There is an overlooked industry that allows military spouses to be their own bosses and provides job security for years to come - this industry is in child care.
A booming industry
Child care is one of the fastest growing career fields in the U.S. economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, in 2006, child care services provided close to 807,000 wage and salary jobs, and there were an additional 467,000 self-employed and unpaid family workers in the industry.
What's more, the child care industry is projected to grow for the next eight years, and job prospects are expected to be "excellent," reports the BLS. The employment opportunities will increase rapidly over the years as an unusually large number of job openings will result each year from the need to replace large numbers of experienced workers who move on to other occupations.
And, jobs in child care are found across the country, which allows military spouses to find a job wherever Uncle Sam sends their family.
Administering child care
There are many ways to manage child care. Child care can include providing care in the child's home, in an organized child care center, or in the child care provider's home - also known as family-child care. But, the two main types of child care are center-based and family-child care.
Center-based child care centers include preschools, child care centers, and federally funded Head Start programs. These centers require child care workers to be licensed or have some minimal training. Additionally, many centers will require criminal record checks for all day care staff.
Family-child care centers consist of one self-employed provider who tends to a small amount of children in the provider's home for a fee. There are some states that don't regulate family-child care providers who care for a few children. However, home safety inspections and criminal background checks are required for family-child care providers.
Child care also requires a lot of emotional and physical strength. Providers must stand, walk, bend, stoop, and lift things to attend to children's needs. And it also requires constant attention. Providers must anticipate and prevent trouble, deal effectively and fairly with disruptive children.
Running home-based child care
Home-based child care providers need to assess the cost associated with starting this business. The cost of running a home-based child care center is close to $2,000, according to BuildYourOwnBusiness.com. Funding a family-child care program can be done through federal assistance programs and grants. The Small Business Administration (SBA) features a guide to starting a home-based child care program, which includes information about finding these grants and financial-aid programs to get the businesses up and running.