Steps to Starting a Home Daycare

A daycare can be an excellent small business to start from home if you like to work with babies and small children. Moms who want to stay at home with their own infants can find caring for other people’s children allows them to achieve this goal. Starting a home daycare business requires careful preparation and attention to detail. Make sure you follow all rules and regulations before you begin to look for clients.

Licensing Requirements

Opening a daycare in your home requires you to follow certain rules and procedures. These vary from state to state. Before you start, contact your state authorities. Find out what you need to do to open a daycare. You may need to complete official courses in caring for young children. Many states also require caregivers to illustrate mastery of techniques aimed at keeping young children safe, such as administration of CPR.

Safety Issues

Before you open a daycare, do a thorough inspection of your house. Child and infant safety should be your first priority. Dangling cords should be placed out of reach of children. Electrical outlets should have covers on them. Carpets should be inspected to look for any objects that a toddler might put in her mouth. All cabinets should be locked with locks that cannot be opened by a small child. Purchase baby gates to make sure that a child cannot climb stairs. Even if you don’t have stairs, a baby gate is useful to keep a child in a single area. Furniture should also be given a very close look. Check for nicks in wood that could cause splinters, edges on tables or chairs that could be dangerous and cushions that have strands that could pose a choking hazard. If you have a pet, make sure it can tolerate babies and small children. If the pet poses a danger, you may have to give it up.


Proper organization will help you run the daycare better. Set aside a specific corner for feedings, another for diaper-changing and a third as a play area. If possible, devote a different room to each purpose. If not, decorate the corners to indicate their function to parents and other caregivers. Place all supplies such as child-size spoons, wipes to clean up spills and toys in each appropriate area.

Finding Clients

Once you’ve set up the daycare, you must find clients. Advertise in magazines devoted to parenting. Place an advertisement on a local bulletin board. Let your fellow parents know that you have openings in your daycare.