Startup Expenses for Home Daycare

There are many start up expenses for home daycare businesses. There are also many expenses for home daycare and the running of it day to day. Check your local state guidelines for licensing and regulations.

There are many start up expenses for home daycare businesses. There are also many expenses for home daycare and the running of it day to day. Check your local state guidelines for licensing and regulations.

Start up expenses for Home Daycare

Have you thought about opening your own home daycare? There are many expenses involved in the start-up of a family childcare business. There are also many expenses for home daycare and the day to day running of it. Your individual state will differ in what your requirements are, but there are a multitude of things needed to get started in childcare and they all cost money.

How much does it cost to start a daycare?

Check your local state guidelines for licensing and regulations. In Oklahoma, we are required to be licensed, but the license itself doesn’t cost. In some states, it does and so do other permits and inspections. There are many expenses in getting ready to be licensed and having all the necessary equipment. Some states require you have liability insurance, some don’t, but that’s an expense to consider. Click here to see licensing requirements for Oklahoma. 

Are you new to daycare or thinking about starting one? Check this out
Expenses for starting a childcare

Start up expenses for home daycare

I strongly suggest you get some of Tom Copeland’s books on how to keep track of these expenses as well. It’s going to save you a lot of trouble later. Click here to see them. Record keeping and tax workbooks for each year are a must.

Any post on this blog may contain affiliate links which pay me a very small commission for items you purchase using the links but costs you nothing extra. I can help defray a small percentage of the cost of producing the blog to share information with you.

Childcare expenses

I would say a conservative ballpark figure for daycare expenses would be $3,000-$5,000 depending on what you already have and what your state requires. Also, supplies cost differently in different areas. If you don’t have children of your own and don’t have a house full of toys already, it may be a lot more.

Click here to see how to reduce expenses for running your childcare business. 

Start up Expenses for Family Childcare

Daycare startup checklist

    • Approved fire extinguisher
    • Smoke detector in every room the children will be in except he kitchen and bathroom
    • Any of your door locks must be able to be opened from the inside
    • Storage place for children’s things, coat rack, bins, drawers or totes
    • Changing table with plastic covered pad that can be sanitized
    • Step stool
    • Gates
    • Child safety locks, plug covers, and other safety equipment.
    • Bottles and bottle rack
    • Bibs
    • Dishes, cups, and eating utensils
    • Refrigerator that keeps food at 41 degrees or less
    • Thermometer for refrigerator
    • Railings are required for all stairs.
    • You must have a soap dispenser and paper towel dispenser and supplies for toileting and hand washing in place.
    • Your home must be in good repair, so any areas that aren’t will need to be repaired.
    • You must be trained in CPR and first aid which can be very costly but varies by location as well as issuing agency. In addition, you must have health and safety training prior to starting as well. Additional training will be required ongoing, but these must be obtained before you begin providing care.
    • Proper records of immunizations for all family members and pets are required.
    • You may be required to have a tuberculosis test or other health assessments.
    • You will need a bulletin board to post your required items such as your license, menu, schedule, safety drills and emergency contact numbers.
    • You will be required to pay for a background check for everyone living in your home, including your children as they turn 18 years of age. At this time, we are required in Oklahoma to have FBI fingerprinting done through proper DHS approved procedures, at the price of $53 for the check itself for each person living in your home, in addition to all of the paperwork and travel involved.
    • I would recommend getting three or four, three-ring binders in which to keep your records, a filing cabinet and a stapler, hole punch, and writing paper to take notes on. Click here to see how to organize your daycare paperwork.
    • You will also need plenty of envelopes, stamps, and pens because there is paperwork constantly.
    • You will have to supply a lot of paperwork in order to get licensed and remain licensed, so you should have a properly working computer and printer/copier available. You’ll need paper, ink, and an internet connection. A fax is not a must but would be helpful.
    • Medications and hazardous products such as cleaners must have a storage place out of reach of children.
    • Your clear glass doors must be marked with a sticker at child’s eye level. I had a vinyl sticker with my daycare name made so it looks professional and kind of nice.
    • If you have weapons of any kind you will need locking storage containers for them as well as separate locking containers for your ammunition which must be stored in a separate area.
    • Lighting and ventilation must be adequate.
    • Your yard must be fenced with a sturdy 4-foot-high fence that reaches all the way to the ground with no holes.
    • If you have a pool or trampoline, those must be fenced with even stricter requirements to prevent daycare children from using them. Six-foot-high secure fencing with locks.
    • If you are not on city water supply, you must pay for water testing.
    • You must have a home phone line.
    • If you plan to transport, you will have to have approved car seats.
    • Other equipment that is required includes:
    • Sealable bags for sending home soiled clothing
    • Art supplies
    • Books
    • Large muscle equipment
    • Musical equipment
    • Blocks and accessories
    • Dramatic play materials
    • Manipulative toys
    • Science materials
    • Outdoor play equipment, climbers, swings, slides, etc.
    • Tables and chairs that ensure children’s health and safety
    • High chairs and booster seats
    • Bedding and blankets for each child including mats or cots, and playpens for children under one
    • Closed container for diapering (diaper pail)
    • Food for meals and snacks
    • Carbon monoxide detector

  • An approved first aid kit
  • Working flashlight 
  • Advertising, business cards, ads, signs, etc. 


I suggest checking out VistaPrint for those products, they have a lot of good deals that will save you money on these expenses. Click here to go to their website.

start up expenses for family childcare home

Start-up cost for daycare

There may be other things required for start-up, but these are the items required for my area or suggested by other providers in other areas, so the list of expenses is pretty comprehensive. It’s not inexpensive or easy to start up a daycare in your home, but if it’s the job for you, it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love! For those who are born to do it, it’s amazing, for those who aren’t, it’s miserable.

Make sure you love working with kids and don’t mind sharing your home, privacy, and a whole lot of your time with them and their families. If it’s your calling, you will never be able to imagine doing anything else with your time!

I could not love any job more than I love family childcare. It’s so satisfying to know I am changing the future and affecting lives. 

Check out Discount School Supply for many of these required materials. They have great prices and a great selection. After 23 years of family childcare, they are my go-to place to look for equipment, art supplies, and many other of my daycare expenses.

Daycare tips to help providers rock every day. Providers have to stick together and help each other by sharing information on childcare trends, problems, resources and other things that will make our daycare jobs easier. Share your knowledge and get information on the business of family childcare. Click here for more.

If you need help getting started in your business, how to start and run and a successful daycare business could be just what you need. How to start a home daycare. 

Don’t forget to pin for later!


Start up expenses for home daycare

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  1. Yavonna says:

    Its been so long you forget about some stuff and it is ON GOING !!! We have to replace almost all of it along the way as well it not a one time thing. .. But Well worth it to have babies !!

  2. Rachael says:

    If I were to buy a separate home, would it still be considered an in-home daycare/family daycare facility even though I’m not living there? Or would that be treated as a childcare center? I’ve worked at an in-home daycare for years and have dreamt of opening my own but having lived in a trailer has closed so many opportunities for me. Any information on this would help. Thanks, Rachael

    • I think you’d have to check with your local agency. Are you in Oklahoma? That would be your licensing specialist. If you are outside, i’m not sure. I know other providers here in oklahoma that do that, but I’m not sure how the rules work on that.

  3. Yavonna B says:

    Great info 🙂

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