When you are starting a new daycare business, it is essential to take the right steps at the right time. Therefore, it’s common for a new daycare owner to be curious about what steps they should take first. Should you apply for a daycare business license first or should you prepare your new daycare location first? We have included all the information you need to start you on the right track.
You should not apply for a daycare license before preparing your location. The reason is that you will need to meet certain building requirements first before you can get your business license. Also, most states will ask specific questions regarding your location while you are applying for your license. The most important step is to do your research first!
Research Local Requirements
Even before you apply for a daycare license or prepare your location, you first need to research the local requirements for your area. Most states will have very specific regulations regarding your building that your daycare is operated out of. If you don’t follow their regulations, you won’t be able to successfully get your daycare license.
We recommend researching your local requirements first because it can help you with deciding on a location for your daycare. For example: If you are thinking of operating your daycare out of your home, you need to know first if your home will fit into your own home regulations. If you want to get a commercial building, doing the research first will help you pick the right building for your daycare.
Once you have a clear understanding of the building regulations for your area, you will be better equipped to decide and also prepare your location for your daycare. You will also be able to ensure that your location continually fits all the requirements, even after your daycare is officially up and running.
When it comes to researching your local requirements, we recommend completing this task at least once a year, even after your business has opened and has been operating successfully. Some states may make changes regularly to their regulations, so it’s best to stay up to date on what your state is currently requiring for daycares.
Decide on In-Home or Commercial Building
Before you apply for your daycare license, we recommend deciding on whether you will be operating your daycare from your own home or a commercial building. When you apply for your license, your state will likely want to know details about your location. Therefore, it’s essential to have your building in place before getting your license.
When deciding on your location, you want to keep your local state requirements in mind. A good portion of new daycare owners choose to operate their business from their home as they are getting started. However, you need to ensure that your home has enough space and also fits all the requirements from your state.
Another factor to keep in mind is commercial buildings will often have more regulations to pass and will take longer to acquire all the needed permits. Most states will have fewer regulations for daycares that are operated out of a home.
The last factor to keep in mind when deciding on a location is thinking about how quickly you want your business to grow. If you plan on growing your business quickly and you have limited space in your home, you may want to consider a commercial building. Your growth will be limited for in-home daycares since homes generally have less available space than a commercial building can have.
Acquire Any Required Building Permits
The last step to take before applying for your daycare license is acquiring any required building permits. This is due to some states requiring your permits before you can apply for your license. By this point, you should have decided whether you want to operate your daycare out of your home or in a commercial building. You can’t get your permits until you have successfully decided on your location.
Similar to applying for a daycare license, each state will have its own regulations and rules for acquiring building permits for a daycare. For most states, the regulations for your permit will be very different depending on if you have an in-home location or commercial building. Therefore, it’s essential to do your research thoroughly first, as mentioned above.
When you are in the process of acquiring your permits, some states may require you to complete an inspection. If this is the case, a member of the state will likely come to your building and ensure that your building fits all of the requirements. If you have to have an inspection done, you need to count for the extra time it can take.
After you have acquired your building permits, we recommend keeping these documents in a safe place that you can easily access. There is a high chance that you will need to access these documents again in the future.
Begin Applying for Daycare License
Once you have done all your research, decided on your location and acquired your building permits, then you are ready to begin the process of applying for your daycare license. At this point, you will have completed all of your research, so you will know exactly what your state requires in order to obtain your license.
This is not a step you want to rush through! We recommend taking your time filling out your application to prevent any mistakes from being made. Once you have submitted your application, you may not be able to make revisions. If you can make revisions, there is a chance you will have to pay extra fees. It is better to submit it successfully the first time.
Once you have submitted all of your information, it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month to hear back from your state with the status of your application. Some states will have tools on their website where you can track your status by logging into your account. For other states, you may have to call for an update if you haven’t heard back.
After you have received your official daycare business license, it is important to keep this in a safe place (like your building permits). Many daycare owners choose to hang a copy of their business license up in their building, to where their clients can see that they are operating legally with the state. This gives clients extra trust in your business since they know that you have met all the requirements to operate your business.
Deciding on your location and applying for your daycare business license are both essential steps in starting your new daycare business! By following our recommendations and guidelines included above, you won’t waste any time in starting your new adventure and changing the lives of the children you care for!
What are the regulations for opening a daycare business?
The regulations for opening a daycare business will vary depending on your location. Each state will have various guidelines and rules that every daycare must fit before opening for business. The regulations can be regarding your location, amount of experience, training certificates and amount of children in your care.
If you need help locating your state’s regulations, you will want to visit the website for the National Database of Childcare. This website will help you locate your state’s childcare department, as well as your area’s specific regulations. You can find their website by visiting childcareta.acf.hhs.gov.
How many employees do I need to operate a childcare business?
The number of employees you need to operate a childcare business will change over the life of your business. When you are starting your daycare, you can operate your business with minimal employees. Most daycares start with one or two employees.
As your business grows, you will need to start expanding your staff amount. Once you start caring for more children, you will need to start hiring more employees. Most states will only allow one adult to care for so many children at one time. Therefore, when you have more children at your daycare, you will need more adults!
How much money do I need to start a daycare business?
The specific amount of money you will need to start a daycare business will vary depending on what state you’re located in and what location you will be operating your business out of. Each state will vary on how much they charge for fees and permits. If you operate your daycare out of your home, you will save a large amount of money on costs.
Other expenses you will have are toys for the children, learning material, food for the children, safety equipment and cleaning supplies. You can generally start your business with a lower budget and then expand your budget as your business grows. Once you have regular clients and are earning more, you can invest more in your tools.
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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