How to manage a successful family day care

family day care

Have you ever thought of turning your passion for working with children into a business?

You’ve chosen the right option – as one of the fastest growing industries in Australia, with $11.2 billion in revenue, childcare is one area that offers plenty of opportunities to those who are thinking of opening their own business.

Of course, just like any other industry, there are a lot of things you’ll need to think about before you can get started, as well as a number of considerations that are unique to childcare specifically…

How long does it take to start a daycare?

A new business – especially a childcare centre or family day care – doesn’t just spring up out of the ground. Between preparing the venue, obtaining equipment, and hiring staff, it can take months before you can finally launch your business. 

When it comes to childcare specifically, you’ll also need to accommodate for a number of other important extra steps like:

  • Getting the venue assessed and certified
  • Obtaining your background check
  • Getting legally-required certificates like first-aid certificates
  • Licensing requirements
  • Obtaining provider and service approvals

And that’s on top of all the other steps involved in setting up a business like creating an ABN or arranging insurance.

What do you need to run a daycare at home?

When it comes to childcare, many of the people who are getting started in this industry are specifically setting up family day care services.

There are plenty of reasons for it, but one of the main ones is the fact that it can be set up in your home – no need to take out a lease on a dedicated property.

This eliminates one of the biggest hurdles to getting set up. However, it’s important to know that it isn’t all smooth sailing – you can’t get set up in your living room just quite yet!

Some of the things that you need to turn your home into a family day care include:

  • Daycare name and branding details
  • A dedicated indoor space
  • Licensing
  • Insurance
  • Safety standards
  • Payment collection
  • Hiring process
  • Daycare curriculum/activities
  • Supplies, equipment, and furniture
  • Accreditation

Licensed daycare vs unlicensed: what’s the difference?

If you’re a parent, you’d prefer to enrol your child in a licensed daycare facility whose providers have completed all legal and licensing requirements necessary to run the childcare centre, right?

Naturally, the answer is yes – if you want parents to enrol their kids with you, it’s crucial that you offer the same.

Licensed daycare providers offer childcare services that are regulated and approved by the  National Quality Framework (NQF) – on top of family day care, these standards also govern kindergarten and long daycare centres.

In addition to safety procedures and plans, licensed daycare also need to prove that:

  • Activities follow a prescribed structure
  • They address children’s developmental needs
  • You understand your legal requirements
  • You understand requirements like child:educator ratios

These are just some of the things the national standards set out. It’s a lot, true, and it can be quite strict – however, many parents won’t trust a centre that doesn’t meet these standards. 

What’s more, unlicensed centres run the risk of being shut down!

Long story short? If you want your daycare to succeed, you’re going to need to follow these strict regulations.

How to run a successful child care business

Make sure it’s safe

You’re dealing with young children, after all. Not only are they delicate, but they’re also prone to falls, accidents and other risky behaviour – often without even realising it.

As such, it’s crucial that the property is safe and that all possible risks are eliminated.


You aren’t just a babysitter – you’re also responsible for looking after all the children in your care.

That means having a procedure in place for when things go wrong.

First aid, allergic reactions, even relatively minor things like tantrums – it’s crucial that you have a plan to respond to each of these.

Plan your finances

As with any business, financial planning is one area that’s key to your business’ success – after all, you won’t be able to get off the ground without a financial game plan.

To avoid any hindrances towards achieving your goal, you will need to create (and more importantly, follow) a strict budget and plan for managing your finances well.

Be sure to check in with an accountant before you get started to see whether or not you can financially support the business, as well as what numbers you need to continue on your trajectory.

What certifications do I need to run a daycare?

Starting a child daycare isn’t just about a money-making business – you will need to make sure that you are helping each child grow and develop holistically by creating a learning environment in which they feel safe and comfortable.

And that starts by becoming qualified and certified.

The minimum requirement for you to operate and own a family day care is the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (though if you want to own or operate your own centre, it’s best to head straight for the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care).

Either way, it’s essential that you start by obtaining all of the skills and knowledge you’ll need to deal with day-to-day tasks of taking care of children:

  • Emergency first aid response
  • Health and safety
  • Care and assistance
  • Creating a positive and respectful relationship with the children

Is owning a daycare worth it?


We get it: there are a lot of details you’ll need to pay attention to, as well as countless legal hoops to jump through.

If you love working with children and shaping young lives however, then working through all of the nitty-gritty details is well worth it.

Remember, you aren’t just looking after kids – you’re setting them up for the rest of their lives. We can’t think of too much else that is more rewarding and satisfying than that!

Enrol in Academia’s online childcare courses in Melbourne

Like we mentioned above, the first step in opening your own family day care is getting qualified.

And that begins with your certification.

Our campuses in Melbourne and Brisbane offer a range of government funded courses that prepare you for your future career, and which help you become the best childcare educator or family day care business owner you can be.

Academia’s childcare courses provide you with accredited childcare training from certified trainers who have more than a decade of experience.

Not only that, but you’ll also have the opportunity to put your learning into practice with real-world work placements.

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113)

Learn the foundations of caring for young children and facilitating their holistic development by enrolling in our Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113). 

This course will teach you the basics of early childhood care for kids of all ages, with a focus on all the day-to-day tasks you’ll perform when you open your own family day care.

Everything you need to know to provide a healthy environment for children to learn and play is here, including training on approved learning frameworks that will guide your practice and help build positive relationships with children.

Learn more about our Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care in Melbourne or Brisbane here.

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113)

As someone who’s running their own daycare centre, you’ll need more than just the day-to-day skills that come with caring for children – since you’re the person at the top, you’ll also be in charge of:

  • Planning
  • Budgeting
  • Staffing
  • Legal compliance
  • Emergency planning

Luckily, these are all things that are covered as part of a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

If you plan on owning and managing your own family day care, it might be a good idea to start here!

Learn more about our Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Enrol in a childcare course with Academia 

With our medium-sized institution and our focus on providing practical training and real-world experience, there’s no better place to start your childcare journey than with Academia.

Whether you plan on studying childcare in Melbourne or Brisbane, our friendly course advisors are happy to help you plan your next move.
Contact our Melbourne campus on (03) 9671 4755 or click here to get in touch online today.