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Running your own Daycare Center

Posted by Francis Isberto | Labels: | Posted On Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 5:35 AM

The Philippines has an estimated population of about 92 million people and it is the 12th most populous country in the world. This may be a problem for the Philippine government but for you it's an opportunity. Why? Because in every minute there are 3 Filipino babies that are being born.

These babies will be needing a lot as they grow up. Their parents are probably both working and are out normally on week-days leaving their children to their nannies or yaya's. Although they are reliable, these parents would prefer to send their kids to a place of a more formal structure. A place where they can get education and socialization with kids of their own age. That is where Day Care Center comes in.

If you think that Day Care centers are for Western countries your gravely mistaken. More Filipino moms have to work after their baby is born. Nowadays there are very few families that are able to make ends meet on one income. Gone are the days when only the daddy's that goes to work. Mommy's needs to help financially to keep up with their expenses.
A Day Care center is like a second mom or dad that will come to aid and guide their kids while the parents are away from work.

So before you decide to open up your own daycare, you need to check with your government agencies to find out what rules and regulations you need to follow. For example, you are only allowed to have a certain number of children per square foot of space your building has, so you need to know this right off the bat.
You will need to locate a site that is large enough to house the number of children that you plan to care for. Many have been successful with purchasing actual homes, and making any needed renovations. You may also have some luck with your local churches or city organizations, either with locating a space, or possibly leasing space from them.
It is crucial that you pay attention to all of the zooming rules in your area, so you don’t rent a place, then find out you are not allowed to run a business out of it. It does take quite a bit of overhead to open up your own center, a lot of which goes into getting the location you need.

If you own a house that is big enough to accommodate children then you already save money from your initial capitalization. You can use the save money to purchase tables, chairs, playing mats, play pens, etc.

Remember that your revenue will come from your customers.... the children. That means your place should be a sanctuary where the kids can be safe and away from harm (something the parents initially sought for a Day Care). Hire the right personnel. Get people who are devoted to children. If you have teachers then you can combine your Day Care business to Pre-Schooling. Double income for you.

Once you have pretty much gotten everything down as far as laws and your location taken care of, you will need to advertise your new center. One of the best ways to do this, especially if you are on a busy street, is to have a nice sign up that states your business name and that you are accepting children. You will also want to let people know the hours your center will be open, and what days of the week, and most importantly, have a contact number shown.

If you can’t get all of this information on your sign, at least have your business name, hours, and phone number, then potential customers can call you for more information. You may also want to drop off fliers at your local pediatrician’s offices, schools, or maybe run an ad over your local newspaper. If you don’t let people know what you are offering, and get the word out, how can you expect to have clients?

Another major decision to make is choosing what hours your day center will be open. If you really want to make an impact, I would recommend being open outside of the normal business hours, maybe opening at 5 or 6 am, and staying open until around 7pm. This would help you get clients that many other Day cares are unable to cater to, giving you more customers.

Keep in mind, that you will most likely need to provide meals, so if you are open the above hours, you will probably be serving three meals a day. You will want to make sure you remember that when you determine what the cost per child will be. Remember that you also will need to provide at least two healthy snacks a day. Let the parents know what you will be offering, so they will know what they are paying for.

Children tend to do best when they have set routines, so you will need to make a basic daily plan, and give your teachers and parents a copy. It is important that you plan the day according to the age range of the children. Include in a rest or nap time, or two for the younger ones. You will also want to have some learning activities, arts and crafts, outside time, free play time, and story time. If you will be accepting children that are working on toilet training, you will need to set aside specific time slots in the day to be potty time as well.

When you know how many children you will have, and what their ages will be, check the city government laws to find out how many teachers you need. Depending on the children’s ages, you need one teacher for every so many kids. When hiring your teachers, look for moms or young adults that have taken some early childhood education courses. You want to try to get certified teachers, if possible, to ensure that you not only have a caring center, but one that offers learning opportunities as well. If you can fit it in your budget, it is also a good idea to have some kitchen staff, maintenance people, and possibly even a nurse in case of emergencies.

All parents will need to fill out medical forms for their children, letting you know their history and of any known conditions or allergies. You will need a release to seek treatment form, contact numbers for the parents in case of emergencies, and contact info for the child’s doctor. It is important to be prepared in advance, in case any emergency situation did arise.

Your center will need to have a designated outside play area, equipped with safe, sturdy toys for the children to play with. This area should be fenced in with locked gates to protect the children. You will want to have swings, sandboxes, slides, any kind of outside equipment you wish, as long as it is safe, and age appropriate.

Stock the individual rooms with toys, books, games, televisions, educational movies, maybe a computer or two for the older children, anything that you wish to have on hand for the teachers and children to use. You will need to have an eating area in each room, and a place for naptime, diaper changes, etc.

When dealing with parents and financial issues, you will be better off asking them to pay the month or week in advance. By having them pay ahead, you aren’t dependent on them for the funds to buy needed supplies, or pay teachers, and don’t have to worry about losing children due to non-payment. A lot of daycare centers have to close because they financially cannot make ends meet, usually due to parents not being able to pay them when payment is due. Let parents know that you need them to pay in advance so that you have sure funds to use to care for their children with.

You may want to run the center yourself for the first little bit, to keep costs down, and to ensure that everything is running as you want it to. Eventually, when profits rise, and everything is going well, you may want to hire a manager to oversee the day to day running of the center for you. They would be responsible for hiring teachers, taking care of new customers, purchasing supplies, planning lesson plans, meals, etc. You basically would sign the checks, and still make all of the major decisions, but would free to pursue other endeavors if you wish.

Children are gifts from God not only personally but financially. Running a Day Care center is like having an extended family that has a population of 20-30 kids. How's that for family?


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