There are various ways in which you can become a day care provider, each of them starting with obtaining the proper licensing in your area. Once this is done, the next steps will depend on whether you wish to open a freestanding daycare in your community, work with a local church or youth center, or have children in your home. Each of these options requires different types of licensing, monetary investments, and regulations. To choose the option that works best for your situation, you should consider what role you would like to play in the day care center, how much money you can invest, and how quickly you would like to get started.
The type of licensing you will need to become a day care provider may vary based on location. More than likely you will be required to obtain a business license, childcare certification, and possibly teaching credentials if you intend to handle the kids yourself. If you want to start a center by having a building built from scratch, you will also need to look into any zoning laws for that type of business. Obtaining all licensing and a building can take several months to over a year.
You should also check into laws governing the credentials any employees you hire should have for each age group, and what the rules are regarding how many care providers will be needed for specific numbers of children. The building you choose or build will have to have adequate room for the number of children you intend to care for. To become a day care provider in a church or other center that is already functioning, you will need to get permission from the church operators and ensure that the building meets all specified codes.
Many choose to become a day care provider by starting a center in their own homes. This is a much less expensive option in terms of getting started, since there is no building to construct, rent, or purchase. There are specific laws pertaining to in-home centers, though, so be sure you check into the regulations in your area. Home day care centers are usually restricted on the number of children allowed to attend, depending on the size of the home. Certain rooms may have to be designated for the center during working hours, and you will likely be required to obtain zoning permits for running a home based business and childcare permits in order to care for multiple non-related children.
Once the legal aspects needed to become a day care provider have been worked out, you will need to plan your day to day schedule and work on getting business. You will probably need to decide on a particular age group to make things easier in terms of planning activities, and decide which meals, snacks, and games will need to be provided by the parents. Other things to consider are which days you will operate, your hours, and how much you will charge. To get clients, begin advertising at your local church, in parents groups, and place ads in local newspapers.