How to Start My Own Daycare Business

Children are a passion for many people, especially parents who enjoy the energy and curious nature that children offer. Rather than send their own children to daycare while they head for the office, some parents choose to leave the corporate world and start their own daycare business. You may have had similar desires and thoughts as you wondered how to start your own daycare business.

Find a location for your daycare business. Whether you choose to locate your business outside your home or run your daycare facility from your home, your space should include a fenced outdoor space where children can run and play, a large space indoors that allows children to do activities inside and a separate room that can be used for naps and sleeping. In addition, you might consider finding a facility previously used for daycare since such facilities often have shortened sinks, countertops and toilets installed for children’s use.

Establish your finances. While opening your own daycare business need not have a huge start-up cost when compared to other types of businesses, you will need to pay not only for a facility or perhaps modifications to your own home, but you will also need to buy toys, activity supplies, food, children’s furniture and more. In addition, you will need to determine how much to charge per child and arrange to pay the appropriate taxes for yourself and your employees (if you have any), and sales tax if applicable.

Complete any certifications you need to become licensed. Some states require that you have certain certifications or training in order to receive a daycare license. Examples include CPR certification, first aid skills or training on how to detect and report suspected child abuse. Get this certification and training done in advance of applying for your license in order to avoid a delay.

Apply for your license. Each state has its own application for daycare licensing, and what you have to submit will vary depending upon what type of daycare business you are opening. Generally most states require that you undergo a background check and pay a licensing fee. Some states also require a medical exam, proof of training and a tuberculosis test.

Undergo an inspection. Before you are granted a license, someone from your state agency will visit your daycare facility to perform an inspection. The inspection will ensure that the facility is safe for children, and many states review the activities offered at the daycare center to make sure they are appropriate for the children in your care.

Market your daycare business. Putting the word out about your daycare business is important in order to get clients. Many parents are actively seeking quality and affordable childcare. They don’t want to leave their child with just anybody. While marketing is important initially, word-of-mouth referrals can quickly help you grow your business and establish a solid reputation in your community.

Hire staff if necessary. Most states have a limit on the number of children you are allowed to care for, which often varies depending upon the children's ages. To grow your daycare business, you will often need to hire additional staff and have them go through the approval and certification process your state requires. Potential hires will generally undergo a background check to ensure that they don’t have a criminal record and that nothing prohibits them from being around children.

Maintain your license. Once you’ve completed the above steps, you are ready to open your daycare business. You must keep your daycare business in good standing, though, by renewing your license regularly and passing all inspections performed at your facility.


  • For additional assistance getting started with a daycare business, contact your local health department. These people are familiar with the laws and regulations in your state or city, and they are often the ones responsible for doing inspections.


  • Lying on an application for a daycare license can not only get your license revoked but in some states can also land you in jail.