Quality child care is always in demand. Parents today work more than ever, so it means the world to have someone they can trust to keep their children safe and happy.
If you want to start a home daycare and provide superb child care from the very start, we’ve prepared the guide to everything you need to know about in-home daycares. From business plans and licensing to marketing and enrollment, we’ll show you everything you need to know.
Let’s open your daycare!
Think about You and Your Community’s Needs
Before you start making a business plan, think about you and your communities need.
Assess whether you’re:
- Interested in child care
- Have the necessary education (or the capacity to get it)
- Organized and a good supervisor
- Good communicator
These are the key skills if you want to start a family daycare.
At the very least, you’ll have to be very patient and know how to communicate with parents. As you grow, you’ll also likely have to supervise staff and keep track of many records, so it’s good to be organized and professional.
When it comes to the community in which you’ll start a home daycare, consider:
- How many daycares there are in your area
- What the advantages and the disadvantages are for your competitors
- Parents’ satisfaction with available options
- Your competitive advantage
If there are a lot of daycares in your area, you may not get the success you were hoping for, so make sure you thoroughly research your competition and your future customers.
This can also be a good way to learn how you can differentiate your daycare and provide for the needs that other daycares in your area don’t cover.
Make a Home Daycare Business Plan
If your community needs it, and you have all the necessary skills (or means of acquiring them) to start a home daycare, it’s time to make a home daycare business plan.
A home daycare business plan is your key to success and financial wellness that comes from reducing overhead costs.
When making a home daycare business plan, consider the following:
- Who will you serve?
- What makes you different from other daycares?
- What is your growth plan?
You should also have a preliminary idea of what your expenses will be. This can include everything from food for the children to advertising.
Once you’re ready, go through a detailed starting a home daycare checklist to make sure you’ve got everything ready.
How to Start a Daycare with No Money?
Even though it’s good to have some start-up funds saved up, there are other ways of funding your home daycare.
Small Business Administration lists a variety of options for funding your home daycare even if you have no start-up money of your own.
How to Run a Successful In-Home Daycare
Once you’ve set everything up and you’re ready, it’s time to organize it to your satisfaction, bring in the customers, and run your home daycare successfully.
How to Organize a Family Daycare
Another important thing is attendance and other factors related to your customers and the kids. Depending on the number of enrolled kids and your home daycare’s capacity, it may be hard to track everything manually.
If you want to start a home daycare, look into software that will help you organize your day-to-day activities.
How Can I Increase My Home Daycare Enrollment?
Enrollment is the most important part of running a successful in-home daycare.
You want to:
- Actively attract customers
- Passively attract customers
This means that you should both invest in permanent promotion (by emphasizing your strengths as a daycare, and showing what needs you fill that other daycares don’t), and in seasonal promotion.
For example, you can use the summer enrollment drop to your advantage, and attract more kids to your home daycare.
Non-standard forms of child care are a great competitive advantage so consider if you can provide any of the following at your home daycare:
- Before or after school child care
- Care for a specific age group
- Care out of the usual workday timeslot (evening or weekend child care)
- Drop-in daycare
You can also use software like Hopping In that displays your daycare’s availability to parents looking for drop-in care. It’s a good way to boost your home daycare enrollment and fill the empty spots at your daycare.
Communication with Parents at Home Daycares
Being a good communicator is the key to running a successful home daycare.
Here’s what you can do to facilitate good parent-to-provider communication in your child care business:
- Give a great home daycare tour that shows your daycare’s advantages, and resolve any doubts parents may have.
- Interview the family and make sure the child is a good fit for your daycare.
- Create a contract that clearly outlines your policies, and make sure parents review it before signing.
- Keep in touch with parents.
- Resolve any issues calmly and professionally.
Using daycare software should help you with administration and record-keeping, but it’s important that you personally keep in touch with parents (unless you’re hiring an assistant manager).
In case of difficulties, learn the best conflict-resolution tactics, and apply them to de-escalate the situation and calmly reach a solution.
Marketing and Promoting Your Home Daycare
Once you’ve set the right foundations, it’s time to get your daycare in front of the parents.
The key to in-home daycare marketing and promotion is making your home daycare different.
If you want to start a home daycare, keep your customers in mind. You should start with their needs and adapt your service to suit them. And once you’re ready for enrollment, you should show your daycare’s strengths through marketing.
You can use the following methods to market and promote your home daycare:
- Social media
- Digital advertising
- Local promotion
- Referrals and word-of-mouth
- Software like Hopping In
Some of these methods allow you to get affordable home daycare promotion, and advertising goes a long way to boosting your enrollment numbers.
Am I Ready to Start an In-Home Daycare?
If you satisfy all the personal and professional requirements, you’ll start a home daycare in no time.
And while some things come with experience, you can always consult our blog on the latest tips and tricks for running a successful home daycare.
After all, kids may be the priority, but you should be proud of your success, as well.
Author: Hopping In Blog
Sholom Strick is an expert on the business of running daycare centers and founder of Hopping In, a tool that helps childcare centers and family daycare providers fill unused spots.
To contact him or for media inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org