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The Pros & Cons of Opening A Home Daycare Center

written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Amanda Grove • updated: 1/17/2012

So you are wondering how to start a daycare center from the home? This list offers pros and cons of home daycare centers from a teaching aspect. Find out if this profession is the right one for you!

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    Types of Daycares

    The term "daycare center" gets thrown around a lot and can easily confuse those who want to open a home daycare center. It can be confusing when you are researching how to start a daycare business. Let's break down the types of daycares that there are so that potential owners can see what they are actually looking for.

    Certified Home Daycare: This is a daycare that is run out of a person's home. The owner of the daycare usually lives in the home. There are no educational requirements to own one of these with the exception of the certification and CPR classes that are required.

    Licensed Home Daycare: This type of daycare is also run out of the owner's home, but some of the standards and rules are a bit different than the ones for a certified daycare. Some of the rules are more lax while others are more detailed.

    Daycare Center: This technically refers to a daycare that is run out of a commercial building and had completely different rules to be licensed by than home daycares.

    Those are the basic terms to go by. Now let's move on to the actual opening home daycare center pros and cons.

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    The Advantages

    If you're thinking about opening a daycare in your home, chances are that you already know some of the pros. This list however may provide you with some that you weren't aware of.

    • Tax Breaks: Home daycares probably have better tax breaks than any other at home business. Not only can you deduct the cost of the percentage of the household that's used for the daycare, but you can deduct food, gifts, toys, clothes, office supplies, transportation and schooling as it pertains to the daycare. That means if you use 100% of your house for the daycare and it's open 24 hours, every home bill you have is tax deductible. It doesn't get any better than that!
    • The Company of Children: If you enjoy being around children then this is a good line of work to get into. The only thing better than doing what you love is getting paid for it!
    • Educational Benefits: If you plan to pursue an education in child care, project TEACH offers a way to actually make money by taking classes. Their scholarships are based in part by the recipient either working in or running a daycare.
    • Monetary Benefits: Daycare isn't cheap and good daycares aren't readily available. If you have a quality daycare even with reasonable prices you are bound to be able to make a living. Not only that, but the state now funds some childcare situations and has a program to help pay for food for the childcare in the form of a monthly check.
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    The Disadvantages

    As with anything you do, there are some points about home daycares that aren't so great. Some things may be quite obvious while others might take you by surprise.

    • No Sick Days: If you have a normal job and you get sick, it may not be a big deal to call in. But, if you have a daycare are you going to ask all those mothers to call in sick because you can't take the children? Always have a back up plan for dealing with this situation.
    • School Standards: Having a home daycare means that you agree to follow some of the same standards as schools do. For instance, teaching religion in your daycare prevents you from accepting any type of government funds for the daycare. You are also bound by law to maintain the privacy of your families and to report any suspected abuse.
    • Communicable Disease and Illness: Inviting a multitude of families into your home opens it to all types of potential health issues such as colds, flu, measles, lice and chickenpox just to name a few.
    • No Privacy: When you deal with families inside your own community, you have no privacy. Your life becomes and open book and you are held to higher standards than those that don't deal with other people's children.
    • Constant Planning: Whenever you have your own business you have to stay on top of things as far as the accounting marketing and performance of your service or product goes. With a daycare you may need to constantly modify your program, that you will plan by yourself to fit the needs of the individual children.
    • Collecting Payment: This is one of the hardest parts of running a daycare. The most obvious way to handle this is to set up a prepayment schedule. Parents can even make payments on this. for instance, if you charge $70 a week, ask the parent to pay $80 a week until one week is prepaid. Make payments due by 5:00 p.m. Friday or impose a late fee of they are not paid by them. It's important to have a contract and offer receipts in order to maintain a professional attitude.
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    There are more pros and cons to think about, but these are some basics to get you started. Consider all of these elements and more before attempting to devote your time to a situation that may not work for you or your customers.

Home Daycare Basics

This series offers a way for potential home daycare owners to learn what they can expect to go through in the process of opening a home daycare.
  1. The Pros & Cons of Opening A Home Daycare Center
  2. Tips on Starting a Home Daycare
  3. At Home Daycare Qualifications