You can consider opening any kind of business there is and there’s going to be some pros and some cons that come along with whatever it is. So, if you’re thinking of opening your own home daycare, then you need to be considering what the pros and cons are of owning this type of business. You must be doing that already, or why else would you be here?
Let’s cover this then: What are the pros and cons you need to consider when you’re asking yourself, “Should I open my own home daycare?”
- No commute to work
- Home with your children
- Control over your day
- Comfort of home
- A very rewarding career
- No personal space
- House is a mess
- Children can be jealous
- Tied to your home
- Your schedule is reliant on timing of parents
- Upgrades to home to comply with standards can be costly
Just like any other decision in your life, you need to weigh the pros against the cons to decide what is best for you and your family. To help you do that, we’ll go into more detail about the goods and the bads of having a home daycare, and then you can feel more confident about making a decision.
No Commute to Work
This is a huge pro. You work at home, so you don’t have to get in your car and sit in traffic to go make a living. You stay put and the living comes to you.
To put a little perspective on this, let’s look at something. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average commute going one-way is 26.1 minutes. Do the math on that for someone who works five days a week and it works out to over 200 hours in a year. See why this is such a huge pro now?
Home With Your Children
If you have children of your own, opening a home daycare will mean that you can be home with your own kids all of the time. You get to raise them and make money while you’re doing that. The alternative is going off to work somewhere and paying for someone else to have a hand in raising them during the hours that you’re away.
This is another big pro. Statistics show that the number of households in the United States that have a parent that is home full-time with the children is only about 1 in 3. You would be able to do something very beneficial for your family that many families aren’t able to do.
Control Over Your Day
Opening your own home daycare means you’ll have the control to plan out your day however you see fit, within some constraints understandably. In some home daycare situations, the caretakers are granted permission by the parents to take their children out places. If that’s true for you, then you can plan your day with whatever you want to do with the children.
Obviously, you want to be making the parents of the children you are caring for happy. They want to know that you’re doing activities with the kids and adhering to some kind of structure, but all of the planning will be under your control.
Comfort of Home
There’s no place like home, right? There’s a reason that’s a well-known phrase. Your home is your comfort zone. You can spend your days in your own home but still be making some income. You’ll be using your own furniture, your own bathroom, your own dishes, and you’ll be surrounded by the things that make you feel good.
Opening your own home daycare is something that allows you to help people in your community. Finding childcare can be such a stressful task for some people. You will be giving people in your local neighborhoods an option that helps to take some of that stress away.
On top of that, you’ll get to see the children you care for grow and develop over their time with you. It’s very rewarding to see kids learning and blossoming into the people they’re going to be. It’s certainly a lot of work to be a childcare provider, but it can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.
No Personal Space
Your home becomes your place of work. This place of work will have children entering into every room that you have, unless you have some kind of separation of space designated for your home daycare.
In most home daycares, children have the run of the house. Your personal space will not be kept personal in a home daycare. That’s true for you, as the owner, and for the other members of your household.
Even the backgrounds of you and your household members won’t be kept personal. You and all of the adult members of your household will have to submit to background checks and fingerprinting before you will be granted the license or permit you’ll need to be allowed to open a home daycare. You’ll certainly want to discuss this with anyone else who is living in your home that this will affect.
House is a Mess
So, you like things clean, do you? That’s great, because that’s what most parents who are leaving their children in your care are going to want to see. However, don’t expect it to be easy to keep it that way if you open a home daycare.
Children in your home every day will make a mess of your house very quickly. If you have your own kids, this isn’t news to you, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve thought about how hard it might be to clean up after larger groups of children.
You should also think about potential damage and things getting broken. It’s pretty likely that something will end up getting damaged at some point in your time providing care for children in your own home daycare. If you make the decision to open one, do what you can to help mitigate this from happening before you have the children in your home.
Children Can Be Jealous
If you have multiple children, you may have already seen this point in action in your home. But if you don’t, or you haven’t experienced it yet, you need to just be aware that your children could get jealous of the other kids in your care.
It’s pretty common for the children of the caretaker to feel like their parent is giving too much attention to other kids. It’s not something that will be damaging to your child as long as you meet their feelings with love and understanding. It’s just something you should know about before you dive into opening a home daycare in your house if you have your own children.
Tied to Your Home
Earlier we mentioned that you may be able to take the kids out to places during your day. In some cases, however, you won’t be able to do that. Or, maybe you just wouldn’t be comfortable with the liability that comes along with doing that.
Some home daycare providers are tied to their homes throughout the whole day. This can be pretty frustrating at times. You’ll have to work your errands around the hours you’ve decided to take on children to care for. All of your scheduling of things you need to do outside of your home will have to be around the hours that you have other kids in your care.
This is really just an inconvenience, but it shouldn’t be overlooked while you’re trying to make a decision about opening a home daycare.
Your Schedule Is Reliant on the Timing of Parents
Understand that not all parents are very reliable. You could end up caring for a child whose parents are just not very timely at all. This means that your workday is not over until those parents come to pick up their children. You are still “on the hook” for as long as they are not there.
If you have a client who is like this, you will have two choices. You’ll either just have to bite your tongue and fester with the frustration you feel over having to wait on them, or you’ll have to confront the parents and have what will likely be a very uncomfortable conversation about why it is important for them to be on time to pick up their child.
Again, this is an inconvenience, but it needs to be considered.
Upgrades to Home to Comply with Standards Can Be Costly
In many cases when someone opens a daycare in their house, they are required to make some upgrades to the home to make it safe enough for the caring of other people’s children. Some of these may be very minor, but there are also some that are more involved and will cost you a lot more money.
It’s also worth mentioning here that you’ll probably need to get some equipment to use in your home for the children you’ll be caring for. That’s just more money that you will have to spend to get ready for your new venture.
There will most likely be an inspection performed on your home to make sure that you can be permitted to open a daycare in the house. You’ll have to pay for the inspection out of your own pocket, as well as for any subsequent inspections should there need to be more than one due to the requirement of any upgrades.
The Decision Is Yours
The answer to your question, “Should I open my own home daycare?” is for you to decide. But, you can do it with the help of looking at the pros and cons of starting this type of business.
You’ll have pros like never commuting to work, being at home with your kids, planning your own day, and having a rewarding career. Those have to be weighed against the cons though, like not having personal space, having your own children get jealous, dealing with a messy house, and paying for any upgrades needed to prepare your home for the business.
Make your choice based on what’s most important to you, and you can’t go wrong.
Is it better to open a home daycare or a separate daycare facility?
Our suggestion would be to look at the pros and cons we mentioned above about the home daycare. Then, make a list of pros and cons for opening a separate daycare facility. You can weigh the different lists against each other and see what you feel better about.
There are some nice things about having your business separated away from your family home. But then you have to think about the other side of things, like the cost of running a whole separate facility, how far you have to drive, being away from your family, and other cons.
It will come down to what things are most important to you. What things do you value over others? Think about that, and then you can make a decision about which of these will be better for you.
Do I need a college degree to open a home daycare?
Every state’s requirements are different, but it is not likely that you will need a college degree of any kind to open a home daycare. You’ll certainly want to make sure you are educated on topics about caring for children, but you won’t need any kind of formal education to be permitted to open a home daycare.
It is a requirement in some places that you have a high school diploma or a GED though. The best thing to do is to check with your local government offices to see what regulations are in place stating what kind of license, permit, and educational standards you have to meet before you can open a home daycare.
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
Whether you decide a home daycare is for you or you’d prefer to own a standalone daycare center, get started with our free ebook!