How to Start a Family Day Care

Are you planning to start your own family day care? Here are some of the important questions you need to ask yourself before starting to build a day care of your own.

1. Do you sincerely love children?

Running a family day care centre or child care centre is no easy job. It requires more than just babysitting. While basic letters and numbers are being taught in kindergarten, a family day care is responsible for providing the basic child care for children with different age groups. Some of the activities in a child care centre or in a day care centre are arts and crafts, story time, physical activities, outdoor plays, free plays, musical activities and educational activities. Aside from this, most child care centres also offers nap time, potty assistance or diapering.

2. Do you have space? 

A child care licensing agency requires having a minimum of 35 square feet per child. Aside from this, your space should have a safe and age-appropriate for toys and equipment. Most of the states require their child care centre to have an outdoor play as part of their program.

3. Are you a people person?

Do not underestimate the power of the relationship you’ll form with each child’s parents. Make sure you are a people person. Child care is a touchy subject and it requires discipline as well as proper communication between the child, the parents, and the whole organization.

4. Are you qualified?

Each state varies their requirements for running a family day care. But a typical and regulated family child care centre allows up to 6 children per provider. Not more than two children under 2 years old are allowed. For a group child care, the general policy allows up to 12 children as long as they have an adult assistant or caregiver. For registration, here are the general requirements you need to accomplish:

  • Background check
  • Extra Insurance
  • CPR Certification
  • First-Aid Certification
  • Physical Examination

It may also be extremely beneficial to be or have staff who are qualified in early childhood education as that is something a lot of parents look out for when choosing who looks after their child, if you are looking for get started in early years education then check out this page for more information.

5. Are you organised?

Starting a family day care will require some paper pushing.First, you should make a contract for parents regarding your policies which will include the following:

  • Payment
  • Discipline
  • Sick children
  • Fees for late payments
  • Fees for bounced checks
  • Scheduling
  • Vacations
  • Overtime
  • Paid holidays

You may contact your local child care centre for a sample contract. Aside from the contract, you also need to have a separate file for each child which contains their vital information such as address, contact person in case of emergency, medical information and immunisation records.

Possible Drawbacks

  • These are some of the possible drawbacks of running your own home day care:
  • Difficulty scheduling appointment and running errands.
  • Missing most of your child’s school events.
  • Long hours (around 10 hours each day)
  • You cannot call in sick as you would with a traditional job
  • A little bit isolating with little adult contact
  • Income can be average
  • Need to provide an initial investment of insurance, toys, supplies, equipment and home safety upgrades.

Nevertheless, starting your own home day care centre can be challenging yet very fulfilling. There are also many partner childcare programs which can help get your child care centre started and help promote and let people know that it's around, take a look at this website to see what I mean. With the tips mentioned above, you are now ready to create a place that will nurture a child’s development.