Tips to setting up a daycare service at home

Setting up a daycare business in your home is daunting, but it’s a viable option for those wanting to start their own business. Centre-based care makes up 90% of childcare providers and family-based care makes up the remainder. Here’s some other handy hints to get your family-based daycare off the ground.


Look at the community and its needs

Families have changed to the point where both parents usually work and require childcare. There’s no sole breadwinner and the other parent, usually the mother, staying at home to care for the house.



Also, look at gaps in the market. Do parents need an after-school care program? You can plug that hole by offering after-school services. Setting up a daycare service that caters to parents needing services on the weekend is also useful.


You need training

You can’t work with children if you don’t have the proper training. The minimum is a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education. It’s also good to have:

  • CPR training
  • National police check

Parents are trusting you with their most precious thing: their child. Being prepared will ease their nerves.


Applications required

All childhood education centres, family-based or centre-based, must follow the National Quality Guidelines. This ensures that standards for childcare all around Australia are kept high. The standards are as follows:

  1. Educational program and practice
  2. Children’s health and safety
  3. Physical environment
  4. Staffing arrangements
  5. Relationships with children
  6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  7. Leadership and service management

Alongside the guidelines, your centre must follow the Early Years Learning Framework. This framework ensures children grow into young people who are confident in themselves, as well as effective learners and communicators. Have these guidelines printed out so you can refer to them while you’re setting up a daycare.



What will you do?

Decide on activities and services that will help you market your family daycare. Remember, as a provider you need to facilitate a child’s education during their time at your centre. Creating a regular schedule for the different age groups will help them settle. Reading time, excursions to the nearby shops, and arts/crafts are just some of the possibilities.


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What’s deductible? Daycare furniture, desks and more

Daycare furniture, fixtures in your building (if you own it), and other expenses are someway tax deductible. You can claim a certain amount back annually and reinvest it in your business. We list some of the items below.


Daycare furniture

This is slightly difficult to claim. The 2017-18 Federal Budget made changes to depreciation law. Unless installed by the owner, items in the plant and equipment category aren’t claimable. This includes beds, lounges, and other furniture items. But if you’re the owner of the daycare business and did buy the furniture yourself then you don’t have a problem. Getting a depreciation report done will help you with claiming the deductions properly.

Playground equipment

This is slightly different from the daycare furniture. Items like these aren’t easily removable because they’re fixed to the ground. They’re considered capital works as a result. Therefore you can claim them more easily in a depreciation report.

Educational materials

Puzzles, books, CDs, and other materials used as educational tools are totally deductible. If it costs less than $300 then you can claim it immediately.


Yes, really. Save those receipts! So long as the things you buy are used to feed the kids during the day. Keep the receipts and proof of the math you used to calculate the final number amount.


In the early childhood education sector,  teachers and carers undergo numerous training seminars. But educational costs, like course fees and textbooks, are totally tax deductible.

Office supplies

This explains itself but still good to know. Office supplies like paper, markers, the ink for the photocopier, and even your desk accessories are claimable.

setting up a daycare
The office supplies can be claimed on tax


There’s a more comprehensive list on what you can claim here. But know that most aspects of your childcare business, from the daycare furniture to the packs of markers you buy in bulk are, to an extent, deductible.

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