Providing Child Care in Your Home

If you enjoy working with children, providing childcare in your home, such as an in-home daycare center, can be a wonderful option. Here are a few tips to help get you started, as well as an explanation of the benefits of in-home childcare.

  • Skills Needed
    Before beginning the process of transforming your home into a childcare facility, you should make sure you possess the needed skills. You must have the ability to care for several young children (typically under the age of five), you must be able to provide activities, you must know basic first aid, you should have a background in general education, you should be able to provide proper nutrition, and you must have patience. If you possess all of these qualities, you should then research the legal requirements for your specific location.
  • Environment
    Next, you should take a look at what equipment you will need. You are going to need a safe, childproof area, a wide variety of toys and playground equipment, books, games, an area to prepare food, and a child accessible bathroom area. The cost to obtain these items can be quite high. To help keep your costs low, pick up items at tag sales or flea markets, or ask friends and relatives for hand-me-downs. The more items you can round up, the lower your start-up costs will be. In addition to purchasing equipment, you will need to have adequate insurance. This insurance should cover liability and medical expenses and can cost several hundred dollars. Insurance is not optional. Depending on your location, you may be required to be licensed and/or registered. This cost varies a great deal from state to state.
  • Marketing Yourself
    Finally, the last step is to get some clients. Advertising can be a great way to attract attention, but can be very costly. Flyers, brochures, and word of mouth can spread the news effectively, and save a great deal of money. The rate you should charge for your service can vary a great deal depending on where you live, and how many children you take care of, but it should be set on par with other daycare facilities. The typical salary range for a childcare provider is anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 a year.
  • Location
    Location is very important. Many parents choose in-home daycare because of the convenience factor. If parents can bring their children next door, down the street, or around the block, rather than hauling them all the way across town, they save time and money.
  • Communication
    Quality of care, and experience levels are often much higher at residential daycares than at commercial facilities. You can benefit a great deal by talking with parents and communicating the fact that if an unforeseen situation arises you will be right on top of it and know how to deal with it. Parents take comfort in the fact that they get to know you personally, know that you are the one caring for their child, and know the exact setting their child is staying in. You will be able to efficiently relay any concerns you may have as the caregiver, as well as keep the parents updated and informed on their child's progress.

There are many state and national associations that offer training, guidance, and support for in-home childcare providers. These associations provide a strong network and offer information on new teaching practices, technology, and educational outlets.

Schools Offering Early Childhood Education Courses: