I’ve been running a home daycare on my own since 1995 and I’m going to share my knowledge with you. This is a tough job, but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.

Running a Home Daycare

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I’ve been running a home daycare on my own since 1995 and I’m going to share my knowledge with you. This is a tough job, but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.

Why choose home daycare as a career? It’s not a lucrative job, but it brings me the deepest satisfaction of anything I can imagine doing with my life. It’s interesting and it’s just plain fun!

There is no job in the world more important than early education. Making an impact on the future is something that gives me joy that I can’t explain in words. But loving what you do and knowing it matters makes every day seem less like working and more like living the dream. It’s not all rainbows and cupcakes. It’s messy and hard. But I still can’t imagine doing anything else.

child building a terarrium in a jar, looking at her work

Running a home daycare

The first thing you need to know is how to start a home daycare. This post will give you tons of information on where you need to start and what you need to think about before you start. Do you think a career in childcare is for you? Here are 9 reasons to choose childcare. 

Don’t forget to check the home daycare regulations as well. 

What do you need to get started? Check out this home daycare supply list and this post about startup expenses for child care. Knowing what the must-haves for home daycare is important before you decide to get started in your business. And what about your home daycare budget? This can help as well as this article about coming up with a home daycare business plan to see if it’s financially viable to open. 

The next thing you’ll need to figure out is menu planning for your home daycare. Check out the CACFP requirements here for a food program and some approved breakfast, lunch, and snack ideas here.

Home based daycare

Before you open, it’s so important that you have your business practices for your home daycare in place. You’ll need a contract and policies, and you’ll need rules for your home daycare. You don’t want to struggle with getting paid or making payment policies after you have a problem with it. You’ll set all that up before and talk about it with each family at the interviews you conduct with them. What should your prices even be for home daycare? This article can definitely help. And then once you set them, how do you raise rates later?

This post has a guide for interviewing potential clients for your daycare and this one has a list of what you need in your interview packet to give to potential clients. If you don’t know where to start to attract good clients to your business, check out how to advertise your home daycare here.

kids playing in water and bubbles on the back porch in home daycare

Opening a home daycare

Once you have some kids lined up to watch, you’ll need to get your home daycare schedule planned and lesson plans.

Here’s a giant list of home daycare activities that will be a big help for you. And even home daycare field trip ideas with a printable permission slip to use. 


Home daycare record keeping will be a big part of your job. Click on the highlighted link to see how to get started with that. You’ll need a ton of forms for running a home daycare business, so check out these free printable home daycare forms to help you with your paperwork, and here’s a great tutorial on how to organize your daycare paperwork so you can find what you need when you need it. 

Do you know what makes a good daycare and what makes a great home daycare? High-quality care will help you be sought after and never have an opening. You can learn about developmentally appropriate practice here so you can be the best you can be. Do you want to rock behavior and guidance for kids? Click on the highlighted text. It all makes a difference in the care you provide. Parent involvement makes a big impact on the care a child receives as well.

kids painting with yarn in home daycare

Getting clients for your home daycare

You’ll be building your reputation and word of mouth is the best way to direct your business. That word can be good or it can be bad, so make sure you share the good with your parents and everyone you know and try to minimize your negative impact as well. Sometimes you might get a parent that complains about you and it’s unfounded. That’s going to happen in any job. But making sure you do your very best every day will help you have clients for years to come.

Home daycare business hacks

Here are some more helps for running a home daycare business. Simplifying your home daycare to save time and money is an art and you’ll be grateful you learned it. Organizing toys will help you have simpler days. And don’t forget your set up. If you need help with a small home daycare layout, check this out. 

home daycare provider teaching kids at a table with counting bears

Check out the blog for tons of home daycare activities like starting a daycare garden and more. And if you want to do a special project like the garden, find out how we have raised money for our home daycare projects over the years here at little sprouts.

My goal with the blog is to provide you with tons of useful information that you can use to be an awesome home daycare provider and make a big impact in the life of the families and children you serve. If this job is for you, you will absolutely love it most days. I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures!

Need tons of great help with your home daycare? Here are some wonderful resources I totally recommend!

For preplanned menus with shopping lists included, check these out.

If you’re looking for premade newsletters to communicate with parents monthly that you can edit for your own, these might help!

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.

Don’t forget to pin for later

I’ve been running a home daycare on my own since 1995 and I’m going to share my knowledge with you. This is a tough job, but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.

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