Opening a Family Child Care

For those just getting started or thinking about entering this rewarding field start by checking out our posts on Starting a Family Child Care series. This series was written to inform and inspire those who are considering opening family child care programs. Material for this series has been pulled together from a variety of resources by members of FCCAM. We have done our best to have quality sources and valid links. Please feel free to contact us at any time with specific questions. 

Part 1: Licensing

Becoming a small business owner as a family child care provider is not for everyone. When you welcome children into your home providing a nurturing, safe environment supporting their development, you are not “babysitting”.

Providing child care in your home is an important job that many find to be a good fit for themselves and their family, a sustainable small business and a fulfilling career choice.

You need a business plan, an understanding of the regulations you need to meet on the state and local level, and an awareness of the support services available to you. As a potential family child care provider, you must apply for a license to operate your family child care. Meaning you have to comply with the Licensing Rule currently governing family child care programs.

Part 1 provides information and link on applying for your license, looking at policies and building your Care Agreement. The “Business Toolkit” provides you with information that covers the building of a “Care Agreement” .


Part 2: Business Plan

A simple business plan will help you think through what you want in your program, rather than only what you can afford as you build your budget. Your business plan will show that your business will generate enough revenue to cover your expenses and make a satisfactory return (your salary), develop your marketing strategy and help set long-term goals. Having long-term goals will guide you in making some hard decisions moving forward, while supporting the type of program you establish.

Don’t let the idea of a business plan scare you. It’s really just looking at questions that pertain to what you hope your business to be and honestly answering them.


Part 3: Equipment

In Part 3, we are looking to provide some direction to equipment type that has continually shown it’s value in meeting the developmental needs of children. You might be surprised with how easy it is to provide a nurturing, developmentally responsive environment for the children you are looking to provide care for. 

Every family child care is unique and thus it’s impossible to say “Here get this….” or even “You need this….”.  Deciding – what equipment works for your program and space / what is really necessary / and what can be put on the future purchase list – is only a decision that you can make.