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How to Start and Budget For a New Child Care Center

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A day-care center is one of the most challenging and expensive businesses to start. You need a lot of patience, time and money to make your new day care successful.

What steps do you have to take to acquire the proper equipment for your new day care? What do you have to do to advertise and draw new customers? How will you find employees qualified for child care? These are all questions you must ask yourself to achieve your goals and have a profitable day-care center.

Draw up a reasonable business plan. Things to consider while creating the plan are finances, staffing, equipment lists and marketing strategies. Keep in mind that all of these things require their own sub list of requirements that have to be met. For example, your staffing requirement might depend heavily on your state's child-care provider requirements. Your state might require that all staff in the day care be CPR-certified or require extensive background checks.

Get a business license through your local clerk's office. This takes a few weeks and does require a fee that varies depending upon where you live.

While you are waiting on your business license, visit an attorney's office and get several contract forms drawn up for use at the day care. You will need to get consent forms, basic policy forms and liability contracts. Make sure these include spaces for client information, operation hours and signatures.

If you do not have start-up money, you will need to get some. This can be done through a bank loan. Go to your bank with your business plan and business license in hand. The bank will consider your loan based upon the business plan you wrote and your personal credit history. Based on your start-up and running costs you should also take this opportunity to set customer pricing for your day care.

Shop for a building to rent or buy. You can use a real estate broker or shop on your own. Start thinking about the safety of the building and if it meets your state's codes for a day care. You can pick up a copy of these codes at your local business bureau.

Decorate the building following the day care business codes in your state. Choose a wall color, furnishings, large equipment and toys. It helps to make a list of items you need before go shopping.

Search for employees who meet state day-care requirements. You can post job openings and requirements at your local human resources or job services office. Make sure to carefully interview each potential employee and do any background checks required by the state.

Get started on marketing and getting the news of your opening out to the public. You can purchase advertising from radio, TV or newspaper. You can also spread the word by leaving business cards with people you meet and giving flyers to local schools to send home to parents.


Always follow state requirements.


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