The Grown-Up Work of Running a Day Care

Starting a Day Care

For anyone who enjoys working with children, starting a daycare can be a fulfilling and rewarding career. Not only will you be doing what you love to do which is caring for the very young, you are making a good living at it. The size of the daycare you start can be as small as hosting a half dozen kids in your home to running a big institution with dozens of kids. The size of the daycare is something you have to decide based on what your objectives are as a small business owner will.

But notice that we used that phrase, “Small business owner”. A daycare is a business. And as long as you see that and don’t think of your new enterprise as a glorified babysitting service, you will take the right steps from the first moment you get the idea to open your own daycare all the way along the line until you are a big success in your new business.

To start your own business of any type requires planning, knowledge of how a successful business of your type runs as well as a firm grasp on who your customers are, how you will bring them to your business and how you will keep them. You also have to know how to respond to problems that will come up as you develop your day care business.

In the case of your daycare, you are offering a service and not a product. But you have one huge issue that dominates much of how you set up the business. You are going to be given charge over a significant number of children whom you must care for and keep them safe, fed and relatively entertained all day long. On top of that, you must live up to parents’ expectations and that can be tough.

At the very least that means you are going to have to invest in facilities that come childproof and are highly durable. Also, insurance and compliance with the legalities over daycares are critical to your success. You must not only know how to take good care of children, you have to be prepared for just about anything that can happen to a child. From nausea to injury to fights to good old fashioned homesickness, if you are going to be a success, you must be ready to respond to the crisis that will happen every day to some extent and to respond calmly and professionally.

There are going to be a lot of “hoops to jump through” from a legal and administrative point of view before you can be licensed to open a daycare facility. Don’t resent this process, even though it will be demanding and tedious for you to complete it. The parents who come to you to take care of their children want to know you are trained, that your facilities live up to established standards and that you are accountable to the state and medical requirements to be able to operate this kind of facility. The license you get when you open that daycare center means a lot to those parents. And those parents are your customers. So pass all of the preparation requirements with flying colors so you can open your doors with pride.

Even though a daycare is oriented toward children, it is grown-up work to prepare to open and then operate the facility. Learn all you can before you open by talking to people with experience or even working at a daycare center before starting your own. With that knowledge, you will know what is expected of you when it’s your turn to be the boss of your own daycare center.

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