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  1. #1

    Question Thinking of starting a daycare

    hi everyone,

    I'm new to this forum and the industry.

    Looking to start a family business but needs to know the math and the investment involved.

    Are there any resources or guide to getting your feet wet in this industry?

  2. #2
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    The day care rules are set by each province and vary greatly. You would need to check what restrictions you have in your province in order to see how many client's you are allowed. Only then will you know if this is a viable business for you. Some provinces count household children in the ratios, so it's important to know this information. i.e. if you are limited to 6 children and have 4 of your own, that would mean only 2 paying client's and therefore you might decide that income isn't viable.

    Check with your insurance agency and see how much it will cost you to add a day home to your policy. While this isn't always a requirement, be warned that an undeclared business in your home will often void your policy which will suck if you only find out about that following a basement flood and learn you aren't covered.

    As a min I would suggest insurance, infant CPR and first aid, and police checks including child abuse checks. While some don't have this, it's not uncommon to be asked for them and I personally think this should be a min each provider is prepared to have available to show a potential client.

    Then, you also need to consider running costs. To provide a quality service, it's not cheap. Increased water costs (if not on a well or if not in a province that doesn't pay for water) adds up when toilets flush all day long, with the added laundry of bedding and face clothes, and water for cleaning. Cleaning products and sanitizing obviously go up too. As does heating especially if you are normally working outside the home and therefore able to lower the thermometers during the day when no one is home.

    Find out if you need to provide food. And if so, are there any expectations in regards to the quality of food required. While kids might love chicken nuggets and sandwiches, most provinces require fruit and veggies, with snacks and for lunch and quality balanced meals.

    Toys and the replacement of them can get expensive. I think those with small children often begin using their children's toys but that can create issues with your own children. To share their Momma during the day and also expect to share their toys is a big ask for a small child.

    Craft supplies needs to be thought about. A few bucks a week might not sound like much but it all adds up.

    Once you have an understanding of what you think it will cost to work from the home with supplies and increased utilities, then you will be able to figure out what you need to profit from each placement.

    Market costs do deter fees to an extent too. While some parents will pay for a qualified child care provider with lots of experience, there's a cap on that set by the market you are in. If the average rate in your community is say $40 a day, and you are trying to charge $50, then of course potential client's are going to want to know what they are getting for that extra money. The flip side of this if you charge too little, then you will attract all the people looking for cheap care, who never value your service or your policies. We all have stories of the lessons learned from parents who consistently pick up late, pay late, leave without giving notice etc.

    I would strongly recommend having a contract that lays out your agreement and your policies. Don't permit someone to begin care without having that in your hand and signed. While you might think everything will be okay, it always is okay until suddenly it isn't and that's when you need a written document to refer the client to, that is clear.

    Decide the boundaries of your business - hours, what you are including and just as importantly what you aren't including and don't be afraid to turn people away if they aren't a good fit. It doesn't matter what time you open, or close, or how long your hours are, there will always be someone assuming they can come 30 mins before opening time and show up at the end of the day 30 mins after you closed. Don't be scared of saying no to these requests.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRose View Post
    Is that the link you meant to give? It's one page, no information, a handful of photos of three kids playing outside. There's no information what so ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzie_Homemaker View Post
    Is that the link you meant to give? It's one page, no information, a handful of photos of three kids playing outside. There's no information what so ever.
    sorry, I just fixed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maplecare View Post
    hi everyone,

    I'm new to this forum and the industry.

    Looking to start a family business but needs to know the math and the investment involved.

    Are there any resources or guide to getting your feet wet in this industry?
    Hi. I hope this also helps. Start with positivism.

    When I started I started very simple:
    1. I thought to try it out and do my very best for only two years until my daughter was ready to go to school. My goal was first to make an income to support my family while I was at home. Second goal, to be patient and flexible as it was also new for me, I got the very basics first aid cpr, police clearance and an insurance to cover liability and home business (usually it can be included in your house insueance)

    Someone very generous shared a three page point form contract (twenty years later I still using it.�� and still effective).

    2.by doing my very best I decided to keep families happy, made great connection with them and If I ever decided that it wasn't what I thought or wasn't my field I wouldn't leave them stuck so my second goal was commitment for two years. If I liked it, then I would move forward to grow professionaly the childcare field.

    3. As I was focused in my goals I didn't invested much in equipment or materials etc. I did my best using a lot resources from my community. Ex. Every three weeks I'll get books (usually expensive but free from the library and gives you a great variety; I still use the library books, cds, dvds, you can also dowload now), there are toy lending libraries in my area so I'll go aND get my toys from them (this helps you to try an decide which toys have a play value and are best to invest on, I had moms also donating things and extra clothing) So basically I started without investing any money in equipment. I'm very resourceful and people is always giving away things. Anyway, if I ever decided to close after two years it would be easier.

    3. My program is based on hands on activities and recycling is a huge must for us and also parents were on board. (They got from their work load of used paper so we had a lot. Until now I only invest in paints, glue, sparkles etc. Basically every beginning of the year my budget is $30 to $50 perhaps unbelievable but true and we do arts and crafts every day. I use a lot natural materials.

    4. I made very clear to parents of my group that basically children will get my attention 100%, we would engage in activities but I wouldn't use too many toys or fancy stuff. It will be hands on.

    5. Another main goal I had was to offer only the very best and healthy choices in food. 20 years later still doing it. But also my group knows that I get a lot of nutricious meals based in seasonal products. So, I do a weenkly menu based on what I have found that week so, I do not stress out by following a monthly menu. I'm able to offer a weekly variety.

    My program was busy because it was a bit different than other programs (20 years ago). And I started. I loved it and here I am 20 years later still working with the most basics.

    My accountant still tells me to increase my expenses but, at this point honestly I think my program valuation doesn't come in how much I invest in materials, parents value the most all the love and patience you have for their children and on how you interact with them. I have gotten few good quality activities for them and still use the resources in my community.

    I would suggest personally to set some goals, your philosophy and then you work towards building it.

    It is very important to familiarize with the regulations of your province too. And then check the resources some provinces also have a starting business grant perhaps that would also help. You will enrich your program as you grow. I did it and it worked fine in my case.

  8. #7
    Hi are you still looking into opening up a daycare?

  9. #8
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    you can take a look at childcarecorner.ca as well, there's lots of links and resources available

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