Tom’s Books

111998_tI’ve written a lot about the business of family child care. Here are the nine books for family child care providers and five business curriculum books for trainers, and one book for child care center directors. I’ve also done a DVD with the Soho Center and written two series of online self-paced business classes (see bottom of page).

I hope these books and video will help you save time and money, so you can be more successful in your business. My goal has been to explain sometimes complex business issues in an easily understandable way. I hope I have succeeded.

With over 500,000 copies of my book in print, these books are the most authoritative and widely read books in the country.

Descriptions of these books are posted below.

543970_tFamily Child Care Record-Keeping Guide (Ninth Edition $18.95) – Lists over 1,000 allowable business deductions and a comprehensive description of how to organize your records to save time and money.


2016 Family Child Care Tax Workbook and Organizer ($17.95) – Published annually every January, it covers new tax law changes and will guide you through all the tax forms so you can prepare your own tax return. This edition is for filing your 2015 tax return.


2016 Family Child Care Tax Companion ($17.95) – Published annually every January, it is written for child care providers who use tax preparers. It consists of a series of worksheets to fill out and give to your tax preparer so he/she will not make major mistakes filing your tax return. This edition is for filing your 2016 tax return.

Contracts & Policies book Family Child Care Contracts and Policies (Third Edition $19.95) – Everything you need to know about how to establish a business relationship with parents and write an effective contract and policies. Includes a CD with numerous examples of contract and policy terms you can cut and paste to create your own Word document.

GetAttachment.aspxFamily Child Care Marketing Guide (Second Edition $17.95) – Learn how to promote your program to parents by identifying and communicating your program’s benefits. Includes chapters on using social media, setting rates, and competing with child care centers and informal caregivers. New chapter on Internet Marketing: Facebook, Craigslist, Google Places, YouTube, and much more.

Small Legal & Insurance Family Child Care Legal & Insurance Guide (First Edition $17.95) – Learn how to protect yourself and your business with insurance (business liability, homeowners, car, and business property) as well as choosing a business structure, hiring a lawyer, and more.

Money Management small Family Child Care Money Management and Retirement Guide (First Edition $17.95) – Learn how to save more money to meet short and long-term goals, better manage your money, choose the right IRA, and implement the five rules of investing.

Business Planning Guide small Family Child Care Business Planning Guide (First Edition $17.95) – This book is primarily for new providers to help them establish a start-up plan and business plan to get off on the right foot.

Inventory-Keeper small Family Child Care Inventory-Keeper (First Edition $12.95) – This logbook will enable you to track all of your household furniture and appliances so you can depreciate them as a business expense.

DVDfront1smallThe Business of Family Child Care – This 25 minute DVD features me and Jeanna Beker, Director of the Soho Center, along with many family child care providers talking about record keeping and contracts. It is designed to be used by trainers, licensing agencies, Food Program sponsors, Child Care Resource and Referral agencies and individual providers.

753774Managing Legal Risks in Early Childhood Programs: How to Prevent Flare-Ups from Becoming Lawsuits (First Edition, $26.95) – This book is for child care center directors and program administrators. This guide will help you prevent and manage problems with potential legal consequences, reduce the risk of a lawsuit, and assist you in preparing a strong defense should your program be sued.

Family Child Care Business Curriculum

I’ve written five business curriculum books to help trainers teach family child care providers the fundamentals of operating their business.

The curriculum books include:

Family Child Care Record Keeping and Taxes

Family Child Care Contracts and Policies

Family Child Care Marketing

Family Child Care Legal and Insurance Issues

Family Child Care Money Management and Retirement 

Each curriculum binder contains four classes that cover the topic. Each class consists of a power point and handouts (on a CD), learning objectives, teacher notes on each slide, and a trainer’s guide that includes teaching tips, commonly asked questions and answers, a quiz, and classroom activities.

Other books you may be interested in:

2016 Redleaf Calendar Keeper ($17.95) – This annual calendar includes easy-to-use monthly charts for tracking parent income, attendance, expenses, and much more.

Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care Providers, by Teri Talan and Paula Jorde Bloom (published by Teachers College Press $20.95) – This book is a ten-part tool that measures the business practices of family child care providers. The authors used my books as a guide to establish these tools.

The Centralia Tragedy of 1919: Elmer Smith and the Wobblies ($24.95) – I wrote this biography of a labor lawyer that graduated from the same college and law school that I did. He was a celebrated radical attorney who worked on behalf of the Industrial Workers of the World union. Here’s a podcast of a talk I gave about Elmer Smith at the St. Paul public library:

Wesley Everest, IWW Martyr” This is a 1986 article I wrote about a labor union organizer that was published in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly.

Online Business Classes

North Dakota Child Care Resource and Referral Network – 5 self-directed online business classes on Record Keeping, Contracts, Marketing, Legal/Insurance, and Money Management. All classes are free.

Tennessee Child Care Online Training System – 3 self-directed online business classes on Record Keeping, Contracts and Marketing. All classes are free.

21 replies

  1. I have a question. I have been doing daycare before I was liscened through the state and on a food program. I was watchin 8 kids that would all eat breakfast in the morning and 2 would then go to school. Can I claim 8 breakfast for one day.

    • Yes. You can deduct up to one breakfast, one lunch and three snacks per child, per day using the standard meal allowance method of claiming food expenses.

      • Has that changed?? I thought you were allowed supper as well as all the above??? giving you 6 meal/snacks to deduct using the standard meal allowance??

        • Sorry for the confusion. You can deduct up to one breakfast, one lunch, one supper and three snacks per child per day. Sorry I left off the supper in my previous answer.

  2. Re: Automobile allowance

    How much per mile is aloud in Michigan for Taxes?

  3. I am seriously considering the minute menu kids pro, but am having a time trying to put a 12 hour shift in for mon, tues, fri, sat, and then the alternate week is sun, wed, thurs. How do i do that

    • You can enter attendance records daily or weekly or regularly schedule them for months. If you have specific questions about this, contact Minute Menu directly at 972-671-5211.

  4. I am behind on bookkeeping and taxes. Do you still have any copies of the 2014 and/or 2015 Tax Companion books? They might be helpful as I gather info for my accountant so I can get caught up.
    Thanks!

  5. Do you have any information on how to add /write policy for emergency situations such as in loss of electricity,emergency medical plans if child becomes injured tornado plans ,having parent pick up child if they become Ill ,DHSrequire that we have these plans,written down for parent

  6. Do you have electronic versions of your books available for purchase?

  7. Hi , I am daycare owner and onsite provider and I am about to open another daycare with a friend as the onsite provider.
    I heard that you cannot have more than one daycare unless you become partner with your onsite provider with 51% of the business for your onsite provider and 49% for you?

    Do you have information about it please.

    • Whether or not you can operate more than one child care site depends on your state child care regulations. Check with your licensing worker about this. For the IRS point of view you can operate more than one site and don’t have to form a partnership. You can still be self employed.

  8. Hi, I was wondering if there is a sample of your business curriculum and if so, where I could get it?
    Thank you.

  9. I am a new provider and need to complete my taxes for 2016 (I filed an extention). I’m not sure what the business write offs are (food, how ma y meals, percentages of household utilities, gas for car, car expenses, my assistant and costs related to her, and etc.). I have saved all of my receipts for all business related purchases, including start up costs, but don’t even know where to start! Help! What would be the top three books for me, in order of importance/which to read first, that I should start with right away? I plan on paying an accountant to file my taxes for 2016 and 2017, and once I have a solid understanding I will file my own in the future. Thanks so much!

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