This page may contain affiliate links. Learn More.
Childcare is essential. But not everyone can work in childcare. It sounds easy, but it’s not. What are the qualities of a good daycare provider? It seems like running a home daycare is easy…until you try to do it.
Childcare providers, daycare providers, daycare teachers, or whatever you want to call us (but not a babysitter please) are a jack of all trades. You have to be resourceful and think quickly because no days are the same. A good daycare provider has to deal with a lot, so she needs to be a strong person.
You might think that patience with children is the key, but they will teach you that. You won’t be able to help but fall in love with them. The thing people don’t think about when opening a home daycare is that your home will be shared with a lot of families. You won’t have privacy or be able to keep anything nice.
Your kids won’t have their mom to themselves either. So if you have kids, think about that. The hours are long, does your husband want to get off work and have quiet? Because that probably won’t happen.
You are responsible for helping train up children, so you have to have structure and be able to stick to it. If you don’t feel like cooking, those babies still have to eat. If you don’t feel like working, those parents still need to go to work, so you have to put yourself on the back burner a lot!
What do I need to be a good daycare provider?
Being a natural caretaker is the first requirement. You have to be a giver, because this job takes a lot. It is the toughest job you’ll ever love. A child will probably tear the spine off your mom’s antique book she gave you from her childhood.
Most likely you’ll have chew marks on your kitchen table and window sill. You might think a toilet is off-limits for damage until you find a 6-year-old jumping up on the lid and yanking on the tank on the back like a wild monkey.
I’ve even had a child run full force across my dining and living room and jump ninja-style into a chair that rammed into the side of my 5-gallon hexagon fish tank slamming it up against the wall spewing water everywhere. Like if you never in your wildest dreams thought a child would do something…they’ll do it. (and by the way by some small miracle, that tank did not break)
But the dividends it pays to be a family childcare provider are like no other. What are the perks of the job? You will have unconditional love and trust from children that you cannot contain. You’ll have free hugs any time you want them, just yell out “I need a hug” and see what happens.
Qualities of a good child caregiver
Trustworthy-A good daycare provider needs to be honest and do what they say they are going to do. If you are dishonest to save face, people can sense that and won’t trust you. Your clients are trusting you with the most valuable thing in their life. They don’t bring their B team kids to daycare, they bring their world. Don’t take it lightly.
Professional-A good daycare provider can’t fly off the handle and act a fool. You’re not going to have a successful business if you yell at your parents. They will make you mad, but expressing your concerns in a professional way is important. You’re a business owner, act like one. You need to have a good contract and policies in place, be organized with your daycare requirements, and hold yourself together.
Child care skills
Communication-Parents need to know what’s going on with their child and with you when their child is with you. If you have a problem, talk to them about it. If you need something, tell them. If it’s not a good fit, express that and move on to another family. But saying nothing and talking behind their back or being mad is not going to work.
Well-trained-You need to be certified in basic CPR and first aid as well as child development to be a good daycare provider. Training is important to keep up with the latest information on brain development and let you know how you can best care for the children in your care.
Caring-A good daycare provider should be loving and kind and care about children’s needs and feelings. They should be giving because kids need a lot. They need a lot physically, but they also need a lot emotionally. If you’re not a giver, you’re not going to be able to give the kids a great place to be. And all children deserve that.
Working at a daycare
Make sure to take time for you. Take planned vacations with notice to families in advance. Unwind in the evenings and take care of yourself. Because burnout in this job is REAL! So plan for it and make sure you make yourself a priority!
And even more qualities you need to be a good daycare provider include a sense of humor, boy will you need that! A network of other providers to find support. You need to care about what you’re doing and be likable.
You need to be sensitive to the needs of others and understand all people are different and learn and behave differently. You need to be able to support children in learning to do things for themselves. Babying kids helps no one. Especially not the child. You have to be fairly flexible as well. Because you have to pivot…a lot!
It takes a very special person to be a good daycare provider. If you think that’s you, you’re going to do great! Some of these things can be learned or improved over time, so don’t beat yourself up if it all doesn’t come naturally. But you can do great things working in childcare.
What do you need to start a daycare?
Starting a home daycare is a great way to earn income for your family. You’ll need some start-up supplies, a good setup, and a business plan. If you’re interested in opening a home daycare, this can be a big help to you and help you find success. Check it out.
Business plan for home daycare
A business plan is the first place to start to see if home daycare is right for you. You have to count the expenses involved in running the daycare, because there are probably more than you think.
Recommended resources for home daycare providers
Once you have that filled out and decide that you really want to do this thing, you’ll know the direction you’re going. Check out our Etsy page for more helps for home daycare providers here.
Here are a ton more helpful printables you can get that I would have loved to have!
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 tons of great provider helps on this site. I wish resources like these ladies have were available when I started. There was no help for home daycare providers back then.