Starting a daycare in Ohio is a lucrative leap for aspiring aspiring Daycare Owners. Statistics show that Ohio natives spend $1.1 billion every year for child care services. Ohio based daycares serve 190,000 children on a yearly basis.
Follow these 7 steps to start a daycare in Ohio.
- Complete pre-licensing training online.
- Visit the Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS) website to get more information about licensing requirements in the state of Ohio.
- Sign up for local training opportunities to sharpen your business skills in the industry.
- Write your daycare’s business plan.
- Purchase equipment and supplies.
- Select a name for your daycare.
- Set the fees for your child care services.
Finish the first 3 steps first to be ahead of the game. It will take a few months or so for your daycare license to be approved. While you are waiting on your licensure approval, you can work on your daycare’s business plan.
Complete the Required Online Pre-Licensing Training
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS) requires that aspiring child care providers complete a required online pre-licensing training module based on what type of daycare you are running.
There is a pre-licensing training for childcare centers and there is one for family daycare providers.
For your in-home aides, have them complete the online pre-certification process before doing the main application. Child care day camps even have a pre-camp training that must be done before being licensed as a child care day camp.
Any pre-licensing training and tracking the rest of your child care career experience will be done through the Ohio Professional Registry. This account will travel with you everywhere you go as you open your first daycare and maybe even expand to more locations in or out of state.
Get More Licensing Information from DJFS
Becoming a licensed facility in Ohio involves:
- Undergoing extensive child care training.
- Zoning your home or building where daycare services will take place.
- Fire safety training for staff.
- Environmental safety checks.
- Proper food serving, storage, and sanitary practices.
5 Licensing Requirements
To get your license to run a daycare in Ohio, you need to meet the following basic requirements.
- Be 18 years of age or older to apply for licensure.
- You must live in the same home where you intend to run your daycare business. If you are running a facility in a building, you must be the owner of that building or renting it out.
- Take and pass a TB Test.
- Complete and pass a criminal background check.
- You are obligated to complete a total of 16 hours of pediatric health and safety training with an accredited university or college or an authorized vendor. This training must cover preventive health practices, first-aid certifications, and pediatric CPR.
5 Steps for Licensure
- Attend an orientation online or in-person.
- Register your licensing application and pay the initial application fee. The initial application fee for a child care center is $50 and the fee is $25 for a home-based daycare.
- Learn and understand all laws and regulations relating to DJFS.
- Send an application packet after passing the orientation.
- Undergo an initial-licensing test. A licensing program analyst will contact you to arrange the meeting.
4 Legal Exceptions for Licensure
The penalty for running a daycare in Ohio without having a license is $200 daily for every day that you operate. The programs legally exempted from having to be a licensed facility include:
- When a child receives care in its own home provided by a babysitter or nanny.
- Informal arrangements for child care such as playgroups in which there’s no financial transaction for the supervision.
- Child care from a particular family aside from the provider’s family.
- Military care programs are separately monitored and regulated by the military or other related programs rendered on federal property.
Check out more information on daycare licensing training for the state of Ohio by visiting DJFS.
Engage in Local Training Seminars
4C for Children is the program in Ohio that oversees training seminars for child care providers. Check out the training opportunities on the 4C for Children website, register for your chosen training module, and attend the class to learn more about that child care business related subject.
Most virtual classes are free to attend. In-person classes and certain virtual classes can cost anywhere from $24 to $48 to attend. Search for the upcoming seminars by clicking this link.
Write Your Daycare’s Business Plan
Create a business plan outlining aspects such as staffing, promotions, educational programs, and fee structure. Include financial figures such as start-up funds, projected running costs, and estimated balance sheets for a minimum of at least the first two years. You will find models unique to the daycare industry online.
A written business plan is needed when seeking funds from lenders, such as banks, investors, and grantors. After identifying the type of daycare you want to operate, draw up a successful plan. This requires direct decision-making and extensive research to prove valid points in every portion of your business plan.
Plan Out Logistics
Answer these questions to help you figure out the logistics of your overall business plan.
- How many kids do you want to care for? Many states have specific laws on the overall number of children of certain ages approved in a daycare home. Start out small, and get used to it before expanding.
- What is the minimum and highest age of enrollment in your daycare? The answer to this question will help you make wiser decisions while setting up and getting equipment for your daycare.
- What time will you start accepting kids, and when do you expect them to get picked? Compare the time frames of other daycares to make the best decision for yours in order to be the most available for parents’ and guardians’ work schedules.
Build a Health and Safety Plan
You must have plans in place for emergency health and safety situations, accident prevention, first aid kits, sickness prevention, and o on. Most licensing departments will advise that you conduct frequent fire drills.
Draw Up a Contract Plan
Decide on how to create a contract for parents to sign before enrolling their kids in your daycare home. This will include payments and supplies and a penalty for late pick-up.
It should also have a section that asks parents for sensitive details such as child allergies, health conditions, and a list of approved people who can pick the child, record of immunization, and emergency contacts to call.
Purchase Equipment and Supplies
Purchase the necessary equipment and supplies to run your classrooms, encourage an organized flow in the front office, and help the children to be engaged and have fun in their learning experience.
Equipment to consider includes:
- Safety items: Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, electrical outlet covers, fire extinguishers, electrical outlet covers, first aid kits, and baby gates.
- Educational equipment: this can range from chalkboards, toy kitchens, art supplies, toys, easels, drum sets, puzzles, and games.
- Basic furniture: Bookshelves, file cabinets, coat racks, chairs, tables, beds, recliners for kids, storage, sleeping mats, etc.
- Daily supplies: Tissues, wipes, cleaning supplies, diapers, and so on.
Select Your Daycare’s Name
The name your business will take is very important. It should be a name that carries a strong meaning and philosophy that will attract parents to your daycare. Moreover, you can also add your personal name, as long as it carries a strong message.
Going for an educational philosophy can go a long way in promoting your new daycare. There are a number of options available to you, including, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, and many more. You can do some research to find out what philosophy fits the mission and vision of your daycare the most.
Set Your Fees for Child Care Services
The fee you charge per child must be included in every contract to be signed. You must consider certain factors such as the average cost of daycare services in Ohio.
According to Child Care Aware of America, infant care at a home-base daycare in the state of Ohio averages about $7,400 per year. That costs about $142 per week and $570 per month. Affiliate with the Public Funded Child Care (PFCC) program to be able to work with parents who receive daycare stipends. You can still get paid for your child care services, even if the full amount cannot come from a lower-income parent.
After setting a fee, the next thing to decide is the payment method and when payment will be accepted. You should establish a payment deadline and penalties for late payment.
Accepting many forms of payment will make it convenient for parents such as check, money, order, credit and debit and prepaid cards. Setting up an online payment system using daycare management software can set you apart from your competitors.
What are the requirements for low-income families to receive child care funding assistance?
To be enrolled in the Public Funded Child Care (PFCC) program in Ohio, the following requirements must be met:
- Parent(s) must work at least 20 hours per week and/or be enrolled in college or job training.
- Children must be 13 or younger to receive the assistance.
- Daycare assistance will only be funded for during the time that parents or guardians are at work for the day.
- Teen parents are mandated to attend an education program while their children attend daycare.
What is the adult to child ratio in an Ohio based daycare?
According to Daycare.com, the adult to child ratio is 1:6 for children ages 6 and under. If mixed ages are in a teacher’s classroom, there cannot be more than 3 children that are younger than age 2.
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
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