Children are a handful, and while they are a handful, they also come with bunches of love, fun and joy to share with any and every person that surrounds them. This is why it is very important for any home daycare owner to not only love children but to also have gone through the proper steps necessary to ensure that their home daycare is fit for children legally and not off the books.
The absolute first step that needs to happen prior to starting a home daycare is to contact the local Department of Social Services to find out when certain mandatory classes are being held that would provide one with the paperwork needed to begin a home daycare. This class is the mandatory orientation that all childcare providers must complete. As soon as you call, in some states, to sign up for the orientation, your full name goes down in a government registry with a childcare number. It is this number that is attached to your name and you home if cleared to begin the home daycare.
Next, a thorough background check of not just the director of home daycare, but also those who live within the home above a certain age must be done. This background check scans whether or not anyone including the daycare director has ever been convicted of any felony or the felony of harming a child in any way. This will negatively impact your clearance for the daycare. The adults in the house must also be fingerprinted. Basically, everything about you must be an open book.
The next thing in line is providing references about your character. Relatives don’t count. DSS would like non relatives who have known you for a particular period of time. These references are not asked to write a recommendation for you, but DSS will call them with pointed questions about you. Therefore, to not stagnate the process, let all the references know DSS will be calling about you.
One of the most important things to do is begin cleaning and child proofing your home for the DSS walk through. At the orientation, a list of regulations are given with specific standards that your home must pass in order to open. Some states require different things than others, therefore, find out at orientation. One of these things is a land line telephone. It isn’t good enough to have a cellular phone for the home. All home daycares must have a fully functional home phone. Something this simple can get a potential daycare owner rejected.
Finally, after all start up costs for child proofing your home, purchasing safe toys and learning activities, you should be ready to start up your home daycare! Purchase items like electrical outlet covers, cabinet locks, toilet locks, gates, and sleeping mats or cots. When parents come to inspect your home for their own child, these things make them feel secure. Also be certain to have enough play pens, walkers, bouncers etc. as a parent needs to see that their child can be placed somewhere safe while you tend to another child. In conclusion, this is really all it takes to get started with your home daycare.