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Tom Copeland


Tom Copeland Photo Tom Copeland is the nation's leading expert on the business of family child care. A renowned tax and child care business specialist and licensed attorney, Tom received his BA from Macalester College, and JD from William Mitchell College of Law. He is the author and coauthor of numerous books including Family Child Care Contracts & Policies, Family Child Care Record-Keeping Guide, Managing Legal Risks in Early Childhood Programs, Family Child Care Marketing Guide, Family Child Care Money Management and Retirement Guide, Family Child Care Business Planning Guide, Family Child Care Legal & Insurance Guide, annual editions of Family Child Care Tax Workbook and Organizer, and Family Child Care Tax Companion, and Family Child Care Inventory Keeper.

Each year Tom trains thousands of family child care providers, trainers, and tax preparers on important business issues, including record keeping, taxes, marketing, contracts, and legal issues. Currently, he is a consultant for the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). 

Tom has received numerous awards for his work including; the Friends of NAFCC Award from the National Association for Family Child Care, and the Care Advocate of the Year award from the Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association.

He has represented numerous providers in IRS audits and has won three US Tax Court cases. In 2003, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2003-22 that allows family child care providers to use a standard meal allowance rate to claim food expenses. Tom was the author of the proposal that led to this rule.

Stay updated on Family Child Care business issues with Tom Copeland's blog at, email Tom Copeland at

Tom Copeland's Books

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  • Family Child Care Money Management and Retirement Guide (e-book)

    Author: Tom Copeland
    Product Code: 541679
    ISBN: 978-1-60554-167-9

    Description & More Details

    Published by Redleaf Press e-book

    Read a sample chapter and the table of contents from this book!

    Download Hiring an Employee Worksheet. Weekly expenses involved in hiring an employee (from page 82).

    There are a multitude of financial decisions that must be made when running a family child care business. This resource offers valuable advice—whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned child care provider—to learn how to worry less about monetary details so that you can keep your focus on the children.

  • Managing Legal Risks in Early Childhood Programs

    Authors: Tom Copeland, Holly Elissa Bruno MA, JD
    Product Code: 753774
    ISBN: 978-0-8077-5377-4

    Description & More Details

    How to Prevent Flare-Ups from Becoming Lawsuits

    Managing Legal Risks in Early Childhood Programs: How to Prevent Flare-Ups from Becoming Lawsuits provides sample policies, procedures, and best practices to help you gain confidence in preventing and resolving legal challenges and conflicts with families and staff members. Chapters include information to help you

    • Gain insight from legal history, legal theory, and basic research
    • Act ethically while reducing the risks of a lawsuit
    • Use contracts and policies to reduce conflicts with parents
    • Build partnerships with families, prevent sticky situations, and promote clear expectations
    • Implement prevention strategies to keep your child care center safe for everyone
    • Understand minority rights
    • Maintain privacy and confidentiality in the Internet age
    • Hire employees with ethical and legal policies in place
    • Step up to the plate when it comes to supervision challengers
    • Understand whether or not you have full coverage with your insurance plan

    Softbound, 192 pgs.
    Copublished with Teachers College Press.

  • "Family Child Care Marketing Guide, 2nd Edition (e-book)"

    Author: Tom Copeland
    Product Code: 542058
    ISBN: 978-1-60554-205-8

    Description & More Details

    Published by Redleaf Press e-book

    Effectively market your family child care program and maximize enrollment and income with this essential resource. Filled with marketing tips that are useful whether you are just starting out or have an established business, Family Child Care Marketing Guide, Second Edition, includes information on the many elements of marketing a family child care program. You will learn how to identify and highlight your program's benefits, get the most out of low-cost promotions, use the Internet and social media to promote your program, and implement the best marketing strategies to reach prospective, current, and former clients.

    176 pgs.

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