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Home Daycare

Home Daycare: How Much Money Can You Really Make?

HowMuchDoHomeDaycareProvidersMakeHeaderHome Daycare is a great way to support your family and care for your own child at the same time.

Yes, there are expenses, but most of the money made is profit.  Below is the income I made and the expenses I paid out. 

My hours were 7am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, which is 50 hours per week.  Keep in mind that during those hours, there is no real break time.  I always made sure to sit down during quiet time, but I was still “on the clock” so to speak.

Home Daycare Income:

$3000/month (5 children @ $150/week)

Home Daycare Expenses:

Food – $200

Home Daycare Insurance – $25

Toys/Equipment – $100

Wipes, Craft Supplies – $50

Curriculum – $25

Cleaning Supplies – $15

Taxes – $333

Not included are the start up costs (playpens, cots, high chairs, booster chairs, sheets, blankets, dishes, sippy cups, bottles, etc), extra utility costs (heating, air conditioning, electricity, water, etc) and wear and tear (paint, drywall putty, etc).

Total Expenses: $688

Profit: $2312

Since I worked 50 hours each week, or 200 hours each month, I made $11.56 per hour.   That’s close to wage where I live, but because that was my take-home, free and clear of transportation costs, the costs of daycare for my children, and clothing costs, it’s nothing to sneeze at.

Before you open a home daycare, consider carefully these things:

  • The going rate in your area for home daycare.
  • How many children you’re legally allowed to have.
  • What your insurance company will charge you (it will depend on whether you’ll be driving the daycare kids).
  • How much you’ll need to spend to buy equipment up front.  Chances are, if you have children yourself, you may already have many of the things you need.
  • What you’ll be expecting the parents to provide.  You’ll want them to bring diapers of course, but perhaps you’ll have them provide a blanket, wipes, a sippy cup or bottle, etc, for their own child.  That will allow you to save a bit.
  • Whether licensing, a fire inspection, or extra child-proofing is required in your home.

and most importantly:

  • How long it will take to recruit a full roster.  You likely won’t open with a full house, unless your marketing is awesome!  Take into account the fact that you won’t be making a full pay from start up.  It could take weeks or months to get to that point.

If you’ve done home daycare or know someone who has, I’d love to hear what the current daily rates are for your area.  Leave them in the comments below!

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Robin Masshole mommy

    I think that running in at home daycare is a great solution for a lot of people, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

  2. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    I have huge respect for anyone who can do daycare for a living. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t handle being responsible for someone else’s child.
    Go check out Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle’s latest post! New Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Spray Moisturizer #VaselineSpraysMy Profile

  3. lisa

    This is a lot of great info. I had considered doing a home daycare when my kids were little, but it was a huge responsibility and a lot of things to take into account.
    Go check out lisa’s latest post! Riley’s First Date With Kyle MacLachlan and Kaitlyn Dias #InsideOutBloggersMy Profile

  4. Jeanette

    I watch a child when she is not in school, but she is more a playmate for my son. I do get paid to watch her, but that is just fun money. I don’t count on it! You are doing an awesome job! Kudos for taking on that many kids.
    Go check out Jeanette’s latest post! Simple Tips for Easy Southern CookingMy Profile

  5. Chubskulit Rose

    Wow, that’s a great source of income! U ried baby sitting for a friend’s baby before but I had to give it up because the baby basically live at my house and it was hindering my time for my own kids.
    Go check out Chubskulit Rose’s latest post! A Tribute for our Fallent Heroes: Our Visit to the Memorial Park in WeirtonMy Profile

  6. Liz Mays

    These are great things to consider. I’ve known some people who found it really fulfilling to do this kind of work.
    Go check out Liz Mays’s latest post! Workout Wednesday: Hotel Gym Full Body WorkoutMy Profile

  7. ricci

    I know a few people who have opened home daycares and they seem to really love it! And they can stay home with their own kids!
    Go check out ricci’s latest post! October BirchboxMy Profile

  8. rika

    wow… maybe i should open a daycare 🙂 Sounds like a very good home business and fun being around kids
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  9. Ourfamilyworld

    These are good to know. This is a great resource for those who are thinking of starting a home daycare.
    Go check out Ourfamilyworld’s latest post! The Most Unique Beds for ToddlersMy Profile

  10. Crystal Lopez

    This is all really goo information and insight into the average costs of babysitting from home. I know for most moms being able to stay home with your own children makes all the difference.

  11. Ann Bacciaglia

    When my kids were younger i thought of running a home daycare. It is a great way to be able to stay home with your kids and make some money.

  12. Rebecca

    I am new to your site and I must say-I love the name of your blog!
    You are very brave for keeping other people’s children–LOL! Great income, but I am not sure if I could do it or not!
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  13. Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy

    Thank you for sharing your income and expense report for your home daycare. It is good to read about a business from someone that actually ran the business versus someone that just suggests that a home daycare may be a good business idea. I can only imagine how tired you were each week too.
    Go check out Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy’s latest post! Five Helpful Apps For Your College Student and One Parents Should Be Aware OfMy Profile

  14. Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green

    This is big business for some folks. I already know I’m not cut out for childcare, so I leave it to those that have a passion.
    Go check out Mimi “MimiCuteLips” Green’s latest post! Happy Birthday MimiCuteLipsMy Profile

  15. Bonnie @wemake7

    Having a home day care is something I could never do personally but I know others that do.

  16. Chelsie

    This is really interesting! I don’t have kids yet, but I do hope that my blog will allow me to work from home when I do become a mom; so I love reading how others do it!
    Go check out Chelsie’s latest post! On Cancer, Teeth and Insecurities – Smile BrilliantMy Profile

  17. Sarh S

    $11 isn’t even minimum wage in your area?!? Ours I believe is $7.50, but I’m sure our necessities are also cheaper here. I’ve thought about opening a home day care for some income, but then I look around and I realize I struggle keeping up with my own children. haha

    • Megan Elford

      I’m in Canada, so if you’re comparing it to American wage, you’d have to take the exchange into consideration, making it look not sure quite so high, lol!

  18. Shaney Vijendranath

    Honestly I don’t think I could ever manage a daycare. lol I don’t have the patience but its good to see what the potential income can be.
    Go check out Shaney Vijendranath’s latest post! My Six Pregnancy StagesMy Profile

  19. Margarita Ibbott

    I would imagine that you would have to have some First Aid and Early Childhood Education experience as part opening up a daycare. Interesting post.
    Go check out Margarita Ibbott’s latest post! 4M–Fall Back– 16 things to do when you Change Clocks–Margarita’s Manic Monday MinutesMy Profile

  20. Rosey

    I think it’s a great way to be able to stay home with your own children. I have considered home day care in the past.

  21. Susan Quackenbush

    My sister ran a home daycare for many years and always felt like she was underpaid for the amount of attention, care, and dedication that went into her job. It’s a shame that the people we trust most with our kids seem to be the least appreciated sometimes. Thank you for posting this great information! 🙂
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  22. HilLesha

    I honestly couldn’t do it, but I have a cousin who runs a daycare. I’m not sure how much she makes, but she seems to be pretty successful with her business! 🙂
    Go check out HilLesha’s latest post! Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass: Teaser Trailer Now AvailableMy Profile

  23. Claudia Krusch

    So interesting! I never had help with child care after my son turned 2, so it was always a problem….
    Go check out Claudia Krusch’s latest post! My Latest Event Periscope – Business Tips To Grow In 2016!My Profile

  24. Melissa

    This is definitely something I would be interested in. I love caring for children and love working from home. I am off to read your other childcare posts now!

  25. Amber mercer

    I enjoy reading your blog. I my self have been an in home provider for more than seven years. I truely love it. There is a lot of hard work but rewarding. I live in Ohio and we r now licensed threw the Ohio department of education. We r required by 2020 to become apart of step up to quality which is state monitoring where they come into your home and inspect everything at random, require you to have an approved curriculum and be implementing it. We are allowed 6 kids at a time counting your own under the age of six. We r paid by hour blocks and age range.. So for 0-7 hours is hourly pay 7-25 hours is part time and 25-60 hours is full time. So for a preschool aged child whom I have for full time is about 100.00 a week. Plus they offer a couple of programs to off set food costs. It keeps me home but it isn’t for the faint of heart. Lots of time and money not to mention personal sacrifice go into this job

  26. Tammy slippy

    Hi. My rates are the same as yours, the challenge I have is that my parents are all subsidized pay (meaning that the state pays for their care) and the state only pays one a month. Recently found out that since i have multiple families that are subsidized the state will wait until all families are authorized for payment. I guess you could say it’s a forced savings program. …Lol. ..
    I love what I do, things can get pretty chaotic occasionally but over all we have a blast.
    One thing I learned to do to keep my expenses down is to make friends in the community. We have farmers, bakers, delis, and a local caterer that wet have become friends with who share their surplus with us. The kids love it and I can use it as a teaching experience. We have made or own pickles, tomatoe sauce, banana bread, and much more because of their generosity.

  27. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    I talked with my husband about home day care because I wanted to do it. Thanks for sharing the cost breakdown.
    Go check out Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen’s latest post! Danes Cheese Ball CheesecakeMy Profile

  28. Kg

    I have been doing this since my second daughter was born almost 13 years ago. It is an incredibly rewarding devotion, but also extremely challenging. If you are thinking about joining the ranks, carefully consider all the pros & cons. It is definitely not for someone just wanting to make some easy, quick cash!!! You basically have to have your maximum # of kids to make it financially worth it, but then you’re also at your maximum craziness level too! I charge $125/ week for one, and $200/wk for two. Almost all my families are teachers, so my hours are crazy 6:00 am – 5:00 pm. Not for the faint of heart!! I love what I do most days, but there sure are days I’d love to call in sick (or quit…but those days are very rare:) !)

  29. D. Howell

    Hi Megan,
    I just came across your blog. Look forward to reading more.
    I have done home daycare for almost 16 years and still loving it. I have made some great friends and my life has been far richer because of all the precious children I have been blessed to help nuture.
    I will have to say that my work would be a lot more rewarding if I could chatge what you do. I am in a small town in south GA. I just went from $85 per week to $90 last August. I am considered one of the highest priced home daycares in our area. Some charge as little as $60 a week. I don’t see how they make a profit. I don’t even charge extra for infants. I do charge a $50 annual supply fee that helps me purchase toys/playground equipment.
    Childcare providers are the backbone of the working moms out there and some of us are underpaid, yet we still do our jobs. I have one of the hardest jobs, yet one the most , if not the most rewarding jobs, that comes with a great responsibility. I do not take that responsibility lightly.
    Thank you for putting this info out there. I know it will be of much help to many. God bless!
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