How did you get started? I have been considering this and have all the info to go legal/licensed. In the meantime, how do I get that first chld? I have been a SAHM this whole time, but that doesn't give me references! How do I get started?
I used to do childcare from our home. Once I took my licensing classes, CPR, etc. I was placed on a state list of approved childcare providers. I never got any of my children from there though! I just placed ads in our small local paper and it went from there. I had to have a license number to be able to advertise. I got children from word of mouth and neighbors also. I did if for about five years......NEVER AGAIN!!!!
But, it got us through a time when our own children were young and I was able to stay home with them, and I was also able to justify certain purchases for them that otherwise I never would, because it was a tax writeoff for the business. It was a lot of wear and tear on my house though.......
Oh! Do tell!! I'd love to hear the ups and downs of the biz!! TIA
When I first started I put up fliers around my town. Some places that allow you are churches, schools, grocery stores, and factories. You could also put up a sign in your front yard if that is allowed by your county. Place ads in the newspaper and Craigslist. Watch out for Nigerian scammers on Craigslist though. If you receive an email saying they would like to send you a check for payment...delete. Tell people that you know that you will be babysitting.
Strangely none of the people that I have babysat for have asked for references.
I made up "welcome packets" for new registrations. If you plan on getting licensed anyways I would add anything you will need for that in your packet. I had a set daily program that was posted in the playroom. I also had my house rules and discipline policy posted.
Make sure to include a sick policy! You have to spell it out for a lot of these parents who try to drop their kids off in any old condition. You will need one anyways if you get licensed.
This is the greatest site for home daycares...
Oh and a little advice.
Never keep any kids you don't fully enjoy. Or whose parents you don't fully enjoy.
You will get burnt out! I did, but it was my own darn fault. I took on my three bad little cousins. They had already been kicked out of two in home daycares before I took over.
I would also try to keep all the children as close in age as possible. I had children raging from newborn to ten. It gets hard trying to entertain them all when they are all into different things. When I had them all ages 3-5 it was a breeze, because they all liked the same things and enjoyed one another's company. Plus, they all took naps!
The more the kids are entertained the faster the day goes and the better their behavior. I would also advice, if possible, to only take on the amount of kids that will fit in your vehicle. It is so nice to just load up and take them places. Do not allow cabin fever!!!!
For the past 10 years, I have run a home daycare out of my house. I started with flyers & the occasional newspaper ad. But I got most of my kids from word-of-mouth. If you have kids, then you probably don't need too much to start.
Consider what age group you want. Do you want babies, toddlers or school age? How old is your son/daughter? How many kids can you handle (mentally & emotionally)? What hours do you want to work? What are you going to charge? I have a list of questions that I think parents will ask. Most time they forget and I grab my sheet and go thru the questions with them. Do you have pets? Do you smoke? Would you be taking the kids in your car (extra insurance)? Will you be going to play-dates? Are you willing to take special needs children (allergies, ADHA,).
I have taken my first aid & where I am (Ontario, Canada) we don't need to be licensed.
I have to agree with maryjsgirl, if you don't like the kids or the parents don't keep them. It gets to be very trying to pretend to like a child when you don't like them or their parents. I have been lucky that I have only had one child that didn't fit in with my other kids.
Definitly have a contract, if you need one, I have one I can email you just pm me.
Also, put your name in at the schools in your area. New people to your town may be looking for daycare, and often they go thru the school.
I am so lucky right now, because I currently am looking after teachers's kids so I have my summers off, and all the holidays that teachers do.
There are a lot of benifits from doing home daycare, but it's alot of work too, but if you love kids and want earn some money, it's a good job to have.
If you have any questions, pm me & I can send you some of my info that I have used.