In 2022, there’s all kinds of opportunities for new childcare centers. With parents in many areas around the world heading back to the office, families need new daycare providers in their area to help give care and supervision to their kids. The childcare industry has seen a lot of change in the past couple of years, and there’s huge opportunities for childcare businesses committed to improving their services to attract new families. To make the most of this, it’s important you have a childcare business plan.
The demand is greater than ever. Many families want extra childcare opportunities, and have the capacity to do so. Because of the Build Back Better Framework passed by the Biden administration, parents now have more childcare tax credits to spend to give their children a headstart in their social and educational development.
Whether you run a daycare center or you’re thinking of opening up an at-home program this year, knowing how to write a childcare center business plan will help you succeed. Here’s how you can start the year off right.
Start by Researching What You Need
Successful childcare centers follow a thorough business plan that covers everything from financing to staffing. But getting started with a business plan can feel daunting if you haven’t written one before. To break down this task into more manageable chunks, you first need to know everything you’ll need to operate your childcare center properly:
- Licensure: Research federal regulations and licensing requirements. You also need to make sure you comply with state and county licensing requirements, as they can vary depending on your location.
- Health and Safety: In addition to legal requirements, local safety, sanitation, and health measures are very important for childcare centers to abide by. This is more true now than ever as COVID-19 still has a huge impact on the childcare industry.
- Location and Capacity: You need a location or facility before you can start welcoming families to your childcare business. Renting a childcare business space poses different challenges to providing childcare from your home. Make sure you think these through and choose the best solution for your business.
Know Your Competition
It always helps to observe the other childcare centers in your area. As a business, you will be in direct competition with other childcare providers who want to keep their enrollment at maximum capacity while offering the best care around. More often than not, there’s enough demand for everyone to win, but by analyzing your competitors, you can build a great understanding of how to be successful.
Study other childcare centers and daycares in your area. What makes them stand out? What do their online reviews say about their service? How much do they charge for childcare? Is there a gap in childcare coverage for a certain age group, or for a particular area of your city? Aim to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.
It’s helpful to log your findings in a spreadsheet or notebook, so you can start to notice trends and demands in your area. This information will help you adjust your business plan accordingly, and ensure you can meet the demands for families looking for childcare in your area.
Get Clear on Your Business Operations
Operating a good business means you need to be a good boss. Set yourself up for success by getting crystal clear about how your childcare center will operate. Here are some of the most common elements you need to consider when running a childcare business.
- Staffing Needs: Will you be working by yourself with a small enrollment number, or do you need to hire other teachers? If you need to hire, map out the type of employees you’re looking for so you’re not hiring blindly. Think about where to find the right staff members, how you’ll train them, and what amount of experience they need to provide care to the community.
- Marketing: Properly marketing your childcare business is key in the initial stages. Using websites, social media, and paid advertising, market yourself to the right demographic. Hire a marketer if you need help promoting your business publicly or online.
- Scheduling: How many days per week will you be open? Will you remain open during holidays and weekends, or will you be closed? Set a schedule for your daycare center and commit to it. Consistency is key for children to receive adequate care, and for parents looking for certainty as they plan out their schedules.
- Operations: Consider the day-to-day operations of your childcare center: how will you manage drop off and pick up, communicate with parents, and keep track of attendance? Consider using a childcare software platform to keep things running smoothly.
Financial Planning and Establishing a Budget
Crunch the numbers. How much money does it take to set up and run your childcare center? From tuition to supplies to expenses, having a budget laid out can guide you on the responsible path toward gaining revenue.
- Start Up Costs: Setting up a childcare center isn’t free. At a minimum, you’ll need to buy learning materials, play equipment, secure a space, and sign up for insurance and software to help run your business. Consider how much this is going to cost, and work on a plan to raise the funds – whether that’s from savings, a loan, or by seeking external investment.
- Payment Processing: How will you receive payments from the parents who send their kids to daycare? Will you take cash, check, or set up an online payment system?
- Pricing and Tuition: Knowing how much it’ll take to run your business will help you set your pricing structure. How many kids can attend your center, and how much will you charge for tuition? Be sure to pay attention to what your competitors charge.
- Covering Costs of Supplies: Always track the supplies you purchase for your business, from snacks and learning materials to first-aid kits and classroom decorations. Having a digital tracking system can really help you maintain proper inventory.
Update Your Childcare Curriculum
Teaching your students is a number one priority at your childcare center. Planning a curriculum sets the stage for all the lessons, activities, and social opportunities the kids at your daycare will be involved in daily.
Monitoring childhood development is key in their formative years. Learning and assessment tools can help you observe classroom and individual progress. Keeping track of curriculum and learning allows you to adjust your curriculum throughout the year. That way, the education of the children in your classroom can improve, and you’ll increase the overall satisfaction of your customers.
Find the Right Technology for Your Childcare Center
With the use of modern technology tools, childcare centers have advanced to deliver progressive leadership and care for the communities they serve. From streamlined attendance tracking to instant parent-teacher communication, setting up the right technology can make the world of a difference.
Childcare software can improve the quality of operation throughout your entire business. A childcare software is one thing many successful daycare providers rely on today. With a childcare software, daycare providers are able to:
- Offer contactless check-in and check-out for safety measures
- Manage their childcare center finances
- Monitor learning and development progress of their students
- Automate parent billing and payment processing
- Communicate with parents using direct message, video, and image features
- Stay compliant with all local and federal regulations
- Easily access documentation with the click of a button
- Keep track of lesson plans for different learning groups throughout the year
Without the right technology at your daycare center, you risk wasting time, money, and energy limiting your business to analog recording.
Run a Successful Childcare Business in 2022 with a Childcare Business Plan
Hopefully, these tips help you plan out a constructive childcare business plan that will launch your business forward in the new year. By implementing the right plan and using the modern tools at your facility or home daycare, you’ll be able to deliver the best possible child care to families who need you most.
To support you in your business planning and operation, consider a free trial of Daily Connect – a leading childcare software platform that has everything you need to organize the most important aspects of your daycare business. Get started with your free trial today.