The Pros and Cons of Starting a Home-Based Childcare Business

Kids painting in day care
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Child care is a major issue for working parents everywhere. If you work and you have children, one of the biggest questions you need to answer is: Who will care for my children when I'm working?

Many parents forgo commercial daycare programs or nannies and look for home-based child care solutions that allow their children to be watched in someone's home with other children.

If you love kids, are exceptionally responsible, have impeccable references, and can handle high-stress situations, a home-based child care business may be an excellent small business for you to start.

The Pros

Here are some of the benefits of starting a home-based child care business:

  • You can take care of your own children as part of your business. They count among the number of children you can watch, depending on the state regulations where you live, but this is one of the biggest reasons why people open home daycare businesses.
  • If having nights and weekends to yourself is a priority, this is a venture that should fit into that plan. Your schedule likely will follow standard business hours, and you won't have to accommodate weekend or holiday hours.
  • If you have a passion for education, this is an opportunity to play a key role in the lives of the children under your care. You can positively impact their growth and development through organized and stimulating games and activities, better preparing them for school when they are old enough to attend. For older children you watch after school hours, you can help them with their homework and to develop good study habits at an early age.
  • There should be no shortage of potential clients, as parents always are looking for quality daycare for their children. And the better your reputation as a provider, the more demand there will be for your services based on word-of-mouth marketing.

The Cons

Some of the potential challenges you may face if you start a home-based child care business include:

  • Startup costs have the potential to be extensive, depending on how prepared your home is for such a business. Areas, where children will have access, need to be made safe and age-appropriate if they are not already. This includes your yard, as children will need to have playtime outdoors. Toys, games, and indoor and outdoor play equipment will need to be purchased.
  • You will need to have comprehensive insurance to protect yourself and the children in your care.
  • Depending on where you live, licensing requirements can be extensive. Before deciding on starting a home-based child care business, be sure to check your state's requirements.
  • Taking care of multiple children in your home means dedicating a large portion of your living space to the operation. Make sure this is something you are willing to do before committing to such a venture.
  • It may be necessary to hire part-time help that can be available during your busiest times or in the event that you are ill or need to be away to deal with a personal emergency. Families leaving their children in your care need to be confident in your reliability.