Questions About Working at Home/ Childcare

Updated on August 30, 2007
J.S. asks from Green Bay, WI
15 answers

I have been considering doing child care in my home, but I have concerns. I'm hoping that someone out there with some experience in this can help. First of all, how many children can you care for before needing a license(and does that number include your own child or not)? Secondly, I am really worried about liability. I think we all know that accidents can happen, even to the most careful of parents. How can I protect myself from this? Those are my main concerns at the moment, but any other suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your great advice. In the end, I decided that daycare was not for me, and chose a different route. I appreciate everyones help!

More Answers



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi J.,
my name is J. I am also a stay at home mom. I did the in home care also. It ended up causeing problems in my marriage. I always had kids in the house 90% of the time a couple of them were sick and so most of us in the house would end up sick. My 18 month old ended up in the hospital for a week because she got one thing after another and with the kids all being sick she never got a chance to get over everything.
I would suggest if you do decide to do it you only watch kids during set hours and you really enforce not watching kids if they are sick. besides when these little ones are sick they really just want their mom and dad. You just feel so bad for them cuz they are misserable.
I currently am a PartyLite consultant and am working towards leadership. It is a great way to make money. I work when I want to, get paid weekly and have lots of fun at my shows. Plus it gets me out of the house.
If you would like me to send you some info about PartyLite send me a message. There is no pressure or obligation you could look at the info and decide for you self.
let me know. And good luck in whatever you decide

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Janesville-Beloit on

In Wisconsin, you can care for 3 children other than your own without a license. I received this information from my insurance man when I asked for additional liability for childcare. I then call Social Services in Rock County and it was verified I could have 3 children.

The best (and fastest) way to not only get but start the process for receiving your daycare license in Wisconsin is through Social Services. They will also put you on their own list of licensed daycare and you will receive referrals from them.

If you choose not to get your license, I would still advise getting CPR/First aid trained. Contact your local Red Cross or even your local BSA (boyscouts) council office as they may run a certification class for their leaders.

The best advise I can give you otherwise is to make sure the parents leave the carseats with you each day you have their child. You may not "intend" to go anywhere but things come up and at least you will be able to transport the children in safety.

Make up a list of questions you would ask a daycare provider for your own child. This way you can address most concerns without having to go back and forth with the parents. This should include allergies of any kind including food allergies.

Even tho you will be in your home, have some type of routine or schedule in place ahead of time. You can obviously be flexible but this way it will make things easier on you and the children. Just don't bend over backwards to accomodate everyone. It will drive you crazy!

I pattern my schedule/rules to be similar to kindergarten schools. This way the children have a good idea of what to expect when they attend and it solves the ever existing problem of "we don't do that at my house or my mom doesn't make me do that so I don't have to here". Even our own children can push the rules on occassions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eau Claire on

Hi J.,

Whether you're going to start a day care or have a lot of children like I do (or really any children), I recommend you take responsibility for your indoor air quality by gettin what I finally got in Nov. of 2002 after many years of not having one. The bacteria removal has helped us avoid the usual colds, flu, bronchities, coughs, runny noses that the older of my ten children endured but now my younger ones don't have to. I foresee once you make that investment in such an air purifier, you can actually advertise yours as a "bacteria-free air purified" daycare. That will attract many parents who are always concerned about their children "catching" stuff at the daycare. Plus it'll have the same obvious positive results for your own family. Plus those parents may desire to know how to get such technology for their homes and you can earn good profits either via $50 referral fees from me or via becoming a distributor yourself and earning the many times $250-300 profit on each purifier yourself. See it at

Hope that helps with an area I few think of....

B. in Eau Claire, WI



answers from Minneapolis on

J. if your in MN the law states that you can care for one family that is not related to you before you need to be licensed. If you become a child care provider you can purchase daycare insurance,most home owener insurance requires it. I'm a daycare provider and have two of my own children. I've been licensed since last year, I'm working on my 2nd year and I'm licensed through 2008.



answers from Minneapolis on

I am currently taking care of my niece who is 8 mos old and then taking care of a new baby (my one non-related family) starting in the fall who will then be 3 mos old (I'm so excited). I also have a 2 yr old at home. As you heard you can have one non-related family without a license. I currently do not have my license which is why I am restricted and cannot add anymore families. My niece's mom is a teacher and my new babies mom will also be a teacher so it works out really nice because then I have that same schedule which really does help when I need my breaks too. I can see how it can be hard, but that is why I do it only for my teachers. Also I wouldn't want more then three kids at a time because I really think it is important that you are able to give each child (mine included) the attention that they need and deserve. You don't want to spread yourself too thin and still have time for your family. That is how I made it work for me.
Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

In Wisconsin, the rule is you can care for 1 family without a license. There is in-home childcare insurance available, too. I don't have a resource for you because I did daycare in MN, but I do remember it wasn't very expensive. It covered everything accident related and was extra coverage beyond homeowner's insurance.



answers from Minneapolis on

HI J.!!! I thought I would like doing childcare 'cause I love kids... that's what i thought!! I wanted to do something where I could be at home with my daughter (she's 3 now). I found that I wasn't able to give her the attention she deserved and we both suffered. I do strongly believe that there are women out there that can manage their time and give each child the attention they NEED. I guess my thoughts are to think of why you want to do it and how long are you going to do it, is it the best option for everyone in your family... We decided that I would work at a restaurant and serve, for the time I am away from the kids it pays well ($20++ an hour). It also helped for me to know that I am only going to work until we get out of debt. HOpe this helps!!



answers from Appleton on

I am a licensed provider in WI and we can care for up to 8 children depending on the ages. I just wanted to add for those of you who are already doing care or anyone considering care to take out more liability insurance then just coverage from your homeowner's policy. I worked in property and casualty insurance for 5 years prior to becoming a licensed provider and you may want to check into getting an umbrella policy to give you additional liability coverage. I don't know about you but I don't have much and what I have I cherish so I didn't want to be caring for children and have one of them get hurt (which we all know happens) badly and lose everything. Umbrella policies require you to have auto and home coverage with minimum limits but it is well worth the piece of mind. Hope this helps all of you.



answers from Appleton on

Hi J.,
Every county in Wisconsin has an organization called "Childcare, Resource and Referral". You should be able to call them and get any and all information for free. They will tell you the exact laws.
As far as I know, unless things have changed in the last year or so, these are the rules. You can be "certified by your county" to care for up to 3 kids, un-related to you OR "licensed by the state" to care for up to 8 children, including your own... but they number then varies according to the age of the children. I know it is confusing but CR&R (Childcare Resourse & Referral) will help you understand it all. Since it is a county agency you should be able to find it in the government section of your phone book. Here is website ( Good Luck ! F.



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi J.,
I am a stay at home mom of three and have only one at home.I started watching kids at home and soon learned how hard it was. I never have a set schedule, I found myself so worried about the other children that I ended up missing out on my own! I have been doing it for years! I recently found a balance I started selling Lia Sophia Jewelry and love it! I have a party a week on a weeknight have my husband watch the kids and get out and meet other mothers and make money!!I would love to talk to you about a better way to make extra money and not miss out on your own kids after all that is why we stay home with them! Feel free to email me with any questions you may have at Have a good day and good luck with whatever you decide!

A. David



answers from Minneapolis on

I am doing home daycare now. You can only watch one additional family in the state of Minnesota without a licence. You can watch a second family for no more than thirty days out of the year. As far as liability goes - get insurance. Otherwise, it's really alot of fun and very rewarding.



answers from St. Cloud on

I belive that you can have as many children as you want as long as it is only one family you are providing for before you get licenised.
You can also get daycare insurance to cover all the children under your care.



answers from Minneapolis on

Prior to Licensing:
Six to nine hours of training in child-related first aid and CPR which must be completed within one year or prior to one year of the date of initial licensure.

Six hours of training in child development/care which must be completed within one year or prior to one year of the date of initial licensure.

I know we are required to take 10 hours each year, but I have not read what the rules are for NEW providers yet.

Before becoming licensed I attended a meeting in which several currently licensed providers spoke to us about their profession. This is where I obtained my copy of the licensing rules.

The rules are 29 pages long. They go into great detail regarding every aspect of caring for children. I was also given an application packet, and additional information about insurance, food program sponsors, and vendors

After reviewing my application several weeks later, a home visit was scheduled. My licensing worker walked through my entire home, made notes of the areas that needed to be improved, changed or rearranged. Every room in which the children would be had to be childproofed. If children were not allowed into the room it had to be locked. Plants had to be moved if they were toxic. Cleaners had to be moved as well. Gates were installed on stairways. Everything was inspected. The fire department also did a walk through.

The license is good for two years, and then it's up for renewal. A brief application, and a somewhat lengthy questionnaire needs to be filled in. Another walk through is scheduled, a short interview, then on with your day. Nothing too painful.

There are several License Types for a provider to choose from. Find the one that matches the services you plan to provide.


The following agencies offer both a Food Program and Liability Insurance Coverage:
Adult and Children’s Alliance
2885 Country Drive, Suite 165
St. Paul, MN 55117

Child Care and Nutrition, Inc. (CCNI)
PO Box 138
Ivanhoe, MN 56142

Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association (MLFCCA)
Child Care Food Program
1910 West County Road B, Suite 147
Roseville, MN 55113

Provider’s Choice
PO Box 39813
Minneapolis, MN 55439-0813

Resources for Child Caring (RCC)
450 North Syndicate Street
St. Paul, MN 55104-4194

Children's Advocate Programs, Inc.

The following agencies offer a Food Program only:
MN Dept of Children, Families, and Learning
St. Paul
Prime Providers, Inc.


You can find all this childcare business information and more at



answers from Minneapolis on

You can care for ONE family(doesn't really matter how many kids the ONE family has) and your own children without being liscensed.

Then you need to have insurance for home daycare so if a accident or whatnot happened you'd be covered.



answers from Appleton on


Have you googled in-home child care? I think there would be many links to valuable information. Also you can go to AskJeeves or and ask any question and get the answer.

After my first child, I would have done anything not to go back to work. With my second child, after 12 weeks, I knew I had to go back for money reasons.

Now I have a choice and I work part-time for a local company and I also sell AtHome America Products. I can pick my AtHome hours around other family activities. I just started 2 months ago and have earned over $1000 in commission and over $1500 in homewares. I have only hosted 6 parties, but could host more. Plus I am on my way to earning a laptop and a free trip to Chicago this fall. They make rewards easy to attain and the best part of all, I got to start my business for FREE. So I had nothing to lose.

The other neat thing is that they are quality products and they have great rewards for hostesses to earn FREE and discounted products. So it is win/win situation all the way around. Win for you in earning money, Win for your family that you are available. If you want to discuss this, see my ad in the business section--or check out my website at

I wish you best of luck as you discern your path. A friend of mine told me that we are either on a path God has set forth or on a detour. Either way, it makes life interesting with a lot of life lessons.

God bless you and your family. Don't forget to involve your spouse as it will affect him too.


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