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Productivity in your home daycare business is essential. There are so many things to juggle! These productivity tips for how to run a home daycare will help you develop routines, batch your tasks, and get more done in less time.
Whether you are just starting a home daycare or you’ve been running a home daycare for years, these tips will help you improve your business and stay organized.
For a printable daily planning bundle for daycare providers, check this out.
I’ll cover paperwork, licensing, taxes, cleaning, repairs, maintenance, food prep, planning activities, managing supplies, and avoiding burnout.
Bookmark or pin this page now, because you’ll want to keep this information handy.
Tips to Improve Your Daycare
I’ve been running a successful in-home daycare for over 27 years, and I’ve learned a lot.
Sometimes running a daycare in my home is overwhelming and it feels like there is no way to get it all done. But being successful just means you have to stay on top of the important things.
I don’t worry as much about the toys being in order as I do supplies and paperwork. If I lose a sock, it’s not the end of the world, but if I lose a kid, that would be life-altering.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. And rock the big stuff.
Daycare Paperwork, Licensing, and Taxes
You’ll need to effectively handle all the paperwork that comes along with home daycare.
Juggling all the regulations is an important first step. There are regulations that oversee running a home daycare in each state. Some states require a license, some a registration, some don’t require either. Some states charge for licensing or registration, some don’t.
There are also a million forms to make, print and have parents fill out. You’ll need daycare contracts, policies, enrollment forms, medication permission, and more. One thing that will help you stay organized is storing these forms all together in a folder on your computer.
And there’s tax time which compounds the paperwork too. It’s essential to set up a system and stay on top of receipts and bookkeeping year-round.
Learn more about in-home daycare licensing, paperwork, and taxes:
- Home Daycare Regulations
- Preparing for your Child Care Licensing Visit
- Handling Paperwork Properly
- How to Organize Daycare Paperwork
- In-Home Daycare Taxes: How to Stay Organized
- Must-haves for Organizing your Daycare Taxes
It’s important that you stay on top of the paperwork if you want to run a successful at-home daycare. It may not be a fun part of the job, but sometimes you just have to shut yourself in your room after work to knock a bunch of it out.
And remember – there’s no shame in hiring help, especially when it comes to legal and financial matters.
Cleaning, Repairs, and Maintenance
The big thing no one talks about in home daycare is the MESS. There is so much mess involved in having a bunch of kids in your home day in and day out.
There are toys to pick up, kitchen and bathroom messes, messy floors, and so much more.
You’ll also need to regularly repaint and repair the damage the kids do to your house. Maintenance will be needed more often due to all the wear and tear your house gets. A provider’s work is truly never done.
In-Home Daycare Food Prep
Cooking for a bunch of kids and your family can be a really big job. I find it overwhelming sometimes, but over the past 27 years I’ve come up with some shortcuts that make food prep for daycare much easier.
Meals we serve to daycare kids do not have to be complicated. Serving fresh fruits and vegetables cut up with slices of cheese and crackers or some quick cheese quesadillas or sandwiches are great meals for kids.
You can cut up 4-6 kinds of fresh produce and use them for several meals to save time. You can also precut a bunch of cheese. Food prep for daycare can be a breeze.
- Food Prep for Daycare Providers
- Daycare Meal Planning Guide
- How to Plan a Daycare Menu
- How to Shop for Your Daycare Menu
- Child Care Food Program for Daycare Providers
- Breakfast Ideas for Childcare
- Lunch Ideas for Childcare
- Snack Ideas for Childcare
Planning Activities and Managing Supplies
Planning activities and managing supplies is an important facet of running a daycare. But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming.
Decluttering, organizing, and being able to see what supplies you have is so important. You can find what you want easier and it’s easier to use.
Kids are the same way, less is more. If you put out every toy in the world, all they do is dump them, but if you have a few items well organized, kids will engage in play and be creative.
Planning daycare activities can seem like a daunting task, but one great way to cut down on the time you spend preparing activities is to simply minimize how much you plan to do. Kids need a lot of free play to learn and they don’t need every second of their day planned out.
Of course, some activities are necessary and I’ve got lots of tips for preparing activities and managing your supplies!
- Planning Daycare Activities for the Kids
- Home Daycare Activities (that you can prep in 5 minutes or less!)
- Managing Daycare Supplies
- 30-Day Decluttering Challenge (printable)
Avoiding Burnout and Taking Care of YOU
Being able to get it all done in home daycare without losing your mind and still having a life outside of work can be harder than people realize. But you can do it if you work smarter and not harder.
Running a home daycare has a really high burnout rate because it’s an undervalued and underpaid position. And providing childcare in your home can easily cost as much as you make if you’re not careful.
You can improve your chances for success by having routines and schedules, simplifying every day, keeping track of your finances, and practicing self-care.
- How to Get it All Done in Home Daycare Without Losing your Mind (and Life)
- Simple Ways to Practice Self Care
- 13 Ways to Avoid Burnout in Childcare
- Home Daycare Routines
- Simplifying Daycare Every Day
- Decluttering Your Finances
For a planner made JUST for home daycare providers, this jewel will help you get all of your business organized – and it’s gorgeous! There are also tons more helpful daycare printables you can get. I would have loved to have these resources when I was first starting out!
I hope this advice on how to run a home daycare has been helpful. There are lots of tips that will help you be successful and improve your home daycare so you can love your job and have plenty of clients that love the job you do!