Are you planning to open a daycare business but don’t know where to start?
Working with children is a noble profession and aside from being rewarding and fun, it can also be challenging if you’re just starting out. To avoid feeling overwhelmed while trying to start a daycare, we’ve prepared some useful tips for you to follow.
Keep reading to discover 7 essential steps to start and grow a daycare business that’ll be popular with both the kids and their parents.
1. Invest in Yourself and Learn New Skills
Working with children, especially toddlers and pre-schoolers, can be challenging. Different kids have different needs, personalities, ways of learning, and ways of communicating. As you’ll be the one in charge, you should know how to react and handle different situations in a calm, positive manner.
This is why the foundation of every child care business is investing in yourself as a person and learning new skills. For example, you can take online child care and education classes, attend business and industry conferences, read books about early childhood development and keep up with the industry trends.
You should also consider hiring a child care consultant if you want even more in-depth information about the business of running a daycare.
2. Have a Business and Marketing Plan
One of the first things to do before starting a daycare is crafting a detailed business plan. If you want to get funding or a bank loan, this will help you convince investors that you have a vision and the know-how to grow the business.
Your business plan should include an executive summary, business model, market research, financial plan, marketing plan, employees, business goals and objectives, and development strategy.
It’ll also help you move forward if you get stuck or don’t know what to do next. Business plans are a must if you want to register a legitimate business, so don’t skip over this step.
3. Find a Location and Prepare Your Center
Finding the right location for your daycare center business is another important step in your business plan. If you have enough space, you can run a daycare from your home. Otherwise, aim for a location that’s easily accessible to the parents so they don’t have to go out of their way and drive for an hour to pick up the kids.
When you find the location, it’s time to prepare your daycare center and do some renovations if needed. Choose the wall paint color, furniture, wall decorations, wallpaper, wall stickers, toys, educational books, musical instruments, beds, playmats, and desks.
If you’re offering meals or snacks during the stay, make sure to have all kinds of options available. Many kids will have allergies, food intolerances, or are just picky eaters. Don’t forget to childproof the entire place so everyone is safe.
4. Establish Procedures and Policies
To ensure the safety and comfort of the children, the parents, and your employees, you need to have specific policies and procedures in place.
These include an emergency plan, privacy rules and protocols, employee rewards and benefits, rules of conduct for the facility and the staff, as well as safety procedures.
If you’re not sure which policies and procedures to implement, you can always consult with your local authorities or government agencies to make sure everything is legal.
Taking these steps to protect your business, your employees, and your customers will help you have peace of mind, but also protect you from potential lawsuits, legal actions, or penalties.
5. Offer High-Quality Services
If you want your daycare startup to be different (and better) from your competitors, you need to offer high-quality services. You don’t have to launch special programs or offer more services than your competition in order to be successful.
By doing the very best you can and offering the best care for the little ones, you’ll be on your way to successfully growing a daycare business. Aside from providing excellent care, education, and entertainment for the kids, you should also have great customer service for the parents and guardians as well.
After all, they’re the ones who make the decisions and pay for the daycare, so you should aim to please them and meet (and exceed) their expectations.
6. Obtain All Licenses and Permits
In order to be able to work legally, you need to obtain all the local, state, and national licenses and permits. These depend on the area or state where you intend to operate the business, so make sure to check with your local government institutions.
The first government agency to contact is the Department of Children and Family Services who have their own special regulations for these types of businesses. Then, you should also check with your state and local child care licensing agencies.
Some other licenses and certifications you’ll need include a CPR certification and a clean driving and criminal record.
7. Get Funding and Insurance
Getting funding for your daycare business is an essential step, as it can dictate the direction you’ll go towards. Will you be investing into the business or will you apply for a business loan? Will you be getting investors or a partner who will invest and have shares in the company?
Make sure to define your funding sources before you make any significant plans and decisions. Once you know how much money you have, you can plan everything accordingly.
The final step is getting insurance for the business. This is to make sure the children under your care are protected, but also that your business is covered as well.
Some of the main types of insurance you should get includes business insurance, liability coverage, workers’ compensation, and property insurance.
Now You Know How To Open a Successful Daycare Business
Whether this is your first business or you’re a serial entrepreneur, these daycare business tips will help you get your business off the ground and find your first customers in no time.
Need more startup and entrepreneurship tips? We cover these topics over on our blog where we share the latest industry tips and news to help you launch and grow your dream business.