How to Start an In-Home Daycare

As the world starts to gain control of the global pandemic, there are many industries that will be changed forever. Some parents will need to return to work, leaving children of all ages in need of care.

Most schools, camps, and extracurricular activities have been postponed or cancelled this year, and that is where in home daycare facilities may start to become the norm.

Before you move forward with opening an in-home daycare, it’s important to fully commit to this responsibility. Individuals from all walks of life will be entrusting you to care for their children, and they expect you to treat them like they are your own. You should also have a discussion with your spouse or significant other, of course, to make sure they’re ok with your plan. 

Below, you will find a step-by-step process to get your in-home daycare up and running in record time. 

Step 1: Decide how you will make your in-home daycare appealing.

Can you offer something that other nearby facilities don’t? Maybe it’s more individualized attention, wholesome meals, a particular curriculum or extended hours? These are just a few ideas to ponder when thinking about competitive advantages or ways to stand out. It’s also a good idea to draft up a preliminary marketing strategy that includes tactics you will get the word out about your new business. 

Now is also a good time to decide which age group of children you will be caring for. Most of the time it’s easiest to keep children in the same age group entertained simultaneously. 

Step 2: Run the numbers. 

Now that you have an idea about how you’ll market your business, the next step is to run the numbers. Compile a list of estimated startup expenses and add them all up. Do you have the funds on hand to launch or will you need to take out a loan? 

Also, compute the monthly costs and estimated tuition per student to determine how much you’ll profit and if an in-home daycare is a worthwhile endeavor. Take a look at what similar daycares in your area are offering to get an idea of what you should charge per student. 

It’s also an ideal time to create a budget for your business for the next year. If possible, purchase or subscribe to a bookkeeping software to track your income and expenses and consult with a CPA for additional guidance on how to handle tax-related matters.

Consider requirements related to COVID-19. Many states are limiting the number of children who can be enrolled at a daycare any one time. Find your state’s guidelines and make sure you can be compliant.

Step 3: Get licensed.

It’s pertinent that you take the necessary actions to get licensed as an in-home childcare provider. Otherwise, you could face hefty fines and be shut down before your business has a chance to flourish. 

Start by contacting the department of licensing in your state. The customer service representative should be able to point you in the right direction, and you can check their website for additional guidance. You may also need to get licensed at the local level.

It’s also important to have taken courses in first aid and infant and toddler CPR. 

Step 4: Draft up policies and procedures. 

You want to make sure you’re on the same page as your parents at all times. Items that you should address include: 

  • The cost of attendance, payment due dates and late payment policies
  • Hours of operation and penalties for late pick-up 
  • Vacation and sick time 
  • Disciplinary procedures 
  • Emergency and disaster response 

When a parent contacts you regarding enrollment, you should be up front about your policies to avoid any surprises. It’s also in your best interest to draft up the policies on a document that they sign and date before their child can start receiving care. 

Step 5: Spread the word. 

In step 1, you created a preliminary marketing plan. Now, it’s time to execute your strategies. Tell everyone you know about your new in-home daycare. You never know who they know, and word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. 

You can also send an email blast to everyone in your network. Consider printing flyers and placing them on bulletins at your local church, community center, recreation facility and anywhere else that allows you to post flyers. 

Paid marketing via social media or newspaper ads is another effective way to garner attention and attract new business. But you want to be strategic to get the best bang for your buck.  

Step 6: Open Your Doors for Business. 

At last. You’re ready to open the doors to your new in-home daycare. Be sure to announce the official launch day online and let everyone know that you’re currently enrolling students. 

When the big day arrives, pat yourself on the back for taking the first step towards building a business that’s positioned for many years of success. 

Caring For the Children in Your Community

With the above plan, you will have a great opportunity to start an in-home daycare and help members of your community return to the workplace. Start by enrolling a few students to get started and gain the trust of your community. Remember to always keep parents in the loop and keep your facility extra clean. If you love working with children and an in-home daycare has been on your mind, now is the time to get started.