Do you love taking care of children? Do you love finger-painting, reading children’s books and stories, and playing “Simon Says” or “Ring Around The Rosie”? Then opening up your very own childcare business might be something for you to explore.
While it may seem interesting to do something you are passionate about and at the same time will provide a lucrative living, there are some things you need to consider before opening a childcare center. As with any other childcare business, there are certain requirements to which you must adhere. If you want your business venture to be a success, it’s important to take heed of some expert advice, make a clear and clean plan, get yourself the most updated childcare center software in order to help you streamline your operations and stay organized.
Here are some things to consider when starting a childcare business:
1. Check licensing requirements
As with any state and local government units, there will be rules and regulations with which you must strictly comply. You can view the Child Care Aware of America’s licensing guidelines for daycare and childcare providers. Do diligent research on the specific guidelines required for your particular city and state. Gather all of the necessary documents and make sure to obtain your license before opening your center.
2. Research other existing childcare services in your area
Once you’ve researched the guidelines needed to open a childcare center, you now need to determine whether this business is a feasible option for you. Take a look at the other daycare or childcare centers in your area, and compile a list with the following information for each:
- Days and hours
- Tuition costs
- Ages of enrollment
- Capacity (number of children enrolled)
Knowing this information will help you better gauge whether starting your own childcare business will be a lucrative venture for you. Check for gaps between the needs of the community and the existing services available. Are there any needs that are not currently being met? For example, if you find that there is already an oversaturation of facilities that offer full-time care during weekdays or regular hours for two-to-five-year-olds, maybe you cater to those kids during the very early morning, weekends, overnight, or evenings. Or perhaps you may be able to provide care for infants up to two years of age. By being able to identify the existing childcare services available in your area, you can quickly determine what your local community needs in order to better ensure the growth and success of your business.
3. Create a well-crafted childcare business plan
Crafting a childcare business plan or any business plan can be a daunting and tedious task. However, with hard work, dedication, and due diligence, you can create a business plan to help with the start-up process. In this business plan, you can detail your childcare center’s mission and vision statement, marketing plan, staffing, organizational plan, budgets, operations, and other aspects of your business. Research is important in this process. You’ll also want to ensure that you understand the costs involved in successfully opening a childcare center. Will you be using your own money or applying for a small business loan? Would you consider hiring a marketing agency to help plan your business?
4. Consider your staffing needs
Another important aspect to consider when starting a childcare business is what kind of staff members you’ll need. Some states have their own rules when it comes to staffing. For example, in Texas, if you plan to have a center that will cater to children below the age of one, you are required to maintain a teacher-child ratio of 1:4. This will vary as children become older. For example, in Texas, the required teacher-child ratio for children over two years old 1:1.
5. Curriculum matters
All parents want to see their children learn and thrive, and childcare centers play a vital role in your child’s development. Preparing a curriculum specifically designed to meet the needs of the children at your center will give parents peace of mind, knowing that their kids are being nurtured in the best way possible. Parents will be able to trust that your center is able to provide the skills and guidance each child needs.
If you love children, starting a childcare center may be a dream job for you. However, it’s important to remember that owning a childcare center is ultimately running a business. You need to be knowledgeable about the basics of running a business and performing your due diligence concerning important aspects such as licensing, pricing, and staffing, just to name a few. By educating yourself about all of these facets, you can guarantee that you will be able to provide the best quality business for parents and most importantly, high-quality care for the children.
Contact us at Local Child Care for more information about starting a childcare business in your area.