Daycare Expenses

The Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Home Daycare Expenses

Tax season is just around the corner! Are you wondering about deductible daycare expenses for this year’s tax filing? Delve into our in-depth guide, where we break down different daycare expense categories to help you efficiently maximize your deductions and navigate the tax season.

Understanding Daycare Expenses

When you use your home as a daycare, the space used exclusively for your daycare activities can be partially claimed as a home business deduction. These deductions include a portion of rent or mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities, home repairs, and cleaning services used in the daycare space. 

Daycare Expenses

Children Related Supplies

The daily items your daycare children use are a huge part of your business expenses. These expenses include kids’ furniture, toileting supplies, and any other child-specific items. Remember to keep clear records of what you buy to make deductions easier come tax season.

  • High chairs
  • Booster Seats
  • Kid’s cutlery and plates
  • Bibs
  • Potty Seat
  • Step stools
  • Safety Gates
  • Safety Supplies
  • Cots
  • Cribs
  • Storage Solutions
  • Coat Rakes


Feeding a group of children isn’t just about grilled cheese sandwiches and apple slices. It’s about planning for variety, balanced nutrition, dietary requirements, and the inevitable food wastage. Food is going to be one of your most significant expenses. Try to keep accurate records.

Educational and Play Supplies

For many, this is the core of your business. Curating a collection of toys that is both fun and educational is an ongoing expense. Think of it as a continuous investment in cognitive and motor-skill development. Educational materials, including books, arts and crafts supplies, and technology, are essential tools with a price tag but can be written off.

  • Toys
  • Outdoor Play Equipment 
  • Craft Supplies
  • Curriculum
  • Books
  • Education Program Subscriptions
  • Video Streaming services – Disney+ (if used only for daycare)

Household Cleaning Supplies

A clean environment is crucial. From child-safe disinfectants to unscented hand soaps, these items are important for cleanliness and child safety and health.

  • Handsoap
  • Dish soap
  • Cleaners
  • Mop/Vaccums
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Furniture Cleaning

Advertising and Marketing

Spreading the word about your business is essential. Whether through traditional advertising channels or an eye-catching daycare website, consider the money spent here as an investment in your future.

  • Flyers
  • Business Cards
  • Yard Signs
  • Car Decals 
  • Facebook Ads
  • Website Hosting
  • Newspaper Ads

Auto Expenses – Mileage and Transportation

If you use your vehicle for school drop-offs, field trips, shopping for daycare supplies, or any business-related journeys, you are entitled to claim these miles. Keep detailed records regardless of whether you use a standard mileage rate or actual expenses.

Staff Payments

If you have helpers or staff, their salaries or wages are a significant part of your budget. Be mindful of tax withholding and insurance coverage if they’re in your employment. Check with an accounting for the best way to account for these expenses. 

Office Supplies

Every business needs to stay organized. Stationery, filing systems, and small office equipment are all part of the game.

  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Envelopes
  • Computer
  • Phone

Repairs and Maintenance

Operating safely means sometimes you’ll need to repair or maintain various items in your home. These expenses are often overlooked.

  • Painting Walls
  • Repairing Baseboards
  • Cleaning Ducts
  • Snow removal supplies

Home-Related Daycare Expenses

A portion of your home’s utilities and expenses can be considered ‘daycare operating costs’ depending on the size and use of your home for the business.

  • Electricity
  • Water/sewage
  • Garbage services – Extra garbage tags

Internet and Phone

In the digital age, the internet is a must-have. Make sure you can account for these costs, as well as any business-specific needs like a landline or dedicated phone line.

  • Phone
  • Cell Phone
  • Internet

Bank Charges

Your business account may incur various fees. Understanding and accounting for them is an important part of managing your finances.

  • Business Account Fees
  • Business Credit Card Fees
  • Etranfer Fees
  • Service Charges

Daycare Expenses – Gifts 

You can partly write off the money you spend on gifts for parents and daycare kids.

Clothing and Uniforms

You can write off these costs, whether it’s uniforms for your employees or yourself.


Safeguarding your business and home against accidents and unexpected occurrences is crucial. However, acquiring business liability insurance and home insurance can pose notable expenses.

  • Home Insurance
  • Business Insurance
  • Auto insurance

Accounting Fees

You might choose to hire an accountant to help with your finances, and this fee is part of your operating expenses.

Dues and Subscriptions

Keeping your licenses and certifications current, as well as staying up to date in your field, comes at a cost.

  • First Aid
  • Licensing 
  • Business License

Education and Development

Investing in your skills and those of your staff pays dividends in the quality of your service but does come at a cost. Check with your accountant if you can write these expenses off. 

Major Purchases and Improvements

Investing in long-term items like quality furniture or making home improvements for safety and functionality can be significant one-time expenses and sometimes partially written off.

  • Adding a kitchen to a daycare space
  • Adding a concrete pad
  • upgrade Fencing
  • Upgrading windows/doors for safety
  • Security System

Managing your finances as a daycare provider involves a variety of daycare expenses that are essential for the growth and success of your venture. From operational costs like licenses and certifications to investments in education and development and major purchases for long-term improvements, each expense plays a crucial role in maintaining and expanding your business. Consulting with an accountant to navigate through these financial decisions is key to optimizing deductions and making informed choices that benefit your business in the long run. Remember, staying proactive and strategic with your financial planning will ultimately contribute to the sustainability and prosperity of your business.

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