How to Open a Licensed Home Childcare

Three Parts:Becoming licensedObtaining the necessary equipmentGetting clients for your business

Are you ready for a job change? If you'd like to set your own hours, your own fees and have more family time, then a licensed home childcare operation might be just the business for you! The following article describes the process if you reside in the United States.

Part 1
Becoming licensed

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    Inquire when and where the Licensed Childcare Orientation meetings are held. Then you will be given a handout or rules and regulations explaining what your State requires of every person who will become a Licensed Provider. There are certain requirements that each person must meet to be licensed.
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    Meet specific standards for your house and yard area where the children will be playing, eating, and sleeping. All of the specifics for licensing should be discussed at your Orientation meeting.
    • Read the lease if you rent a home or live in an apartment. Some companies or individuals have a clause in their lease regarding home-based childcare centers in order to protect their property. Also consider the stability of your business if you're leasing or renting rather than owning the property.
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    Complete your immunizations and other required tests to get your license. This may include a health physical and/or tuberculosis test. Caring for children requires a lot of bending, moving and lifting, so you must be in good physical health.
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    Childproof your home. These measures include locking cabinets, moving poisons and sharp objects out of reach, covering sharp corners and inserting electrical outlet covers. Verify that the outdoor play area is safe for children by checking for uncovered wells, poisonous or sharp plants such as cacti, and that access to the road is blocked. Ensure that anything that may harm a child is dealt with appropriately.
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    Have the house inspection. Once you have met all of the requirements, a licensed specialist will set up an appointment to come to your home and do a thorough inspection. If you pass this phase, you will be issued your license that same day.

Part 2
Obtaining the necessary equipment

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    Start collecting fundamental items for your childcare business. Starting with toys, ask around, as there are many families who would rather donate to your business than toss them away.
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    Get a collection of children's books. Books are an important part of keeping children entertained and helping them to learn. Ask others if they have books their kids have outgrown.
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    Check out yard sales and thrift stores for many items you will need. Here is a short but necessary list:
    • Cribs, playpens, highchairs, strollers, blankets, books, toys, a variety of age appropriate ones.
    • Blocks, puzzles, dolls, dinosaurs, cars/trucks.
    • As far as craft supplies go, think fun yet simple! Save magazines for art collages, and always have play dough on hand as well as poster paints, watercolors, chalk, bubbles, construction paper, safety glue, cut out shapes and safety cookie cutters, for play dough and other art designs.

Part 3
Getting clients for your business

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    Contact all elementary schools, local churches and your local community center in your town. Give the hours and days of operation and your contact information. Be sure to stipulate the ages that you will be caring for, for instance newborns to three year olds, or your preference.
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    Set your fees. You can set your fee based on the needs of each family. For example, it is commonplace to offer a small discount for the second or third child attending the daycare.
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    Develop a contract that will be used between you and your daycare parents. Make it very clear to your daycare families what your policy is for sick time and holidays, personal time off and vacation time. Include your policy on late pick-ups as well. Both parties must sign and date this form. You can go online to get samples of other providers contracts to get suggestions what might suit your needs best.
    • Your contract will have your rates based on part time or full time slots, temporary or full time care.
    • In your contract it will be very important to stipulate your illness policy (go by the State's regulations too).
    • Also, you need to be very clear how and when you want to be paid: Weekly, monthly, etc.
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    Begin your new home-based licensed daycare business. Realize that it may start slowly at first but word-of-mouth from satisfied clients will soon help to build your business for you.


  • Know what to do in the case of an emergency. It's a good idea to get a first aid certificate specific to babies, infants and young children. This will reassure both you and the parents.
  • Have all contact details of parents and send out an email or text every few months asking for confirmation that the details are still accurate.
  • If you have your own children staying at the daycare, ensure that they are immunized.
  • Keep the toys cleaned daily; wash using disinfectant or by whatever means is appropriate. Sweep and vacuum as needed. Keep the place hygienic and safe for the children.

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Categories: Domestic Assistance