If you’ve always dreamed of opening your own child care center but aren’t sure where to start, there’s one word that sums up what you need to get your business off the ground: preparation. From making sure you have the right educational background to getting your licensing and finances in place, preparing to open your own daycare starts with a plan. Here are the first five steps you’ll need to follow to start your own child care center the right way:
Get the right education.
Whether it’s obtaining a degree in Early Childhood Education or graduating from a child care career diploma or certificate program, getting a proper education in the child care field should be your first step in opening your own child care center or daycare. Having the right educational background can help you set yourself apart from the competition and let parents know that you have the knowledge required to run your own business.
Do you want to run a small business out of your home or open a larger facility that can accommodate more children? Once you decide how much space you will need, start looking for locations that can suit your needs - preferably those with large outdoor areas, and possibly separate buildings your plans are to open a large facility that caters to children within a wide age range.
Obtain proper licensing.
Licensing requirements may change from state to state, but if you are serious about opening your own child care business you will need to place a call to your state’s Department of Children and Family Services. Licensors will inspect the location you have chosen for safety and make you aware of their regulations, and can be a valuable resource in the planning stages of your new business.
Create a budget.
Creating financial goals is incredibly important for those looking to open a small business of any kind. Outline your financial goals and a business plan that takes into account the number of employees you will need to hire; the cost to buy, rent, or expand your location; expenses for toys, educational materials, safety equipment; and the cost of licensing, inspection and zoning.
Determine what will set your business apart.
Consider what other child care facilities are doing in your area, and think about what services you can provide that will make your child care business unique. Would your hours be different from those of other facilities? Would you offer expanded educational opportunities? Could you offer different types of foods to fit a variety of dietary needs and restrictions? Little things that can set your business apart can go a long way in helping your business stand out amongst more established competition.
Opening a child care facility doesn’t stop with these five steps, but on your roadmap to pursuing your goal of opening your own business, start with items listed above to create a solid foundation for your business. Want to learn more about opening your own child care business? Check out this free webinar for advice from child care experts on what you need to get your child care business off the ground!