How To Start A Daycare At Home: A Quick Guide

January 15, 2021
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Do you love kids?

Do you love a lot of kids?

If your answer to those questions is yes, and you want to start your own business, you should consider starting daycare at home.

There are several benefits to starting daycare at home, including relatively low startup costs, no commute, and spending time doing what you love (taking care of kids). Many mothers start a daycare at home to spend more time with their children and earn extra money.

Your success at starting daycare at home will depend on how you manage your startup process from start to finish.

This article will cover everything you need to know about starting your daycare -- from writing a business plan to building your brand, marketing, and managing your day-to-day operations.

1. Write Your Business Plan

The first step to starting a business is to start thinking like a business, and a proven way to do this is to craft your business plan. There are many ways to write a business plan. There are a dime and a dozen templates available on the Internet to get you started.

The objective of writing a business plan is to force yourself to think ahead and anticipate possible challenges that can often lead to failure when they're overlooked. For example:

  • Is there a demand for a daycare business in your area?
  • Can the families in your area afford a daycare?
  • How much will it cost you to operate the business?
  • How much will you charge per child, and do you have the space to accommodate many kids?
  • How will you promote your business?
  • What are your local licensing requirements?
  • What will the process be to get a child enrolled?

The more detailed your business plan, the better prepared you'll be to start a daycare at home. Things may change as you go, but having a solid foundation in place will give you the ammunition you need to tackle contingencies.

2. Figure Your Financing

When planning your finances, as a rule of thumb, always plan for more. It's better to have more, especially in an emergency. For example, if your prediction says five cots would suffice, count with six to eight cots in mind.

This will increase your costs, but extra leeway in your budget will help you start a daycare at home with fewer problems.

Your costs will depend on the number of children you want to care for. Here are a few things that you need to calculate in your expenses:

  • Alterations to your home (to accommodate all those kids)
  • Insurance
  • Supplies
  • Food for the kids
  • Additional staff (if you plan to hire)

Once you have all your costs put down on paper, you'll be able to see how much you should charge the parents and whether your business stands a chance of being profitable.

Also, do quick research to check how many other daycare centers are in your area and how much they are charging. You don't need to be the cheapest, nor the most expensive, but you should be within a comfortable range of your closest competitors by geographic location.

3. Build Your Brand

Building a strong brand around your daycare business will help you stand out. This is precisely why you should start thinking about your brand name and logo right from the beginning.

When thinking of a name, keep the following in mind:

  • Simple yet clever
  • Easy to remember
  • Tells people what your business is

This is, of course, easier said than done, and coming up with the perfect business name can take days or even weeks. You could explore some brand name generators for inspiration.

Create a separate note in your phone to jot down all the words and names that come to your mind. Once you have a good list, weed out the terms that don't feel right and keep the ones you like. Then bring up these names in conversations with your friends and family to see how they react to them.

Once you have your name, start thinking about your logo. You may feel like you don't need a logo yet, but soon, you'll be printing and designing things with your logo on them. It'll be on your website, social media, marketing collateral, and many other things.

If you need help, try a logo maker to help you get started.

4. Get Your Licensing In Place

Depending on where you stay, you may not need a license to start a daycare at home. Even then, it's in your best interest to get all the necessary permits.

Think of it from the parent's point of view - your kid means the world to you. Would you be comfortable sending your kid to a random house, or would you instead send them to a properly licensed daycare center?

By getting a license, you'll let the parents know that your business meets all government requirements. This may also make you eligible for funding if you ever plan to expand your business.

Having the right documentation done for your business opens up opportunities that can significantly impact your business's success.

5. Set The Right Rules

It will help if you have clear rules for parents about what time they can drop off their kids and pick up the latest time. If you don't set the rules from the very first day, you'll end up with parents dropping off their kids way too early in the day or picking them up until after 7 pm or 8 pm.

Also, let the parents know if they're supposed to send food with their kids or if you will be providing that service. The same goes for payments and any other rules that will be crucial for running your business smoothly. A note on food: be aware of allergies and be sure to implement rules around those, such as not allowing any peanut butter and jam sandwiches or nuts to send us snacks.

6. Market Your Daycare Business

To get your business running, people will need to know that your business exists. Marketing is challenging for most new businesses. However, there are some tried and tested strategies that work for a daycare business.

For example, get started with creating an informational brochure highlighting all the services you provide and hand it out to people in your area. You could even make a day of it by walking around your neighbourhood and dropping off our brochure in all of your neighbours' mailboxes.

Are you a part of a Facebook or a Whatsapp group? Create a simple poster and share it in those groups requesting that members share it with their friends or anyone who might be interested.

Get To Work

Knowing how to start a daycare at home and building that business can be an enriching experience, and it'll provide a valuable service to your community.

In this article, we've broken down some of the significant steps involved in setting up a business. However, as you move along, you'll come across various learning experiences.

Start small and see if this is the right business for you!

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