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Thread: Business plan?

  1. #1
    Administrator Starting to feel at home... admin's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Business plan?


    Do you feel that having a business plan is useful before opening a daycare ?
    Or do you simply run some quick numbers, jump right to the opening, and make it up as you go along ?

  2. #2
    Expansive... Play and Learn's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    I somewhat had a business plan, but everything also seemed to fall into place! My hubby finished off a playroom (and dance space) in the basement last summer. He's now doing a kitchenette, and eventually a bathroom all in the basement. We have to crush our numbers, but we make it work!

    I told myself to only buy second-hand. I was lucky enough to get many items for free as well. It helps when your siblings are that much older than you, and their kids are growing out of the baby/toddler things! I just received today from my SIL a bunch of sippy cups, and kids utensils (for free!).

    I don't have children of my own just yet, but have worked in many daycare centers to know what children play with, what they love and hate, and what to buy that's a necessity! Next big item purchase will be a swing set/play structure for our yard (preferrably second hand). I went to garage sales, had a list of items needed to open, and went from there. Because we live close to the US, and visit family there, I bought some items over there because of better prices.

    Did you know that the Fisher Price Healthy Choices Booster Seat in Canada can be anywhere from $35-55??? In the US it's $22-26 (and nicer colours)!!!

  3. #3
    Shy Mekkers's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    London Ontario Canada
    I am currently in the process of creating a business plan. Many things would have to be involved and planned. For me it makes more sense for me to create a plan and implement it. In order for me to start a home day care I would need to move into a bigger space and create a play space and still have my personal living space. I am just in the beginning stages and have just started to gather information and network in order to become successful.

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    Feb 2011
    Ottawa, Ontario
    1,469 Times in 1,125 Posts
    I think it depends where you live and what the requirements are. If you are opening what will be a licensed centre then of course you need a much for formal plan. For a home daycare in many cases it starts with a mom and her own children so there are already things like childproofing, toys, equipment, etc. in place. Other than the contract and sorting out what to include and amount to charge etc., the rest depends on clients that come in the sense of if another baby starts you may need to budget for an additional highchair or playpen. If a child older than your own starts you may need to budget for some different toys. In most cases a home daycare starts in the home and then it is after you realize your livingroom or family room is getting ruined from having 5-8 kids in there that you think about finishing the basement for example.

  5. #5
    Starting to feel at home... Tot-Time's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    If you are a planner, yes a business plan can work amazing. For me in the beginning the most important part about the business plan was determing what age group(s) I wanted to work with, so then I knew what supplies were needed. Included in my plan was when I wanted to start, how I was going to integrate the first 5 children (meaning my goal was to accept 1 child per month over a 5 month period).

    I think having a good grasp on what paperwork you are going to use ie contract and forms, cleaning schedule, defining the area of the daycare, if you have your own younger children deciding where you child can go if s/he doesn't want to be with the group and needs time alone, etc.

    The other part of my business plan was anticipating the general costs of running a daycare and then determining my fees. For example when I started my home daycare I leased a van so that I could always be mobile with the daycare kids. This was something that was and still is important to me. So I know that I have to always have 3 1/2 children in care to make daycare costs, then the other 1.5 children goes towards my family's budget. Having a general cost outline will help in deciding too what fee range you are going to use. For example when I moved to Ottawa area 4 years ago the average daycare fees were $30 - 40, I needed to build up my reputation so I started at $37. Now 4 yrs later the average fee is $35 - 45 and I am charging families $44. I know that people working in the childcare industry generally aren't in it for the money, but ensuring that you are earning a profit is important.

    Something else to consider in your plans is a business portfolio. Mine is very sad and needs and update, but it is as simple as a binder/folder that contains photocopies of your contract, your forms, your qualifications/certificates/diplomas, your emergency plans, and whatever you feel is important for interviewing parents to have (oh and references).

    If you aren't a planner the bare minimum I recommend (if you aren't with an agency) is having a written philosophy, a good contract outlining what is important to you, and the necessary forms for your business such as photo permission form, field trip permission form, medical forms etc.

    Your business plans can change, adapt, and grow as your business grows, I don't think many things in life stay the same
    ~*~ Nicole's Tot-Time Daycare ~*~

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