Whether you intend to start an in-home child care center or open a daycare facility, being a caregiver of children is a significant and important role. It’s no wonder why most states and regions impose strict laws for child care providers. If you’re planning to start a childcare business of your own, be sure to review the requirements to own a daycare center.
Setting up a child care center in a commercial space can be expensive. You’ll incur costs that include your center’s amenities and lease. There is also pressure building up your clientele. The reason for this is that you’ll need enough cash flow to enable you to pay for recurring expenses.
If you adhere to the policies outlined in your community, it will save you from the hassle of paying for penalties. Let’s take a look at these requirements.
Check the licensing laws in your area.
Before beginning your operations, you need a firm understanding of the local policies for running a child care facility. Child Care Aware is an excellent place to start. It provides helpful information regarding local child care resources and contact information for the child care licensing office in your state. It also provides updates regarding permits and licenses required to start your daycare.
Licensing regulations for child care businesses cover a variety of topics. These typically include the following:
- Child-to-staff ratio requirements. This refers to the maximum number of children that can be assigned to the number of staff members at a given time. It can also indicate the number of students per teacher.
- Building safety (cleanliness, potential hazards, emergency exits, and repairs)
- Ways to stop the spread of disease (handwashing, diapering, and immunizations)
- Food/nutrition requirements
Since regulations differ from one state to another, we recommend visiting the National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations to find specific information related to child care regulations in your area. Their search features enable you to narrow down the details and requirements to own a daycare in your area.
If you’re already aware of the various permits and licenses you need to obtain, make sure you start applying for those requirements. Below are a few things to consider during your center’s planning stage:
- Location approval. You need to review the health and safety standards, and the zoning standards required in your chosen location.
- Background checks on yourself and any adults with whom you live
Business owners also need to perform background checks on each of their employees before beginning your operations. Depending on your state, certain certifications may also be required for your staff members.
Your specific state or area may require more than one license in order to operate a daycare center. Small Business Association states that each state or city may require a separate license for centers. They may also enforce that you obtain a separate license specifically for your child care business.
Explore your funding options, including grants
Both the government and private sector acknowledge the importance of excellent childcare. In some cases, your center can be eligible for financial assistance.
As you review the requirements to own a daycare, you’ll find different funding options open to eligible centers. Read through them thoroughly to determine if you’re able to seek financial support.
Loans are another option for child care business owners. You can start with Small Business Administration, as it offers rates that are suitable to daycare center owners who are just starting out.
In addition, they offer other kinds of support, including counseling and assistance. These resources are there to help you open your daycare center successfully and smoothly.
Your center can also benefit from the Child and Adult Care Food Program. This is a federal project from the United States Department of Agriculture. It offers reimbursements to child care centers that serve healthy meals and snacks to children in their care.
Taxes and bookkeeping
You need to establish excellent accounting and bookkeeping processes right from the start. This will enable your business to run smoothly. Additionally, doing so will ensure that you will be able to file your financial statements effortlessly during tax season.
We recommend opening a bank account exclusively for your daycare center. Also, do not hesitate to pay for a software program that helps you manage your expenses and revenue. This will help you significantly in the long run.
Make sure you complete all of the necessary requirements to own a daycare. Doing so will allow you to operate your child care business. And if you need help promoting your center and your programs, call LCCM today. We offer a wide range of services that will cater to your specific marketing needs!