How to Become a Home Day Care Provider

A home day care provider plays many professional roles; a company owner, operator, caregiver and administrator. Home day care providers need to meet licensing requirements of the state in which they live and may care for young children or just provide before and after school care for school-aged children.

Education and Licensing

Although no formal education is needed to open and operate your own home child care facility, you will be selling your skills and experience to parents to get their business. Most home care providers need basic skills in CPR, choking and child safety. Providers often take courses at community colleges or through local hospitals to gain and certify these skills.

When marketing your business to potential parents, any child care experience or education, including an associates or bachelors degree in child development will make your services more appealing to prospective customers. Since licensing requirements differ from state to state, you'll need to visit your state's website for specific information on applying for a license and the conditions you must maintain at your home to pass licensing inspections. In most cases, restrictions on teacher-to-child ratios must be maintained.

Starting Your Home Day Care

Starting your own Home Day Care can be a challenging undertaking as you look for resources for child curriculum options, entertainment activities, supplies, licensing, financial assistance, federal resources and regulations and even professional development opportunities for you and any staff you may employ.

The National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center (NCCIC) have a variety of helpful information to assist you with ideas for starting your own business that include:

  • professional development information,
  • child care partnerships and collaborations,
  • federal information and resources
  • state and territory-specific information  and 
  • Information on the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) that provides financial resources.

Typical Salaries of Home Day Care Providers

Salaries for home day care providers depend upon the experience level of the provider, the size of the day care and the area of the country you live. Most providers salaries start at about $30,000 and can go up to $50,000 with experience and excellent word-of-mouth reputation. Day Care providers in larger metropolitan cities will be able to charge higher rates for their services. In addition, facilities that offer educational curricula and after-school tutoring for school-aged children can bring in more money.

The Future of Home Day Care Providers

As more parents, especially moms, return to the work force, the need for top quality child care providers will continue to increase.  The projection for home day care providers is expected to continue to rise at better than the average rate for other employment opportunities.

Although being a home day care provider can be a challenging business to run, it can offer many rewards as you see the children grow and flourish in a structured, fun environment.