1.  Opening and running a home daycare is not as easy as you may think

It sounds easy enough:  people bring their kids to your home, you watch the kids, the parents pick up their kids and pay you a fee for your service.  However, running a successful home daycare takes a lot of research, planning, and hard work.  You must market your daycare, plan activities and meals, write daycare policies regarding fees, philosophy of care, etc.,   Even if you have your own children, you will likely have to purchase additional toys, equipment, and supplies for your daycare.  You will also need to educate yourself on small business laws regarding taxes, practices, insurance, etc.   Running a home daycare can be a very rewarding and a great way to enable you to stay home with your kids and still earn some money.  However, you need to be prepared for the hard work it requires; running a home daycare is anything but "easy."

2.  You may need to get licensed or registered

Depending on the state in which you live, you may also be required (or decide you want to) be registered or licensed as a home daycare.  Each state has different laws so make sure you check to find out what you are required to do.  Usually the more children you will be caring for, the more likely you will need to be licensed.

3.  You may not make money right away

There is a start-up cost involved with home daycare.  The amount of this cost depends on what (if any) your state requires home daycares to do to legally operate.  The start-up cost may also vary on how many kids you will watch, what equipment you need to purchase, etc.  You may not be able to fill all of your openings right away and may only have a child or two in the beginning.  You will also have increased utility bills, insurance, etc.  You must have enough money saved to operate your daycare and pay for your own family's expenses while you make this transition.  Home daycare can be a profitable business, but it will take some time and hard work.

4.  Not everyone will view your daycare as a legitimate business

Some people will not view your daycare as a business.  You may have parents that will view your daycare as a glorified babysitting service.  Other parents may try to take advantage of you by not paying on time, refusing to pay you while they are on vacation, or bringing a sick child to your daycare.  You should have a written contract with every parent as well as a parent handbook to help prevent these types of problems.  If you treat your daycare like a business, parents are much more likely to do the same.