Opening a daycare school is the ideal way for anyone who loves children and loves to teach to become an entrepreneur. The process consists of a few fairly simple but crucial steps.
These Crucial Steps Include:
Getting licensed in your state
Getting licensed is one of the most crucial steps any potential daycare school must take before they open. This licensing allows them to legally operate and function in the state they are licensed.
Finding a location
Choosing a location for a daycare school will allow you to maximize the number of potential clients who will hire you for your services.
Hiring employees who are experienced with children will prevent major headaches for you as they will take on a percentage of the responsibilities that come with your service.
Advertising to local parents
While children are the ones that you as a daycare school will be dealing with, it’s the parents who will be hiring you and are thus the ones that your ads should be aimed towards.
Getting licensed in your state
Operating a business without proper licensing can cause major issues for any entrepreneur.
This is just as true for a daycare school as it is for any other business.
Without being properly licensed, a daycare school faces the very real possibility that it may be shut down.
- Necessary licensing
Licensing may vary from state to state, however in many states, you will need to obtain a child care license for the daycare aspect, as well as an early education certificate for the teaching aspect.
Generally child care licenses are obtained through either the child welfare or human service agency.
Early education certification will take between 6 months and 2 years to receive, depending on the institution and program that it is received through.
If you choose to operate a daycare service without a license, you will likely suffer a $200 fine for every day that your daycare school operates without a license.
- Steps necessary to receive a childcare license
Before you can become legally licensed as a daycare provider, most states will require the following steps to be taken:
Prove you have a high school diploma or an equivalent certification.
This first step is fairly simple and can be passed by anyone who has graduated high school or has obtained a GED.
If you are looking to operate a daycare service but don’t have a high school diploma, obtaining a GED is a fairly simple and easy process requiring only a fairly short test.
Pass an inspection of the daycare location.
This is to ensure the safety of all of the children who will be attending the daycare school. The specific requirements for this inspection will be covered later.
Complete first aid and CPR training.
This is fairly common for anyone who has had a history of working near young children, thus it may not be necessary if you are already certified.
However, if you do not have this training as of yet, the process is fairly simple and can be done within only 90 minutes.
- Teaching Requirements
When it comes to operating a daycare school, you are required to provide evidence of an early education certification.
This is often why many who run daycare school are former teachers or those who went into teaching but wanted something slightly different.
As mentioned previously, the certification will take between 6 months and 2 years to receive, and must be completed before teaching operations begin.
Finding a location
Finding the perfect location for a daycare school can be a major challenge, but it’s still crucial nonetheless.
A location will determine nearly everything about a daycare school, thus it’s important to select one that will give everything you’re looking for!
- What to consider in a location
How much space are you going to need?
The amount of space you are going to need will depend on how many children you plan to be responsible for.
In most cases, to obtain a license for a daycare center, you must have 35 square feet of indoor usable space per child.
As a result, you must take into consideration how many children you are planning to incorporate into your daycare school and thus select a location accordingly.
Is there any outdoor space?
For many children, outdoor activities are a good way to burn off some energy and generally have a good time.
Thus, when you are selecting a location for a daycare school it may be important to consider whether or not that location has any outdoor space that can be utilized for outdoor activities.
When deciding on a location for a daycare school, you have to consider whether or not you are in decent proximity to an area with a high population of daycare age children.
Is there room for a designated teaching area?
Many states, when opening a daycare school, will require proof that your daycare location has space for a designated learning environment.
By having a designated learning environment, you are ensuring that the children are able to separate playtime and learning time.
- Is operating out of your home an option?
Yes, operating a daycare school out of your own home is an option.
However, before you do start operating a daycare service out of your own home, it’s important to consider the following things:
- Is your family ok with you doing so?
- Are you ok with strangers being in your home?
- Would it create a problem separating your home and work life?
- Is your home large enough to do so?
- Does your home have a designated teaching space?
It’s important to consider the answer to all of these questions before you decide to operate a daycare school out of your own home.
Hiring employees can make your job of operating a daycare service so much simpler and less stressful.
These employees will help you split the workload and even allow you to take on more children into your daycare service.
- Who should you look to hire?
When looking to hire for a daycare school, you first want to designate whether that person will be responsible for teaching the children or rather simply for the childcare aspect of it.
In some states, it will depend on the daycare school if all of the employees need to be certified in early childhood education.
In these daycare schools, it really depends on what the responsibility of the person being hired will be.
If the person will be responsible for teaching the children, they will need one of these degrees.
If the potential employee will only be responsible for the childcare aspect of it however, they may not need to be certified.
Certain states however require these non-teaching employees to have a teaching assistant certification.
Many of the best potential employees are former early education teachers!
Former early education teachers are already certified and know how to deal with children as well as how to teach children what they need to learn!
- Where should you look when you are trying to hire?
With the innovations of the internet, there are plenty of online sources that can help you fill your hiring needs.
These online sources include:
Of the three, the best for hiring daycare workers is Care.com This site specializes in hiring those who have experience caring for children.
That being said, both Indeed and ZipRecruiter are also very good options, as they allow you to see a potential employee profile and resume to check if they are a good fit for what you are looking for.
Once again, it will depend on whether the person you are looking to hire is going to be there for the teaching aspect, or simply as an assistant.
Advertising to local parents
As much as you may love working with children, their parents are going to be the ones paying you for your services.
As such, you will have to aim all of your advertising towards parents, doing whatever you can to convince them that you are the one you should hire.
- What is the best way to advertise?
Once again, the internet proves to be a major resource for your daycare service.
With the internet, a daycare service has the opportunity for lots of free marketing and advertising,
The best of which is likely going to be done through Facebook.
Not only is Facebook a free site to use for anyone who wishes to use it, but it also allows you to have access to hundreds of online groups that you can aim your advertising at.
There is often a parent group for almost every town and neighborhood.
By infiltrating one of these groups for your local area, you can ensure that your name has gotten out there to local parents who are now much more likely to hire your services.
The best part of all of this is that this type of advertising is completely free!
- Why is advertising important for a daycare school?
Advertising is important to any daycare school because it is how a parent is going to choose between your daycare school and any of your competition.
If done correctly, it can also give them a reason for them to take their kids to a daycare school in the first place.
This essentially means that you should give parents a reason to take their kids to your daycare school rather than a different source of early education, such as an early start preschool.
Overall, advertising is crucial as it is going to be how you drum up business for your daycare school by showing potential clientele that you are the best option for their children’s education.
How much should a daycare school charge?
The price of a daycare school may range greatly depending on the area as well as a few other factors.
The average cost, however, is around $12 an hour per child, which often costs a client upwards of $1000 per month.
The good thing about running your daycare service is that you get to choose how much you are going to charge!
- Things to consider when deciding a price for your services
How much the competition is charging
In an area with a decent amount of competition, you don’t want to charge an amount that is noticeably higher than your competition.
If you do make this mistake, you likely won’t see a lot of business.
Instead, you should charge either what your competition is charging, or just under what they are charging to help you get some clients early.
The cost of living in the area
If your daycare school is in an area with a very high cost of living such as San Francisco, you can charge more for your services.
But if your service is in an area with a low cost of living, you aren’t going to be able to charge as much.
The experience of your educators
If your education team boasts experts who are top in their field and who are recognized for their accomplishments, then you can charge a lot more for your daycare school.
On the other hand, if your daycare school team of educators has all the requirements to work in the field and are great with kids but don’t have as much recognition for their work, then you are not going to be able to charge as steep of a rate.
What should the hours of operation be?
One of the most important things to consider when choosing the hours of operation for a daycare service is to ask yourself why these kids are going to be in your care?
In most cases, the answer is because the parents are going to work!
As a result, the best way to decide your hours of operation is to base it around the average work cycle, which is 9 Am to 5 Pm.
The best way to capitalize on this work cycle is to open at about 8 Am so parents who have a long drive can drop their kids off early and to close at about 6 Pm so parents can leave work and have time to pick their children up.
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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