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How to Start a Day Care Center

There will always be a need for day care centers. To start a day care center, you have got to be motivated and love children. There will be many decisions for you to make along the way, and it will pay off to be well prepared. Starting your own business is never cheap, and you want to make sure that you are successful in your endeavor. So, start off on the right foot by learning how to start a day care center before you actually start.

The Basics of Starting a Day Care Center

Determine the type of child care you will offer and the ages of the children you will care forBefore you start picking out a name and making things official, it is important that you assess the need for your business. You can do this by finding out how many children need child care in your area. Finding out the ages of the children is also important because there are different types of child care for different age groups. You are also going to have a few decisions to make to help you along in the steps that follow. For starters, your business will need a name, and you are going to have to decide on how the company will be structured legally. Do you want to have a sole proprietorship, incorporation, or a partnership? There are advantages and disadvantages to each one; most day care centers are sole proprietorships since they are so simple and inexpensive. The downside to a sole proprietorship is that the owner of the business takes all legal responsibility for the business.

Getting Down to Business

Now that you have the basics figured out, it is time to get a little more serious. Be aware that there are numerous requirements you will have to meet in order to become licensed. All states have their own requirements that include things such as a required amount of square footage for each child, lighting, heating, and plumbing requirements. Prior to starting your search for a building, you should be aware of all these requirements. Once you find a place that is up to standards, you will likely have to find a way to finance the purchase. Ways for you to finance include going through a commercial bank, utilizing your personal sources, government agencies, and grant programs


There are a lot of things that you will have to plan for when starting your day care business. You are going to need to make a plan for your center to follow. This will include things like meal menus, curriculum, and how to handle disciplining the children. More planning will be needed when it comes to your budget. Having a detailed budget set in place prior to opening your business is extremely important. There is a lot that goes into running a day care center–it is much more than being able to pay rent. For starters, your center will be in need of toys, cribs if you will be caring for infants, art and music supplies, and you will be held accountable for providing the food for all of the children. When creating your budget be sure to keep it realistic. Don’t borrow more money than you have to in order to get things going; its best to start off any business with your head as far above water as possible.


Before you open your business, and afterward as well, you are going to need to advertise your company. If you want your business to be successful you will need to have children lined up before you open. The tuition you charge for each child is what you are going to use to pay the bills, and you won’t get what you need if no one knows you’re available. Put up signs in the area advertising that you have spots available, advertise in the newspaper, or put up fliers at schools. Most importantly, use word of mouth. Tell everyone you know, and the people you meet, that you are opening a day care center and have spots open. Word will travel quickly, and parents will be more likely to use your center if they have been recommended.

Guest post from Sam Landon.

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