If you’re thinking about starting an in-home daycare or daycare center, but don’t know where to start read on. We tapped two experts, one in business development and one in education to find out some important tips for starting a daycare business.
Meet the experts:
Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com, which specializes in online document filing services for clients who wish to form a corporation or limited liability company.
Paul Busceni, the dean of the School of Education at Kendall College, which offers bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education.
OwnADaycare: The process of starting an in-home daycare center can sometimes be confusing and daunting. Where does someone who wants to start a daycare begin the process?
Deborah Sweeney: It’s important to assess the landscape and look at companies that are doing similar things in your industry. There is no reason to re-invent the wheel. Do research and analyze. What seems to be working with certain providers and not working with others. What ideas can you assimilate into your own center and which ideas are less optimal. Assessing the landscape is a great way to develop great ideas.
Paul Busceni: Check with a cooperating institution of higher learning to see what resources they have available. Many times institutions with early childhood programs provide resources, or give tips about starting a daycare – especially those with lab schools, day schools, or daycare centers. In addition, professional organizations (websites) can provide the most current information about application, management, fiscal responsibility, legal ramifications, licensing, community responsibility, etc. of owning/operating a daycare.
OwnADaycare: What qualifications and qualities should a person who wants to start a daycare have?
Deborah Sweeney: A person who starts a business, no matter what type of business, must be persistent and hard working. Customers may not walk in the door right away. You have to be diligent about marketing and getting the word out, organized and strategic when customers do come in the door and good at customer service to keep those customers coming back.
Paul Busceni: What qualifications and qualities should a person who wants to start a daycare have? One needs a sound understanding of teaching and learning, specifically regarding early childhood (or the age level of potential clients). In addition, they should be highly qualified with adequate and proper college degrees and teaching/professional licensure. They also need to realize that they become a public servant – meaning they have a responsibility to DCFS, the community with respect to criminal background checks and investigations. In addition, they need to understand sound business acumen. They are running a business, many times out of their home, and they need to distinguish home expenses vs. business expenses accordingly. Further, they should be able to know and understand various funding sources that may or may not be available, and how to be able to access funds when/if needed.
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