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. Here is part 2 of the interview.
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: What are your top 5 tips for starting a daycare?
(1) Be organized. Have a strategy and follow-through. Plan the strategy out in advance. What will the hours of operations be, what will you charge, what documents do the customers need to sign. Stay on top of this from the beginning.
(2) Incorporate or form an LLC. It is important in any business to separate personal assets from those of the business. Incorporate or form an LLC for the daycare center to make sure that you adequately protect yourself.
(3) Get your business licenses. It is a legal requirement that the in-home daycare is properly licensed. Look online for your local county requirements and make sure you follow the requirements.
(4) Have all customers sign a contract. It can be as simple as a waiver and acknowledgement of daycare policies and rules, but it is important that you have the rules in writing and that the parents/customers understand those rules. Set out the days that the daycare is closed, the hours of operations, fees, penalties for late pick-up, etc.
(5) Communicate. It is important to make sure you are in regular communication with your customers. Make sure the parents feel connected to you and the day care, which will lead to better, long-term relationships (and likely more revenue).
(1) Determine the need and the demographics of the population you wish to serve
(2) What is your mission and philosophy of your daycare? How does it set itself apart from others? What distinguishes it from others?
(3) The owner and staff are to be highly qualified
(4) Have knowledge of starting and running a small business
(5) Need adequate startup funding, and understand how to set appropriate fees
OwnADaycare: What are your top 5 resources for starting a daycare?
(1) Other day care centers: People who run other centers can be great references for your new business. They can give advice, but remember you can choose to take or ignore the advice. However, if you meet with several day care center owners and you hear a consistent message, it may be wise to follow-up and heed the advice.
(2) Local county agency: Make sure you connect with the county in which your day care center is operating. It is critical to make sure you have the right business licenses.
(3) Online document filing company: There are many online providers that can help with incorporating and forming your LLC. You may not need an attorney if you find a reliable online resource.
(4) Online search: It is wise to search the internet for tips of the trade. The more research, the better.
(5) SBA.gov: There are many government resources, including readiness assessment tools, available at the US Small Business Administration site.
NAEYC – National Association for the Education of Young Children
CAEYC – Chicago version of NAEYC
Local community Chamber of Commerce
ISBE – Illinois State Board of Education
How to Start a Child Care Business
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