Now that you have decided that you want to open a daycare, it’s time to figure out what type of daycare to open.
If you consider opening an in-home daycare, advantages include:
Write off some of your home expenses.
Work more one-on-one with the attending students.
Fewer illnesses passed amongst the children.
Affordability for parents.
Classroom management is easier and more flexible.
Enrolled children will feel more at home.
The best part about in-home daycare is that enrolled children can still get social interaction amongst other children even if the children are of different ages.
1. Write Off Some of Your Home Expenses
Running a business out of your home means that you get to write most of your home expenses on your yearly taxes because you are using your utilities and resources to serve your clients.
You can write off:
- Your mortgage payment.
- Home phone bill and/or cell phone bill.
- Electric bill.
- Sewer and water bills.
- Internet bill.
Writing off these expenses will reduce how much taxes you owe on your daycare’s earnings. Overall, it’s a win-win to run an in-home daycare because of the value of write-offs that you can place on your yearly tax return. If you were to open a regular commercial daycare center, you would not be able to write off the above-named expenses because they are not being incurred in your home.
2. Work More One-on-One With the Attending Students
Usual daycare centers could have up to a dozen or more students in one classroom. At an in-home daycare, you can only have about 4-5 children present in your home at one time under your care that is not related biologically to you. This would depend on your home daycare laws in your state. Check these laws to be sure that you are operating within the mandate.
With only a handful of kids for you to watch over, this means that you can build better one-on-one relationships with each child. You can get to know their:
- General likes and dislikes.
- Favorite and least favorite foods (helps with menu planning).
- Their hobbies they do at home.
- Their favorite school subject.
- Any weaknesses in their general education studies.
- The particular learning style helps them to thrive in school to learn new concepts.
3. Less Illnesses Passed Amongst the Children
Illnesses naturally happen in a daycare setting. When one child gets sick with an ear infection or a cold, it usually gets passed around to almost all the kids in the classroom or even in the daycare facility itself.
Having only 4-5 children enrolled at your in-home daycare means that there will be less sickness going around because fewer children at the facility enduring the possibility of getting sick.
Be sure to encourage the children and their parent’s safe hygiene and healthy eating habits to stave off possible sickness. If one of the children becomes sick, encourage the parent or guardian to keep the child home for 24-48 hours to be nursed back to health, depending on the nature of said sickness.
Even though you are operating an at-home daycare, you should also maintain policies that children are to be sent home if they hit a 102 fever, have diarrhea, develop jaundice, or other sickly type symptoms that warrant getting well at home.
4. Affordability for Parents
At-home daycares usually charge lower tuition rates than daycare centers. A parent enrolling a child at an in-home daycare will find that it’s the next best option after relative care.
Check out this list of average annual costs of home daycare tuition for infants and for toddlers on Care.com based on the state in which you are seeking daycare.
One of the states with the lowest toddler care is Mississippi at $228 per month $2,744 annually. The cost that you charge weekly for your home daycare will depend on your preference, how much profit you want to make, and how budget-friendly you want to make it for the parents paying for childcare.
Consider charging anywhere between $250 to $400 per week for toddler care and $350 to $500 per week for infant care. Be sure to analyze the median income individuals within the state that you are operating your in-home daycare. This should be your deciding factor in how much you charge parents for their children to attend your facility.
5. Classroom Management is Easier and More Flexible
Having 4-5 children enrolled in a small in-home daycare will make classroom management easier and more flexible.
You will have fewer children to rally together for circle and for transitioning to mealtime and bathroom breaks than other daycare centers that will have to handle 10-15 kids at a time with 2-3 people in the classroom.
Kids do not have a one-track mind. They can go from one subject to the other because of their short attention span. Having a small classroom of children will make it easier to get their attention when it comes to activity transition time.
6. Enrolled Children Will Feel More at Home
Children attending an in-home daycare will feel more at home for lack of a better word. Youngsters feel their safest when they are home and having fun with activities that interest them. Daycare is a great environment to provide a healthy learning experience while offering choice time for centers of their choice. These choice time centers will allow children to express themselves in other ways such as building, art, and dramatic play.
Despite the homey feeling that your daycare will invoke because you are operating out of your home, you can still dress up the room you are using for childcare much like a classroom. Hang up ABC and 123 charts on the wall. Don’t forget to have sight word posters, pictures of animals, pictures of colors, and more! This will help children to read whenever they have free time or even if their eyes are wandering and trying to pay attention during circle time or storytime.
Learn more about what parents look for HERE.
7. “Mom-to-Mom” Trust
More than likely, you as the owner are already a mother or a dedicated caretaker. Other moms who enroll their children at your in-home daycare will develop that “mom-to-mom” trust. As a mother of your kids (if applicable), the mothers you serve will feel a sense of trust and connection because you both share a role that you provide to your family and kids.
If you are not a mother, but you are an avid caretaker whether because you have been in the daycare industry for over a decade, or you are an aunt or a grandmother, you will develop that same trust amongst mothers (and fathers, too) once you reveal your caretaking credentials.
When a new parent enrolls at your in-home daycare, let them know verbally about your caretaking background such as if:
- How long you have been a mother, aunt, grandmother, or godmother (if applicable).
- How long you have worked in a daycare setting (if applicable).
- When the deciding moment in your life was that made you want to become a caretaker.
- How you uniquely care for the children that are at your in-home daycare.
How should I keep track of the expenses that I want to write off on my taxes at the end of the year?
To keep track of the expenses that you want to write off at the end of the year, you should:
- Keep any paper bills separated by bill type in a filing cabinet.
- If you have electronic bills, save these into folders on your computer.
- As you receive a bill, input the bill amount into an Excel spreadsheet to keep a running total of how much you will be writing off for each expense.
- Keep copies of this Excel file saved in at least 3 places: on your computer or laptop, on a USB drive, and your Google Drive. This is to ensure that you will still have all your information in case one or more files corrupt or get accidentally deleted or lost.
How can I keep my in-home daycare clean and healthy for my students?
Keep your daycare clean and healthy for your students by:
- Disinfecting eating areas after each meal.
- Disinfecting tables and chairs and other sitting areas at the end of the day.
- Cleaning and disinfecting toys and electronics at the end of each day.
- Sweeping and mopping floors daily.
- If you have carpet, vacuum, and carpet clean daily.
- Keep dishes cleaned up right away after mealtime. Put them away before the start of the next business day.
What if opening my in-home daycare is my first daycare experience?
Just because you have never worked in someone else’s daycare does not mean that you have to forgo opening one of your own. Be sure that you:
- Receive the proper child development and childcare training you need to care for your students.
- Find a mentor who will help you through the business opening and the childcare demands of the environment.
- Have other childcare experiences such as babysitting in your explanation of your child care credentials as you are building your experience.
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.
To learn more on how to start your own daycare checkout my startup course and documents here.