childcare hands

6 steps to a successful Dayhome StartUp

We often get questions and inquiries about starting a private dayhome. It is a daunting prochildcare handscess, 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.
2. Dayhomes do not have to purchase a business license, as all licensing is done by the province. However, the city of Edmonton recommends that you purchase a Home Based Business Permit.  You can find the application form for that at
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.


10 thoughts on “6 steps to a successful Dayhome StartUp

  1. mageshwari

    Hi… I found this blog to be very helpful for dayhome caregivers. I would like to know whether I can run a dayhome in a condo.

    1. Faye Holt Faye Holt

      You should be able to as long as you have the approval of the condo board you work with. You will also want to look at access to outside play space for the children.
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Ruby

    Hello! I am looking to start a private day home once my mat leave is up, Could you help me with what I need to have,what expenses go with it to open my day home? I just don’t know were to start.
    Thanks in advance.

  3. Jennifer Vyse

    Hello, I have been looking into starting up a private Day home. I have been babysitting for just over 4 years now since my son came along and before that worked as a Child-Family support worker for 8 years. My question is do you require to get a business Licence or can you have insurance on the children and business through your home insurance? also, do you need a separate business bank account or can you simply used your personal savings account and file all your income at tax time? Thanks for your time.


  4. Marie

    I have a very big issue for you. I want to open my private dayhome is what I have to have a city business permi of Edmonton and all I can just have my number of autonomous employer GST and my insurance for my dayhome ??? thank you to contact me by email

  5. Tanya

    Do I need to have a home business permit to start a private dayhome? It’s my fiancé home! And do I need insurance?

    1. Faye Holt Faye Holt

      Tanya, whether or not you need a home business permit is somewhat dependent on the city or town you are hoping to open a dayhome in. Calling your local municipal office will get you the correct answer for sure. In Alberta, many cities require a permit to operate, but not a license. And while insurance is not a rule, having liability insurance, and letting your insurance company know that you are operating a childcare business out of your home is a VERY good idea. Many will ask you to get an extra rider on your liability insurance. Typically, I have heard, that it is about $60/year.


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