A Movement in the Making


Meet Our Providers

Even with all of my experience, I’m not sure I could have opened Wee Play without NeighborSchools. It is so reassuring to have their help at each step of the process.

Deb Pacheco partnered with NeighborSchools to open Wee Play Infant Toddler Development in Gloucester, MA.

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45 Bromfield St

Boston, MA 02108

(617) 263-7500
Daycare Provider with Children
Daycare Provider with Children
Daycare Provider with Children
Get Started With Your Own Home Daycare

I was a nanny for many years, but I always knew I wanted to open my own Family Child Care. It’s a lot of work, and there’s a lot I didn’t know when I got started. I kind of thought that I just had to get the license - now I know there’s a lot more involved in opening a successful program.

Martha Conlon opened her Family Child Care in Dedham, Massachusetts in 2019.

FAQs & Answers in the Guide

The 5-Part Process


This guide helps potential Providers figure out if they’re ready to open a Family Child Care Program, and then explains each of the 5 parts of the process.

Beyond that, each provider and their program is beautifully unique—just like you!

Some come to NeighborSchools with 10+ years of experience in Montessori pre-schools. Others are certified early interventionists who are ready for the next chapter in their career. Others still are devoted mothers or grandmothers with a passion for childhood development. Some live in the same New England towns that their great-grandparents settled 100+ years ago, and others are recent immigrants from as far afield as Colombia, Ethiopia, or Bangladesh. Their stories, their dedication to children, and their ambitions to be small-business owners are what make them so special.

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The 5-Part Guide to Opening a Family Child Care Program

Learn how to support your family and support your community. 

Join the movement bringing small-scale child care back to our neighborhoods.

Getting a license is different in each state

Apply for Your License

In this section:

Family Child Care Orientation course, Online Trainings, CPR & First Aid, Physical Exam, Professional Registry, & Application.

4 - 8 weeks

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The Ultimate Guide to Opening a Home Daycare in Massachusetts

Learn how

What's inside?

Use our guide as a starting point to launch your new business, find your first customers, and build the program of your dreams.

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FAQs & Answers in the Guide

Recipe for Success

Home requirements & inspection

1. Am I qualified?

Most new Providers have real experience with infants and toddlers. Many are moms with young children at home, and others are early-childhood professionals who have been working with children for years.

Each state has different requirements for prior experience, so download the guide for your state.



2. Do I need a license?

You’ll need a license if you’re going to be taking care of other people’s children in your own home on a regular basis. In certain states, you’ll only need a license for 3 or more children. But getting licensed is recommended either way, because, among other things, you can’t get liability insurance without a license.


3. How do I get a license?

The licensing process is different in every state. Download the guide for your state to learn how it will work for you. In most states, it takes 2-3 months and involves online trainings, background record checks, a home inspection, and filing a lot of paperwork with the state licensing body. But some states do everything in an online portal, and others are still using paper and pen for everything, so it’s really all over the place!  


4. How much can I expect to make?

Your income will be based on how many children you care for and the daily or weekly rate you set for families. Most Providers think in terms of a daily rate, which can vary widely based on where you live.* For instance, in Massachusetts, some Providers charge $50/day/child, while others charge over $80. In starting a Family Child Care Program, it’s important to remember that it often takes over 6 months to get licensed, and it can take another 6 months before reaching full enrollment.

* For a more accurate estimate of local rates, after downloading the Guide you’ll be invited to take a “Readiness Quiz” which will estimate your earning potential based on your zip code and other factors.



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Setup Your Home

In this section:

Children’s Furniture, Play Spaces, Nap Spaces, Supplies & Materials, Preparing & Serving Food, Safety Measures, Health Measures, and Fenced / Safe Outdoor Space

3 - 6 weeks

Register Your Business

In this section:

Liability Insurance, Zoning Verification, DBA Certificate, Tracking First Business Expenses, Minimizing Taxes

2 - 3 weeks

Find Your First Families

In this section:

Taking Photos, Getting Testimonials, Creating a Website, Giving Tours, Creating a Contract, Taking Deposits, Processing Payments

4 - 8 weeks

Opening Day & Beyond

In this section:

Developing a Schedule, Handling Mixed Age Groups, Creating Routines, Working with Parents, Getting to Full Enrollment

2 - 4 weeks

Note: Sections 1 and 2 are different for each state, so be sure to select the right state when downloading the guide.

The continuity of care and this partnership that develops between a provider who works with the child for a couple of years and a parent, that’s the magic of it. We think this is the model for the future of child care in America.

NeighborSchools’ CEO talking with Time Magazine about why people are turning to Family Child Care.

New Providers Just Like You

Ms. Jennifer

Mom of 2, passionate about childhood development, ready to do it on her own.

Est. 2019

Experienced educator, who “always dreamt of helping children who don’t have it easy.”

Est. 2019

Ms. Ana

Veteran nanny and loving grandmother, offering English-Spanish bilingual programming.

Est. 2019

Ms. Martha

NeighborSchools helps caregivers open and run high-quality licensed Family Child Care. Since 2010, one out of every five Family Child Care Programs in the US have closed permanently, leaving families with fewer options for child care when they need it most. Child care centers charge parents too much, and pay educators not enough. Family Child Care is the solution.

We started NeighborSchools in 2018 to turn the tides and help the best educators and caregivers successfully launch their very own programs.

We are a mission-driven company, based in Boston. Want to learn more? Send us an email.

About NeighborSchools

This guide helps people figure out if they’re ready to open a Family Child Care, and then explains all 5 parts of the process.

Apply for Your License

Setup Your Home

Register Your Business

Find Your First Families

Opening Day & Beyond

A Movement in the Making

New Providers

About NeighborSchools

Ms. Ana

Experienced educator, who “always dreamt of helping children who don’t have it easy.”

Est. 2019

Ms. Martha