One important decision to make in starting a home daycare center is designing the daily schedule of the business. It is a question of how one will make a basic structure of a day in the daycare center. It is going to be a very difficult decision to make as you have to consider so many factors.
The first thing to decide before actually starting your business is the schedule that your daycare center will operate – the hours you will care for your client children. This will be very easy to decide if you do not have children of your own. If you do, then your children will have to be factored in the decision. If your children are of school age, you have to give time attending to them and their needs before you set aside hours to care for other children in your daycare center. You need to consider the time you will need dropping off your children to school as well as picking them up after school. You will have to consider also the time that your children will be attending extra-curricular activities at school or elsewhere. You may be forced to take the children under your care in the daycare center in your trip to bring your own children to school and picking them up later in the day. For this purpose, you will need a larger vehicle with the required seat belts or car seats for your client children and most importantly, the written permission of their parents. However, many parents may not allow their children to have the extra travel while you bring your own children to their school. This may result to a very limited clientele for your daycare center business.
Even if you do not have your own school-aged children, your scheduling will be affected by the schedule of the parents of the children you have to care for in your daycare center. The time the parents go to work and leave work plus the distance they travel will have a bearing on your scheduling. If you accept a child whose parents work at 7 a.m. but whose place of work is 45 minutes away, then it will mean that they have to drop off their child to your daycare center as early as 6 a.m. Then if some parents work late and can pick up their child only at 6 pm from your daycare center, it would mean that your hours of operation should start at 6 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.
After you have established your hours of operation, the next thing to consider will be the structuring your daycare operation day, especially your food program. You must decide how many meals to serve to the children. In case you will decide to serve morning snacks, lunch, and afternoon snacks, then you have to require parents to feed their children breakfast before dropping them off to your childcare center.
You need to make a schedule also of the children’s playtime and nap time. And finally, you must see to it that you have the needed flexibility to adjust your schedule as conditions may demand.
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