Have a written contract, make them sign it and stick to it! The contract should contain all concerned parties' information and specify the days/times you will be watching the child/ren, fees (and when they due by) and whether or not you will be providing meals/snacks. Put your policies in writing (holiday schedule, field trips, cancellations, refunds, late pick up fees, etc.), have the parents initial or sign it, then provide a photocopy of the signed form to the parents. Get payment for each daycare week the week before or there's a good chance you won't get paid on time, if at all. Never extend credit!
Also, you may need a license to run a home daycare in your area, so check local laws & get what you need. You should also check to see if you need a seperate insurance policy & what type. Base your fees on your costs (ins., food, electric, water, licensing, etc.).
at 9:22 AM on Apr. 21, 2010