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Do's and Don'ts of Operating a Licensed Home Childcare

It has been a busy Summer! How has Summer been for you?  I wear a lot of hats, and I recently accepted another hat to wear as a Childcare Consultant!  It. Has. Been. Amazing.  Wow! I am so excited and I just can't hide it!!  💚 Here's a little secret though... a part of me feels that I already have been doing this, but the official title just makes it so freaking awesome! 


As a Childcare Consultant I get invited by owners to visit their licensed childcare programs. Last week I visited two licensed family daycare homes. I loved every minute I spent at their daycare!  

Both childcare homes have been operating less than a year, and want some guidance on how to separate their business from their personal lives. When it come to operating a licensed family childcare there are some must things you should do and definitely some things you don't want to do, particularly if you are operating a daycare in your private home.


Don't ever use your bedroom or your children's bedrooms as space for any activity involving childcare. If it is possible have the childcare space in an entirely different area then in the living quarters. There are many creative ways that you can set up your childcare, but please avoid using any family member's  personal space as well. It should be agreed upon by all family members the spaces that can be used before opening day of the childcare. Most importantly, only use space that is actually approved by your daycare licensing consultant.

Don't try to replicate a Center! Parents are choosing to give you an opportunity to show them a family style of childcare. A licensed family group type of daycare can offer more opportunities to be one-on-one with their children. Show them the big differences of the two by highlighting your program. For example, daycare homes are where the children eat meals family style, all together at the table.


 Maintain professionalism by following the licensing rules even if your clients are friends or family. Make sure everyone is following the sign in and  sign out sheet procedure correctly everyday. When the children and family arrive have some coffee available in a safe area for the parents to grab on their way out. The morning coffee grab and go allows you to make some sort of eye contact with the parents and be able to offer a how are you. Try very hard everyday to make the drop off routine a meet and greet.

Never send a child to an area where you can't physically see them. The wonderful thing about family childcare is the small groupings that gives you the ability to be able to scan the room without having everyone stop what they are doing for a head count. However one of the duties of a childcare provider is to supervise, and you cannot supervise properly if you have children in different rooms at the same time.

Never discuss clients information with anyone! There are going to be times where you may want to vent about frustrations that you may be having with the parents, or even a frustration that is dealing with a child. If you are in need of help of how to handle a situation contact your licensing consultant. You could also call your childcare coach or post your question in your daycare groups online that do not know your clients personally. You are trusted with the parents most precious jewels, you owe them to be a confidant. Also, keep in mind you are a mandated reporter and the services that are there to protect children are counting on your integrity and honesty. 

Naturally we want to be friendly with the families, but keep in mind the best practices to keeping the families happy is by maintaining professionalism. It is okay to be a rule enforcer, and a listening ear as long as it doesn't take you out your role as a childcare provider, during childcare time. Balance is the key! If you would like to learn more about our consulting services please visit here.

Do your children attend a family childcare? What was it that attracted you to this type of childcare? In Home Childcare Providers, what do's or don'ts  would you add to this list?

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