IDEAS for Starting a Home Business
Nurture children with an in-home day care business.
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Running a day care business can be emotionally rewarding and financially lucrative. One of the hardest parts of starting an in-home day care may be the planning, as there are many decisions to make before you start. Jotting down your ideas for what area of your home to use as day care space, creating acceptance policies and setting business hours may help you organize your thoughts and create a solid plan for your business.
Day Care Space
You don't necessarily need a large home to start an in-home day care business. Use your living room, kitchen, basement and even family bedrooms for child care, meal and nap areas. Your state may require you to have a minimum number of square feet of space per child, but you can generally care for at least a few children in the living areas of your home or apartment. You may learn the square footage requirements in your state by contacting the agency that handles day-care licensing in your area. Additionally, you may need permission from your landlord if you plan to open an in-home day care business in a rental property.
As a business owner, you can set the hours you prefer for your in-home day care. To stay competitive, however, check other child care businesses in the area and learn their hours of operation to make sure your hours meet your market's needs. In addition, you may consider remaining open when most day care centers and family day care homes are closed. For example, you may provide overnight care or open a couple of hours earlier than other child care businesses in the area.
Often, catering to a specific age group makes providing child care easier. For example, you may restrict enrollment to toddlers in order to have an entire group that is mobile. Alternatively, you may choose to accept only preschoolers to make going out for walks and on field trips easier. If your goal is keeping one group of children for a long period of time, however, you may choose infants in the hopes that their parents will keep them with you until they are old enough to enroll in school. Sometimes, however, the fastest way to fill a home day care is by accepting mixed ages.
Planning is an important part of running a successful day care business in your home. A business plan may help you consolidate your ideas for your business and organize the steps necessary to meet your goals. Additionally, you can refer to your business plan periodically to evaluate whether you are on track or need to make adjustments. A budget may also help you manage your business expenses and avoid overspending.