Before anyone misunderstands whats involved in opening a daycare center, they should be aware this is not a get-rich-quick business (few of them are), nor is it an easy home-centered job that can be a relaxing way to pick up extra cash. Opening a daycare center is frequently an enormous undertaking, including the often laborious and exhausting routine that running a daycare center day to day brings to its potential owner/manager. In short, one really had better love children, and love working with them, because a huge amount of endurance and patience will be needed to run such a center successfully.
Running a daycare center has been a deceptive idea for many mothers, because virtually every successful manager of a daycare has confirmed that caring for another's child is a far cry, and a completely different job, from caring for ones own. There must be unconditional love and acceptance of ANY child to come into the venue, and that takes patience (and practicing patience).
Once the manager of a day care has decided to make that commitment, there are a number of steps to follow to open his/her dream daycare. The first step is to find the state regulations regarding a home daycare center, and the various licensure and certifications that must be obtained before one can begin the venture. There are usually requirements for food handling permits, first aid and CPR certifications and a home daycare center business license; the fees for these are usually small, but the time commitments may be considerable for example, many CPR classes require several weekend hours of commitment for completion.
City ordinances are also in place that will need to be adhered to. At the very least, the home being used will have to have a fire and pest inspection, as well as a structural and safety certification requirement. Most cities demand a written plan outlining the amount of traffic (i.e. children in the day-care) over a given set of business hours, which will also take more than a little time to compile.
The next thing one determines is the business model of the day care the hours of operation (considerably longer than the hours of the clients who must travel to and from the center), the daily routine of children's activities (an absolute must to give the children a sense of security and dependability) and the parent handbook/contractual obligation, to insure the cooperation and understanding of both sets of parties.
One should also determine what the weekly fees are (and when paid), the monetary notice when a contract is cancelled or terminated, the sick policy of the center, what items children may bring into the daycare center and the centers own vacation hours (a number of daycare centers have posted their policies online; the fledgling manager should always study what others have done).
Some daycares even initiate preschool programs. These are often a successful adjunct to the daycare operations, and one need not develop a curriculum in order to implement such a program: Funshine Express and Mother Goose Time are two excellent online companies that will deliver curricula (and all its materials) direct to the center, so that each preschool day can be carefully planned.
Beyond that, once the center has opened, signs and flyers can be posted wherever they are viably displayed (shopping malls, grocery stores and college campuses are excellent venues for these); once the word of mouth (the best advertising there is) gets out about the center, business and clients should be reliably steady.
Opening a daycare center and running it full-time is a demanding home-based business, but one that, with the person with the right passion and commitment, can be a wonderful experience, with the freedom to run ones own life and control ones own job.