The Benefits of Becoming a Family Child Care Provider

3895236912_3cbc8bdc3d_zEver year thousands of women (almost all women!) make the decision to become a family child care provider.

It’s an important decision to take on a job that is not easy. Our society often does not appreciate and recognize the valuable work that you do. The news media focuses on child abuse, federal and state governments focus on budget cuts, and child care advocates focus on quality without enough attention to how standards can be hard to implement.

But, being a family child care provider is also very rewarding! So, here’s a welcome to all new providers!

Caring for children from other families in your home is a wonderful job with many benefits.

You have the opportunity to stay home and care for your own children. And you can earn money to support your family.

Your work will make a big difference in improving the lives of the young children in your care.

By being a family child care provider you will have access to a variety of resources and services to support your business. These include:

  • Training workshops to help you learn more about caring for children
  • Grants and other incentives to improve the quality of your care
  • Support and mentoring from other providers through your local and national family child care association

Contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency for more information.

There are also some major tax advantages of being a family child care provider:

  • You will be eligible to participate on the Child and Adult Care Food Program. This federal program will pay you between $550-$1,100 a year per child for serving nutritious food. This is a major source of income for you.
  • You must report as income all the money you receive caring for children. But, you can also deduct many business expenses such as food, toys, supplies, car expenses, and many household items. You can also deduct expenses associated with your home (rent, property tax, mortgage interest, utilities, house insurance and more). These expenses will significantly reduce your income and keep your taxes low.
  • The profit you earn caring for children will help make you eligible to receive Social Security benefits when you retire.

Before you can become a family child care provider you will need to meet your state child care regulations. These regulations include having a safe home environment, having the proper work permit, purchasing certain toys and equipment, and passing background checks. Contact your local child care licensor for more information.

There are many reasons why you should join the tens of thousands of other people like you who enjoy caring for children form other families in their own home. It’s rewarding to see children grow and learn. It’s a chance to stay home with your own children. And it’s an opportunity to make some money.

Whatever your reason – welcome!

A version of this article was first written for Think Small.

Tom Copeland –

Image credit:

Business Planning Guide smallFor more information, see my resource for new providers, Family Child Care Business Planning Guide.

Categories: Starting Your Business

1 reply

  1. It makes sense that before you can become a child carer you would have to be sure to meet all of the proper legal requirements. Not only would it be dangerous to your business to operate outside of the law but it would probably limit how many people you have who would use your services as well. Nobody wants to get in trouble but that’s especially true if it is because all you are trying to do is take care of your family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *