Home Daycare is the perfect way to contribute well to your family’s finances, while still staying home with your own children. It means that you can be there to see your child take her first step or say his first word.
But there are a few things to consider first. I wish I had known these before opening up my home daycare!
1. Don’t charge different amounts for different ages or for sibling discounts. A spot is a spot is a spot. Daycare providers can only legally care for a certain number of kids. That means that each spot should be worth the same amount of money, or you’re selling yourself short!
2. Aim for all full-timers. When I was first starting, it wasn’t always possible to sign up full-timers. But that’s what I should have been striving for. Full-timers not only maximize the amount of money you can make, but they become far more familiar with the routines and rules, and because they’re more accustomed to the other children, they all get along better.
3. The daycare will take up a large part of your home. Make sure you and your family is prepared for that.
4. Be strict about your closing time. Unless a parent is in an accident, keep to your work hours to avoid things like missed practices and late arrivals at the Monday night PTA meeting.
5. Don’t be afraid to enforce your contract. If it’s written in your contract, you need to stand by it — because if you don’t, no one else will either.
6. Don’t be afraid to let a child go if necessary. If a parent has violated your contract, or if a child is getting out of hand, let them go. Unless you’re absolutely in need of the money, the stress isn’t worth it. And if it’s the child that’s causing the problems, other parents may start to pull their children out first.
Do you run a home daycare? What do you wish you had known before starting?