How Much Money Does A Daycare Owner Make?

If you are thinking about owning your own daycare you are inevitably going to ask the question, “How much money does a daycare owner make?

The answer to this question varies widely depending on a number of factors.

Research has shown that a daycare owner can expect to earn between $7 and $15 per hour (approximately $14,000 to $30,000 per year) as an at-home daycare owner, depending on your location, the ages of the children under your care, and the specialty services you provide.

In this article, we will look at how much money you can make as a daycare owner, the factors that determine how much a daycare owner will earn and some strategies for increasing your income and making your business more profitable.

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How Much Money Does A Daycare Owner Make

A daycare owner is a person who is in charge of the day-to-day operations of a childcare facility. 

Their duties include hiring employees, maintaining facilities, balancing the books, developing strong public relations between parents and teachers, and complying with legal requirements. 

If you decide to run a daycare, you will need strong leadership skills as well as strong business acumen to keep the company on track.

You also need to research municipal and state licensing, insurance, and inspection requirements. 

For instance, in New York, any daycare program with more than two children for more than three hours per day must have a registration certificate.

To obtain this certificate, your daycare must meet the state’s health and safety requirements for children in care.

Major Factors That Determine How Much A Daycare Owner Will Make

Below are the major factors that determine how much a daycare owner will make:

1. Location  

As you may be aware, the cost of living in the United States varies by state, and this is also true for childcare. 

When you start your business, you’ll want to make sure you’re charging competitive rates that don’t undervalue your work, but you’ll also want to make sure you’re not charging significantly more than the average cost of comparable daycare in your area. 

Devaluing your competitors may appear to be a good way to gain more clients, but it will result in more work and a lower profit, whereas overcharging will send potential clients elsewhere.

So it is important that you charge based on your location.

2. Age-Based Pricing

More children attending your daycare obviously means more income, but do you know that the age of those children also influences how much you can charge? 

I guess you don’t….

The reason behind this is that infants, toddlers, and school-aged children all require very different levels of care. 

As a result, you should adjust your daycare tuition based on the age of the enrolled children.

Your smallest clients are newborns and infants up to one year of age. You should charge more for their care because they require specialized care unlike older children.

They will require frequent feedings, diaper changes, and supervised naps. 

This requires a significant amount of valuable time and concentrated effort on your part. 

In the United States, the average monthly cost of childcare for infants attending in-home daycares ranges from $300 to $900. 

Your location will determine where your fee falls in this range, but this age group should account for the majority of your enrollment costs.

School-aged children, ages four and up, do not require the same level of attention as infants and toddlers, so you should charge the lowest rate for such clients. 

  • Children in this age group are typically toilet trained and will require supervised playtime with their peers, snacks, and guided activities such as story and craft time. 

To give you an idea of how much to charge these clients, it is important that you bear in mind that the average cost of daycare for these children is between the sum of $200 and $800 per month.

3. Type Of Daycare

For a daycare owner to know how much to make, it is important to consider what type of daycare you are operating in your location.

There are different types of daycare that will affect how much you can make as a daycare owner. 

There are childcare centers, pre-school programs, and home daycare centers which all offer their own advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s look at them respectively in detail..

  • Child Care Centers

Child care centers are usually larger facilities that have large groups of similar-aged children. 

These facilities offer some instruction and education programs, but mostly, it is more focused on providing a safe environment for children to be in when they are not around their parents.

These centers typically charged less than other types of daycare but can take in more children because they offer more supervision and general care instead of customized care for each child.

  • Preschool Programs

Preschool programs are usually offered for children within the ages bracket of 3-5 years.

They are used as an introduction to a school environment and a way to socialize children with their peers.

These programs will focus on school readiness, basic learning skills, and social skills. 

This type of daycare charges slightly more than a child care center and has smaller groups.

  • Home Daycare Center

A home daycare center is usually the smallest of the three types of daycares we have.

It is just one employee/owner, but they also might opt to hire two employees to assist them with the task of caring for the children throughout the day.

These centers charge a significantly higher price because they offer very small group sizes, individual attention, and customized activities for each child.


4. Special Services And Extras

Offering special services that you can charge more for is also another good way to increase the amount of money you make from your daycare.

Most at-home daycares provide general playtime, snacks, and also some adult-guided activities, but if you are willing to go above and beyond the standard expectations, you may find that parents are willing to pay more to give their children access to your unique services. 

Such unique services are as follows;

  • Transportation 

Many at-home daycares are set up in such a way that  parents drop off and pick up their children.

Inoder to make more money, you can decide to make provision for transportation services and relieve the parents of the stress of coming over to pick their children when you can do so while they pay you.

With such a gesture, some parents will be willing to pay for the convenience. 

If you are willing to offer this service, you must have proper auto insurance as well as car and booster seats for each child, but it is just one small service you can offer to increase the profitability of your business. 

Your area will determine how much you charge for transportation, but a flat rate of $15-$20 per ride may be a good place to start.

  • Non- traditional Hours Of Operation

There are many types of non-traditional hours of operation such as working outside of the normal business hour.

Working outside of normal business hours is another excellent way to increase your earnings. 

Offering to care for children earlier in the morning, later in the evening, overnight, and even on weekends will be a huge assist to busy parents, and you can charge them a fee for the service.

You can also keep children entertained during date nights or charge a fee for on-demand care. 

A common rate for early drop-offs and late pick-ups is between $.50 and $1 per minute. 

You can charge a slightly higher hourly rate for other nontraditional hours of operation.

  • Enrichment 

Enrichment services are another excellent service for an additional earning to your daycare.

It allows you to earn extra money while helping the children in your care expand their learning, and most parents will be thrilled to see their children begin to perform better in school which will motivate them to consider the service to be well worth the extra cost. 

Enrichment can be as simple as teaching ABCs and 123s to your youngest children, or you can work on more structured activities like helping those who are just learning to write to practice, forming their letters and offering tutoring and homework to help the school-aged children.

The fee you should charge here is determined by the type of enrichment you decide to provide.

If all children receive the same service, a flat fee can be added to each client’s tuition.

However, if you are providing individual enrichment services at the parents’ request, you will want to charge an hourly rate. 

In that case, if you do not have a teaching background, you can charge up to $45 per hour for tutoring, whereas a certified teacher can charge up to $85 per hour. 

  • Gifted And Talented

Operating a highly gifted program in a daycare is another outstanding method to enhance your income though, it comes with high expectations. 

The vast majority of parents who send their children to these programs expect results from you and their children.

This can put both of you under significant stress, which may be difficult to manage. 

If you choose this path, make sure you are prepared to perform and also capable of assisting the child in learning at a high level.

  • Foreign Language

If you are proficient in speaking different languages, you can provide something very valuable that most daycares cannot, which is communication. 

Being bilingual provides you with two options:

  • Set up a daycare that caters to both native and foreign-language speakers. If your community has a large number of foreign-language speakers, this is an excellent option


  • Create a bi-lingual daycare where children are taught and also able to communicate in two or more  languages throughout the day. This is a fantastic way to broaden the horizons of young children and has been shown to provide numerous benefits to young minds.

These are just a few of the additional services you can provide. 

In addition, it is advisable for you to study what other daycares in your area are doing and use your imagination to come up with unique ideas that will boost your business by making your daycare more appealing and allowing you to charge a little more.

Now you have seen that the price you can charge for your daycare and also how much you can make monthly or yearly is entirely dependent on your location, your client’s needs, the services you provide and your willingness to go above and beyond for your clients.

Read Also: Medical Logistics Specialist: Salary, Job Description & Duties

Daycare Owner Salary Forecasts

The average daycare owner salary is $27,716. 

The most common degree required is a bachelor’s degree with a business major. 

It usually takes zero experience to become a daycare owner. 

Daycare owners with a Child Development Associate (CDA) certification earn more money. 

Research has shown that between 2018 and 2028, this career will be expected to grow by 2% and produce 27,700 job opportunities across the U.S.


1. How Much Does It Cost To Insure A Daycare?

The cost of general liability insurance for a small to medium-sized daycare varies depending on location and size. 
Workers’ compensation insurance costs approximately $1.25 per $100 of payroll.

2. Do I Need A Loan To Start My Daycare?

The majority of daycare owners started their businesses with a loan. 
A typical daycare startup cost ranges between $50,000 and $200,000. 
If you can pay this out of pocket and are comfortable doing so, that is perfectly acceptable.
If you choose to get a loan, you are not putting yourself at a significant disadvantage.
You will have the additional expense of your loan payment, but you will have enough startup capital to create a high-quality daycare facility.


A daycare business is gratifying, financially, and emotionally. 

The exact amount you can make depends on your passion, the available resources, the range of services you intend to offer, and the quality of services. 

To make the most, you need to keep a low turnover ratio, which means you always have to continually up your games and also ensure that the children always have a blast every time they are at your child care center.

With all these, I hope that this article has been helpful in enlightening you on how much a daycare owner makes.

Best wishes!

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