Ok, so you want to start a family daycare.
You love kids. Your own children have started going to school. You want to supplement your families’ income and take care of your kids when they come back. Yes, this is a typical situation when most of us start a daycare.
Let’s see what you need to do even before you start:
1. Location – Your house will serve as a daycare, so it will be a place from where you will run your business. Families will be dropping off and picking up children from your daycare. Your home will now have a different character – be ready for that.
2. Hours: But be prepared to have continuous intrusion of parents between the hours of 6:30am to 6pm. It is a lot of work.
3. Finish the childcare credentials that are legally required by your state. You’ll need to finish that coursework in the local community college
4. You’ll need approval from your state’s childcare licensing
5. Buy toys, cribs, a small playschool and make your home child proof
1. Marketing: Getting a family to enroll and get excited in your daycare. The best ways to do this is to place an ad in craigslist and post in a local library. Participate in local moms groups. Sponsor a local baseball T-Ball little league game. Have flyers for distributing to parents during the game and arrange for snacks after the game.
2. Preparing meals: Nutritious meals is an important part of managing your daycare. You can also apply for CACFP Meal program. Parents love if their children are well fed. Be ready to prepare breakfast before the kids start coming at 6:30am, then preparing lunch at 11am and then give out snacks at 3pm.
3. Parent communication: Parents want to know what their children have been doing during the day. You can download various Daily Report samples here.
4. Open a Bank Account for your business and keep recording your hours. These will be useful for reporting taxes and getting tax deductions. Some samples for Sign In-Out sheets and Daycare paperwork are here
Be fun, firm and consistent with kids. Hold regular one on one parent conferences so that you can discuss the goals and milestones that you are working towards as a team. Family relationships are key, word of mouth works like a charm in daycare industry.
And enjoy the ride. Working with kids is a lot of fun.