Pros and Cons of Home Daycare

If you are looking for a simple list of the pros and cons of home it is!

Granted, this is the short list, but with the most notable items from my own experience. Through the years, my list has remained the same.

Luckily, the list of pros has remained steady and I am reminded all the time of why I chose this job.Clearly, there are more pros than cons! This is truly an amazing job!

Be sure to read over the list of cons. You'll probably notice there is a recurring theme.

Make sure your contract and policy handbook are explicit to avoid some of the problems providers can face. I really cannot stress enough how important this is.

And feel free to talk to any current child care providers you may know. Each provider, I'm certain, would be able to add to this list. The pros and cons of home daycare will vary from provider to provider.

The Pros and Cons of Home Daycare


  • The KIDS! It’s the best part of the job! While other people shuffle off to jobs that “pay the bills”, I hang out in my own home with kids who are happy to see me.  Unlike working with grumpy bosses or co-workers, I spend my day with children who share giant smiles, hugs and kisses.
  • My job is meaningful.  Teaching children is more than just fun, it’s truly rewarding.  There are so many things to teach… manners, hygiene, letters, colors, how the world works…   each stage of learning brings children another step closer to learning to live independently in their world. As a child care provider, I play a part in what type of person each child becomes. 
  • I get paid to play with play-doh, blow bubbles, watch milk mustaches form, build puzzles, finger-paint, read stories and make block towers. Does it get any better than that?
  • The weather. I used to hate it, back when I had my “other” job. Now, I love not having to shovel and scrape the car in the winter in order to get to work.  I love not having to drive on slippery, snow covered roads. I don’t miss driving through thunderstorms with rain so hard the windshield wipers can’t keep up. And best of all, on those beautiful spring and summer days when I used to wish I wasn’t scheduled to work… it no longer matters.  I can spend large portions of sunny days outside.
  • No commutes.  No getting up early just to drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic. No road construction to deal with. No worries about high gas prices.
  • I love being my own boss. No more supervisors to deal with. I can supervise myself just fine, thank you. No more punching a time clock, no deadlines, no boring jobs, no more having my day planned for me. I am in full control of how my daycare is run. I choose my hours of operation, the children I want to care for, and the activities we will participate in.
  • Days are not routine.  No two days are alike.  Each day presents different challenges and joys.
  • I love being able to raise my own children. I love being home before and after school and all summer long for my own children. I love that on days when they are not feeling well, there is no need to miss work or drag them somewhere else. They can recuperate and feel better in their own home and own bed.
  • Making a living without leaving home.  What could be better than being at home and still being able to pay the bills?


  • Parents who are inconsiderate and sometimes downright rude.
  • Bringing children to daycare when they are actually too sick to attend. Giving children fever reducing medication prior to bringing them does not make everything OK.
  • Parents feeling that a detailed SIGNED contract does not always apply to them. That the contract is negotiable only for them.
  • Feeling that parents are taking advantage in both small and big ways. Parents who “forget” to bring needed supplies. Parents who will arrive late (on more than one occasion… by hours) and be unconcerned about any plans you may have had.
  • Parents who neglect to bring their children wearing appropriate weather or activity related clothing.
  • Notice the theme running through the con section? It’s really the most aggravating thing about daycare. You will also have parents who are amazing, but the ones that are not can really drag you down.

More cons…

  • More children in your home means more germs. More germs means more sickness. You’ll need to allow extra hours for cleaning.
  • Your pay may fluctuate. Depending on how you choose to write up your contract and policy handbook, you may lose pay if a child is not in attendance for sickness or vacations, or on holidays when the child is at home.
  • Your own family may have issues sharing their space, possessions and YOU with others.

One other con?

  • When a child you have grown very fond of leaves your daycare for any reason. Sometimes they are too old for your daycare, sometimes there’s a move for the family. Whatever the reason… you hate to see them go.  The kids you care for become a part of your world and it can be truly sad when their time in your daycare comes to an end.

Carefully consider all the pros and cons of home daycare. When starting your business, start out small, with only a child or two. Expand at your own comfort.

Also... check out my page of advice for new providers.


daycare house

Beyond "How to Start a Daycare", take a peek into the DAYCARE TIPS area.

Find helpful articles on:

  • Making a Child's First Day go Smoothly
  • Potty Training
  • Guidance Issues
  • Keeping Daycare Parents Happy
  • and MUCH more...


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