August 22, 2017

7 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Daycare Business


The daycare business is slated to have some of the fastest employment growth of all service industries through 2020. If you’re thinking of starting a daycare business, this statistic is encouraging.

But there are many challenges to starting and operating a daycare center, as well as many rewards besides just financial. Working with children can be fulfilling and inspiring in and of itself.

Be sure to ask yourself these questions, and get the answers, before you begin your daycare business:

What are the Licensing Requirements in Your City, County and State?

A daycare center is more tightly regulated than many other businesses. Be sure you count the cost, time and money for obtaining all the requisite permits and licenses for your daycare, and balance that against your projected profits. Don’t forget that most towns also have zoning restrictions on daycare when it is held in a private residence, as well as in a commercial building.

How About Cutting to the Chase with a Daycare Franchise?

There are over 5000 franchises offered in the United States. These include daycare franchises, with startup costs ranging from $59 thousand on up to $3 million. Only you (and your business partners) can decide if franchising meets your personal, as well as financial, goals and will provide you with a comfortable fit.

Do you Have a Budget Model Prepared?

Your budget model for a daycare center should include staff salaries, rental, utilities and other bills, administrative costs, and, as noted above, licensing and zoning fees.

Will you use Montessori or Some Other Type of Educational Program?

This is especially important for a preschool. While Montessori is the preeminent and best-known early education program, it is by no means the only one. There are half a dozen legitimate early education programs to choose from; so do your homework to find which one fits your agenda and philosophy.

What Part will you Personally be Playing in the Business?

You may be a qualified and certified teacher who wants to interact with your daycare charges at all levels. You may be an entrepreneur who likes kids and wants to turn that affection into a thriving business. Define your role early on in the start up process, so you’ll know in what areas you’ll need the most help and backup. SkyChildCare, a free web-based platform, can help take much of the administrative and tuition collection burden off your shoulders, leaving you free to be what you want to be within your daycare company. According to Shourya Ray, co-founder of SkyChildCare, the service was specifically developed with the wants and needs of childcare facilities everywhere.

How Many Daycare Centers Have you Personally Visited?

If the answer is “one or none,” you need a course correction. When you visit, put yourself in the shoes of a parent by asking yourself “what is the child to staff ratio?” Or “how do they handle a sick child?” Or maybe “what kind of neighborhood is this daycare center in?” Learn from what you see done right — and done wrong. There are a lot more questions you should ask about a daycare center, especially before you start one yourself.

Are There any Grants or Funding for my Daycare?

As ChildCare.net succinctly puts it; if you are non-profit there are several good sources of grants and funding for your daycare, but if you are for-profit about your only source of government help is the CAFCP (Child and Adult Food Care Program). And if you’re undecided about whether to go for-profit or non-profit, remember that there are some significant tax advantages to being non-profit, plus Google is now offering $10 thousand of free advertising per month on AdWords for qualifying nonprofits.

Day Care Business photo via Shutterstock

9 Comments ▼

Melissa Thompson


Melissa Thompson Melissa Thompson is a freelance producer and writer at USA Today for the web only video interview series 'Your Take'. She lives in Utah with her 2 kids and husband.

9 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    I love daycare businesses because it is teeming with creativity and love. I guess it all boils down to how you care about your client’s children.

  2. If you have a lot of love in your heart to give who better to share it with our children of the future.

  3. I love kids and safely of are children cameing up i had every neighbor kids going to the mall mcdonlds to play and park have sleep overs when i starting haveing kids of my own i like to do fun things now i am a mother of 4 girls ages 14,9,9,and 7

  4. Good post Melissa Thompson. There is one more question that I think might be of help, so you may want to consider adding that or giving it a thought.

    It is about having the passion for the business. A daycare can be quite a hassle. Many end up giving up. The love for kids is awesome, by the way. It makes it possible for the daycare center to grow

  5. kids are a blessing in our homes when they all sorround the table and one watches them discussing with one another. we feel joy and blessed. I would like my daycare to be full with kids from all over the world.

  6. Love this post. 2 years back we friends have started a small business based on sales and marketing. Our company growth is going very good. Thanks to PSD Global for providing us good advice on the same and prepared us for the USA market entry.

  7. Nice to read. I really appreciate the insight here in this post and wanted to say a big thank you for answering all the questions in my mind.

  8. Day Care Business is very profitable business for those who wants to do or start a successful business and also for those who love kids.
    And for a successful business for a Day Care, you can take franchise also. There are lots of successful preschools for providing a Day Care Franchise.
    And One of them is Cambridge Montessori Preschool Franchise in India. Cambridge Montessori is one of the best Preschool Franchise in India. They offers business with low investment and the investor will get 40 to 50 percent return on their investment. Isn’t this good?
    Cambridge Montessori is the most preferred brand for preschool franchise in India.
    So, contact Cambridge Montessori for a great investment and also for kid’s bright future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*



Looking for templates, checklists or guides? The Small Business Resource Center has them!