Starting any type of business can be overwhelming. A daycare center is no exception. There are many details that must be ironed out before you even start your operations. This may only become more challenging once you are finally functioning and being asked to make monumental decisions left and right. With all of the stress of starting a business, the last thing you need to be worried about is how to make enough money to get through each month. Government grants can help with this – especially for businesses like daycare centers.
To start a daycare center with governmental grants, you must first complete all of your necessary business documentation and registrations. Once you have finalized the basic requirements, you must then actually qualify for specific grants. If you do qualify, you will need to apply for these grants and be approved to access the money.
For as stressful a factor as money can be for any business endeavor, the task of applying for a governmental grant really does not have to be that complicated. Follow the below steps and you will be on your way to starting a daycare center with grants in no time.
Why Apply for Governmental Grants
For some business owners, it actually might not be worth it to apply for any business grants. Their need for extra income might be fairly low considering the valuable time it would take from them to fill out the application. If their likelihood of being approved for a grant is low, it may decrease their desire to apply for a grant even more so.
But for those who do need the funds, money can be a huge factor as to whether or not their business will last in the long run. Having a mechanism to access more money for their endeavor would literally keep them in business.
Some daycare business leaders do not realize how much money is available for businesses like theirs. In fact, there is actually a great deal of help available for businesses in need. To be more specific, there are millions of dollars available to help business leaders fund their dreams.
For businesses that are more likely to qualify for funds, not applying for governmental grants would be a huge loss of potentially free money. To fail to do so might just be one of the biggest business mistakes they ever make.
Cover the Basics
Whether or not you are starting your business by applying for governmental grants, you need to take good care to complete the basic requirements. This process needs to be completed before any governmental grant applications are started.
Complete Market Research
Market research is essential for any business endeavor. This is your opportunity to get to know what the needs of the community are in more detail before you attempt to offer them a service that will help fill that need. This also helps you niche your business so that you stand out in the minds of your community
Create a Business Plan
Outlining all of the plans for your business will be especially helpful for any grant application that you later submit. You technically might not even need to include your business plan in this application, but it is always a smart practice to have one. It also may give you the upper hand you need to be approved on your governmental grant application.
Register Your Business
There are multiple ways you will need to register your daycare business to make it legal: state registration, county registration, zoning registration, and a Federal Tax ID number. These registration processes will vary by location, so be sure to look into the local requirements for your area.
This will need to be completed before you can be approved for any grants.
Determine a Business Structure
For legal and tax purposes, you will need to designate a business structure and complete the appropriate applications with your state to start a business. This step will be crucial for any governmental grant applications.
Develop Policies and Procedures
Having your safety and procedural policies in place before applying for any grants will help show grant application reviewers that you are serious about running this business and doing so well.
Finally, putting in the work to develop a marketing plan shows just how serious you are about making your business a success. It also gives you a plan to follow to increase registrations and put all of the money you are applying for to good use.
How to Qualify
Unfortunately, there is no cookie cutter situation describing who will qualify for a governmental grant. However, there are specific traits that may make your business one that is more likely to be approved.
Businesses that are likely to receive governmental grants may be:
- located in low income rural towns
- located in areas with very specific needs
- connected to historically black colleges
- in areas with less than twenty-thousand residents
- located in an area near-poverty income level
- connected to a university or college
- in areas that are desperately in need for childcare program
- located in ethnically diverse neighborhoods
While these are all situations that would increase the likelihood of a governmental grant being approved, it is important to note that other nonprofit or private organization may create their own specific grants.
These specific grants will may have their own requirements and locational preferences beyond those listed above. If you are not able to secure any standard grants, it may be worth asking around town to see who may be funding other more privately funded grant options.
Now that you have your daycare center business requirements in place and you are aware of what governmental grants you may be more likely to receive; it is time to actually apply for the grants.
You will want to fill out an application for each of the specific grants you are hoping to acquire. Remember that you may need to fill out multiple applications for multiple grants. This may seem tedious at times, but if you are applying to receive large amounts of money, this effort will definitely be worth it.
If you are awarded a grant, you can expect about seventy-five percent of your business project costs to be covered by it. You will need to consider what that will look like for you before you even get the money.
Child and Adult Care Food Program
We thought it was important enough to mention one specific grant that many daycare centers are connected to. The Child and Adult Care Food Program is a federally funded program available to any daycare center, whether you run a larger center or an in-home daycare business.
In this service, the state reimburses money spent on nutritious food provided for children from low-income families. This helps encourage daycare centers to provide healthy options for their students, no matter the cost.
It also makes surer that even children from poorer families and communities have access to nutritious options, which might not be the case without these important grants.
Who Else is Eligible?
While you are likely most concerned about the grants that your business will have access to, your registered families may actually be eligible to receive governmental grants for childcare as well.
If you already know that you are located in an area that would cause your center to be approved for governmental grants, it might be worth checking in to see what parents are eligible for grants as well.
The more parents that can afford childcare, the more you are likely to get paid for your childcare services. If you are located in a poorer area, it might be difficult for some families to afford your daycare center without this personal funding.
If you do find out certain parents may be eligible for grants, be sure to spread the word amongst your registered families. Families will likely be grateful to know about this opportunity if they were not already aware of it.
- How can I save money in my daycare center business?
You can save money in your daycare center business by either decreasing your costs or increasing your income.
To increase your income, you will want to increase either the number of children registered for your center or the streams of income you have in place.
To decrease your expenses, you need to review where you may be overspending. You can also consider areas where and how you can buy cheaper tools, supplies, and labor.
- How can I find more children to register for my daycare center business?
You can find more children by marketing well and giving exceptional service to the customers you already have.
To market well, make sure you are active in your community and online. This will help get the word out about your daycare center and keep you on the forefront of everyone’s mind.
To provide exceptional service, be sure your customers are as satisfied as possible. Go above and beyond wherever possible and they just might spread the word about you to their friends and family members.
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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