Starting a family daycare is no small task. You are asking a lot of yourself and anybody who lives in your home. Sorting out the financial, logistical, and educational aspects of running your family daycare may present some challenges, but when done right it can be a very fulfilling experience.
Before jumping into the specific elements of family daycare and determining if it’s right for you, let’s start by addressing exactly what a family daycare means.
What is Family Daycare?
Family daycare serves the same purpose as any child care provider – to assist in childhood development by providing a healthy, secure and nurturing learning environment. However, the key difference is that a family daycare operates out of the caregiver’s home, putting a family-focused spin on the other child care options that are out there.
Key Benefits of Family Daycare
From a parent’s perspective, one of the most attractive elements of family daycare is that it’s typically a less expensive form of child care when compared to other options like hiring a nanny or enrolling in a child care center. The home-oriented focus offers a comfortable setting that a more business-oriented provider often struggles to duplicate.
Along with the affordability and comfortability factors, a notable feature of family daycare is the diverse age groups that they tend to include. Because these programs usually accept and incorporate a mixed group of ages, the diversity can be a great learning environment for kids of all ages, and it’s common for family daycares to have a strong ratio of children to caregivers.
To summarize, some of the most noteworthy benefits that set family daycares apart from other providers include:
- Diverse Ages
Is Family Daycare Right for You?
Running a child care service out of your own home can be a daunting task, and it is certainly not for everyone. Family daycares share similar goals with any child care center, however, the method to the madness is where things differ. On the whole, the operation is condensed and more focused on relationship building. Curriculums can be more specific to the needs of the children due to the smaller groups, and costs of operation are cut as a result of using your home as the base of operations.
If you are considering opening a family daycare, put yourself in the shoes of the parents who you want to reach. Unlike with a more extensive child care operation, your ability as a child care provider and the family-driven atmosphere that you create within your daycare is your most valuable asset.
3 Tips for Opening a Family Daycare
Below we have outlined three tips and considerations for opening and operating a successful family daycare that can help you decide if it’s the right path for you.
1. Make Safety a Priority
Making your home as safe and secure as possible will relieve some the stress that comes with having a handful of children running around. Parents consider safety a priority when looking for child care providers. Procare offers hardware security solutions that can be installed in your home, making everything that comes with a family daycare a bit easier for you to manage.
If maintaining a high standard of safety in your home and committing enough space to operate your daycare present a significant challenge – then, a family daycare is not the best route for you. By keeping a tidy home that is entirely childproof, parents will be more open to trusting you with the continued development of their child or children.
2. Document Your Policies & Emergency Procedures
Structuring your family daycare must be a priority and sharing the relevant procedures and documents with parents is a great way to get off on the right foot. If you are dealing with a mixed range of ages, it’s essential to have a plan for situations that might arise during a regular day. This includes everything from how you structure your day, to how you plan on dealing with sick children, to how your staff will be expected to deal with any behavioral issues.
As the homeowner, you are the point person for any issues that arise, and parents will expect you to be easy to reach during business hours. Should an emergency present itself, the responsibility falls on your shoulders. It’s the hard truth, but it comes with the territory. If that’s too much to handle, perhaps a different role in the child care industry is best.
3. Be Selective When Hiring Staff
It’s unlikely that your family daycare will be in a financial position to carry an extensive staff of child care professionals. However, should the opportunity to hire an employee or two present itself, it’s important to be extremely selective. Your personality, home, and ability to enhance the children’s development will define your daycare. A lot of the responsibilities will fall on your shoulders, but that comes with operating your own family daycare.
Any staff member that you bring on must be on the same wavelength as you, and parents must trust them as much as they trust you. Parents who look at family daycares want their child to develop within an atmosphere of love and learning and safe
Deciding whether or not a family daycare is the right business venture for you requires thought and careful consideration. Opening up your home and providing a secure and nurturing learning environment for kids can be intimidating, but if child care is your passion, it can be a rewarding vocation.
The considerations listed above are meant to give you an idea of what type of structure and level of planning is needed to operate a family daycare that will thrive.
Looking for ways to simplify your family daycare operations, including administrative and business functions such as registration, attendance, and payment processing? Learn how Procare can help!