Step 1: Deciding to start a daycare business
Before you start your journey on becoming a childcare provider, you should consider all of the commitments you will need to make to the business including financial requirements, the time-involvement, and the emotional strength you will need to operate a childcare business on a daily basis. How do you feel about spending long hours with children for several days a week? How do you plan to take care of yourself and your family, physically and emotionally, while operating your childcare business? Do you have the funding that will be required to buy the necessary equipment, licensing fees, books, games, toys, cribs, etc? Would you pass a background check? If you are going to open a home childcare business, would your other household members pass a background check? Talk with other childcare providers and ask them what they like about being a licensed provider and what tips they may offer you in starting your business. There are many factors you want to consider before you start the next step of offering a childcare service.
Step 2: Licensing in your state
The first steps you will need to take after deciding that you want to start a childcare business is to find out about the childcare licensing requirements for your state. Most states define a childcare operation as caring for several children on a regular basis, which may require you to have a license. Having a state-licensed childcare operation will show parents that you meet state standards and that their children will be taken care of in a safe and healthy environment. As a licensed provider with the state, you will also receive training, support, and resources to help you run your business. As a licensed provider, you would have several benefits like being able to advertise in local newspapers, receiving tax advantages, ability to purchase liability insurance, and even participation in federal food programs. Visit our State Childcare Licensing page to learn more about your state requirements.
Step 3: Obtaining your childcare license
Once you determine the requirements for your state, you'll need to find out what you need to do to become a licensed childcare provider for a home or for a center. Your state may offer orientations or a handbook that will walk you through the steps to obtaining your childcare license. Your state will provide you with licensing requirements that will include taking training courses, health and safety requirements for your center or home, insurance requirements, etc. Your state may offer different levels of licensing if you are just starting out like a temporary or probational license. After a period of time, if you have completed all of the requirements, they would then grant you your full childcare license.
Step 4: After your childcare license
After you are licensed, you will need to start establishing the childcare forms and documents you will need to run your childcare business. You may also need to start looking for staff and making sure your home or center has all of the books, toys, etc that you will need for the number of children you will have. You will also need to coordinate your advertising materials like business cards and flyers for local distribution. Be sure to visit our daycare forms and tools page to save you valuable time and money recreating your own.