Introduction to Family
Child Care Marketing
The Profession of Family Child Care
Family child care is a profession. It is a unique profession that requires a wide variety
of skills: teacher, protector, cook, chauffeur, bookkeeper, organizer, and much, much
more. It is a job that hundreds of thousands of women and men perform because they
love children and they want to support their own family. When we talk about a family
child care professional, we are not referring to a babysitter. Ababysitter is someone
who watches children (usually from just one family) for a few hours in the evening
while the parents are away from home at a movie or social event. Afamily child care
provider is someone who is in the business of teaching and nurturing young children
to reach their highest potential, usually for more than 50 hours a week, year-round.
Aprovider is intentional about planning activities and helping meet the individual,
changing needs of the children in care. This is no easy job.
At its heart, family child care is about the very personal relationship between a
caregiver, a child, and the child’s family. This home-centered, personal relationship is
what makes family child care so special. At the same time, providers must also care
for their own physical and emotional needs in order to be able to continue offering
this unique service. In the long run, providers must learn to balance the personal and
business side of their profession to be successful.
Being a family child care professional means being in control of your business.
You are responsible for setting your own rates and hours, and deciding who your cus-
tomers will be and what type of curriculum you will offer. Before you care for your
first child, you should decide what kind of business you want to have. This is one of
the best parts of being self-employed. You are the boss! You are free to set your own
rules (with the narrow exception of illegal-discrimination laws) and change them