Providing childcare in your home can easily cost as much as you make, but if you declutter your finances and watch spending, you can turn a profit to support your family in this business.

Money Saving Tips for Daycare Providers

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Providing childcare in your home can easily cost as much as you make, but if you declutter your finances, you can turn a profit to support your family in this business. Following these money saving tips for daycare providers will help! And it’s part of productivity in daycare.

Money saving tips for daycare providers.

There are a ton of ways you can cut corners in daycare and help support your family in a better way. Over the past 27 years, I have learned a ton of tips and tricks from other providers and from studying money saving ideas from professionals like Dave Ramsey.

Taking Care of Your Home

As an in-home daycare provider, you face some unique challenges and circumstances that you wouldn’t with other jobs. Many people work at home, but they don’t have clients coming into their home setting. Many other people work outside of the home. In home daycare is one of the only businesses where you actually use every square foot of your home.

Having kids in your home every day will obviously cause things to get torn up. 

I’ve had my tv put out with a toy hammer, shelves pulled out of the sheetrock on the wall, and light fixtures destroyed by someone throwing a toy.

I had an antique book that was my mom’s when she was in elementary school that a child ripped the whole back binding off of. It was heartbreaking.

Getting upset because kids tear things up in our homes doesn’t do anyone any good. They don’t mean to destroy property if they are 2 years old. They are just exploring and checking things out and they don’t realize it’s damaging.

One way to save money is to try to minimize what the kids destroy. We have rules for chairs and couches: sit or get off. We have a climber in our playroom so kids have something they CAN climb all over, not the toy kitchen shelf or the dress-up center.

You can give them paper to tear so they are less likely to tear books. Keep your Sharpie markers under lock and key! Don’t leave scissors or pens out where kids can reach them when you are helping someone in the bathroom. 

Lots of supervision and careful placement of all of your storage helps a lot.

Finances for Child Care Providers

One great way to simplify your finances is by tracking your expenses. If you spend $100 a month on fancy coffee drinks, a cappuccino or latte maker might be a great investment for you. 

If you feel like you have to have every new toy that comes on the market, try making a small monthly budget for toys and let the kids play with what you already have.

With kids, less is more. If you give them too much to play with all they do is dump and tear things up. If you give them fewer toys that are well thought out, you’ll notice they play more mindfully and explore and enjoy each item far more.

Are you wasting money every day using paper plates? Buy some sturdy plates for the kids and use the dishwasher. It’s not that hard to even hand wash a few plates. Throwing paper dishes away every day fills up the landfill and drains your budget.

Spreadsheets, graphs and paperwork with magnifying glass, pen, and calculator.

How to Cut Expenses as a Child Care Provider

What about other things you can cut down on? Can you use rags instead of paper towels to clean up messes in the kitchen? I only use paper towels to clean up milk because it ruins my kitchen towels. Everything else gets cleaned up with something washable.

Do you go through a ton of construction paper? How about saving the brown paper stuffing that comes in your delivery boxes and cutting it into sheets for kids to use. Or turn old paperwork over (as long as it doesn’t have personal information) and let the kids draw or paint on the back.

Junk mail can be used for cutting practice for the kids. Just give them a catalog you would have thrown away and a pair of scissors.

How about giving them the boxes and letting them draw inside of them? Or make something with them? Use paper towel tubes for art supplies. Cracker boxes, cereal boxes, old baby food jars, they can all be turned into something to create with. 

You can even make homemade cleaners out of natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda that will save you a ton of money.

Where else is your budget bleeding waste? Financial decluttering can save you and help you save for the future. 

Consider each expense and see what you can do to cut it. Do you still have a home phone? What do you use it for besides getting annoying spam calls? 

Check your bank account and look for things that you don’t use like subscription services. Do you use Netflix or could you watch movies on tv? What about the highest speed internet? Do you order the newspaper but only read it once a week?

Can you cut the premium channels from your cable subscription? Do you read the magazines you’re buying? Cancel those subscriptions unless you’re really using them.

Check out ways you can save. Call around and check insurance prices and switch to a cheaper company. Negotiate your cable and internet bill. Tell them you want a better deal. You can save by doing these things.

Change jar on top of a computer keyboard.

How Can I Make My Daycare More Profitable?

Running an in home daycare can cost more than you can make at times. The key to being profitable is using these money-saving tips wisely. 

Sell what you aren’t using. If you have an attic full of baby furniture but you stopped keeping babies, offer those to other providers in local daycare groups and make a few dollars while decluttering your home.

Ask for donations. If you need more toys or equipment, ask your daycare parents to consider you before they get rid of their kid’s furniture and toys. 

Once I had a daycare mom that was cleaning out her storage unit bring me at least $100 of old school supplies they had in storage. Crayons, markers, colored pencils, all stuff her son used when he was little, but he is now a teen and wouldn’t use them. We’ve been using them for months. Score!

Shop at garage sales, online, and in thrift stores first. Many times, you can find just what you’ve been wanting for half the price or even less.

Pay off your debt before you buy any more. Those new toy kitchens look cute, but you can make a stove from a box and a refrigerator from another and save yourself a ton of interest in the future by not buying a new set on your credit card.

Benefits of Budgeting

It’s important to make a budget and stick to it. Keep careful records of your daycare expenses and see what area is getting out of hand. 

When you plan a budget, you really begin to see where you waste too much. It’s like tracking your calories. It’s hard to see where things got out of hand until you look at it and tally it up.

Here are some places you might be able to to save money:

  • Check out your energy consumption. Are your windows super leaky? Maybe you can actually save money by replacing them? Or do you need more insulation blown into the attic? 
  • If your appliances are super old, replacing them could save you a ton of energy costs. 
  • Do you batch your errands so you can do a lot at once instead of running across town every night? Go to all the places that are close together on the same day. 
  • I do a ton of activities with my kids, but I plan stuff with what I already have. I look at the supplies to decide what I want to provide the kids with. 
  • Organize your coupons so they are easy to use. 
  • Manage your donations. You don’t have to give to every cause – just choose those that are meaningful for you.
  • If you have a jar of coins or a change place in the car, it likely has quite a bit of money in it. Count it up and put it in savings. It will add up before you know it.
  • Cut up your credit cards. If you don’t have any, you’ll save a ton of money by not using them. 
  • Save up your own money so you can borrow from yourself. If you have an emergency or supply fund, when you need to replace something, the funds are there.
  • Set up automated savings in your bank account. If you have the bank automatically move $5 or $25 to savings every week or once a month, you may not even notice it, but the savings will build over time.

There are a lot of ways you can save small amounts to spend less on the daycare business and have more money to take care of you and your family. Knowing what to eat to save money is not as complicated as you might think. Check out these Dirt Cheap Meals for Daycare.

Being mindful and decluttering your finances will help you see where your money goes and where you’d rather it went. Then you can come up with new plans over time.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my series on how to run a home daycare and increasing your productivity: 

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