Preparing Your Household Before Starting an In-Home Daycare


Researching the licensing guidelines in your state and learning state regulations as they apply to home daycare businesses aren’t the only preparation you’ll need before starting an in-home daycare.

You’ll also need to prepare your home, family and property appropriately in order to facilitate a smooth transition, limit the risk for injury and limit your liability as a childcare provider. It’s imperative for home daycare providers to be well prepared, as a lack of readiness can damage your reputation, harm your business and put the children under your care at risk. Before accepting your first client, you should make every effort to prepare your household for the changes which accompany starting an in-home daycare.

Background Checks: Not Just for Caregivers

Some states may require childcare providers and all auxiliary staff on site at a daycare center to be carefully screened as part of the hiring process. The laws may be different in your state for starting an in-home daycare business, but background checks are still an important part of your business. Even if they’re not legally required, providing background check information to parents upon request can increase their confidence and comfort, but there’s an additional layer of concern related to home daycare businesses.

In a large daycare center, all adults will usually have been screened prior to employment. Adults who are not directly employed by the center or who are not authorized to pick children up from the center are almost never allowed on the premises, so parents don’t have to worry about who has access to their children during the day. In a home daycare setting, the rules and regulations may not be so stringent. As a business owner and a resident on the property, you will have the added responsibility of disclosing the presence of other adults, along with background screening information. This may include a spouse, adult children and other family members who will be on the premises during hours of operation. Even if state law does not require you to provide such information, you do have an ethical responsibility to your clients to keep their children safe. Part of preparing your household for your new business will be obtaining these background checks, and making them available to new clients upon request.

How Starting an In-Home Daycare Can Affect Your Household

The lighter regulation and lower costs of an in-home daycare start-up can make owning your own home-based business more feasible than starting a standalone center. The added convenience of eliminating commute time can also be quite attractive, but it’s important to understand how your new business will affect your household.

During hours of operation, certain areas of your home may be off-limits to family members. Personal visitors should not be encouraged during these hours, and you will need to properly childproof all areas of your home which could potentially be accessed by your charges. The sudden increase in activity which accompanies starting a home-based business can affect your neighbors, family members and any family pets in the household. Ideally, you should make a point of providing a private space for your own family members to limit the impact of your business on those residing in your home.

Starting an in-home daycare will bring significant changes to your household, but it doesn’t have to throw your household into upheaval. With the proper preparation, you can run a successful and financially rewarding business out of your home with minimal negative impact on the rest of your family and household.

5 thoughts on “Preparing Your Household Before Starting an In-Home Daycare

  1. Hi, I cannot seem to find out the CCLD website some specific requirements. What is the required amount of physical space I need for children? What is the ratio of children to home care giver for certain age groups? I know the ratios for an actual day care center but is it the same ratio and requirements for a home care center? Please let me know what you find.
    Thank you.

  2. Each state has their own guidelines. I live in New Hampshire and my state requires 40 square feet per child Inside-regardless of age. Outdoors its 50.

  3. I have finished with my testing to start my home day care business. I would like to know where the need for child care is really needed. I can’t find any type of demographics. I want to get the process started soon so that I will be able to work with and help children and families.

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