The number of working parents is increasing, meaning there is a high demand for quality child care. This creates an opportunity for people who are thinking of starting up a child care center.
Providing child care services at home is ideal for stay-at-home moms. However, this is more than babysitting, and it is not for the light of heart.
You need to ask yourself whether you really love children. Can you proudly offer potty or diapering assistance? If you can check all these off your list of skills, then you are ready to proceed to the next level.
Do You Have Enough Space?
Licensing agencies will not allow you to start a childcare center without at least a minimum of 35 square feet per child.
They will also require you to have a safe outdoor space with enough age-appropriate toys, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and other playing materials. In fact, in most states, outdoor play is part of the child-care program.
Even though your house is big enough with enough square footage, it is essential to keep in mind that kids cannot be confined in one place. You should consider setting aside a separate room just for toys.
Requirements for Setting Up a Child Care Center
Requirements for starting up a child care center vary from state to state. If it is a regulated child-care home, then you will only be allowed to stay with six to seven kids per provider, with not more than three children under the age of 3 years.
On the other hand, group childcare only allows 12 children with another adult assistant present. Different states have different requirements, but the basics include the following.
- Background check where you and your assistant are aged 18 years and above.
- Insurance that allows you to purchase riders for your homeowner’s insurance
- Checking whether you have first-aid and CPR certification or whether you have experience in child development, abuse prevention, nutrition etc.
- They will run a physical examination to rule out if you or any family member has any chronic disease such as tuberculosis.
Other Requirements Needed to Start a Child Care Center
You will need more than enough space and toys around. You will have to do some paperwork, such as signing contracts between you and the parents.
It should clearly state payment terms, vacations, overtime or paid holidays, fees for late payments, bounced checks, discipline, pick up and drop off time, and scheduling. Remember to keep a separate file for each student complete with immunization records, medical information, plus other emergency contacts.
Having a computer or laptop will go a long way in helping you track your expenses. There are softwares designed specifically for running child care, such as Childcare Professional by Kask.
Consider the Set Backs
Just like any other business, providing child care services comes with its disadvantages. Your kids might not welcome the idea of sharing their space, toys, and their mom with other kids.
Think about the clutter that they will leave behind every day. Your spouse, partner, or visitors might not understand that you do not have extra time to clean up because, to them, you stay home all day. Other disadvantages include the following.
- You might miss out on your kid’s school events.
- No health benefits.
- Scheduling appointments and running errands might be tricky.
- Long days of no rest.
- It is isolating, depriving you of your social life.
Summing it Up
Have you done your homework and feel like this is your calling? If so, you are on the right track. You do not have to start large; start with those kids in the neighborhood.
Do your diligent research, and call your local child care agency to learn more about your state’s licensing process. Once you’re up and running, you can join local associations for training, if need be.