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  1. #1

    Opening a new private day home

    My name is Ann and i am loking into opening a private dayhome in North East Calgary.
    Any advice as to how to get started would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    486 Times in 369 Posts
    1) Know your provincial regulations (ratios, requirements) and work in them.
    2) Know what you can claim as a business expense and make sure you have a receipt for those. This is the most audited home business in country and while what you can claim is generous, you need to be confident you can stand up to an audit. If you need to, find someone to do your accounts.
    3) Know your boundary and be ready to enforce them. It very easy at first to panic about filling space, and permit one person come 30 mins before you wanted open, and someone else stay 30 mins longer than you wanted close, or a rotating shift client pay only based on attendance but that soon burn you out or have you running at loss. Figure out how you going to protect your income and make sure your contract is really clear.
    4) Do not let anyone begin care without a signed contract. No contract = no care even if you turn away at the door first day.
    5) Get paid at start of pay period not end. This mean if someone leave without notice, you are not out of pocket. If you allow them pay end of 2 weeks, that's likely 100 hours of work, 10 lunches and 20 snacks you lose if they up and go whereas if you paid in advance, then it's just the notice period you are out.
    6) Find out your local public health rules for day care of ill children and make sure your policy show when a child too sick to come. Otherwise you'll have children pooping and being sick at your home, and angry clients whose children being exposed.
    7) Get your contract and policies sorted out and documented before you begin interviewing. It a steep learning curve and without them, you be making lot of change in first couple years and it hard to get old client to agree to new change. Much easier if all in place from beginning.
    8) It sound obvious but figure out your costs before setting your rate. It easy to think you will charge a little less for care to attract clients initially but there a lot of cost to doing this properly - insurance, updating police checks, updating first aid, quality toys and replacement, craft supplies, using more water because toileting and laundry, using more heat because on all day in Winter, food - it pointless charging 30$ if you cost is 20$ because it mean you profit only 10$.
    9) Know what market you targeting. If you don't want 6am start and 9pm end, be confident in turning away shift worker. If you prefer fewer children at higher rate then figure out which niche you going to target.
    10) Don't feel you have to take everyone who want to come. You offer the space to who best fit you so if interview someone who less than ideal and then they say they want the space, don't be afraid of telling them you still have other families to see and will decide who to offer to once that completed.
    11) Don't feel obligated to give cell number to client. Some will text in middle night when feeding baby, or when you on vacation. You do not have to respond in your personal time so if you don't want those messages, don't respond until business open hours. My client have landline only because my cell always on with family spread over country and I don't want be woken up with notification that someone will be late in when it 2am.
    12) If you want be treated as professional day home, behave as professional day home.
    13) Understand there will be time when you have vacancies, sometimes more than one, for several months. This is not reliable income. Sometimes you will be full and sometimes you will not be full even if very reputable.
    14) You can opt in to EI now but know that it not the same level cover as when in employment. Decide if it worth while for you. For most, it is not worth the payment.
    15) Have day home insurance even if you not required to. A lot of insurance will deny a claim if you have an undisclosed business in your home. If you have pool or trampoline on premises, it hard to find insurance. If you going to drive children in your car, make sure you insured for that too.

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