Home Daycare Provider Job Description
Home daycare providers care for children in their own homes while their parents are at work or otherwise engaged during the day. They take care of the child’s every need, including playing games with them, feeding them, and providing basic education as requested by parents. This is an entry-level position that doesn’t require any kind of formal education. Most home daycare providers are self-employed and only report to the parent. Home daycare providers work in a home environment and may travel between different homes as their schedule requires. The exact number of hours they work depends on the parents’ schedules, but home daycare providers typically work during the day.
Home Daycare Provider Duties and Responsibilities
No two home daycare providers are exactly alike, as specific responsibilities vary from client to client. However, after analyzing online job postings, we identified several core duties and responsibilities common to the job:
Engage with Children
The home daycare provider’s main responsibility is to engage with the children they watch throughout the course of the day. This includes playing games with them, taking them to the park or other engaging activities, and enforcing their parents’ rules.
Take Children to Appointments and School
Home daycare providers take the children they are responsible for tending to the doctor, dentist, and other appointments. This includes bringing all necessary paperwork and identification documents to the appointments.
Maintain a Clean Home
Throughout the day, home daycare providers clean and maintain their clients’ home so the children have a safe, clean environment in which to play and the parents can come home to a clean house after a long day at work.
Make Meals and Feed the Children
Home daycare providers feed kids their meals and ensure they are eating healthy foods. They also prepare lunches for older kids to take to school and snacks for younger kids to eat between meals.
Report to Parents
Home daycare providers report the days’ activities to parents when they come home. They are also responsible for calling parents in urgent situations. This responsibility can vary greatly depending on what the parents want to know about their children’s lives.
Home Daycare Provider Skills and Qualifications
Home daycare providers love children and enjoy being around them all day. They are skilled communicators who provide a loving, nonjudgmental environment for children. Parents tend to look for candidates who have previous nannying or other childcare experience. Successful home daycare providers demonstrate the following skills and qualifications:
- Childcare experience – home daycare providers should have some level of childcare experience, even if it comes in the form of babysitting their younger siblings when they were growing up
- Safety skills and knowledge – home daycare providers have knowledge of safety skills such as child CPR and fire safety. This helps provide a safe environment for children
- Early education experience – while not always required, it’s helpful for home daycare providers to have some early education experience. This experience can help home daycare providers teach children basic knowledge before they go to school
- Interpersonal communication skills – home daycare providers are skilled communicators with both children and adults. While they spend most of their time communicating with kids, they must also be able to report to their parents clearly and efficiently
- Organization skills – home daycare providers need to plan days’ worth of activities for the kids they watch. This requires excellent planning and organization skills
Tools of the Trade
Home daycare providers use a variety of different tools as they care for children, such as:
- Early education toys and materials
- Vehicles for transporting children
- Calendar apps/software
Home Daycare Provider Education and Training
While most home daycare providers don’t need to possess any kind of formal education, many pursue degrees in early education. Home daycare providers may be required to hold special childcare or food-handling licenses, but these requirements vary greatly between different states. Some clients may also require their home daycare providers to hold other certifications and training, like CPR certification. Check your state’s licensing requirements before applying.
Home Daycare Provider Salary and Outlook
Salary for home daycare providers can vary widely depending on how many children they are responsible for and how much of the day they are required to spend with them. Salary can increase even more if providers are required to work overnight.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that childcare workers earn an average hourly wage of $10.72. Those in the top 10 percent earn as much $15.76 per hour, while those in the bottom 10 percent earn as little as $8.41. Home daycare providers don’t typically receive any kind of benefits package, but many receive extra perks like free activities, transportation, and food, since parents pay for them.
The BLS projects 7 percent job growth for childcare workers over the next decade, which is on par with most other industries. This positive growth can be attributed to the steady incline in the number of parents who need to work away from home.
Check out some of these helpful resources to learn more about home daycare providers and the skills they need to be successful:
Care.com Community – this community-based blog features articles written from other home daycare providers who have real-world experience. It’s regularly updated and contains a wide variety of different articles that can help you get up and running as a home daycare provider
The Funny Nanny – branded as a “quirky guide for nannies,” this blog provides a wealth of information about becoming a home daycare provider and performing well in the position. It covers topics like portfolios, characteristics of good childcare providers, and more
No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame – this book is all about discipline, as you may have assumed from the title. It provides practical advice on how to discipline toddlers in an appropriate manner that benefits both the child and the parent
Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids – this book posits that society is “waging an undeclared war on childhood.” It focuses on keeping children away from extensive screen time and too-busy schedules. It touches on topics like streamlining the home environment, scheduling breaks, and scaling back on media involvement
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