Starting a daycare business can be very profitable, but it’s also a lot of work. You can’t expect to just open a daycare center overnight. There are lots of rules and regulations you’ll have to deal with since you’ll be responsible for the lives of the children in your care. You also have to know some of the specificities of running a daycare business so you don’t go in with false expectations. Let’s take a look at a few things you need to know before starting your own daycare business.
You Will Need to Get a License
Your state will have rules governing you as both a daycare center owner and a small business. You will need to learn those rules and do everything needed to comply. If you want to know the requirements in your state, you can check out Child Care Aware of America’s requirements for child care workers and then look up resources in your state and city.
You Will Need a Business Plan
Like with any type of business, you will need to have a solid business plan. This will help you set the direction for your business. You may want to expand to another location or even franchise after a while, or gradually increase the number of places you have. Having this on a business plan will allow you to know where you’re going, how to get there, and how far along you are in your progress.
You Will Need to Look into Insurance
There are a lot of different insurance policies you’ll need to take out if you want to open a daycare center. When looking at child care insurance for your business, you will need to get property coverage, liability insurance to cover you if anything happens to one of your clients’ kids, and workers’ insurance if you intend to hire people.
Choosing the Right Location
There are many options when it comes to choosing a location for your daycare center. You can operate from home or rent a space. Some people will automatically assume that changing their homes into a daycare center is the easiest option, but that’s not necessarily the case.
First of all, retrofitting your home to be a daycare center will take a lot of money. You will not only have to make the house look appealing; you may also need to make major modifications to your plumbing and areas like a kitchen. There is also equipment you may need to have installed.
You might have to invest in things like wash troughs, for instance, and installing these can get very complex and costly. There are also cases when it will be simply impossible to turn your home into a daycare center for a variety of reasons, whether it’s the architecture or space issues.
You also have to realize that you will now be living in your place of work. Not everyone likes feeling like they’re in a daycare center 24/7, so you’ll be sacrificing your home for your business in some way. You could easily find an affordable space that will be easier to convert instead, and you’ll keep your house’s decor and value intact.
Know What it’s Like to be a Daycare Worker
If you’re starting a daycare center, we assume that you will be handling part, if not most, of the responsibilities yourself. It would be wise to start studying what your duties will be like right now. You could ask a daycare center if you can work as a volunteer or even apply for a job to see if this is something you can see yourself doing for the next few years.
You’ll Need to Hire Carefully
Hiring the right people is very important. Whatever they do wrong will fall on your hands and affect the reputation of your center, sometimes irreparably. This is why you need to be thorough when vetting employees and know the rules regarding hiring daycare workers in your area. Some places will require that you perform a criminal background check on anyone you hire, so it would be wise for you to start to get familiar with the regulations in your state right now.
Daycare centers are not the most complicated businesses to start, but the process does have a lot of steps. You need to know if you’re truly up for the challenge and do your research on what the life of a daycare business owner is really like.