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How to Make Money by Starting an at-Home Daycare

How to Make Money by Starting an at-Home Daycare

Today’s money-making Stay at Home Moms are Wendy and Tiffany. These wonderful mothers run at-Home Daycares. Wendy works in Utah, USA and Tiffany in Alberta, CA. I wanted to get both interviews from them to see if there was a big difference across country borders and to help as many SAHM’s who are interested in running an at-Home Daycare…

Wendy is my neighbor and a wonderful mother of three. She watches my son a few times a month while I catch up with work. She is wonderful with children and my son just loves her and her husband.

Welcome Wendy…

Q. What inspired you to begin working?

A.  I wanted to have a job where I could be home with my kids.  Even if I did want to work outside of my home (which I didn’t) to put three of them into daycare would be more than my regular pay check at the job I had. I love kids and started off babysitting for supplemental income so I could make additional money and be at home.

Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position? 

A. I started babysitting my cousins’ kids. Then by word-of-mouth knowledge of me spread. I became a full-time daycare when I was approached by a neighbor woman who asked me to watch her 2 kids. As a full-time day care in Utah I can watch a certain number of kids that are certain ages. The number of children and ages varies state-to-state.

Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar?

A. Start with a contract right off the bat. Even the sweetest people can take advantage of you. You want to avoid that as much as possible.

I got a contract from a family member who also has a daycare. She used a lawyer with child services and told me I could use it too. You can look on the internet and consult a professional to create a contract of your own.

Q. How many hours do you work a week or how much of your time does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?

A. I average 50 hrs. a week. Sometimes you may lose a child (i.e. their parent’s start staying at home, gets married, they move away, etc.). That is when it can get inconsistent and I try to find a replacement. You can advertise by asking around, asking friends and family to spread the word, putting an ad online, etc. But it stays pretty consistent unless you lose a child or a child becomes sick and can’t come for a while.

No, running a daycare is not very flexible. For example I have only had 3 sick days on the last five years. I’ve been very lucky to not be sick. It is a bit difficult for parents if I’m sick or have to take time off. They have to find someone to watch their kids if I don’t have a replacement.

Q. When/how do you find the time to work?

A. I pretty much have to make time. During the school year my kids are in school so that is when I daycare. During the summer they are also home with the kids I watch. It works out pretty well.

When I first started I had some pre-school age children of my own and although I was able to watch both the daycare kids and my own it was a bit tough. I felt like I needed to spend more time and give more attention to my own children. I tried to do my best to be equal and it did work out.

Q.  Are there certain tips/advice you’d want to share with others who want to start working like you?

A.  Make sure to learn all you can about the tax benefits of running a business. I am able to write-off a good portion of our mortgage, utilities, food (fed to the kids), internet, and more. I have a tax guy take care of it but I save all of the receipts and keep a detailed log. I do pay taxes on the income I make but the write offs are very good tax benefits (it does help to have a to have a free tax calculator to use as well). Do research or ask a professional from the get go on what you can and can not use as a tax write-off.

Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?

A. No. But certifying is almost always required in all states. In some states licensing is required. In Utah certifying is required and licensing is optional.

Q.How much do you make from this job? or Does the income help a little, medium, or is the main source of your family’s income? 

A. My daycare is the main source of income. At first it was supplemental but certain circumstances have made it our main income.

Q. How would someone who wants to do something similar get started?

A. Start by asking close friends and family, spreading the word at churches, organizations, etc. I feel it’s always better watching the kids of people you know vs. strangers.

Get certified, get a contract, consult a tax professional about write offs, and start up your business.

Something people may not think of at first is child-proofing your house (depending on age). Child proofing can be a minor or a huge expense to get started depending on our house and the rules/regulations of your state. For me it was a very minor expense. I had three kids so my house was already pretty childproof.

Thank you Wendy! I highly recommend her daycare business. She is so great with the kids, is very responsible, and watches wonderful children from my neighborhood. 

She is currently accepting 2 children.  If you are interested in having her watch your kid(s) and live nearby Sandy, UT please comment below and I’ll connect you.

NEXT we have a wonderful SAHM Tiffany from Canada. 

She wanted to say, “I want to be clear that the information pertains to the area I live in (Calgary, Alberta) and that child care regulations, government support, etc… can be very different from province to province and can be very different in Canada and the US.”

Welcome Tiffany…

Q. What inspired you to begin working?

A.  I was inspired to open a Dayhome after a move across Canada forced me to leave the group daycare I’d worked at for 10 years. I didn’t know anyone in childcare in our new city, and as we had no family for “back up”, my husband and I decided we needed a parent at home for our children.

At the same time, I’ve always loved my job and didn’t want to quit work entirely. Running a Dayhome has been great for our family- I love being with children, I love that I get to be with my own children full time (and that I’m getting paid when I take them to the park, doing art with them, reading a book with them- all things I’d be doing anyhow!)

Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position? 

A. I contacted a local Dayhome agency for information on home to start up a Dayhome. They were and are extremely helpful. They sent an inspector to my home four times three months to interview my family, do safety & criminal record checks, etc…

Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar?

A. The first thing I’d do is to research childcare regulations in your area (i.e.: how many children of what ages you are allowed to care for, whether you are required/allowed to fed them, if you need any type of relevant education or government/licensing/agency supervision) These can be extremely different depending on where you live, and how strictly enforced (as well as the consequences for noncompliance) can vary.

You can save yourself a lot of trouble by spending an afternoon making a few phone calls and spending some time googling “home daycare in ____”. If there is any type of agency available to you, I’d recommend contacting them, as the one I am registered with has been very helpful with support, finding children, licensing,etc.. As well as obtaining subsidy and government grants.

Q. How many hours do you work a week or how much of your time does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?

A. I work around 40-45 hours a week, and was somewhat able to set my own hours. Obviously I need to work typical “business hours” to accommodate the parents work schedules, but it was important to me to have evenings free for my own kids extracurricular activities, so I decided to close at 5 pm, although most providers choose to work later than that. The work hours have been consistent, but that would also depend on the work hours of the parents and how great the need for care is in your area.

Q. When/how do you find the time to work?

A. I have to make time for it. This is a full-time job.

Q.  Are there certain tips/advice you’d want to share with others who want to start working like you?

A. My first tips would be, again, become very informed on how home childcare works in your area, and if there is any type of support available to you, take it. Secondly, really be honest with yourself if this is something you want and can handle. Can you cope being home, alone, with a house full of kids all day, every day? Can you/are you going to have a designated daycare area in your home? If not, are you comfortable with having kids (read: toys, mess, etc..) all over your house? How will your family members feel about having these extra children around? What do you plan on doing with the kids all day? What will you do if you or your children are sick? (It can be hard to take time off without notice).

Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?

A. In my area, basic first aid and a certain amount of “ongoing training” (usually workshop pertaining to childcare, like nutrition, activity planning, safety, etc..) are required, but formal education is not, although I do have a degree in childcare and emergency level first aid.

Q. How much do you make from this job? or Does the income help a little, medium, or is the main source of your family’s income? 

A. I charge $800 (Canadian dollars) per month per full-time child (This is a pretty standard rate for my area, and I can have up to four children.) On top of this, I receive $180 per month per child under two year old, and about $7 per hour I work “top up” (This amount is based in my level of education), both from my provincial government. So if I have four children in my care, depending on their ages and how many hours I worked that month, I make between $4000-4500. Although it isn’t technically pay, what you can write off for taxes is helpful, too- I can write off a third of my bills, mortgage, groceries, etc… Which adds up over the year!

Q. How would someone who wants to do something similar get started?

A. If you won’t be working with your local government or agency (which, again, I recommend if it’s available), or there is no such support in your area, I’d start by asking friends, family, neighbours, etc.. If they need childcare or know anyone who does. After that I’d advertise at any near by schools, rec. centres, churches etc…and your local Kijiji or Craiglist (Also check out their Childcare Wanted section). Before you agree to to care for a child, have a good, long meeting with the parents & child in your home. Be clear on what hours you will be available, and how much you’ll charge. If you “click” with them, great! If not, proceed with caution- why aren’t you feeling sure about them? It’s easier to say no now than to fix a problem or stop care later.

Thank you Tiffany for your VERY helpful information!

More Money-Making SAHM series:

Introduction to Money-Making SAHM Series

Series 1: Medical Billing

Series 2: Starting an Online Business

Series 3: Housecleaning

Series 4: Cosmetology

Series 5: At-Home Airline Assistant

Series 6: Become an At-Home Employee

Series 7: Beachbody Coaching

Series 8: Freelance Writing

Series 9: Run an at-Home Daycare

Series 10: Write and Self-Publish an eBook Part 1 Part 2

Series 11: Teach Music Lessons from Home

Series 12: Distribute a Product You Love

Series 13: Blogging

Series 14: Become a Virtual Assistant

Series 15: Buy and Resell Cheap Finds

Series 16: Become an Editor

Series 17: How to Make Money as a Transcriptionist

Series 18: How to Write and Publish a Paperback or Hardback Book

Series 19: Do Online Tech Support from Home

Series 20: Graphic Design

Series 21: Sell Your Own Sheet Music Part 1 and Part 2

Series 22: Start a Preschool from Home

Series 23: Start Your Own Boutique

Series 24: How to Make Money on YouTube

Series 25: Take Legitimate Online Surveys

Series 26: Open an Etsy Shop

Series 27: Become a Photographer

Series 28: Become a Property Manager

Series 29: Make Money Locally Teaching a Talent, Sport, or Hobby

Series 30: Substitute Teaching

Series 31: Sell Shaklee (MLM)-removed

Series 32: Review Websites for UserTesting

Series 33: Sell Mary Kay(MLM)-removed

Series 34: Become an Affiliate with Spark Naturals Essential Oils

Series 35: Quilting and Embroidery

Series 36: Make Money by Doing Laundry for Others through Laundry Care

more coming…pin or bookmark for more.

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8 Responses to How to Make Money by Starting an at-Home Daycare

  1. Megan says:

    This was the best list of jobs available to SAHMs I have seen! I love that these are REAL women and the detailed Q&A. It was so helpful! I have a page worth of notes!

    Thank you!!!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Megan- You are so welcome! Thanks so much for the kind comment! There are actually about 10 more interviews to come so if you are still looking for other ideas please check back. Thanks again 🙂

  2. rania eadeh says:

    hi my name is rania and my age is 39 years old I like to work from my home I have a three kids that’s why I can not work outside
    I like to work baby siiting because I love kids that’s the first things and the secand things I want to make some money.
    thank you

  3. […] you love kids, then you can simply provide child care services to make some extra cash easily. Many parents are looking for this much needed service year […]

  4. Jing Long Miles says:

    I love you guys shared that your experiences and told me how to start a small business at the beginning. It inspires me how to get the mortgage utilities, grocery and all kinds of expenses deductible.

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