As a family child care provider, making sure your business is financially sustainable has to be a priority.

Taking the time to input your expenditures and income into a spreadsheet like this one will help to tell you when you’re on the right track or when you need to make changes to your business practices.

Keep these budget sheets as historical records; compare how you’re doing now to last month, six months ago, last year, and longer. Set a goal and work backwards: how much do you need to earn, and how can you get there?

Look ahead: what do you want to save for? More materials? Landscaping? A remodel? Retirement? Envision your five- and ten-year plans, and break that down into steps. How much would you need to put aside each month to make your dream a reality in five years?

Looking at finances can be intimidating, especially in a field that operates on such a small margin. But as the saying goes, “knowledge is power!” and the more you know about the financial health of your business, the better prepared you are for your future and for the children in your care.


The webinar on January 20, 2016 sparked conversations about common scenarios that family child care providers often face in working with families. It can be challenging to approach parents concerning their child’s behavior. Sometimes the behavior is not occurring at home, only in the family child care environment. Sometimes parents see the behavior you describe at home as well, but they aren’t sure what to do about it. It can be difficult to have a discussion with a parent about their child’s behavior not knowing how they will react. Visit the Town Square discussion board to connect with other providers and share ideas about ways to approach talking with parents.

You may have heard the expression that parents need to have a “united front” with their children. We believe family child care providers and parents need to have a united front as well. Beginning with an open conversation with a parent regarding your concerns about their child’s behavior and also lets parents know that you want to collaborate with them to provide consistent messages and responses to children is the starting point.

Try to set the parent at ease and let them know you would like their help to develop a plan to address the issue. Parents may feel embarrassed or upset about the behavior, so reassure them that you will find a solution together. Your years of experience and knowledge of children can further reassure parents. Your experience counts for a lot and you can always seek further resources and help.

When collaborating with parents, each person needs to feel good about and comfortable with the plan. The benefit of collaborating with parents is the consistency for their child. Children feel more secure when they are getting the same message of expected behavior instead of mixed messages. Set goals together for the child and a time to talk again and assess the plan and the child’s progress, and make adjustments and changes to the plan as needed.

To view the Child Development for the Family Child Care Provider webinar visit the Grow page on Town Square.