Tag Archives: daycare

Is your house ready to act as a family daycare?

 

Your home is your business, especially when you run a family daycare centre. You’ve made the decision to become a carer to other people’s children as well as your own and that’s great. However, is your house ready? There are official guidelines and policies that franchised and family daycare centres must follow, but in this article we’ll touch on the less ‘official’ items.

 

Childproofing

The house is going to be a home away from home for young ones. And this age group has a habit of getting scraped knees and banged heads. Accidents and injuries happening are a given, so taking prevention measures is a must.

Time to clear out the mess

Go to the hardware shop and stock up before the parents come to visit. Some of the basics include the following:

  • Security gates
  • Electrical outlet covers
  • Corner guards
  • Drawer locks

You can check out more useful items on Parents.com.

 

Food

Decide early on if you’re going to include food costs in your fees setup. In the ACECQA guidelines, family daycares have a one educator to seven children ratio. This means seven little ones you’ll be catering for. Encourage the parents to pack snacks and one meal for their child so catering isn’t such a burden.

Expect to be part carer, part caterer

Food needs to be stored, though. Your fridge might have leftovers crammed in there from your own family’s dinner, so think about investing in a second one, about bar size is all you’ll need. Put it in the garage if there’s no room in the house.

 

Toys

When the kids aren’t out on excursion with you, they’ll be playing in different areas around the house. Stock enough toys to go around. Soft toys, books, building blocks, and loose parts are some of the essentials that every daycare needs in stock.

  • Loose parts (bric-a-brac including wood, metal and PVC items)
  • Paints, pencils and paper
  • Colouring books
  • Age-appropriate books
  • Soft toys (animals, figures), large plastic toys (buckets, trucks)

 

Furniture

The dining room table and chairs you have in your house aren’t child-friendly, even if you have a booster seat! Kinder Design’s purpose-built furniture includes tables and chairs, alongside cubby houses and storage shelves.

This is another way that will separate the ‘daycare centre’ from your home. The whole house isn’t going to be dedicated to the home business. Investing in the daycare furniture and some security measures (like locks) will make sure there’s boundaries.

Read these for more advice:

Tips to setting up a daycare service at home

Harness creativity with these childcare activity ideas | Around the web

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.

 

Read these for more business tips

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.

Food

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.

Education

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.

Get more tips in these articles

Setting up a daycare

Daycares are a place of fun, learning and trust. Parents trust the teachers to care for their children, who learn and have fun at the same time. Setting up a daycare effectively requires a bit of planning and coordination.

Fun

According to psychologists and as written in the Early Years Learning Framework, children learn from their surrounds. When they’re learning and having fun at once, they’re learning passively. The kids will learn certain skills, build on them and use them in their lives to come.

A daycare centre needs a fun “play time” area that’s equipped to deal with little ones. Cubby houses are widespread and companies build them around certain themes. The options are endless but common cubby house designs include corner shops, kitchens and miniature houses. For the kids who want to “play house” but didn’t get to the cubby in time, some daycare centres stock large, soft building blocks. The children stack these as they like whether a house, a fence or a simple line of soft blocks they can use for gymnastics.

Learning

Daycare is fun and games for the most part. But there comes a time when the kids must sit and do some structured activity.

A dedicated area with desks and chairs is found in any daycare centre. Large tables are used to encourage kids to work together and develop a sense of “belonging” in a group. The furniture is low-set to match the size of the children. They’re made with wood, plastic or both and day-cares can order them in colours for something different.

Other items to add to the “learning” aspect of a daycare is a space to read. Children can read books with their teachers, by themselves at a desk or in a “quiet area” with some soft furniture (cushions) and a book caddy.

Rest

Kids have fun, learn a lot and then sleep before they do it all over again. Day care centres have room for short sleeps in their schedules so that their charges can rest and recharge. Daycare furniture suppliers do have small bed frames available. A common option, though, is to lay out mattresses on the floor.