Starting an at-home daycare is a great way to make money while staying home. Plus, you’ll offer a valuable service for those needing a safe place to bring their children. Since daycare is a thriving industry, you need to make yours stand out from the rest when competing for customers. Once the word gets around that your center is one of the best, people will happily get on a waiting list, hoping to have you as their child’s sitter. If you are just getting started or want to improve your daycare center, follow along as we discuss how to provide excellent childcare in your home.
Have policies in writing so clients know what to expect. Some families may be coming from other daycare providers and assume your rules are the same as what they’ve dealt with at other places. Here are some policies to consider putting in writing for your childcare families:
- Pay rates and schedule
- Food charges and whether you provide the food or if they do
- Your available hours
Make sure each family signs your policy.
Interview Potential Families
Never accept a new family over the phone. Always interview them before saying yes to the new addition to your childcare. Even if someone is kind, they may not be the right fit for your home daycare. Consider the following questions when interviewing:
- What are their work hours? Do those hours ever change?
- Who will drop off and pick up the child?
- Are they looking for long-term or temporary childcare?
- Do they ever take time off, and will they want childcare during that time?
- Are they OK with you taking time off, and how much notice do they need?
Additionally, ask about potty training if their child is of that age. These questions will help you get started; you can add more according to your needs.
Create a Safe Environment
Creating a safe environment is one of the most important things you can do to provide excellent childcare in your home. Parents want to drop their children off at a place they can trust.
Check with your state and city to see what laws and safety requirements exist. Go above and beyond to show families how much safety means to you. You may even want to consider becoming certified in CPR. Lay people should get CPR certified so they can begin helping others who are hurt, until medical attention arrives. This skill is especially important when providing childcare in your home. Between you and someone who isn’t certified, parents will likely choose you.
Don’t Accept Family or Friends
It’s tough to say no to family and friends, but watching their children daily might cause tension. A daycare is a business, and mixing business with friends and family is challenging enough without involving their most precious relationship—their children.
Go With Your Gut
When it comes to choosing the right families, safety measures, and doing what’s best for everyone involved, going with your gut is often the answer. If anything feels off, or you aren’t clicking with a family, don’t work together.