We often get questions and inquiries about starting a private dayhome. It is a daunting process, especially as the government gives no official guidance or rules, other than you may not have any more than 6 children (not including your own) in your care at any one time. SO, if you are looking at starting a private or independent dayhome, not accredited with an agency, here are some things to keep in mind.
1. You may start your dayhome as soon as YOU feel you are ready to accept children. We provide a start up package
that will help you with a checklist and contracts, advertising flyers, etc. Pinterest is an amazing source of inspiration of how to physically set up your space. I’ve accumulated over 40 in our Your Childcare Space Board
that I think are amazing.
3. You can start advertising as soon, again, as you feel you are ready to field the questions that parents will ask, and as soon as you have your space arranged to accept children. You will want to ensure that your childcare space is child friendly, bright and inviting for both parents and children. One of the easiest ways to advertise is by creating a page for yourself here at Dayhome Registry!
4. As a private dayhome, you can set the ages of the children you would like to care for. Some providers only take in children over 2, some take all ages, and some only provide care for school aged children, called Before and After School Care. The joy of being a private dayhome is that you set the ages, rate, hours, holidays, etc of your dayhome. One of the HUGE advantages for a subset of parents is that because you do not have age ratio limitations, it is much easier for you to take in twins or triplets! Accredited dayhomes can only take in 2 children under the age of 2, so if one spot is already filled, they cannot take twins under 2. I have heard from parents that this is VERY frustrating when searching for care.
5. As stated in an article I wrote recently, the average rate,
somewhat dependent on your community demographic, is about $800-$850/month for full time care. Part time generally is around $500-$550/month and drop in, or the daily rate, is generally about $40-$45/day.
6. There are courses you can take in the evenings and on the weekends. This article
will be a good place to start. There are also conferences put on by a variety of organizations that will also help you with your education. There is a very comprehensive conference this May
, put on at Grant MacEwan College that you might be interested in.
As with any entrepreneurial endeavour, there are many highs and many lows, and you will inevitably learn some lessons along the way. The support of our Facebook Community and the resources you will find here will help reduce some of the growing pains.