If you're planning to start a daycare, it's time to
start doing your research. While anyone can open up their home to children, not
everyone can operate a licensed daycare facility.
So what do you need to know if you want to start a daycare?
Here are ten things you need to consider when starting a daycare.
Decide how you want to operate. Do you plan on having an
in-home daycare or will you be opening a daycare center? The requirements are
different depending on the type of day care you plan to operate.
Look into incorporating. Incorporating your daycare can
have many benefits, including reduced personal liability.
zoning laws. Once you've decided on your actual physical location,
you will need to make sure that the location you've chosen is in compliance with
local zoning laws. Check with your city or municipality's zoning department to
be sure that you are allowed to operate a daycare facility at the
Check your state's requirements for daycare licensing. Each state has different
requirements and the link above will help you scroll an interactive map that can
direct you to the right state websites.
Get your day care ready for inspections. It's likely that
the state authority issuing the license will want to inspect your daycare
location to make sure it's safe. Check your state's compliance rules and get
your place ready for the inspections.
Research insurance carriers. You will be exposed to
liability in managing other people's children. So talk to your insurance carrier
to see what kinds of liability
insurance you can get on your daycare.
Hire workers. Look into the caregiver-to-child ratio for
your state and make sure that you have enough caregivers on board. When you
consider caregivers to work in your center, be sure to do a background check on
each potential applicant. A proper background check will be very helpful to you
in the long run.
Advertise. Once you're ready to launch your center, you
should start advertising. You can advertise on Craigslist, in local newspapers
or by word of mouth. But remember-- don't stretch the truth as false advertising
could cause legal troubles for you down the line.
Draft contracts and policies. When taking clients,
you should have policies in place for your fees, cancellation and zero-tolerance
policies for behavioral issues.
Keep good records. Make sure to keep files on each child
and keep good records, in case you get inspected by the state.