Friday, May 4, 2012

How to Start a Child Care Business

Are you thinking about starting a child care business? Before doing so, you may want to consider a few important things. Putting up a private child care establishment requires convenient location, ready market, and special training among other things. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Know what you need

As with any other type of business, you will have to sit down and determine what you need to be able to start your child care service. Find out how much money you will need, the equipment you will have to purchase, and the staff or personnel you need to hire.

Choose a good location

Location is integral in the operation of your business. Will you set up child care within the premises of your own home or rent a commercial space in a more accessible area? There are pros and cons to either option. Setting up shop in your own home saves rental costs and other overhead expenses. It is also beneficial if your clients live near your house for this will save them time and money. Setting up shop at home, however, may limit expansion and clients. On the other hand, renting space in a busy commercial area may help you with marketing and advertising. The commercial building can also provide you other amenities which are not available in your home office setup. Being in a commercial area will also provide a steadier stream of clients compared to a small neighborhood, on-the-block child care. Choosing this type of location, however, will require additional costs and funding. If you still opt for this and you fall short of capital, you may want to consider getting into a partnership with similar establishments or signing up for franchise.

Choosing a location may also depend on your own preferences. Some people want to work from their home, while others want to travel to their business office.

Obtain licenses and necessary permits

Before you begin any commercial endeavor, it is necessary to obtain required licenses and permits. There are legal conditions that you will have to adhere to before you start operating your business.  Go to your local business services office and find out what kinds of requirements are needed, how to obtain them and how much they will cost.

The types of licenses and permits will depend on your business location. In general, they may include health code regulations, fire safety regulations, business permit, etc.

Get certified

Putting up a child care business requires more than just a business sense and a business capital.  You will have to obtain special training and certifications to successfully operate this type of business.  Enroll in certificate courses on child care and child development. Read about child care laws and industry. Join associations on child care. You may also want learn about first aid and CPR.

Getting these certifications will further legitimize your business and improve your reputation among parents and guardians.

Have your business insured

This may seem unimportant but if you truly value your assets, you will have to have it covered for any damages or injuries that might occur during the life of your business.  If you have decided to set up the child care business in your home, it may be wise to increase the limits of your existing insurance policy. Another option would be to buy a separate policy for the home-based child care business.

If you’re running your child care business in an establishment outside of your home, you will need to look into insurance for that place.

Tap the market

The current location of your business should be convenient for your target market: the parents.  You can do your own initial market research by checking out other private child care providers to see if they have more clients than they can handle.  You should also be able to determine if their businesses are going smooth in that particular area.

The best way to tap the market, however, is to set up business in an area with many parents needing child care.  If your services are most needed in that location, then your business will thrive. 

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