Starting a Daycare Business?

Category Business
Starting any home based business takes some planning to ensure its ultimate success. This is a page about starting a daycare business.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 7, 2019

Now that I have become a certified provider I don't know the first step into getting kids. I currently work for a driving company and I am so ready to leave that place! But I cannot leave because I won't have any income. I don't know the first step in getting things going, should I post on social media or make business cards? I'm lost.


February 7, 20190 found this helpful

Are you in the US? Contact your local small business development center and get a counselor/mentor to guide you. Many of the services are free or low cost.

They can hook you up with a roadmap to success. Do nothing to it alone they're is too much at stake not to get assistance from the pros!

The Pittsburgh SBDC programs are beyond amazing! Best wishes for your success!!! Post back how it goes for you!

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February 7, 20190 found this helpful

Many states require you to be licensed. Contact your state to see.

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February 7, 20190 found this helpful


Those are good ideas. Have you considered taking the kids back and forth to school or to music lessons, etc? I am sure that would be a needed service. I would not quit my job, but I would do child care on the weekends, at first, and see how it goes.




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February 8, 20190 found this helpful


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February 9, 20190 found this helpful

I'm not sure that I understand exactly what you mean in referring to "certified provider".
Was this a college course - like CPCS or was this a course (certificate?) that was taken through a junior college or a private school?
If you are not in the US then most likely the following information will not pertain to you.

  • I'm only asking these questions as it appears you mean you need this particular training to be able to take care of "kids".
  • What age children were you planning to care for?
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  • Where will you be taking care of children? Home? Nursery?
  • How many hours a day did you plan to do this?
  • Were you issued any information on what type of license you will have to have to do this?
  • Do you have children or prior experience taking care of children in this type of setting (?)?
  • Did you take emergency procedure training with this course?
  • Did they run a background check to see if there is anything in your past that would disqualify you from doing any type of business that involves children? Your state will probably require this.
  • Did you plan to serve snacks/lunch?
  • Do you have proper auto insurance if you plan to drive children in your personal vehicle?
  • These are questions you will need answers to before you start looking for children to fit whatever circumstances you have set up.
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  • From my experience with our local Small Business Association they will not even discuss a plan with you until you have some sort of plan such as answers to these questions because they cannot help someone who has no idea of what they can do or when they can do it or where they plan to do it.
  • They may steer you to your local licensing agency so you can start with learning what procedures you have to follow as well as what you will need to obtain any license that deals with children.
  • Florida is very strict when it comes to anyone taking care of children and probably some other states are also.
  • If you plan to take care of one or two children in your home than you may not have to go through all of the above requirements as this is usually done without notifying the state/county.
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  • If this was your plan then you can place ads in your local Craigslist, Nextdoor and any other local paper stating what part of town you will be wanting to care for a child as well as what hours are acceptable and the age of children you will be accepting as well as info on transportation. You will also need to state what you will charge per hour/day/week unless you state to call you for particulars.
  • Be prepared to answer questions like: experience, lunch/snacks, play area, how many other children, price for day/week/hour and what will be charged if they are late picking up the child.
  • You may not have to answer all of these questions but you should know the answers just in case you are ask.
  • This is not necessarily "legal" in Florida but many people do this for extra money since they may be a stay at home person anyway.
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  • Have you considered looking for a job where you would have the responsibility of caring for children but not all of the headaches of running a business?
  • Private schools, church schools/nurseries, local day care centers all hire qualified people to help in their schools as well as in their after school programs and that would give you some experience and maybe later you could branch out on your own.
  • Many people say that I "paint" a bad picture when describing how things like this work but I believe anyone venturing into a new area should have more facts rather than just scratching the surface and finding out later that it is not as they "dreamed" it would be.
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February 12, 20190 found this helpful

make business card

post online

put it in the newspaper

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December 5, 2019

Where do I start? I'm trying to get my business license to open my own businesses. What do I do to get started? I'm currently attending Strayer University for my Business Associate degree and Child Development. I will also need to find a business space once I begin the business.


December 5, 20190 found this helpful

You need to be licensed. You also need to have your business in a zone that allows this. You need to check the requirements with your state. You may also need to get extra insurance.

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December 5, 20190 found this helpful

I would buy a coffee for as many child-care business owners and operators as I could find, and listen to their experiences about starting up and what they might have done differently or what the biggest challenges seem to be.

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August 21, 2015

I want to start a daycare center at my house. I want to know that is it necessary to get legal permission or a license to start a daycare center. I want to start only a daycare not a preschool. Please advise me as soon as possible as to whether I need to register my daycare center or if it's OK if I start it immediately.


August 22, 20150 found this helpful

You need to talk to someone at your state's department of human services. They are the ones in most states the regulate daycare centers. In many states the requirement to be certified or licensed depends on the number of children you are going to have in your care. Do not open for business until you have all of your facts and legal requirements in place, or you will face the risk of being closed down quickly.

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August 22, 20150 found this helpful

Be very careful and follow the first responders advise.

ususally anything business/service that has to do with children will have some state regulations and usually anyone working, living etc on the premises will have to go through the state's system to be sure they are no potential harm to the children.

Lots of rules apply and they will/may investigate the facilities to make sure you have everything set up the proper way (their way).

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August 23, 20150 found this helpful

This is a very good way for someone to earn extra money and still stay at home but do try to be well informed before you start.

No one here knows where you live and all states (countries?) have different rules and regulations - even cities and counties may have additional regulations.

Many people do just take care of a child or two in their home and never report to any agency but this can present problems. Neighbor may complain and report you but it still may be okay. Some residential areas do not allow this type of business under any circumstances.
It would be best to follow the law and find out what is required where you live.

Also, don't forget that this is "income" and the IRS will want their share.

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How or where can you find churches or organizations looking to get rid of daycare equipment for free or really cheap?


June 8, 20150 found this helpful

If you intend to start a baby/child day care business, cheap or free equipment is definitely not a good start. The equipment you provide must pass all safety requirements and free or cheap equipment may not meet the required standards in your area. The equipment may be too old, designed incorrectly, etc., and may be cheap or free because of this.

I can assure you that an injury or worse involving a child using unsafe equipment will be costly. Your insurance company (your business plan does include insurance?) may refuse to pay for an injury occurring on unsafe equipment. If you do not have the funds or financial backing to buy equipment that meets all safety standards in your area, you must reassess your entire business plan.

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June 9, 20150 found this helpful

If a church or charity doesn't want it, you don't either. Churches and other non-profits use this equipment themselves and since they are often on shoestring budgets their own equipment desperately needs an upgrade. Anything they can no longer use will be falling apart.

Dinah is right about insurance. You need to keep up with product recalls. If anything happens, insurance will not pay out if your equipment is discovered to be on a recall list or not up to recent safety standards. They may just decline to cover you at all.

For instance, in 2011 new safety standards were released for cribs. Any cribs that were not up to those standards became immediately illegal to buy or sell. Many people ignore those laws or just don't know about them, but insurance won't let you off the hook for that.

You can buy gently used equipment, but do a google search for a product recall before you buy, and check for recent safety standards for that category of product and how recently those standards were updated. If the item is older than the standards upgrade, don't buy.

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June 11, 20150 found this helpful

I regularly see nice articles given or thrown away at clothing drops and yard sales and I feel awful that they go to the dumps! Try free ads in Craig's list and local papers and an ad on community bulletin boards and possibly your local library. You may even want to check your local recycling center. Good luck

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February 10, 2015

Can anyone give me advice on what type of curriculum I can I use for toddlers 12 months to 3 yrs old?

By Kym from TX


February 12, 20150 found this helpful

Are you planning to open a state licensed day care business or do you already have a state licensed day care business? Either way, I am concerned that you do not have a curriculum for 3 months to 12 months.

Federal laws require that all states have policies to open a day care center. I suggest that you investigate the federal and state requirements in your area for opening and maintaining a child care center. The day care operators must have the education, training, facilities etc., that each state requires to open a center.

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February 12, 20150 found this helpful

My error re curriculum age 1-3 year olds.

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November 14, 2014

I'm currently working on a certificate in Early Childhood Education. I'm hoping this will give me a better chance at getting work in the day care world. Soon I will also get CPR certified and fingerprinted. Sometimes I do find myself wondering, "Is this enough?". If not, what would I actually have to do? I would one day like to open a daycare of my own, but I would like to gain more experience in the field. I know I eventually have to get licensed, but what does that require?

By Jasmine L.


December 5, 20170 found this helpful

I have done both home daycare and had a licensed childcare center for 76 children. You need to check with your county and your state. The requirements vary from state to state. Some county's have no rules, others have to do water, sewer and health dept inspections. Most states require cpr and first aid, and some require college hours or a CDA and others don't. So, start with contacting your state.

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December 5, 20170 found this helpful

You need to be licensed by your state.

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November 16, 2015

I'm looking to move to the Murrieta Temecula area in California. I'm trying to find out if there is a need at all for county paid chid care. If so in what areas?


October 5, 20170 found this helpful

To best answer your question you should contact the Riverside office of the county of Temecula. They have a person there that can assist you and answer your questions. There is no information that I can find that would give you the answers you need. Please go to the website and find the office and the phone number to call.

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April 22, 2015

I am planning on starting a new childcare center, serving children from 1 to 5 years old. I have several questions. I need to know how to: find a source of financial assistance, choose a logo, choose uniform colors, and decide what materials and play equipment I need for a start. Thank you for your advice.

By Seiyifa N.


April 22, 20150 found this helpful

City of commerce has a lot of the recommendation s to starting new businesses. Internet google it or what ever is your favorites how to. There is the safety toy list on TV or on line.

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February 2, 2014

How much is a reasonable minimum investment we can do for day care center in India? Here a consultant is asking for about 400000 Lakhs, India rupees. This includes toys, interior design for rooms, banners, pamphlets, and some sort of training for instructors. Does it seem to be a good option to go ahead and work with a consultant?

By Navi1819

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May 28, 2012

I am not sure which is the best route to take. Should I go with a day care, child care, or preschool? Which one is the best choice to go with?

Also what would be a good name for each one? I would like it to be catchy, but also fun and cute. Something playful that will catch peoples' attention. Any suggestions?

By Stephanie

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