Starting a business in the comfort of your own home may be ideal for some people since you’ll be working in the comfort of your own home and do not have to pay additional rent for a space for your business. These days there are more daycares popping up in homes and they are becoming widely popular since they are much cheaper to run compared to a traditional daycare center. Setting up a daycare in your home may seem simple, but the truth is there is a lot more that goes into starting an at-home daycare center than most people think!
In order to set up a daycare in your home you will need to prepare a business plan, obtain the proper licensing, obtain insurance, and set up a suitable environment for the children to play and learn in your home.
If you are interested in starting a daycare center at home, then this article will give you the proper guidelines to set up an efficient daycare center. Not only will you set up a great daycare center, but you will set up a place where parents can leave their kids in your care with the utmost confidence!
Starting Your Daycare at Home
When it comes to starting your daycare at home it is important that you know off the bat that there is more that goes into this venture than just putting a bunch of toys in the room. There are many legal hurdles that you need to go through to make sure that you have a daycare that is running legally. So, before you decide to take kids in your home make sure you have completed all the things on this list to make sure your daycare is properly set up.
Craft Your Business Plan
Although this may seem like an annoying task for someone that wants to set up a small business in their home, the truth is that this is a very important task and will really bring your business to the next level. Here are a few things that your business plan should include.
- Discuss your purpose. Why is this daycare center so important, and how will parents benefit from an in-home daycare center instead of traditional daycare?
- Take a moment to map out the strengths and weaknesses. As part of your business plan, you should take some time to discuss the strengths and weaknesses. A great strength is that an in-home daycare may be a cheaper option for some parents, however, one weakness would be that some parents prefer the structure of a traditional daycare since they almost resemble a small classroom.
- Consider your target market. This is very important because you’ll need to gear the structure of your daycare towards your target market. Whether it’s a low-income family or upper-middle-class families, you’ll need to set up a business that targets those types of families.
- Set yourself up for some funding. The great thing about a business plan is that you can take it to a bank and use it as a proposal to request business funding. Many banks want to view a business plan before releasing any funds to make sure that you are able to properly run a business so you should make sure your business plan is solid before going to the bank.
- Select a business name and legal structure. This is kind of the fun part because this is when you can choose the name of the business, you’ll want to make sure that it’s something that stands out but also easy to remember. As for your legal structure you will need to decide whether you want your business to become incorporated or a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
With the structure of a business plan not only will you be able to plan the logistics of your business but also set up your short term and long term to make sure that your business succeeds.
Running a daycare center from your home without a license can send you to a lot of legal trouble, possibly even jail time depending on what your jurisdiction is. In order to have a legally functioning daycare center, you will need to get a license. Here is how you can go about getting your daycare license.
- Do extensive research. You’ll need to research the requirements of getting a daycare license in your state. Since the requirements may vary from state to state it is important that you conduct the research specific to the state that your business is located in.
- Attend an orientation. This is another important step in the licensing requirements, and in some states, it is an absolute must that you attend the orientation. During the orientation, you will learn things such as determining if you are qualified to open a daycare, adult to child ratios, and best practices for childcare.
- Submit your licensing application. This is one of the final steps in the licensing process. For your application you will need to include any personal detail such as medical history, criminal convictions, character references, and other personal information.
- Go through training. The training session is another important step in the daycare set up process. During training you’ll learn everything there is to know about properly running a daycare such as CPR training, first aid, proper discipline, communicating with parents, and safety measures.
- Purchase proper insurance. You cannot run an effective business without proper insurance. You’ll need insurance such as fire, theft and liability insurance.
- Get your home inspected. This is the final step before opening your business, during the inspection the inspector will take a look at your home to confirm that it is both suitable for children and a business.
Setting Up Your Home Daycare
Now that you have a fully licensed daycare, you’ll need to get everything ready so that you can open your business and have your space ready for the kids. This is extremely important because you’ll need to make sure that you create a comfortable space where not kids can play but also learn. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you are prepared to open.
- How many kids do you plan on having in your home? Every home is different, so you’ll need to make sure that you have space for the right amount of kids. You cannot have too many kids because you’ll break several fire and health codes. Additionally, you want to keep the child to adult ratio proportional.
- Evaluate the space. Since this is your home and not a traditional space, you’ll need to select which space in your home is best for the children to be in. You’ll need to select a play area, nap area, and a dining area. These can all be in one room and can be adjusted to fit each activity.
- Purchase toys and supplies. No daycare is complete without toys and supplies such as paint, crayons, and paper. Aside from that you’ll need to purchase cots for nap time, cubbies for the children to store their personal items, and kids plates and cups for lunchtime.
- Advertise your business. One of the most important steps in setting up your business is actually advertising it. You can either advertise on social media or through word of mouth.
- Set your prices and business hours. Think about how much you’ll want to charge per week, since this is not a traditional daycare your costs will not be as high so there is no need to charge too much. In addition, you’ll need to set business hours, the typical hours for daycare are usually from 8:00 am-6:00 pm.
With these preparations in place, you’ll be able to set up a fully functioning daycare that is ready for success. Remember every home is different in terms of sizing so make sure that you choose a space that is suitable for children to learn and play.
As you can see setting up a daycare in your home is not as difficult as most people may think however it’s not as simple either. The toughest part is getting through all the paperwork and going through all the licensing requirements, but once that’s done you are ready for business.
By opening a daycare in your home not only will you save thousands of dollars a year for not having to rent a commercial space, but you’ll also have the privilege of working in your own home. After all, there is no better feeling than getting to skip a commute to work because you work from home!
- How many children can I have in my home?
This really depends on which state you live in because laws vary, however, the average number of kids in a home is about 10-12 at a time.
- Should my employees have a CPR certification and first aid experience?
It is advised that the employees have their CPR certification in order to work in your daycare, this prevents any liability issues from happening down the line in the event a child is hurt under your care.
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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