How To Start a DayCare: 6 Essential Steps


How to Start a Day Care

By Christine Groth

More and more people want to know how to start a day care center, but aren’t really sure how to find out. Some may be young mothers wanting to stay home with

their children while making an income. Others may simply love children and want to use their talents to make a profitable business. Still others may just view a day care as a good investment. No matter

what the reason, here are a few good tips for how to start a day care.

1. You need to develop a strong business plan. While this may be adapted over time, you need to develop an overall plan for your day care. You should decide how many kids you will be able to care for, where your facility will be, what your pricing will be, and how many employees you will have. You will want to think about what will make your day care stand out from the rest and attract customers. You will need to develop clear policies regarding both pricing as well as the services you will provide. This plan may start off as rough ideas, but you need to refine and polish it so it can be shown to potential investors.

2. When you think about how to start a day care, be sure to always keep finances in mind. Unless you are rich, you will need to seek financial backing. Potential investors will want to see your business plan, and will carefully consider it in

making their decision. For example, many religious organizations may be willing to help fund a day care, but may choose a facility offering a religious curriculum or environment over one that does not. On the other hand, government agencies offering

grants may prefer there are no religious aspects involved. Some financial institutions or investors may have other requirements or preferences to be considered. You will also want to make sure that your expectations for your day care do not exceed your possible budget.

3. You will need to get the proper licensing, insurance, and certification for the type of day care center you plan to open. Most states will require some type of first aid training and CPR certification. Insurance will be affected by your location and number of children you plan to care for. Licenses will depend on state regulations and will likely be affected by the same type of things as insurance.

4. Location is also very important to any day care. You will want to find a facility that has plenty of room for play area, quiet/rest area, eating areas, and an administrative area. If possible you may want an outdoor area as well. You will want a location that is safe but well traveled enough to attract customers. Ideally you will want an area that is already zoned appropriately.

5. You will need furniture, toys, and other supplies. Keep in mind the age groups you plan on caring for when purchasing furniture, and make sure it meets all safety guidelines. You will need age appropriate toys and activities. You will also need such basic supplies as toilet paper, paper towels, dishes,first aid supplies, cleaning supplies, and other such things.

6. How can you start a day care without advertising? Word of mouth is very powerful among parents, but you will want something to attract your initial customers. You will need a good sign that clearly states the name of your day care, your hours, and your phone number. You might want to take out ads in the newspaper, phone book, or a local magazine. If your budget allows it, you may consider a brief radio commercial for your grand opening. Flyers may also be hung at local community centers, churches, or small businesses with permission.

While there are many other tips on how to start a day care, these are some of the most important things you will need to consider. Your local Human Services Department should be able to notify you of state regulations and requirements. You can also read some of my other articles for many more ideas on how to start a day care.

© CG Groth Inc 2007

The “Daycare Diva”, Christine G. Groth, is the creator of “The Guide to Instant Daycare Profits”. To learn more about this step-by-step program and to sign-up for her FREE “How to Start a Daycare” tips and articles, visit