Updated on September 06, 2012
K.W. asks from Cumberland, MD
4 answers

How much does childcare in your area cost? Is anyone a provider? Thinking about becoming certified. Tips and advice? Good idea or not?

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answers from Sacramento on

I've been a childcare provider for 4 years. My best advice is to do your homework, and talk to other providers in your area. Check your county's community care licensing regulations, fees, requirements etc... I would also try to find out if there are providers near where you live.

I have been very successful in my business, but largely because there is a huge need for good childcare in my area. I have a good friend who was hugely successful here, and moved to an area about 3 hours away and can't keep a business going. For my friend it has nothing to do with the quality of care that's provided, because he's the best provider I've ever seen working with kids. It has to do with location and demand.

There are lots of families where I live and therefore lots of kids. Having said that, there is a fair amount of competition. But I run my business differently than most providers. You can private message me for more info, because it's too much to write here.

Childcare is hard hard work. It's way more than a 40 hour week and it can take it's toll on your family life and home if you don't have support or if you don't balance your time and energy. You don't get to have an "off" day. You have to be ready every day to give your all to the kids you're caring for, and provide stimulating activities, and a clean safe environment. You will rarely have a perfect day when all the kids are feeling rested and well, and you have to love working with kids enough to want to deal with all of the things that you'll get every day, all day. ( Teething, development of social interactions, sharing, whining, crazy parents, illness, poop, sleep problems etc...)

Be sure to have clear policies and procedures up front, so parents know that you aren't just a "babysitter." It also helps to set the tone that you are serious about your work, you are clear on your expectations and the way you run your business.

I love working with kids. And I love having my own business. For me it's a great fit, but it isn't for everyone. The burn-out rate for providers is high. By just the question you've asked, it's impossible to tell you whether childcare is a good idea for YOU. But like I said do your homework before you jump in. There are pros and cons to everything and you have to decide if it would be a good fit you for and your family or not.

good luck~ feel free to message me with any questions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

You'll have to call around to childcare facilities and in-home providers in your area to see what the going rate is there, that is what I did when setting my rates. I make a good living, but I'm am also in a community with a lot of young families. I agree with everything Julie K has to say.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

We had an in-home provider 5 days/9-10 hours a day for $160/wk. She provided breakfast, lunch and a snack unless the child needed breastmilk or a special diet. The cheapest I found was $150/wk. The two people I interviewed before our sitter were people I would not leave my child with - we got lucky both in quality, location and price! A temp sitter we used when our sitter was on vacation was $200/wk. Local daycares were anywhere between $225-$260/wk when he was an infant. He just started preschool @ $228/wk. Ouch. No matter what, get insurance - if you open an official business then get insurance for that; if you are more casual, make sure you have an umbrella policy on top of your homeowners. People are crazy sue happy these days and kids are reckless!



answers from Oklahoma City on

It totally depends on the price the state is willing to pay providers that take state assistance. If your state has a child care assistance program they have specific prices they will pay. Child care providers would be silly to price their care higher that the state will pay since all the parents want to pay the same price. You can't have one family paying you, with the assistance program $30 per and then you charge a cash paying family $50 per day for the same age child. That isn't good business.

They should pay the same across the board no matter if one is poor and the other is wealthy.

Each state's cost of living is different. I know that Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Missouri all have vastly different living expenses. Part of it is the way the land was purchased many years ago.

So I would go to the state offices where people go file for food stamps and child care assistance to get a full list of licensed child care options. They may also have some information about becoming a licensed provider. You can find out the pay scale they use to pay for their families kids that have assistance.

You can always find many ways to cut costs in a child care business. Getting on a food program that will reimburse you for using the foods the recommend, like using only 100% juice and not flavored drinks. They money you get reimbursed is much needed. They used to even pay part of the cooks and kitchen helpers salaries.

I would start there, go to the child care offices and get the rules and regulations so that you can see what you'd need to buy and fix so that you could get through the process quickly and get to making some money.

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