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August 31, 2023

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Home Daycare

By Bumo

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Starting a home daycare can be a rewarding and fulfilling venture. It allows you to care for children, contribute to their growth and development, and potentially generate income while working from the comfort of your own home. However, like any business, there are challenges and considerations that are often overlooked by aspiring home daycare providers. We asked the home daycare providers in our network what they wish they knew before starting a home daycare, hoping to help you make informed decisions and set yourself up for success.

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Home Daycare

1. Licensing and Regulations

One of the first things I wish I had fully understood before starting my home daycare was the complex world of licensing and regulations. Each jurisdiction has its own rules and requirements, and it’s essential to research and comply with them. This includes safety standards, staff-to-child ratios, background checks, and more. Non-compliance can result in fines or even the closure of your home daycare.

Looking to open a home daycare in California? Make sure to check the CDSS requirements!

2. Space and Safety

Your home will become a daycare center, which means you need to ensure a safe and suitable environment for the children in your care. I wish I had realized the importance of childproofing my home, investing in safety equipment, and creating dedicated play and learning spaces. Proper safety measures are not just for the kids’ well-being but also to protect your business.

3. Business Planning

Running a home daycare is not just about babysitting; it’s a business. I wish I had taken more time to create a comprehensive business plan that included a budget, pricing structure, marketing strategy, and long-term goals. Understanding your financials and having a clear plan can help you navigate the ups and downs of this profession.

4. Contracts and Policies

Having clear, written contracts and policies in place is crucial for setting expectations with parents. I wish I had known the importance of outlining everything from payment terms to sick-day policies. Having these in place can help avoid misunderstandings and potential conflicts down the road.

5. Professional Development

Caring for children is a dynamic field, and I wish I had realized the value of ongoing professional development. Staying updated on the latest child development theories, teaching techniques, and safety standards is essential for providing quality care and staying competitive in the daycare market.

6. Emotional Toll

While caring for children can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be emotionally taxing. I wish I had prepared myself for the emotional challenges that come with saying goodbye to children who move on to school or other care arrangements. It’s important to have a support system in place and to find healthy ways to cope with these emotions.

7. Marketing and Networking

Starting a home daycare requires clients, and I wish I had understood the importance of marketing and networking from the beginning. Building a strong online presence, attending local community events, and connecting with other childcare providers can help you attract clients and build a solid reputation.


Starting a home daycare is a noble and potentially lucrative venture, but it’s not without its challenges. I wish I had known the importance of thorough research, compliance with regulations, and the emotional toll it can take. By understanding these aspects and planning accordingly, you can embark on your home daycare journey with confidence and increase your chances of long-term success in this rewarding field.

Looking for more information about joining Bumo’s provider network? Click HERE for more info!

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