How to Set Up a Family Daycare

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Running a family daycare can be a profitable and enjoyable venture for the person who loves children. Family daycares exist in the home of the provider, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. However, this business idea requires planning in order for it to be successful. Check your state’s requirements for family daycares. Consider the number of children you will accommodate and what ages you want to watch. Make sure that your home is a suitable space for a day care.

Build your qualifications. In order to attract clients and enhance your credibility, you need to have a significant amount of experience working with children. Look into the any daycare training requirements that your state might have. For example, in Florida, daycare providers must take 40 hours of introductory child care training, followed by 10 hours of in-service training and a five-hour literacy requirement.

Analyze the market. Research the number of family daycare providers in your area. Find out what ages they serve, and tap into an age group that is in need. Talk to family and friends in the area about the need for a family daycare facility, and encourage them to ask around and find potential clients.

Agree on a name and legal structure for your family daycare. The U.S. Small Business Administration suggests choosing a daycare name that is “catchy and easy to remember.” Then, choose from one of three legal structures—a sole proprietorship (the most popular type for family daycares, according to the SBA), an incorporation or a partnership.

Renovate your home to make it child friendly. Create a space that is free of hazards and conducive to learning. The National Network for Child Care recommends putting covers on electrical outlets, removing breakable objects, poisons and plants and cleaning the play area. In addition, set up distinct areas in your home for quiet play, like reading and messy play, like arts and crafts as well as a spot to eat and sleep.

Research your state’s requirements for family daycares. Most states require a license to operate a family daycare, so make sure you meet these requirements. Family daycares must meet certain standards to operate. For example, in Florida, these standards govern personnel requirements, staff credentials, capacity requirements and the daycare’s physical environment.

Apply for a daycare license. Follow the process that your state dictates to become a licensed daycare provider.

Market your family daycare. Take out advertisements in school newsletters and church bulletins. Hand out fliers in your neighborhood, and encourage family and friends to tell their friends about your daycare. Word of mouth can sometimes be the most effective way to attract new clients, particularly if they had a positive experience with your family daycare.


About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

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