Feb 16

It’s a big decision to go into business for yourself, and when it’s a child care center you’re considering, it doesn’t take long to realize how much goes into setting up shop. Below, we’ve put together a few key considerations as you embark on what’s sure to become a very fulfilling venture.

Be sure you know your community’s needs! Too many times, child care providers move forward, unsure of what the needs are in their respective communities. For instance, do the school doors not open until 7:30 a.m., but many parents need to be at work by 7 a.m? If so, it’s crucial you provide a solution for these parents. Ask around – you’ll be surprised at what you can discover.

How about your fees? It’s important that you find that happy medium between charging too little and charging too much. You want families to be able to afford your services, but charge too little, and they may believe your low prices have something to do with what you’re lacking. Check around and then price appropriately. Also, every child care provider we’ve ever spoken to says to avoid the flat rate weekly fee. Infants require much more than older children; it’s absolutely appropriate to charge according to age.

Never underestimate the importance of documenting everything. We’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: contracts, policy manuals, expectations, revisions, changes – put it all in ink. And then get it signed and ideally, notarized.

Another key issue many underestimate is the power of marketing. Rest assured, there are many ways you can easily and successfully market your business without blowing your budget. This previous post goes a bit more in-depth with some of the tried and true ideas.

Also, and this is a new tip for us, many day care providers will contact the local schools and will prepare a brief package that introduces the facility. In it, business owners might provide copies of all the appropriate licensing information, testimonials of satisfied parents, contact information and sometimes even a pricing sheet. This way, parents who approach the school’s office in search of suggestions for a reputable child care provider, the school need only provide your packet (if, of course, you made copies for the school to give out).

Finally, and this is perhaps the most important aspect of starting your new business. You must ensure the employees you hire are worthy of working with children on a daily basis. Do your homework and be sure appropriate background checks are conducted. This is one area you simply cannot afford to cut corners on.

Have anymore great ideas for new child care business owners? If so, drop us a line or leave us a comment – we’d love to hear from you!

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