Opening a child care center at home can be a great way to earn a living while doing something you love. However, it’s important to do this legally and safely while providing quality care to children. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on setting up a child care center at home, share personal experiences, provide expert advice, do a cost analysis, and offer marketing tips.

Step-by-Step Guide

Setting up a licensed child care center at home is a complicated process that needs careful planning and execution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you set up a child care center at home:


Licensing requirements vary by state and country. But one thing is certain: you need to be licensed to legally run a child care center at home. Contact your local child care licensing agency to find out what licenses you need, how to apply, and what documents and clearances you must provide. If there’s more than one agency, you may need to apply to all of them depending on your state or country.

Insurance Requirements

In addition to licensing, you need to have insurance coverage for your child care center. This includes liability insurance and property insurance. Liability insurance protects you if someone is injured or suffers harm while in your care, while property insurance protects your building and its contents. Consult an insurance agent or broker who specializes in child care operations to get a policy that suits your business.

Safety Requirements

Safety should always be your top priority when running a child care center at home. You need to ensure that your home is free from hazards and that it meets safety standards. This includes installing smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers, securing loose rugs and cords, sealing electrical outlets, and restricting access to stairs, balconies, and sharp objects. You also need to get childproof locks, gates, fences, and covers for pools or hot tubs if you have them.

Equipment Needs

To run a child care center at home, you need to have equipment that meets state or country standards. These include furniture, toys, educational materials, and art supplies. Choose items that are developmentally appropriate, safe, and durable, and keep them clean and in good repair. Consider investment in outdoor equipment, such as playground sets, to set yourself apart from other child care centers.

Create a Schedule and Daily Routine

Children thrive on routine and structure, so it’s important to establish a predictable schedule and daily routine for them. This should include arrival and departure times, meal and snack times, nap and rest times, and scheduled activities for learning, play, and exploration. You can customize your schedule to cater to different age groups, interests, and abilities. Show your parents or clients the daily routine so that they can better understand the rhythm of activities for their children.

Use a Checklist

Use a checklist to ensure you’re meeting the necessary requirements and following through with your plans. Having a checklist is helpful to organize your thoughts, identify the steps still needed, and measure progress along the way. You can also use it to records the tasks and purchases that you have done, and also update it as needed. Having a checklist will also give you a sense of accomplishment as you check off each box.

Personal Experience

It’s helpful to hear the opinions, experiences, and difficulties that other people in the industry have experienced when starting their child care centres. Here are some personal experiences and lessons learned from running a child care center at home:

– We started small, with one child, before expanding our business
– We always kept parent communication a top priority, through texts or emails
– It took time to learn what worked, from amenities to acceptable activities and schedules, but our existing parents and kids helped validate those changes.
– It takes a special kind of person to run a successful home child care business. You not only need to be passionate about working with children but also have to manage all the business aspects.

Expert Advice

We interviewed an expert in the child care field to provide advice and support for those starting a home-based childcare business.

Legal Requirements

“Licensing requirements will vary by state and country,” says Mary from Child Care Resource Center. “Make use of your local Resource and Referral Agency for assistance in navigating the licensing process, as well as finding grants and support available to business owners.”

Health and Safety Considerations

“Your home study and background clearance are very important. It’s very important to have your home meet health and safety standards,” says Mary. “Lastly, keep accurate financial records, and be aware of tax regulations.”

Age Appropriate Activities

“Supervision is key to maintaining the safety of children in your care and ensuring that the children engage in age-appropriate activities,” says Mary. “Depending on the age of the children, they will require age-appropriate activities that are engaging, developmentally appropriate, and recognize their need for physical activity, sensory/tactile play, and expository learning.”

Cost Analysis

Opening a child care center can be a rewarding and lucrative business, but it’s important to understand the costs associated with starting and operating it to ensure profitability. Here are the costs involved in opening a child care center at home:

Licensing Fees

Licensing fees can be a significant part of the cost. Depending on your state or country, fees can range from $50 to $300. These fees typically must be paid each year to keep your license up to date.

Equipment Costs

Equipment costs can vary depending on the quality and quantity of equipment. A reliable rule to remember is that you’ll need about $500 to $1,000 per child to purchase high-quality equipment and supplies.

Home Modification Costs

Home modification costs are required wherever the law requires the home to have safety features and equipment already installed. Home modifications that are typically required include safety gates, fire extinguishers, and childproof locks. Getting these installed costs money and the cost varies greatly depending on the quality of equipment installed.


Insurance costs can range anywhere from $500 to $1,000 per year. That’s for a basic liability plan that will protect you from lawsuits brought against you by parents if children are injured or sick while in your care. The cost of insurance can increase based on the level of coverage, local regulations, and industry competition.

Marketing Tips

It’s critical to focus on marketing and branding in order to attract clients to your new child care center. Here are some marketing tips to get you started:

Create a Website

Creating a child care website is an excellent way to promote your business. Include eye-catching images, info on the services you offer, instructions on how to register, and testimonials from satisfied parents. Additionally, include other valuable information, such as your hours of operation, policies, fees, and contact details.

Utilize Social Media

Utilize social media to promote your business as well. Make use of Facebook and Instagram to showcase your services, post pictures, and interact with prospective parents. Respond to messages and comments quickly. Share valuable information about child care and parenting.

Create Quality Printed Materials

Flyers and brochures can also be useful in promoting your business. Think about the type of paper, design, and colors. Print and distribute copies to local schools, daycares, and community centers. This is one of the most conversational methods of marketing and would best spread awareness about your business.

Networking with Other Child Care Providers

Networking with other child care providers in your area can help you connect with others who are in a similar business and can learn from and share ideas with other providers.


Starting a child care center at home can be challenging but rewarding. To do it legally, you must follow licensing, safety, and insurance requirements. Once you receive the necessary approvals, the next step is to purchase equipment and create a schedule. It’s best to utilize the marketing tips such as creating websites and using social media and building relationships within the industry. With perseverance, dedication, and a bit of resourcefulness, you’ll set yourself up for a prosperous and fulfilling home-based child care business.

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By Happy Sharer

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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