When my daughter was young I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom but needed to make some income so I ran a family daycare home. I wonder if people who have lost jobs because of the economic situation might want to do the same thing.
Each state has its own requirements which may require certain college classes, First Aid and CPR training, and fingerprint clearance for the provider as well as physical requirements for the home.
The disadvantages of running a childcare home are the lack of privacy and the necessity of always being there or having a qualified substitute. You're not likely to get rich, either. But the advantages include being able to work at home with no need to commute, and spending time with your own children and their friends. For someone who enjoys kids, that job is fun!
You also get to choose the age groups you prefer to work with and be in control of the schedule with no office politics.
There are lots of resources available online and through local agencies that will provide much more information about how to be a home childcare provider. If any of you might be interested, please check it out. You might be able to help families, including your own.