Starting an In-Home Daycare

daycare. image by Celebration Harts on flickr

Do you like children?

Can you see yourself caring for more kids than just your own?

Do you have space in your home for extra kids, as well as extra supplies and toys?

If you answered yes to all of these, then you may be a good candidate for running an in-home daycare.

As a stay at home parent who spends all day with your kids, making the jump to work at home parent running a daycare could be a natural step.

However, it isn’t a job for everyone. It requires tons of patience, and enough room in the home for the kids to play freely. But if you have the right credentials, it is a job that could easily bring in some much needed extra money. Here are 4 steps to take to start your own in-home daycare.

1. Find out your state’s requirements. Start by checking with your local daycare licensing agency. They will be able to provide you with the correct paperwork and regulations so that you can obtain your daycare license. Keep in mind that not all states will require you to hold a license; some just need you to be registered as a daycare. The requirement may also vary depending on how many kids you plan on caring for. You can check for your state’s requirements on the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education official website.

2. Complete your registration. To obtain your license, you may need to meet these and other requirements:

  • Complete your application
  • Submit any licensing fees
  • Obtain a business license
  • Agree to an in-home visit to verify that your home is safe
  • Complete any necessary changes to the home so that it passes a safety inspection
  • Arrange an inspection with the fire marshall
  • Complete any training or courses that is required by your state, including CPR and First Aid
  • Be up-to-date on your annual physicals
  • Provide a current background check for all your home’s residents

3. Set up your home. Once you are approved and have everything in order, you can start setting up your daycare. As a parent, you probably already have a lot of the stuff you will need, especially if you are planning to care for only a few extra children. As for any additional play equipment and supplies, start your search at thrift stores, yard sales and on Craigslist.

4. Get clients. You may already know a few parents that are in need or an affordable daycare. But if you don’t, clients are that difficult to find. Ask friends and family if they know anyone looking for a daycare. Ask local schools for referrals. Put up fliers at your neighborhood grocery stores. Advertise your services on Facebook and Craigslist. Contact the movers in your area and ask if they are willing to push your business to families who are new in town.

If you love children, have tons of patience and endless (well, enough) space in your home, then starting an in-home daycare could be the perfect work at home option for you. Use these 4 steps to help you start a daycare that can earn your family an additional income.



  1. These are some great tips for those who want to start an in-home daycare…or a daycare in general!

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