You’re a homemaker and parent of some very adorable children. You are superhuman when it comes to balancing your family budget and keeping things organized at home. You can juggle a lot of duties and finish spur of the moment tasks fast. Everyday you hustle and make sure those chores don’t know what hit them. Still, you may crave an additional challenge. Your friends tempt you with talk of their fabulous working lives. You dream about the hustle and bustle of an office job, and that first satisfying sip of coffee on your morning commute. This dream is so clear you can almost taste it … but then you think, “I can’t work away from home because of my little ones”, and so the dream quickly fades into the fog of family life.
What If You Could Lift The Fog?
What if you could lift your family’s economic future – and at the same time be close to those so very cute children of yours? What if you had the best of both worlds with a stay at-home daycare job?
The need for daycare services continue to rise as working parents need a reliable, safe and healthy environment to take care of their little ones while they are away. Being a great parent, you’ve already passed the entrance exam. You have a keen sense for what babysitting entails, and already exercise good judgement, so you are well on your way to success. In this article I will review some of the most important steps in starting, maintaining and make money from your new at home daycare business.
So, How Do You Get Started?
Now, to be clear, babysitting is a different thing than running a true in home daycare business. There are rules and requirements that you must meet to set up your stay at home operation, but once in place, working at home will be a truly rewarding enterprise.
First, do a self assessment and ask yourself if you have these qualities:
● Are you willing to take the risk of starting a business?
● Do you have business building skills gained from prior experience?
● Can you be kind and caring to children and staff members when facing with difficult situations?
● Do you have access to support or resources on your own or from others?
● Can you be detailed to follow legal guidelines required for running a daycare business in your
● Do you have experience bookkeeping and keeping records?
If you can answer yes to most of these then you are well suited to run your own business. Notice that I put “Can you be kind and caring to children and staff members when facing with difficult situations?” right in the middle of those points … if you did; that was a test, and you passed. To me that item among all the others is the most important and a skill you cannot do without. That is one skill you can’t outsource and will set the stage for your successful business.
Next, think about the area where you want to set up your business? Where are you located? Are there already daycare centers nearby? Would you be starting your daycare where there is a need? How do you know that people need your service in your area? Find the answer to this crucial question, because to have a business you need customers. I know it seems obvious, but being sure that there are people to buy your service isn’t always straightforward. Perhaps you can test the need, by being a member of a childcare app, an in home care service or through a church group. Make sure you are providing a service that people in your area need as a convenient option for their busy lives. Ask yourself what do customers need most; childcare for mornings and afternoon, after school and evenings, night or overnight services, or different age groups- from infant to adolescents.
Do You Need To File With Your State?
Every state’s rules are different. It is important for you to understand all the rules and compliance needed to legally take children into your home as a daycare operator. Search online or contact your local Small Business Administration (SBA) and learn all you can about any forms you need to file, or an orientation workshop you need to attend. Usually your state government has a division concerning family and child services that will provide you with a license that will allow you to legally operate in this field. Along with the orientation paperwork you may expect an in home inspection, where a state child care agent walks through your home to ensure you are meeting all of the safety and state policy guidance.
It is most likely that you will need to take first-aid and CPR classes to be proficient in responding to an emergency situation. Regardless of your state requirements these emergency response skills are a great capability that you can use to promote your business. Plus, it is just a useful inclusion to your personal life.
Insurance, Insurance, Insurance.
Yes, you need insurance to cover you and business. You must have liability, theft, fire and medical coverage insurance. The coverage must meet the threshold of coverage that the size of your business and municipality requirements will determine. I also recommend you look into legal services insurance, through a service like RocketLawyer or LegalZoom. These will save costs in so many filings of contracts and startup costs of your business.
So, You’re Ready To Register Your Business.
Not exactly. Starting any type of business still needs a few more things. You need to register your childcare business name with your state government. Also you need a federal EIN number to open a business bank account and yes, sadly pay your business taxes. There are free and paid classes available through the SBA and SCORE (an organization of mentors for small business owners). There are many topics useful to you and can put you on the right path. Also, look to define your pricing. Research the costs and fees associated with other daycare facilities in the area or model your prices based on speaking to potential customers. Then be very detailed about your customer contracts (again see RocketLawyer) and pricing.
The Bottom Line
Starting a business, and especially a daycare center business can be very rewarding. You can put those great organizational skills to work for yourself and for your family. There is a lot to do to legally operate and above all, be safe and ready to commit to your clients, who are ultimately the children. Their parents, and your staff are the others that you will need to be thoughtful towards and aware of their needs as well. With these points covered, I’m sure those wonderful cute kids of yours will be proud of you … and you can be pretty proud of yourself too.