Today, it is required that both parents in the household work in order to make ends meet. I am sure you have also noticed that the single parent percentage continues to rise. With that being said, daycare centers are in an all-time high demand. Opening a daycare will take a lot of dedication and hard work.
There are six main factors that are needed to open a daycare; deciding what type of daycare you plan to operate, state required regulations, location, supplies, a targeted audience, and a marketing plan.
The next few paragraphs will help you understand these six factors to help you bring your business plan to life.
What type of daycare are you planning to operate?
An in-home based daycare is just what sounds like, a daycare that operates inside of an individual’s home. This type of daycare is going to be least cost-effective due to you will not have the extra expense of renting commercial space. This also allows children to have more of a one-on-one experience due to there are usually just a few children.
A center-based daycare is in a commercial building. Which would be more expensive to operate than an in-home based due to the extra expense of paying rent. There are usually more children in a center-based setting.
This is more of a classroom setting which teaches children how to get accustomed to daily routines and to learn their beginning development skills such as socializing all while having a balanced curriculum.
The curriculum should be worked in within your designed daily routine as well as age appropriate. Even though you want to keep the children learning throughout the day; you want to keep the curriculum balanced. A balanced curriculum consists of a mixture of activities, such as story time, play time, and craft time.
What type of regulations will be required?
The second factor needed to open a daycare is to do a little research. You are going to want to know your state requirements and regulations when it comes to license, permits, insurance, and inspections.
You want to make sure you have your license and permits displayed in plain eyesight. This will let the public know automatically that you are licensed for childcare.
State inspections will be conducted from time to time to ensure that your daycare center is safe.
Consult with your insurance company to learn what your state requirements are when it comes to insurance coverage.
Childcare laws and requirements will vary by state. To ensure you are staying within those guidelines, you will want to check your state department of children’s website.
Where do you plan to have your daycare located?
Your third factor as you begin your journey is to establish its location. As you begin the search for your perfect location, there are a few things to consider. These factors should include your surroundings, how much work will be needed to get the facility ready to open and, knowing your competition.
Knowing the surrounding area would be number one in choosing a location. Are you in an area that is surrounded by businesses? Did you maybe decide to be near an elementary school? Are you close to an industrial area?
Keep the parents in mind. If you are near businesses, it would be convenient for the parents to pick up their children after they get off work. If you are near other schools, it may be easier for parents to drop in at each school to pick up their children if they have multiple children. If you are near an industrial area, you want to pay close attention to pollution and noise.
Consider the amount of work it may take to get the daycare open and running within a reasonable time. The more work that needs to be done, the longer it will take before you will be able to open the doors for business. Not to mention the cost to pay a contractor if you are not a “jack of all trades”.
Another major aspect when selecting your location is to know your competition. How many daycare centers are in the area? What are some of the programs that they offer? What are you going to offer to make your daycare center stand out from the rest? How close is the nearest daycare center?
What kind of supplies will be needed to open a daycare?
Supplies will help keep your daycare operating smoothly. They include, furniture, learning materials, sanitation products, and food.
Pieces of furniture you will need is tables, chairs, matts (if not requested for children to bring their own), desks, and file cabinets.
Learning materials that you will need are workbooks, books, writing utensils, art supplies, and paper. Some sanitation products include hand soap, cream cleaner, broom, mop, and more.
You will need to get with your state to verify that you are within the guidelines of the nutrition requirements when it comes to the food you will serve.
These are just a few things that will get you started, however, you may require more supplies that are not listed. The number of supplies you will need will also be determined on which type of daycare center you decide to operate.
Who is your targeted audience?
Even though you are wanting to keep the parents in mind, the children are the main reason you are opening a daycare.
Before you put a marketing plan together, you need to have a targeted audience that will best fit your business plan. No child is the same and some will require more attention than others.
Not all children will require to be in daycare full-time. Some children will need to be able to attend as a part-time student. While some children will need help with potty-training.
There are children who have special needs. Some children may require a wheelchair ramp, while others may require a translator for sign language.
Remember to refer back to the competition in your area when you decide who you what to be your primary focus. This is one way to separate your daycare from the others in your area to show what you have to offer.
What is your marketing strategy?
As you are building your customers, you want to speak to them. They need to know why you are the best place for their children to go during the day. What are you offering to them that they cannot get anywhere else?
This could be something as simple as your hours of operations. Not all parents work the ideal 9 am-5 pm work schedule. Are you planning on having a 24-hour around the clock daycare facility for those parents who are required to work the night shift?
With the startup of your new business, you may have to get a little creative to reel in your first set of clients. Here are a few basic ideas that you can use in order to get your business flowing into the doors.
- Hosting an Open House that gives a grand tour of your daycare.
- Posting flyers throughout the community.
- Giving a Discount the first few contracts.
- Have a referral program.
Whether it is the first set of customers to invest in you; or customers who continue to bring business to you. You want to make them feel appreciated by giving them a discount or giving them a break on their next payment for helping you bring in new client’s as you build your empire.
Additional Things to Consider:
- Will you allow children to come part-time or will your facility be for full-time students only?
- Will your daycare cater more towards children with special needs?
- Will all children be allowed to attend, and you provide special needs?
What is the average startup in opening a daycare?
According to Entrepreneur, the startup cost to open daycare ranges anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000.
The average startup will vary depending on the type of daycare you open. You will want to check with your state to see what kind of funding is available to help reduce costs.
How much should you charge for your services?
The amount that should be charged for your services will depend on your state’s economy. You will want to research your state to see what the average cost is for daycares in your area. This will also depend on which type of daycare you plan to operate. Another factor will be my age group, and if the child is there full-time or part-time.
What type of training is required when caring for children?
Some states may only require a high school diploma or GED. Be sure to refer to your state regulations to ensure that you are following the staff to child ratio requirement.
If you decide to have a daycare facility that focused on children with special needs keep in mind of any special training that may be required.
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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