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How to Start a Day Care Center?

Paperback - 31 January 2016
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Who, What, When, Where and How to Start a Day Care CenterThere is a moment when in your mind you cross the line between dreaming of running your own day care center and actually seeing it as a reality in your future. When you make that transition, all of a sudden, the details of what it will take to both bring a day care into existence and to operate it day in and day out and make it a success begin to become a reality to you as well. One way of putting some organization around your planning is to use the old four Ws and an H system where in you just ask yourself five basic questions about what it will take to start and operate your own daycare. And those five questions are who, what, when, where and how.1.Who will be your customers?In Field of Dreams, the voice told Kevin Costner, "If you build it, they will come." But you need more specifics before starting your day care. So you have to understand where you are going to get your first customers and then how you will continue to build your day care by getting new families. Start at your "dream" of a day care and in that vision of taking care of children for a living. Where did the kids come from in that vision? You should have this question answered and have a identifiable target market pinpointed before you buy the first crib or swing set for your day care. You need to know there is a real need for what you do. Moreover, the people who are going to finance your dream must know this or they wont give you the money.2.What will your day care look like when it is a reality?This is more than just day dreaming because you need to have a feel for the size of the day care center, for the types of things that will happen in your day care all day and for the way it is decorated and equipped. Before you develop your budget of how much money to ask the bank for before you actually start changing your day care from a dream into a reality, you must have a detailed list of the things you will need, the remolding steps you must take on a new facility to transform it into a day care and how much each of those things will cost. 3.When will you open the day care?Along with putting some real detail to what will be in your day care, the schedule of events between now and when the doors open is important. A schedule is more than just a time frame with deadlines to hit. It is also a way of laying out in enough detail that you can get started, the work that must be done and the order it must be done in before you can move forward with your development plan. Building your plan from the general milestones to the specific tasks is how you go about creating a time frame for success that is realistic and complete.4.Where will you locate your day care?You may be able to see the building where your day care will exist in your mind's eye but you need more than that to actually get your plan off the ground. You will need to know first what you need in terms of a physical facility and second, what facilities are available in your market area and what are their costs. The first part you can hammer out in your office with a pen and paper designing the layout and size of your future day care. The second part means getting out there and looking at buildings and talking to leasing agents. This is the footwork of starting your day care and it is important footwork for sure.5.How do you get started?Guess what? You have already started. By taking these general questions, now just start adding the detail to each question. Before you know it you will have a budget, a schedule and a project plan for getting from the dream stage to that day you cut the ribbon and invite the first group of day care kiddos in to enjoy what you have to offer. And that day will make all this hard work worth the effort.

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