7 helpful things you need to consider before opening a home daycare

So you are considering opening a home daycare?

Congratulations! You will never feel more fulfilled, more exhausted, more loved, more stressed, or more vital. In choosing to raise tiny humans, you are choosing to raise up the next generation. You are not a sitter. You are shaping the minds, and hearts of tomorrow.

But you are also opening a business. How exciting! How nerve-wracking! Beyond ABC’s, toys, and socket plugs, you need to manage the business part of your daycare just as well as you hope to manage the daily childcare part. To make things easier, I’ve compiled a list of vital points for you to consider as you plan your next move.

7 helpful things you need to consider before opening a home daycare


7 helpful things to consider when opening a home daycare
My Littles have a great space outside to play!

This is the first consideration you should make when thinking of opening a home daycare. This is your home, but it will also become your children’s second home. They will need a safe, dedicated space (that you won’t mind getting “destroyed”- because it will) for themselves to play, relax, and explore. For my Littles, we are lucky enough to dedicate my entire downstairs to my kids, because it is open and I can see and hear them no matter where I am. Our Front room is their play space. It has their cubbies and their toys. They need to respect it, but it is theirs to explore and play, make messes, and read. Is your kitchen a safe place for curious hands? Do they have a quiet space to nap, (preferably separate from their play place)? Also, very importantly, do you have a great space for them to play outside?


Do you live in a neighborhood or town where there are plenty of kids? Or do you live “in the middle of nowhere?” What is your market saturation like, are there lots of childcare options around you? While not a deal breaker, you need to consider this into your pricing when you begin to consider opening a home daycare.


What ages do you prefer to cater to? Some Family Providers prefer not to take on infants, while others prefer to cater their homes to only infants and toddlers. Yet some prefer older, before and after school care children. Decide what your niche is before you begin opening a home daycare and stick to it. My kiddos range from 0-5, and I try to stick to that because my space is for them.


This is a very important step when you are considering opening a home daycare what kind of daycare will you be? Contact your local childcare resource and referral agency mine is Child Care Answers– and discuss your options and what you need to do. Even if you chose to keep you childcare home small-ratio, there are plenty of benefits to being licensed. Trust me, it’s worth it!

CCDF certification is something else to consider which is not entirely relational to being licensed. It still requires an inspection, CPR/First Aid and Safe Sleep Certifications (which you should do anyhow).  A CCDF certifications will allow you to take funding and provide quality care for working parents who cannot afford it themselves.


It’s not tricky or overly expensive, but it will give you a modicum of protection for when a child is ever injured, or a parent ever sues you. If you are opening a home daycare, make sure to call your insurance adjuster and let them know, and discuss whether you need to add it on to your homeowners (most likely) or your daycare needs its own policy. DO. NOT. SKIP. THIS. Trust me.


Now, you CAN use your personal social security number to claim your taxes, but who wants to give out their social security number to multiple people who need a tax ID for their own tax purposes? Get your business a tax ID number. It looks professional and keeps your social security number safe. Oh- and  claim your taxes. Parent’s need to claim you for THEIR tax purposes, and not come across as preachy BUT… it is your responsibility as an American Citizen. Chances are, with all the write-offs, you won’t end up paying much, if anything, and, well JUST DO IT.

Opening a home daycare is exciting but your to-do list can feel overwhelming!

Just like when taking care of kids- take things one step at a time, and strive for love in your work, because you will never reach perfection! Good luck to you, you awesome tiny human raising Entrepreneur!

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Any Questions? Anything I missed? Drop me a line in the comments, I’d love to help! Don’t forget to follow on social media, and subscribe to the blog so that we can discover the work of childhood, together!



Lauren Lewis is no stranger to childcare development, having spent over 10 years as a nanny or family childcare provider. She’s the wife of a travel geek, mother of two vivacious children, and has an amazing talent for trailing lost things behind her a la Hansel and Gretyl. Her varied background in writing, child development, marketing, and enthusiasm for mess-making provided the perfect foundation for The Playground Chronicles. Her life is full of busy, crazy and LOUD. It is full of love and hope, ups and downs. And coffee, always lots of coffee- but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

More information and her work can be found at www.the-playground-chronicles.com

1 Comment

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