3 Steps To Learning How To Start A Daycare Center


So, you want to learn how to start a daycare center but where to start?  Let’s assume you know nothing about the day care industry except that it involves children!!!  That’s pretty much the position I was in when I started my day care 10 years ago and I spent a year and a half researching and learning within the day care world including day care centers and home day cares before I got going.  Before you go running for the hills in dismay allow me to cut short the research time a little with some pointers on how best to prepare for the exciting adventure that is ‘Starting a daycare business’.

Every successful venture starts with a well thought out business plan thus enabling the entrepreneur (you) to get a clear, overall picture of what your day care business will entail. This is the vital, unavoidable first step if you are to have any chance of understanding what it takes for your day care idea to succeed. Many people get to the business plan stage of their day care and no further due to a realisation that a day care project is unfeasible for whatever reason. So, use your day care business plan as the first step in your research to figure out if your day care business will be viable.

Introduction/description,benefits, market research, key financials and conclusion.  These are the vital elements of starting any business and are covered by your day care business plan. I found it to be a great ‘checklist’ of things to do towards starting my day care business as I worked my way methodically through each of the required steps.  Areas I might have omitted or glossed over were covered leaving me with thorough and accurate vision of my day care business. Like a good teacher it provided the questions and ensured I filled in the blanks. Business plan templates abound but here a few that I quite like.

www.sba.gov  USA   
www.bytestart.co.uk    UK
www.teagasc.ie/startingyourownbusiness/template.htm Ireland

Next, talk to the day care experts and those who will be providing your day care license.  Arrange a meeting with your local day care licensing representative, have them visit your potential day care premises and find out what they will be requiring in terms of premises layout, contents, day care play area and general day care health and safety issues.  Get them to give you guidelines and tips on day care policies and day care business paperwork.  Don’t be afraid to ask
questions – remember this is the day care expert, the person who will be granting you a day care license so best to have a heads up on what they will expect from you.  Prepare in advance of this meeting and come armed with a list of comprehensive questions so you don’t waste a great opportunity to absorb as much day care knowledge as possible.

When I was researching my day care business I received some of the best tips, hints and advice from other day care providers, in fact, I still make ‘day care information gathering visits’ once a year and learn something new everytime from my day care counterparts.  Existing daycare owners are an invaluable resource for practical day care advice.  Call up a couple of established day care providers (preferably not too close to your proposed day care venture – they might not be too enamoured of the impending competition!), explain your situation, desire to start a day care service and set up a day to go visit. People are usually delighted to help aspiring entrepreneurs and love discussing their own day care business. There is nothing quitelike the advice of people who are on the ground, operating successful daycares and doing the day to day  day care business.

Bring a clipboard and pen so you can jot down day care related notes and ideas before they vacate your head (as they do mine). Ask questions of the day care workers, listen and observe.  Notice daily day care routines, day care room layout and day care equipment, methods for dealing with behaviours, day care staff and child interaction, health and safety procedures, day care hygiene practices, peruse day care paperwork (ask for copies of the paperwork to help guide you when formulating your own day care versions). Find about the best methods of advertising, what suppliers you should use for day care products and the range of day care fees locally.  Try to speak with the day care owner or manager, the day care staff and the cook and get a
feel for each unique role. Don't just ask them what they do at the day care but also ask for their opinion on how things could be better. You will gain an immense wealth of practical day care knowledge simply by asking these open questions.

These are just three steps you can take in pursuit of your dream to start a day care business and they will provide you with a tremendous amount of information and guidance on all things day care.  Your confidence in yourself and your ability to achieve your day care vision will peak and you will be propelled into further positive action towards your day care service.  It costs nothing but time and if you can get yourself to this point there’s no looking back.  What are you waiting for? You can learn how to start a daycare center and your new business awaits.









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