Setting up a daycare center can be a sustainable way to earn money, especially if you also have kids who will also benefit from it. You can either set up a home-based business, rent a location at a child-friendly place nearby, or franchise a child care center for a more seamless startup process. If this is the line of work that you would like to pursue, note that childminding is more than just fun and games. You also hold the responsibility of the little ones’ safety and development while at your premises. You must be prepared not just with the right tools but also the knowledge to ensure its success.
Here are some of the things you need to know about opening a home-based child care center:
1. Home-based centers cost less to set up and maintain
Daycare centers based out of one’s home typically cost between $10,000 and $50,000, depending on the renovations needed and the facilities installed. This contrasts greatly with a commercial franchise, which can cost around $60,000 to $3 million. Remember that you will be spending not just for the room where the kids will be staying, but also for the general interiors and yard area, where parents or guardians might want to wait.
2. Different states have different policies regarding home-based facilities
Because you’re working with children, you must comply with many requirements and rules. States have different laws to protect children, so be sure to contact your local agency first to learn what you need to do. In California, for example, those who want to open a child minding facility will need to attend an orientation before starting.
Home-based daycare owners will also need to be presently residing where the center will be set up and also submit to a Child Abuse Index assessment, not to mention acquire certifications for safety, CPR, and preventive health training, among many others.
3. Some states require you to be a licensed caregiver with special certifications
Some states require that a maximum of 12 children should be accommodated per session, of which a maximum of four should be infants or toddlers. The numbers depend on which area you are in. As the licensed care provider, you should also be at your center at least 80% of the time. Your substitute, who takes up 20% of the time to monitor the children on board, should also be licensed. You can have assisting staff as needed, but the primary educators and caregivers should be properly trained.
4. You need insurance
Your home insurance will not cover any liability, accidents, or damages related to your daycare facility, so you will need to get additional coverage, especially if you’re going to make renovations to your space. If you are hiring staff, you also need to obtain workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.
5. All your staff should be screened carefully
During the interview process, ask the applicants if they have prior experience with handling small children and be sure to conduct a background check. It should be evident that they absolutely adore being around kids and do not easily get frustrated and upset. Demeanor is very important, same with how they speak and move. If your staff does something wrong or says a bad thing in front of the children, that could mean doom for your facility.
Having a home-based daycare center entails a low startup cost, but that doesn’t mean the responsibilities are different from a commercial facility or a franchise child care center. If student numbers are low, you can also offer babysitting services to the community to help augment expenses. Just be prepared to handle many requirements and obtain safety certifications so that both your students and your business remain safe.