The need for daycare services only keeps rising in today’s day and age. As more and more families resort to career based lifestyles, where both parents are occupied in full time jobs, the need of daycare for children is becoming a crucial necessity. Many working parents face the problem of finding reliable, trustworthy childcare for their children, giving rise to a high demand for dependable, steadfast childcare services.
If you are a home based individual who simply love to be with children, take care of them with affection, and probably the first person a relation or neighbor runs to when they need a sitter for their children, ever thought of turning your inborn talent into a money making enterprise? If it never crossed your mind, give it though today. The potential for ‘home childcare’ services is very much in demand today. So the chance of you making a successful venture out of it is very high indeed.
If you have already thought of starting a daycare center for children, remember this, you have to really love children. It should be genuine, this attachment you have for children. Give the idea serious thought and make sure you can handle the picture of not just one or two kids, but a dozen or so children running around in your house. Can you really handle that scenario? It is essential that you realize the exact extent of what it takes to run a childcare service. Having what it takes to handle the financial and the business aspects of the enterprise is not sufficient for this type of child-oriented service. So make sure you are truly a ‘children person’ before you go ahead in this field.
Now let’s take a look at the business aspects of the enterprise. Based on the level you intend to start on, the financial planning may vary. If you want to start small, in your own home, with minimal resources at your disposal, then plan accordingly. You can easily start a childcare service at such a level with a very low startup cost. If you have enough space in your home with a decent garden allowing area for children to run around in, and if you can make sure it doesn’t bother or get in the way of your day to day encounters at home, then you can go ahead.
You might need to invest a bit on toys etc. to start such a facility. But if you’ve already reared kids of your own, I’m sure you will have plenty around the house, which will easily serve the purpose. It would be great if you can invest on a play area in your garden with a swing, seesaw and maybe a sand-pen. But these are not essential, especially if you are talented in keeping kids occupied with very basic toys/provisions at your disposal. There are plenty of interactive games that don’t require any instruments/toys to keep children interested. You can add things to your inventory as you go along, which is always advisable. Start the venture with minimal expenses, invest once it’s up and running. It’s the best way to succeed in any business and save you from unwanted losses.
You should also decide the type of services you would like to offer. It’s always good to plan this out before you start the business. Make sure you are equipped to provide the services you would like to offer. Some facts to consider would be:
Age group – Do you plan to offer childcare to a specific age group? If so it’s best to define the age group in your flyers/leaflets/advertisements.
Care Hours – This should be decided based on your other obligations. Make sure you can handle the hours you offer. Do not stretch your limits. Start with a more relaxed schedule, and extend it once you are sure you can cope with the extra hours.
Activities – It is a good marketing strategy to define the type of activities you will offer children under your care. If you have a special play area in your garden, include that in your flyers. Also state any special programmes you will be providing the children, for example interactive sessions such as craft projects, sing song sessions, that will help improve their skills. Also clearly state the meal arrangements, whether you will provide it yourself, or parents should provide it. It is advisable to get the parents to sign an agreement if you are providing food and make sure they give you all information regarding the child’s eating habits, allergies, and other special information you should be aware of.
Pricing – This is a crucial factor, as it defines the future of your business. It can be very tricky deciding the pricing methods for your services. Remember to quote a competitive but reasonable price. Take into consideration all costs, including overheads, investments, food and beverages provided the children, cleaner charges, book keeping and financial management fees, advertising and marketing investments etc. etc. Do a bit of research on the pricing levels of other such services in your area before you quote yours.
Legislations – check with the necessary authorities on all zoning and legal issues involved in providing this type of service. Make sure you have covered all ground stated by the law. Take into account the maximum number of children you are liable to house, number of caregivers necessary per number of children, licensing requirements, curriculum you should follow and facilities you should provide.
Safety – Make sure you are ready for any emergency situation. Children are very accident prone and no matter how good you are at taking care of them, you are likely to encounter a few emergency situations. Make sure you have a proper first aid kit at home and have instant access to a doctor/hospital. It is advisable to have a vehicle at your disposal at all times and someone to cover up for you with the other kids while you attend such an emergency situation.
Overall, a Childcare service can be such a rewarding career, especially for a home based mom who loves spending time with children. With the correct guidance and positive outlook, you can easily become a successful Childcare provider and pride in this invaluable service you offer the society around you.