Let’s get real a bit, that lack of space is one major struggle that most daycare providers have to contend with. It’s even more difficult for those who are starting. For example, you may want to use your regular living space but then you aren’t sure where to place the toys for children.
While planning is the hardest part of starting a small home daycare, knowing how to make informed decisions will go a long way to help make your journey a smooth one. First of all, jot down small home daycare ideas for the space to use for this purpose. Next, create policies and then your operating hours. Finally, come up with a solid plan for your daycare business, as this will help you to do things in a more organized manner.
Find a Suitable Space
You must strive to find a suitable space before thinking of even setting up any type of business. This also applies when it comes to daycare. Since what you’re looking forward to setting up is just a small home daycare, a large space isn’t that necessary at all. You can use your living area, basement area, kitchen, and bedrooms for your daycare business. You see, you only need space from where you can set up the actual child care area, nap, and meal areas.
State rules may demand that you have a certain size of space for every child, but you can choose to take care of a few children in your apartment before upgrading to a larger space. If you want to determine the size of your intended space, contact the licensing agency in your hood. Also, you may need to get permission from your landlord if you want to set up a daycare.
Set Business Hours
As an entrepreneur, organizational skills will come in handy if you’re to operate your business more effectively. We’re talking about setting the operating hours for your daycare- organization starts from there. While you do this, make sure to see how you can remain competitive. For example, you can check with other daycare business around your area to learn their business hours to make sure yours meet the market needs.
Another trick used by crafty daycare owners is to keep yours open when other daycare centers and homes are closed. For example, you can decide to be offering overnight child care or open earlier and close late into the night as compared to other daycare centers in your hood.
Decide the Specific Age Groups
Oftentimes, choosing an appropriate age group will make things easy for you. For example, some daycare centers limit enrollment to mobile children so that the entire group they’re providing care to is entirely mobile. Others choose preschoolers because this makes going out for field trips easier. Choosing the appropriate age group for your daycare center is always tethered to your goals.
If your goal is to keep an age group for a longer time, you may want to restrict enrolment to infants, at least in the hopes that they’ll remain under your care until they’re old enough to join the school.
But at times, the easier and quicker way you can use to fill your center is by not limiting enrollment to any age. Accept mixed ages and see how that works for your business.
Planning and Budgeting
Planning is usually the most crucial part when it comes to running a successful business, let alone a daycare business. Why?
A well-thought-out business plan will help you to consolidate all the ideas you need to run your small daycare business and help you to move in steps towards achieving your goals. Additionally, you can always refer to your plan periodically to see whether or not you’re on track and where you need to improve.
Budgeting is yet another important part of business planning because it makes it easier to manage finances and avert the risk of overspending.
Equipment and Activity Planning
Now, you need to find ways to keep children engaged and happy. You’ll be spoilt for choice but the most common ways to keep children interested is by incorporating songs, storytimes, and games in the list of small group activities. If you’re considering the toys route, make sure to get the age-appropriate ones. Also, you can provide puzzles if you want children under your care to embrace independent play.
What more? Well, have some outdoor sports and play equipment or plan to take your children to playgrounds or parks. Or you can organize small nature walks or something of that sort. Factor that in your budget. It all boils down to coming up with ways to make your in-home daycare more enjoyable.
Choose a Group Size
Different states have different rules regarding the group sizes that daycare centers can admit at one time. Oftentimes, a daycare can enroll up to 6 children at once, while others can enroll even up to 12. However, to make things easy for you, forget about higher earnings and choose to give child care to a small group as this will certainly enable you to offer more specialized attention to every child.
If you choose a larger group, this will be equivalent to higher earnings, but it’s not a good option for daycare providers who are new in the business. If you must go that route, make sure to find a few helpers to assist you in providing care.
Away from small home daycare ideas and on to tips to help you run your daycare smoothly.
Play the Role of a Parent
With all the work that comes with running a daycare, you’ll also be required to put yourself in the shoes of the parents. Any venture can benefit from being a business that can be trusted, but it’s especially useful for a daycare. You see, parents are going to trust you with their children, and at times their only children. What does that mean? A child is what matters most to any parent, right?
Of course, you’ll need to get all the licensing stuff, but then there are other things you can do to make parents always feel happy when they’re dropping off their kids at your place. First of all, make sure that your space is up to code and safe. Check the logistics and aesthetics of your venture.
Is your daycare marked? See whether people can find it easily. The parking should also be readily available and your space should feel professional, safe, and welcoming. Maybe you can also add a touch of natural elements to make your daycare feel more relaxed. You see, most people run the best daycares but then they lose a lot in terms of customers. The hustle shouldn’t be stressful at all.
Be Open to Feedback
These days, businesses rely on the power of word of mouth and reviews from clients to make informed decisions. Businesses that offer exemplary service to their customers and encourage them to spread the word have been found to grow more organically. If your daycare is still new and you’ve no client base, attract prospects by offering discounted prices.
If you have a few customers already, ask them to leave a review of your services on your social media pages and website, making sure to thank them personally whenever they do so. As they say, there’s nothing better than a review from a happy customer!
Invest in Staff and Tools
At first, when you’re starting, it’s fundamental to keep your budget tight, but this doesn’t mean that you should avoid investing in quality tools. We’re talking about good computers and accounting software, business receipts, and child attendance sheets.
You may also need to invest in your staff as well. Smooth customer experience is yet another core essential to running a daycare. This means that you should spend a lot of resources towards achieving that. Set aside enough resources and time for the training of staff.
Use Social Media
Embracing social media is a perceptive move nowadays. Strive to advertise your daycare on social media, making sure to share every aspect of whatever you do daily. If it appears overwhelming to keep up with many social media platforms, just focus on one and use it to promote your venture and connect with customers and prospects. However, take caution that you must first of all talk to parents before posting pictures of their children on online platforms.
Adjust to the Needs of Kids
It takes a lot of effort and works to make all kids’ activities successful, which means that it’s important to focus on what all those kids want daily. Let each kid explore his or her natural curiosity and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much fun the learning becomes for all kids. At the end of it all, you’re doing it for children so ask them what activities they like. Use this information to plan well, at least to add fun to the learning experience.
The small home daycare ideas above will give you a sense of how to get your child care business up and running. If you really love caring for kids but didn’t know how to get started, you’re now in the know.