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  • Before going down this road, understand why.
  • Be sure it aligns with your goals.
  • We all have a reason to start
    • Work from home
    • Make a difference
    • Make more money
    • A dream
  • What is your reason?
    • Not really a wrong answer.
    • It’s important that what you expect fits what you need.
  • Big Picture of Your Life
    • What if you had a Magic Wand?
    • What will your life look like?
    • What will it take for this to happen?
    • Do the reasons you want to start a daycare support the changes?
    • If inline… Great!
    • If not inline… Rethink.
  • Either way… decide and commit to you decision.
  • You can live your dream!
  • Others have found success starting where you are at.

Hi! It’s Troy from Childcare Business Academy. Welcome to episode 2 of the Childcare Business Academy Podcast.

In today’s episode, we are going to talk about the first step of opening a daycare. Although my experience has been home daycare, and that’s the perspective I will share, much of what we talk about in this podcast will apply to opening a daycare center.

One of the questions I hear most often about opening a daycare is, “How do I get started?” These are future child care providers wondering, “what is the first step” of getting their new career started.

You might think it’s contact the state about licensing, figure out what I need to do to get my home ready, or one of a seemingly endless list of things to do. Licensing and getting your home ready are something to think about, but you might be surprised to hear neither of these are the first step.

The first step of beginning your new child care career is deciding whether opening a daycare is right for you. Does starting a daycare align with your goals in life? Once you can answer this, commit to your decision, whatever it may be.

Why Open a Daycare?

There are many reasons you might want to open a daycare.

  • Work from home.
  • Be your own boss.
  • Make a difference.
  • Make more money.
  • Ultimately…. Fulfill your dream.

Maybe you want to work from home. Are you sick of driving that daily commute? Change your commute from hours of driving to a minute walking down the hall. If this sounds great to you, you are not alone. Even if it’s not the number one reason for starting a daycare it’s high on the list of benefits!

There are drawbacks to working from home and it’s important you think about them when deciding if this change is for you.

In my opinion the number one downside of working from home is that your home is your work, and work is your home. It’s hard to understand what it means to always be home. Maybe you already understand this, but if you now work away from home and will be making the ‘big switch’ to working from home, it’s going to be an eye opener.

You are going to get tired of always seeing the same scenery. Those weekend outings and shopping trips are going to take on a whole new meaning.

Right now, Julie runs the day-to-day operation. She is working from home providing daily care to the children. I support Julie as a state approved substitute and care for the children if she needs to make a trip to the doctor, or some other appointment that can’t happen on weekends.

After 3 years of helping Julie full time, I now take care of the business side of the daycare. So, my work at our in-home daycare is part time. My full-time work is out of the home.

On weekends, I am ready to be home! I have spent 40 plus hours at the office, plus my commute of about 40 miles per day.

Julie, on the other hand is ready to get out of the house on the weekend! If we aren’t working on a home project she is out of here! She visits family, friends, shopping, whatever. She is ready for a change of scenery.

So, what’s the big deal? There really isn’t one, unless there is a reason you really need to be home on your days off. If this is the case, you are going to be sick of being home.

Wear and Tear on Your Home

Another drawback of working from home is maintenance. Your house was most likely built as a residence using residential grade materials. Running a home daycare will subject it to heavy use. Much of your home will experience wear much faster than normal.

For example, we replace the storm (screen) door about every 3 years. We do not buy cheap doors. This door will open at least twice per day, per family. Once for dropping off and another for pickup. Add in going outside to play when the weather cooperates and you add many more open-close cycles.

The door used by parents and children at our home likely has hundreds of open-close cycles per week during summer months. This wears the door out.

Is this a bad thing? Well… kind of. Especially if you do not plan for extra wear on your home.  Those items which get used daily for child care like your carpet, toilets, dishwasher, doors, etc. are going to wear-out much more quickly. To offset this plan for the wear and tear and set money aside, so when something needs replaced you have the money. Remember, parents expect you to maintain your home! This is important. I’ll talk about perception and value in another episode.

Whatever your reason for starting a daycare, you are trying to fulfill your dreams. Your dream for better work conditions, more money, more meaning., whatever it is you seem to need a change.

So, what are your reasons for starting a daycare? I encourage you to think about this for a while and write them down. We will need to visit this list after our next topic.

The Big Picture of Your Life

Most of us dream for an improved life for our self and our family. I don’t think any level of success stops the dreaming. There’s always something out there to make life better. This can be a trap if we are never happy with what we have. But it can be a good motivator for improvement.

If you could wave a magic wand, what would your life look like? Let’s call this “The Big Picture of Your Life.”

Now think about what must change to make it happen, or at least move your life closer to your “Big Picture”? Is it more money? A bigger home? More time with your family? Please write down what needs to change. One change may require several others to achieve. For example, if you want a bigger home, you may need to make more money. Write all of this on a piece of paper, or use your computer and save a tree. 🙂

Is Opening a Daycare Right for You?

So here we are. The big question. Is starting a daycare right for me? How do I know?

Well, you can only answer that question based on what you know right now. Your answer might change as time goes on. That’s ok. Make the best decision you can at this time and stick to, re-evaluate and make necessary changes.

To answer the question for you, compare why you want to open a daycare with your list of things that need to change to bring your life in line with “Your Big Picture”. Does your “Why” list support your Big Picture changes? If not, can you realign the why’s and the big picture changes? In the end, if your why list supports your Big Picture, then opening a daycare may be just the thing for you.

You are not alone. Always remember while on your journey to opening a daycare that you are not alone. Many others have started just like you and have had great success. You can do it if you really want to if you are willing to do what it takes to plan, prepare and start the journey.

Now, make your decision, get going, and stay the course! Good luck! 🙂