Why You Should Start A Day Care In A Recession

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 The experts are very forthcoming with their doom and gloom, the recession is constantly in our faces and fatigue sets in at the mere mention of economics or downturns.  Should you start a day care business in spite of all this you ponder?  Quite frankly, the right day care business could flourish at a time like this.  Tough times for many can be a golden egg for some.  Clever entrepreneurs who have done their homework, identified gaps in the market and filled those gaps not only survive a recession, they profit quite nicely.

 People will always require some form of childcare because people will always need to work to make ends meet despite all talk of downsizing and tough times.  Their income levels and conditions of employment may change so they will in turn be looking to make changes in the day care department.  Sadly, one of the first areas to get hit by cost cutting measures is the area of child care – and a recession is sure to see many people re-evaluating their cost of living.  Expensive, fancy day cares will see clientele trickle out in search of more affordable options.

These affordable options are a niche…but how can you make your day care one of these ‘recession attractive’ businesses?  Starting a home day care is considerably less expensive than opening a large day care center.  You can staff it yourself with a family member or local person as an assistant, kit it out for very little (if you already have kids you probably have a lot of the equipment anyway) by foraging in charity shops and contacting everyone you know who may be offloading toys and educational equipment (there are may recycling websites out there also), offset your expenses against your taxes and save on transportation costs (no more commute to work!).  These are all savings that you can pass on to your clients in terms of fee reductions.

 Thorough, market research is vital.  Your goal is to make your day care supply a service for which demand is high and provision is scarce in your local community.  A structured, quality educational curriculum in a home day care will make you stand out from the competition.  A quality learning environment in a home day care is not something ex large day care center clients have been conditioned to expect.  You will most likely gain them as clients because you have pleasantly surprised them, you have an edge and you are addressing their needs.

 Is there a lot of industry and factory work or hospitals where people are required to work shift work?  This tends to be a hugely undersupplied area of care. Is there a need for a daycare/language school for foreign nationals settling here?  Most towns have a substantial demand for overnight care which is also generally undersupplied.  Could that be your golden egg?  Parents can find it very difficult to find quality, convenient before and afterschool care so if your day care is situated close to schools you may have found your niche.

Recession or not, there is always a demand for certain types of child care.  Your job is to figure out what the needs of your locality are, what gaps are in the market…. and fill them.  Clever research and due diligence are the keys to getting it right from the outset.  If you really want to start a day care then you will start a day care – pure and simple!

 

 

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April 30, 2009

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September 17, 2009

Michael @ 7:01 pm #

I really enjoyed reading this article about why starting a daycare in a recession isn't such a bad idea. I thought you really had some good points in there especially the part about starting your own in home daycare. With the economy going the way it is and many states cutting funding for daycare the larger daycare centers are having trouble staying in business. I know I am seeing that in my area. Many of the local daycare centers are closing their doors. So I do think there is some opportunity there if you do the market research in your area, find a great curriculum to use and start a daycare in your home. However, the one thing I will say is that with unemployment continuing to rise it is becoming harder and harder to keep families in daycare. After all if they aren't working they don't really need daycare!

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