How Much Money Will I Make Running A Home Daycare?

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Many people who are contemplating the option of opening up their own home daycare ask about a daycare provider’s income.  How much can you make?   Is it profitable?  Is it a steady income?  Will it be enough money for my situation?




Let’s take a look at each question:

How much can you make?

This depends on where you live, and therefore the limitations of how many children you are allowed, by law, to care for in your home with a license. For example, in Canada, you are allowed to care for up to six children. If your own children are under the age of six then you need to count them in your numbers.  So you might have five daycare children and one of your own for a total of six children.  Licensed childcare providers need to follow the rules and regulations of the Child Care and Early Years Act.  Five paying children at $45 a day would be $1125.00 a week.

Is it profitable?

Yes. It is a wonderful way to make a respectable income at home while contributing to the lives of young children. If you have children of your own it is a fantastic way to combine being an engaged and involved parent while also operating your own business. It also saves you paying someone else for childcare.

Is it a steady income?

No.  Daycare families will come and go.  People move, go on maternity leave, change school zones, etc.  If you realize this factor and create some safeguards it won’t affect your income as much.

Using a contract that includes four weeks notice and care paid in advance helps.  It is also beneficial to maintain a waiting list for upcoming clients.  Strong networking connections with other caregivers will often provide you with new clients when you have a spot opening up. Great advertising helps as well.  Good money management to cover any dry spells helps alleviate stress around losing a daycare client.  Fantastic daycare providers are always in high demand. If you provide high quality care, there will be families out there waiting for a spot.

Will it be enough money in my situation?

If you have a child or children currently and you are paying someone else for childcare then you have an idea what daily childcare costs.  Depending on your situation and your regular income, then home daycare might be more profitable or at least comparable for you.

A few factors to keep in mind while you crunch the numbers.

-Average daycare costs in your area  (phone five providers and ask them their rates)

-You will save on your own daycare costs if you currently have children in care.

-You can write off a portion of your home, car, and grocery bills.

-You will eliminate commuting costs.

-You will drastically decrease personal costs such as clothing purchases, dry cleaning, salon visits, etc.

-You will be eating lunch at home and therefore saving on daily restaurant and coffee shop expenses.

-You will have time to plan and prepare nutritious home cooked meals and therefore will decrease your reliance on fast food and expensive take-out meals.

 

If you have children of your own then you need to ask yourself,  “What is the value of spending my days with my own children?”    Your answer will guide your decision.

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May you acquire the money you need to support the decision you desire!

 

Comments

  1. lindsay devitt says:

    I know this is the right decision for us. Every time I look at the life we have created I am so grateful. I want to enrich children’s lives by providing a nurturing, nourishing and natural environment to grow in.

    • HowToDaycare says:

      I agree Lindsay, it is a beautiful rich daily life when you have your own home daycare and it has nothing to do with the pay cheque.

  2. Indyana says:

    I truly agree with this article I have been a daycare provider for 6 years and it’s been the best. income is great although I have no kids , I love the experience and kids are a delightful little ones that make your day a special one.

    I will like to give a advice to any upcoming provider

    Reputation counts although everything said on this article is true , if you establish a great daycare it will always be full.

    I currently have a long waiting list and thank god am always full
    I cover all 3 shifts to maximum my earnings however, you guys can choose your hours.

    Well thanks and hope my advice help anyone interested

  3. Hello,

    I am a recently single mom of two young kids (one school aged) who lives in a 1200 square-foot two-bedroom apartment.

    I have always wanted to do home daycare, and as my life is changing I am wondering if this might be a good move for me?

    I currently spend $800 a month on childcare, and well over $400 a month and transportation to work.

    I am not sure if being in an apartment (albeit a large one) would be a hindrance or not?

    I am looking for some guidance, and any information or tips would help!

    Thank you

    • HowToDaycare says:

      Hello Lindsay,
      I do know of some single moms who have home daycares. They enjoy staying home with their kids and are able to support themselves. You would have to figure out the numbers to see if it would work in your situation. 1.How many clients could you accept according to your geographic regulations 2. What are the going rates in your area 3. Is your projected home daycare income (including your savings in childcare and transportation) enough to support yourself and your children. If yes, GO FOR IT!!! Is it more difficult to find clients when you live in an apartment? Yes, I hear it is. HOWEVER, I also know of several people who have very successful home daycare businesses from apartments. It might be a little more challenging but find clients in the beginning but this is not the case for everyone and it IS POSSIBLE. Finding clients is more about what you have to offer as a caregiver to your clients rather than the physical space. I have an online video course coming out in a few weeks geared to help brand new home daycare providers start their business. It will be on my home page when it’s ready to go. My blog has many posts about starting out and getting set up. Browse through the information on the drop down menu to a get you started. Email me directly if you have more questions. Good luck! Jana

  4. Interesting comments. I will keep a lookout for the video, as I am eager to learn more.

  5. In the state of California for much would I make watching 5 kids under the age of ,5?

    • HowToDaycare says:

      It would depend on how much you charged for an infant/toddler/Preschooler. Rates vary depending on your location in the state. Here is a great chart about ‘Child Care Rates according to Zip Code’ in the state of California. This will give you a ball park idea of what you could charge for watching five kids under the age of 5. Good luck! I hope it helps.
      http://www.crs.ymca.org/child-care/cost-of-child-care.html

  6. Hi everyone i need some help i used to take care of a lil boy which i was only getting paid $10 a day there was alot of discomfort because this boy woould always beat up my boy either bitting him or hitting him even though he was younger than mine know the mom would almost never bring food to feed him which i had to feed him from my own pantry i my self got to kids one 6 yr old and a 3 yr old i get up early take my daughter to school pick her up and i live in albuquerque, new mexico now i got a family member which is asking if i could take care of her baby im undecided i dont want to say no but on the other side i want to yes but dont get ripped of like i did with my first experience what do you guys think please help? And how much should be good to charge her weekly ?? He is only 10 months

    • HowToDaycare says:

      I understand your concern. Taking care of other people’s children is a big job and you deserve to be fairly compensated for the task. I encourage you the check the rates online in your area for home daycares or even daycare centres. This will give you a ballpark idea of the going rate for a 10 month old. Here is one link I found, http://www.daycarematch.com/daycare/average-childcare-rates/ (notice it was from 2013 for a three year old). Write down a few conditions that you need followed before you agree to care for this child (such as providing food, diapers, change of clothes, pick-up time) and talk about these conditions with your family member before you say yes. Agree on the conditions together and agree on the rate. If it feels like a fair exchange then GO FOR IT! If not, you can always say No. From your email it sounds like you are on the right track thinking about your limits/boundaries, Good for you! I wish you the best luck in the future Jeanette.

  7. I would like to run a home daycare. I have 4 kids of my own (3 school age) how many children would I be able to care for besides my own?

    • HowToDaycare says:

      Hello Jenn, The regulations for home daycares vary quite a bit depending on where you live. This blog post will help you.
      It gives you links to each state and province’s childcare regulations if you live in the USA or Canada. Message me back if you can’t find your answer in your research, I will help you. Good luck, Jana

  8. Hello I am a military wife and I am looking into starting a in home daycare and later expanding into a building. I have over 10 yrs experience in child care and education. Will be going back to school in the fall to get my Master’s degree in early childhood. I have always wanted a child care business, now I have the opportunity and the funds to do so. I have done some research but want to make a plan of action on how to get from start to finish. (If that makes sense ) a check list of all needed to get me up and running. We are moving next summer so not sure yet where we will be located.

    • HowToDaycare says:

      Congratulations Ashley, it sounds like you have some big plans for your future, I’m happy and excited for you! A plan of action sounds like a very good idea especially since you are thinking of expanding into a building. Starting your home daycare off as a serious business will make the transition into a daycare centre smoother. I would suggest growing your waiting list as a home daycare so that once you take the next step into a building you will be able to fill your spots from the first day onwards. You will need to do some research into the home daycare vs. daycare centre regulations once you know where you will be located. Regulations vary depending on the state you live in. This blog post will help you with your research.
      There are a ton of points you can check off your list while you wait to find out your location. Creating a successful child care business involves several different areas such as your philosophy, your target market, your experience, your physical space, your resources, your program, your advertising, interviewing, referrals, how you present yourself (as the childcare provider and business owner), your contract, policies, hours, rates, and your ability to manage good parent communication. Going through each point and creating a plan of action is the perfect way to start your business off on the right foot! This will take some time but I assure you it will pay off in the long run. You already have excellent experience and knowledge in the field so your chances of finding and keeping clients is wonderful. My video course on How to Start A Home Daycare business would take you through that checklist from start to finish. Check it out and then please email me back and let me know when you open. I offer Skype calls to new home daycare providers in the first month of being open. I’m happy to support you in your new business venture and I wish you all the best! Jana

  9. Hello!
    I am very interested in opening up my own daycare but am not sure if we could afford it. My husband and I both work full time and weekends but we want to have a child so bad. He really would like me to be home and I agree but idk if opening my own daycare would be enough. Any suggestions? I live in the state of Michigan. By myself I only average around 1400 a month. That’s not including my husband’s pay.
    Thank you

    • HowToDaycare says:

      Hello Leigh,

      You will need to find out the going rate of home daycares in your immediate area. I did a quick search for you and found some rates that ranged between $30-$45 a day. Rates will be different depending on where you live in Michigan. How close you are to a big city and your neighbourhood will affect rates. In my city alone rates differ from one end of the city to the other. You can charge more if you live in the trendy neighbourhoods with lots of young families. Look on line and made some calls to figure out how much the average rate is near you. You will also have to consider your experience and knowledge towards running a home daycare. These factors will also affect your rates. I would suggest you watch my video course on How to Start A Home Daycare to find out how to market your current skills towards finding new daycare clients.

      Once you have discovered how much you can charge you need to know how many children you can accept. Follow the Michigan link on this blog post to find out the regulations for your state.

      Once you have your daily rate and the number of children you can accept you can calculate a rough estimate of your monthly earnings. Make sure to deduct current work expenses that you won’t have staying at home (ex-transportation costs, meals out, work clothes, etc).

      That is the technical answer as to how to figure out if you can afford to stay at home with your own child and run a home daycare. However, we also have to consider the wishes of your heart. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. A child is the most wonderful gift. The first year of staying home with my daughter was extremely challenging, financially tight (we had just bought a larger home) but it was worth every minute!
      If having a child and staying home with your baby is your path and it is calling you, GO FOR IT! A home daycare is wonderful way to provide your family with an income and help out other families in your neighbourhood.
      I wish you all the best in your future decisions Leigh. Write me back if you need more information.

      Jana

  10. Hi, I am currently a special Ed teacher in th public school system. I also have a special needs child and a 5 year old. I am overwhelmed with the demands of my job because it takes me away from being more flexible for my children. My job is so demanding, with paperwork, meetings, and the politics of public education, that I feel like I am putting my family on the back burner. My special needs child gets on the bus at 5:45 am, because with my work schedule, I wouldn’t have time to drop him off at school and make it to work on time. My husband’s schedule is not consistent, so we can’t rely on him dropping him off every morning. Furthermore, due to the demand on my job and my work schedule, I have to put my special needs child in the after school program, and sometimes cannot get to him until after 5 pm…YIKES! That bothers me as a mother. I have about 16 years of childcare and preschool experience. I went back to school 7 years ago to get my degree in education to teach in elementary school, which is what I thought I wanted. I really don’t like it, but have stuck with it, primarily because of the pretty good money, job security, and breaks. I tried changing positions in the school system several times, but I am still unhappy. I have ALWAYS dreamed of running my own in-home childcare business, but and nervous about taking that leap. Furthermore, my experience with special needs children along with my lengthy childcare/preschool resume’ would enable me to be a cut above the rest and off childcare focused on infants and toddlers with special needs. I am about 90% there in my mind about it. It really is the best solution for my family. I guess I just need reassurance and guidance as I consider transitioning from always having an employer to owning my own business. My husband supports me fully. My ONLY reservation is that I am paying back some debts and could use the extra money I am currently making on my teaching job, and most of the debts would go away in two years. But I do not want to wait two years to make a move, I really want to be there for my children while they are young. And the there’s the loss of my teacher retirement if I do this. So I guess I am concerned anout financial,security. Any helpful advice about this would be appreciated. Thank you. I a, glad I found this site.

    • HowToDaycare says:

      Tolanda it sounds like you are on the edge of a big decision. So many of us mothers feel pulled between the demands of ours jobs and meeting the needs of our families. I left a full time teaching position I enjoyed to open my home daycare and stay home with my children. It was a big leap of faith with no job security and no guarantee it was the best choice for our family. Looking back nine years later I can tell you I don’t regret it for an instant. The season of life of being home with young children is but a short blip in the whole of my adult life. Being present for these years has brought me immense joy. It wasn’t always easy, my salary decreased and I waved good bye to my teacher retirement. However, I’ve been able to make lifestyle choices to be financially secure. The one thing that helped push me to take this leap nine years ago was the thought of missing out on all the moments of my daughter’s childhood. If the decision to start a home daycare turned out to be the wrong one for me I could always go back into the work force. Yes, I would lose my current position but I wouldn’t lose my experience and education in the field. If I didn’t give the home daycare a try I couldn’t go back and experience all the moments during the day with my children growing up. The story time, the walks, the cuddles, the giggles would be worth it. That was the thought that helped me quit my position and try this path. With your personal experience and credentials you will be able to find home daycare clients. You have the ability to make your home daycare financially successful. Set your income goals high, formulate a plan to achieve them with your home daycare and then JUMP! I encourage you to watch my video course for new home daycare providers. It will help you transform your last bit of uncertainty into excitement! There is nothing better than being your own boss. I wish you the best of luck Tolanda. You are a wonderful mother who clearly cares deeply for her children. I hope this helps you figure out the best path for yourself and your family. Warmly, Jana

  11. Do you know if I would be able to open an in home daycare in a home that I do not reside in? I would ideally like to rent out or purchase a separate house to use, to not have the daycare in my own space. I haven’t had good luck finding information on that aspect of things. I live in Washington state.

    • HowToDaycare says:

      Hello Bryana,

      I found this guide for you about licensing for Family Home Child Care in Washington State. http://www.del.wa.gov/publications/licensing/docs/FHCC_guide.pdf

      If you reside in the house where the daycare is then it is considered Family Home Child Care and you go through that avenue in becoming licensed. There is an orientation you need to attend which I imagine will answer all your licensing questions. Use this link, http://www.del.wa.gov/requirements/info/orientation.aspx

      If you don’t reside in the house/building then it is considered a daycare centre and you go through a different avenue to become licensed. This link will give you those rules, http://www.del.wa.gov/laws/rules/licensing.aspx

      I don’t live in Washington state myself so I don’t know the details but I imagine you could buy a separate house and turn it into a daycare. I’ve seen it done before in Canada (remember to think about parking spaces when you are looking for the right house). The regulations for a daycare centre are more involved because generally the have more children enrolled and staff members. I would guess you will have to follow more extensive regulation requirements but it is an excellent way to separate your work day from your personal life. Good luck. Jana

      • If it is separate from where you live it is no longer considered a home daycare. You will different rules,regulations and requirements.

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