get this organized before they arrive at your home. Take any necessary safety precautions, such as securing cords, covering electrical outlets, gating stairs, and the like. Also be sure to take a CPR and first aid class, so you are prepared in the case of an emergency, and keep your certification current. Stock your home with any first aid supplies you think you might need, so you'll have them on hand if anything happens. You next need to take a good look at the layout of your home. You’ll have to designate a quiet area for sleeping and provide safe sleeping areas. You’ll also need to decide where the kids will eat and develop a nutritionally balanced meal plan that you can share with the parents. Finally, find both indoor and outdoor play space, and fill it with a wealth of fun and educational toys to keep your charges entertained. Be sure to include developmental toys in the mix, keeping in mind that younger kids need to regularly practice both large and small motor skills, among other things.

Of course, each of these steps will require careful thought and a lot of attention to detail, but there are plenty of resources to help you prepare. If you plan to open a daycare in your home, be sure to do all the necessary groundwork ahead of time, so that things will run smoothly once you’re officially open for business.

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