A daycare center operated from home is a great business venture for those who love spending time with children. Being low-risk, the daycare startup budget is also low when compared with other businesses. With fair earning rates, a daycare business brings huge emotional rewards as well.
However, the business does have a few things you need to take into consideration before making the leap. A thorough having an early childhood education would be an asset. It would be imperative to have some prior upgrading in reading or classes.
It is important to have an understanding of the child’s cognitive development and being able to provide them with a healthy and suitable environment to grow; that is because it befalls you mostly the parents trust you with it.
With a passion to care for children, there is also the responsibility to balance it professionally. A fixed budget, following licensing and certifications; these aspects cannot be overlooked for a home daycare.
If you’ve been wanting to start a daycare in your home and become a business owner, now is a great time to do it. To open your own daycare will be more than a service for your community, but a very fulfilling and successful career on its own.
Before you start a Daycare in Your Home
Starting a home daycare checklist is cumbersome and requires vigilant protocol. The rest is easy once started. So before you start, here is an opening a daycare checklist.
Devise a business plan
“If you do not plan, you plan to fail”.
Your home daycare is not just a simple venture but requires a business plan.
Write down every tiny detail. This exercise will make you plan in time and foresee any unexpected scenarios which may lead to failure. Some of the aspects you need to highlight include:
- Is there a demand for a daycare center in your locale?
- How much budget would it require to establish a home daycare for your locale demand?
- How much would you require to charge for each child, and can the community afford to pay the expenses?
- What would be your marketing strategy to promote your business?
Daycare may be looked upon as a home-based project, but it has its costs. Amenities for children, meal preparations, first-aid kits, toys, books, stationery, insurance, marketing, etc., you may end up exceeding your budget if not planned well.
Ask for friends and family who would like to pitch in as a business partner or simple investor. Banks may also offer business loans. Local government grants and subsidies may also apply to your small business plan.
Check with your local (state/provincial or federal) websites to see if anything is available to support new home daycare businesses. If you get financial support from any such program, you may be able to cut back the cost of child enrollment and offer some great amenities, which may prove to be a massive backup for the startup.
Branding your home daycare
Creating a great name helps cater to building a brand. Then come up with a logo and some brand colors. They will help identify your brand in the long run.
How to Start a Daycare in Your Home
Here’s a checklist of steps to take on opening a daycare in your home.
1. Licensing and Certificates
Depending on which province your daycare is operating out of, you may need some type of license. Several provinces determine licensing based on the number of children you are caring for. For example, in Alberta, if you are caring for 7 or more children you will be required to get a license.
If want to start a daycare in your home for 6 children or less you are not required to have a license, but you have the option of becoming an approved family day home.
To find out what your province’s licensing requirements are, do a simple Google search! This information is easily accessible to you.
For certifications- Before you take a big gasp and run for the hills, this is in regards to Standard First Aid courses (which is required). If you have this already, that a bonus.
The Standard First aid with child and infant CPR training is required for all home care practitioners because of the ability to save lives and is required as part of the Child Care Modernization Act, 2014.
Additional things you can do, but is not required but would recommend taking weekend courses for a business organization. Or you can review our blogs on business expenses. This way you know what expense receipts to keep aside.
Deciding whether or not you are going to join a governing body or agency when you start your home daycare will be very important when it comes to having back up.
In the event that you are unable to care for the children due to an illness or other emergency, you will of course need someone who is prepared to step in for you!
3. Grants and Funding
There are several funding options for child care programs and providers! Again, this is dependent on which province you live in. Do a little research for your region, and see what funding is available to you! For example, British Columbia offers one-time startup grants for unlicensed child care providers looking to start up their daycare and become licensed.
Here is a list of the top child care associations in Canada and the United States.
What are the costs to open a home daycare? Think about any additional supplies you might need for your home and food and activity costs.
The budget will also take into account any changes to allow for adequate space requirements. If you think a daycare in your home would have sufficient space for every activity, think again.
You may need a separate room for eating, sleeping, and other activities. Depending on the children’s age, you may need space for baby cots and educational spots for older kids.
The toys and art-n-craft accessories need their own storage space. These issues may seem trivial, but taking care of them goes a long way when it comes to organizing and managing the daycare inhabitants and their activities.
Your daycare facility must have a first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, and smoke alarm (at the appropriate spots). Age-appropriate toys and art supplies are also a must-have for your little residents. And do not forget the great outdoors.
A reputed daycare caters to spending at least two hours outside every day as and when the weather permits. There should be proper fencing around that area, and it should be free of any potential hazard. If your budget and space allow, then make room for outdoor toys and other play equipment.
5. Set the price
This step is where you will need to determine your rates – don’t be intimidated by this! This is an exciting phase. It is an excellent idea to do a little research here and see what other day homes in your area are charging.
Another good rule of thumb is determining what “kind” of day home you will be opening. Are you going to promote yourself as being different from other day homes because you do educational activities?
You will be able to determine better what your rate should be when you consider things like your hours of operation, flexibility, activities, etc.
6. Home Care Contracts and Database Record
You will need to have contracts made for each of your clients to sign. Such a measure will protect you from any future issues, such as late fees, illness and injury, and damages. Some key things to include in your contract are the length of the agreement, tuition fees, late/cancellation fees, hours of operation, illness, food allergies, rules, and discipline.
Some other things to include are activities arranged for the children and the distribution of time being spent in the daycare. There should be a proper routine for older children with fixed meal and snack times, nap times, and times for art and educational activities.
Establishing policies and procedures for your daycare adds a professional look to your business. Some daycare facilities keep attendance records. It would be best if you recorded the meals served, completed activities, and finished milestones. Updating such a database would not only help in marketing your business but also aid in creating long-term client relationships.
Here is a general template for a day home contract!
7. Home Insurance
You may need to extend your home insurance plan for this type of business. Liability insurance delivers in the interest of daycare providers, licensed or without a license.
Of course, there are always exceptions, so make sure you call your insurance company and confirm that your business plan is fit for running a day home. If it’s not, this can easily be changed!
8. Money-Saving Guide
Once you have taken the first six steps to start a daycare in your home, you are ready to download CorePro8’s free money-saving guide on pre-business expenses! This guide will give you tips on how to save money and organize your business. We’ll give you the information you need to make sure you’re not missing out on writing off business expenses.
Get your free money-saving guide straight from our website!
9. Market Yourself
Marketing is an essential part of opening a home daycare, yet it is often overlooked. We emphasize the significance of keeping things local and targeted at your potential customers.
Set up a Facebook page to let others know of the opening of your home care business. Re-post it to local community groups on social media. Ensure your social media page has pictures showing your pace and availability for children. Some home care providers even go as far as providing a layout of the daily activities with meal times and naps.
Post flyers for your business in local libraries, community centers, cafés, and supermarkets. Use the economic points of interest that social media sites can offer, and do what you can to make your business look proficient and ready. Once your daycare is efficiently up-n-running, word of mouth would be enough to attract clients.
Normally the credentials for hiring staff are much lower in a child care center. Most of the time job tasks are shared amongst the staff. Plus, Provincial or Territory government usually have a require a teacher-to-child ratio. With a busy care center you can expect administrative work such as cleaning and cooking, to be shared amongst the employees as duties.
Working at home daycare is a huge responsibility. This is also your place called home. So hiring a helping hand should be done with care and caution. Try figuring out what you love the most about being a child care provider and focus on those duties. If you require additional help, seek out family members who might want to be helping hands part-time. If you are unable to find family members, then definitely look outside to find a staff member who would be a good fit for your home.
While hiring focus on those candidates who are passionate about it. It can be a demanding and low-paying job so, hiring those who love what they do can come as a great asset.
For obvious reasons, parents want regular communication from their child care provider. They have a right and they should know what their child did all day, which is why many daycares provide daily sheets.
It can be difficult to write down all the activities while working therefore, the educators write them down later relying on their memories which leads to inaccurate reports. For this reason, you might need digital reporting and activity tracking as they share the information accurately and in real-time.
Keep sending reminders, notes, or emergencies for the next day for their satisfaction. You can use a child care app for faster and reliable results.
You never know what kind of emergency can occur all of the sudden. This is the expensive part of the business as you have to purchase all of the supplies from classrooms to operational supplies.
- Toilet papers
- Cleaning sprays
You can make this less expensive by purchasing second-hand items such as books and furniture but be careful. Make sure that they are in good condition and don’t have any broken areas where a child might get hurt. Clean them properly before bringing the kids in.
You can make a policy where child’s parents are allowed to provide basic supplies for their kids. For example, their diapers and infant, some basic stationery, or even their child’s favorite toy. That’ll help their child and the daycare center as well.
We know that home daycare gets a lot of enrollment just from word of mouth but creating a website to boost your business won’t hurt right? The benefit of making a website is that it will make your business more legitimate. If parents are considering your center then by your website they can learn what services you are providing.
Also, you will be appearing more on the search results and exposing your business to new customers. If you don’t know how to make a website you can easily hire a professional for a better and more efficient website.
When you’ve ticked all 7 boxes and you’re ready to start your business, CorePro8 can walk you through the next steps of starting a business. Using CorePro8 will help ensure sure that you’ve followed all of the rules and regulations so that you stay out of trouble with the Canada Revenue Agency. With CorePro8 you can start a business without having to leave the house. Registration can all be completed online.
To start your business, register with CorePro8!