Many people have considered starting a home childcare center for income, they may have a desire to work with children, or have children of their own and do not want to fork out their whole paycheck on daycare fees. Why spend money on childcare when you can be a stay at home parent, get paid, and watch your child grow. Sounds easy right! Here are some things to consider before starting.
Do you have adequate space?
You need to make sure you have enough space for the Children, Toys, and sleeping arrangements. In childcare centers in Ontario, Canada, it is required to have 2.75 square feet of unobstructed space per child. That should go with space in your home too, whether it is on the main floor of your house or in your basement you need space for the children to move.
Do you rent or own your home? some bylaws require that the daycare is in a home that the home owner lives in, apartments are not allowed.
Do you have a fenced in yard? children need outdoor time for fresh air, whether its a the park on in the back yard it is required for them to be outside at least two hours a day except during inclement weather.
Amount of children allowed in your care
You will not get rich owning a home childcare center, however you can make a decent income to support your family.
Ontario Laws state in the CCEYA (Childcare Early Years Act) that all home childcare centers that are unlicensed are only allowed to have five children in total registered in your home. This also includes no more than two children under the age 2, and no more than five children between ages 2 and 12. In addition if you have children of your own, you have to include them in you registration. So if you have 3 children: 6 months old, 18 months old, and 4 years old, you are only allowed to register 2 more children in your home since both of your Infant spots are taken they would have to be in the ages 2- 12 years. This may mean that you may only bring in a part-time salary for a full time job.
So now that I’ve gone over the space and amount of children allowed, I would like to get into detail on how much to charge for childcare. To figure this out it is best to research other home daycare’s in your area and see what they are charging. Also see what kind of activities are provided for the children, this will give you a better idea of how you would like to structure your program (Learning Experiences).
Do not under charge for your services! You will regret it! You may think that if you offer a cheaper rate or discounts that you will fill fast and have a thriving business, This unfortunately is not true, you will be barely able to feed the kids and pay your bills and all sanity goes out the door. When I first started a Home Daycare the majority of my first clients were friends, the other two children were random people that responded to an ad I posted. Naturally I felt bad for charging my friends the full $35 per day per child, so I cut that amount in half charging only $17.50 per day. In addition I also made it so that they only paid for the days that they were present. Whoops! Big mistake. Not only did I undercut myself, but it was very hard work. I also ran into the the issue with them not valuing my services, Calling in sick all the time, not showing up, then eventually just dropping out because they didn’t want to pay anymore. They did not value my service because I did not value what I was worth. I no longer have them in my care, however the two random families that I didn’t know I still have. They respect me, my services and always pay on time. We have built a trusting relationship and they always refer more children to me when I have openings.
Knowing What I know now, My fees are based on the age of the child, under two years old it’s $45/day, and above two years it’s $35/day. I now make a good income that pays the bills and allows me to take vacations. I have families that enjoy coming and appreciate it greatly.
to conclude this article, When you plan properly to open your business, your rewards will show. You may have a business that you love for years.
Keep an Eye open for my upcoming article: Cheap and Easy Ways to Prepare Meals for Your Home Daycare (Tips and Tricks)