Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 9:25pm by Sandy Jones
In America, we want it all. We want the career, the family, and the fabulous life. However, in pursuit of our dreams there are going to be areas that suffer while others prosper. Now that most families have both parents working full time, there is a higher demand for children to be in day care. This shift from stay-at-home parents to working parents has pushed a higher need for child care providers to help a child grow during their fundamental learning years. Since there is a demand for workers, there is also a demand for more child care centers. Being able to start your own business providing child care could be just the change you are looking for in your life.
Basics of Starting a Business
Nothing in life is certain, and starting a new business could be one of scariest things that you will ever do. However, sometimes the biggest risks yield the highest gain. If you believe that you have what it takes to start a business, you will want to start right away. One of the first things that you should do is research what style day care you would like to own. Some people would like to have their own business; some will prefer to work from the comfort of their own home. Only you can decide which option will work best with your personality. There are several other steps that you will need to go through but it’s important to start with a few basics.
- Learn Your State Requirements: Every state is different, and there will be different requirements that you are required to meet before you can be a licensed child care provider. Most states will require you to have some sort of degree and experience in the field. Some states will also require that applicants have child care accreditations. The two main child care accreditations that states look at are the Child Development Associate (CDA) and the Child Care Professional (CCP). Once you have received these you can contact your state and find out the next step in obtaining your license.
- Find Funding: Dreams of starting a business are great, but you are going to need a way to pay for those dreams. Unless you just inherited some money, chances are that you will be starting from scratch. You will still be able to find funding. There are grants and loans available through the government. Your access to this money will depend on what type of center you want to own. There are other avenues as well. A person wishing to receive funding can look into bank loans, obtain venture capital, ask family and friends for help, or seek help from other businesses. When you go to ask for money you will want to make sure that you have a solid business plan in place that will detail every vision that you have for your center.
What Parents are Looking For
To understand the best way to operate your child care facility is to understand what parents will be looking for in a center and how to handle different types of children. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that these parents trust you with their children and are expecting that you provide a safe, educational, and fun environment for their child while they are working. One major requirement is that you and your potential staff understand the fundamentals of early childhood education. Classes can be taken at a local university or are provided by your state. Often times you are expected to continue training continuously so that you are current on all techniques. Another important thing that parents look for is safety. Many states will require that all providers are CPR certified and that each center is inspected regularly. You can also consider calming parental fears by having a security system in place that will allow them to see what has happened in their child’s day. One final aspect that parents will be really interested in is your curriculum. Will their child continue to develop in your care? Will they be able to have fun? Will all their fundamental needs be met?
Your Next Move
Now that you have decided that you want to proceed and pursue your dream of being a child care owner, it is important to get started. By understanding that it will be hard work to get your center off the ground, you will be mentally prepared for the road ahead. Find people that have been in your shoes before and ask them about what worked for them and what didn’t. This will help you learn what mistakes not to make and how you will want to operate your own facility. Once you have this understanding you will be able to have a particular niche developed. Your personal niche is what you will use to promote your center and help find clients that will work well within your educational environment.
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