We are living in a society where parents are struggling to earn a living for their families. Often, young children are left in the care of babysitters, nannies, or daycare centers. As a parent or as someone with a genuine passion for caring for children, you want to give the best care not just for your children, but also for other children in your community. You can use this vision as your foundation and motivation for starting your own daycare business. Just like starting any other type of business, some challenges and hurdles need to be overcome.
To help you with this commendable business idea, we’ll share some valuable tips on how to start your own daycare business.
Prepare Your Business Location
You need to have a location or place in mind where you can establish your daycare business. One of the best places to set up your daycare business can be your home. You just need to make use of your extra room or make use of your front yard space to convert it to a daycare center. Convenience and economy are your benefits when you choose this location. You can use both indoor and outdoor spaces to maximize the fun and learning the kids can have in your daycare center. Using colorful school storage units that are just right for the dimensions of your daycare room can give ample indoor space for a wide variety of activities while also providing a safe place to keep the toys and educational materials of the kids. These storage units also help keep things organized and other specialized storage units are essential for keeping important documents safe. Now that you have a clear vision of where your business location will be and how your daycare business is going to be set up, you’ll also need to consider the zoning laws and child care licensing regulations of your city.
Learn About Child Care Provider Licensing
Different states and local governments have different rules and regulations in place for small businesses and daycare businesses. Your daycare establishment can be categorized as both and you need to comply with the rules and regulations for both categories. You can check the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or the Child Care Aware of America website to learn the licensing guidelines and regulations for child care providers. While the licensing process can involve complying and submitting several requirements and documents, do your best to accomplish all of them, and don’t be tempted to cut corners. Some of the requirements may include a good driving record, an updated CPR certification, and other proof or documentation of your childcare commitment. Preparing all the requirements can save you time when processing your daycare license.
Build A Solid Experience or Educational Background
Having a degree in early childhood education can fast track your licensing and also improve your credentials as a childcare provider. Building years of experience in childcare can also help strengthen your position as a reputable childcare provider or administrator, which can help build the reputation of your business. There is stiff competition even in the daycare center business, and you need to be steps ahead of your competitors by gaining knowledge and experience relevant to your business. If you are hiring additional staff and childcare providers, the same educational background or experience should be required from them.
Interested parents will find your daycare center reassuring to have if they see proof of certifications and educational background. It can give them the trust and confidence to leave their children in your care. Having a few parents who can support and promote your daycare center as a safe and enjoyable place for kids to play, have fun, and learn is a good start for your business thanks to the knowledge and experience that you and your staff have.
Formulate and Implement Your Business Plan
Your business plan is essential for the realization of your daycare business. It should include a survey of the current market, an assessment of the childcare needs in your community and nearby communities, a map of other existing daycare services near your intended business location, and other important details that will help your business start smoothly.
Your business plan should also take care of logistical matters such as the number of children your daycare can accommodate. Since you are starting in the childcare business, it is best to start with a minimum number of children to comply with state regulations and to get used to the operation of a daycare business. The maximum and minimum ages should also be set, depending on the number of staff you have. Ideally, you can have your ages set somewhere between eight weeks old as the minimum age and nine years old as the maximum age.
Create Your Daycare Name and Philosophy
Your daycare name will be your business brand and identity. It will be how parents and kids will remember your facility. Choose a short, simple, and meaningful name that is easy to remember. You can include your name or some relevant thoughts in the naming of your daycare center such as Baby Steps Learning Center or Martha’s Family Daycare.
An educational philosophy can help guide you and your staff on how your business will operate. You can adopt various established educational philosophies Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, or Montessori, or you can improvise and formulate your educational philosophy based on the needs of the children in your care. A play-and-learn philosophy is a good option you can use for toddlers.
Having a daycare name and philosophy can help you structure your daycare program when it comes to time for meals, playtime, nap time, stories, activities, and lessons. Your curriculum can be updated and revised, and you can also make the necessary adjustments to your program.
Prepare a Budget
Taking care of the costs helps complete the realization of your daycare business after you have made the best business plan. You will need to shoulder the startup costs of starting your daycare. You’ll have to take care of the staff or personnel salaries, equipment, supplies, food, licensing fees, insurance, and advertising. The good thing is you can set a startup cost budget for the first three months of your operation as you can’t rely yet on the enrollment fees during the first few weeks of your daycare operation. Once the full enrollment and registration of all the children in your care, you can begin managing the income generated from the enrollment fees.
Starting a daycare business takes a lot of work and preparation, just like any other business startup. It can be challenging, but once your business operates successfully, it can be a rewarding business. Don’t forget the reason that motivated you to start the business as it will guide your business towards success.
Photo credits: Pexels & Unsplash