Each state assumes responsibility for regulating child care facilities. The National Association for the Education of Young Children has issued guidelines for states, but there are significant variations on staff-child ratios and qualifications among states. This makes it essential to check your state's guidelines, which may be available online. Those caring for children outside of their homes need to be licensed. There are some exceptions, including short-term arrangements, such as summer camps.
Ensure that you have followed the state regulations regarding staff qualifications and staff-child ratios. Make sure that your building complies with fire and building regulations. Preferably, you should hold child care qualification, even if it is not required by state regulations. Complete a first aid course.
Complete a criminal background check. Also ensure that any staff or family members over the age of 10 who are on the premises have passed a criminal background check. Some states require the child care staff to be tested for tuberculosis.
Create a detailed brochure that describes what you will be doing on a day-to-day basis and nutritional and other needs. Develop policies on abuse, health and safety and communication. You need to know with whom you can discuss a child's well-being. Ensure you have a system for contacting parents in case of an emergency.
Ensure that any toys and equipment comply with safety regulations. Install safety features such as stair rails, garden fences, pond covers and fireguards. Consider how you will deal with nutritional needs and develop a policy for dealing with allergies. A health questionnaire can help with developing these policies.
Develop small learning goals, which help you to structure the child's day. Incorporate stimulating activities such as finger-painting. Check regulations about any pets you may have in your home. Create a website and advertise your service.