Income Potential of a Daycare Business
Most day care centers are currently charging from $35 to $65 per child for a five day week, plus $5 to $10 more for the inclusion of breakfast, with another $l per meal when they serve an evening meal to the child. If you do not receive pay in advance, you can very quickly get “in the red.” We strong suggest setting up your financial structure and clients’ payment schedules with this in mind.
By having your customers pay in advance, you’ll eliminate a lot of bookkeeping chores and time, the problems of collections, and you’ll have operating funds with which to run the business. A point to stress when asking for payment by the month, in advance, is that because monthly payments are based on only four weeks of day care, they’ll be getting a week of free service every three months.
Managing a Daycare Business
Every profitable day care center requires a sharp manager or director. This person might be yourself, or someone you hire for the job. Regardless, this person will be the key to your success. The director should have an empathy with people, be an excellent judge of people, be sales oriented, and have an outgoing personality. As much as anything else, this person must have the ability to listen to, and really hear what other people are saying without the influence of preconceived opinions, or making snap decisions. This person has to have the success of your business in mind at all times, which means building and maintaining an impeccable reputation.
Your director will be responsible for the hiring and supervision of your other help and the budgeting, scheduling and overall day-to-day operation of the business. It is imperative to the success of your business that you have the very best person you can get in this position, regardless of the cost. A good director for a day care center will command a salary equal to teachers in your public schools, plus fringe benefit allowances such as free enrollment for their children and perhaps medical and dental insurance if you choose to provide group coverage.
When a prospective client calls to ask you about your services, you should explain how you operate, and emphasize your invitation for them to bring their child in so that the two of them can be taken for a tour of your facilities.
Once in the center, your manager or director takes the parent and child on a tour, all the while explaining to parent the advantages of the center’s structured learning and play program as compared with everyday run-of-the-mill baby-sitting services. It’s important to have the child along, because as he sees the other children at play, he will be drawn to them, and this will greatly influence the parent in deciding that your center is the right place for his child.
You should have a slickly printed, quality brochure showing your rates, your services, an outline of the curriculum, and a statement of your benefit goals for the children.
Check with a legally qualified person about the need for a contract. The parent will probably simply fill out a questionnaire-file card giving address, place of employment, medical information about the child, and place he or she may be reached in case of emergency.
Most day care centers accept all children between two and six years of age. And there are many nowadays who take infants from six weeks. Of course, your personnel in this situation will be thoroughly oriented in infant care, and you must ascertain if these babies are well when brought in to you. Otherwise, you put yourself in the position of “hospital” care instead of day care.
Generally, children aren’t allowed to bring toys from home. You may want to allow the children to bring their own blanket from home for nap time, but if you allowed toys from home you would be opening “Pandora’s box” of possible problems relating to sharing and ownership. In light of this, you will want a full complement of appropriate toys and play items in your center.
If you decide to include short-term baby-sitting services, a good idea would be to include within the layout of your facilities a small one-bedroom apartment for a live-in or couple. An older retired couple would be ideal, with the husband serving also as maintenance and handy-man.
Recommended Articles on Starting a Daycare Business:
- How to Start Your Own Daycare Business
- Starting a Day Care Business on a Shoestring Budget
- Operating a Daycare Center
- Caring for the Children
- Income Potential of a Daycare Business
- Managing Your Daycare Business
- Complementary Businesses for Additional Income
- Marketing Your Day Care or Childcare Business
- Licensing Requirements of Starting a Daycare: Alabama to Louisiana
- Licensing Requirements of Starting a Daycare: Maine to Wyoming
Recommended Books on Operating a Daycare Business and Caring for the Children:
- How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Child Care Service: With Companion CD-ROM
- How to Start a Home-Based Day-Care Business, 6th (Home-Based Business Series)
- The Business of Child Care: Management and Financial Strategies
- Dollars & Sense: Planning for Profit in Your Child Care Business
- Child Care Marketing Online