With both parents pursuing a career path, the child is usually left in a day care center. High divorce rates and single mothers who have to work to support themselves and their children have also led to a high demand for day care centers for children in the pre-school age that can range from 6 months to five years. Such little children need love and care that their parents are not able to give because of work responsibilities. There is a high demand and privately owned and run daycare centers have their hands full. How to start a daycare center is a question you may ask since it needs more than having time and the space for it. You must also have adequate training, skills, patience and expertise in handling a number of demanding children simultaneously without losing your cool. Finance is the other question that arises about how to access daycare grants from various sources.
The best way to start is small, in the spare rooms available in your house. This involves the least capital expenditure. If you plan to take care of 40 to 100 children you will need licensing from the local authorities and your premises will need to be larger, preferably with plenty of open space around, conforming to the minimum space per child regulations, with a full time nurse.
Once you have made a name for yourself taking care of a small group of children you can take the next step to expand. Prepare a business plan on how to start a daycare center and approach local organizations for sponsorship and daycare grants. You could borrow money from your family and friends, enter into a partnership or arrange a sponsorship agreement with a leading local organization or find independent investors to jointly enter into an agreement with you. Depending on the funds you are able to garner, you could acquire an independent premises on rent, refurbish it and make it fit for a daycare center. Next, you would need to publicize your business. Putting up signboards giving all details at the entrance to the compound will give passers by a good idea of your services. You could also put up signs, after obtaining permission from the local authorities, on the road leading up to your daycare center. Rope in local organizations and the church as a way to gain free publicity and get you customers. You wil also need staff to handle the children since the daycare center needs to start at 6 AM and go on right till 6 PM. When you operate on a large scale you will need to organize the kitchen, have seating arrangements for the children to serve them meals and employ a cook to prepare food. If you are a novice to all this you could undergo training on how to start a daycare center that is available through books, online and in specialized coaching centers.
Daycare grants will not be forthcoming from funding agencies if you are operating the center as a profitable venture. Such institutions and organizations give priority to non-profit daycare centers that have been in operation for sometime and show results. If you plan to operate a non-profit daycare center, you can find out the funding organizations by visiting websites like www.childcareaware.com and finding the local institution you can contact. If there is no state or federal organization in your area for daycare grants you could approach foundations like United Way and apply. Here are a few resources you could try out:
As in any venture, a daycare center calls for a lot of time and personal involvement, skills, plenty of patience, persuasive powers and an ability to present your business plan on how to start a daycare center in order to obtain daycare grants or funding from investors.
- The Child Care and Development Fund
- Child and Adult Care Food Program
- The Children's Defense Fund's Head Start Program
- School Grants.org State Grant Opportunities
- USDA Office of Rural Development
- U.S. Department of Education
- The Foundation Centre-- http://fdncenter.org/funders/grantmaker/gws_comm/comm.html
- Grants Net
- E School News
- Grants Web
- The Pew Charitable Trusts
- The Future of Children