How to Open a Preschool
Opening a preschool is a worthy ambition that can greatly benefit your community. Preschool is an ideal experience for young children. It helps families find the early childhood education their kids need at this crucial stage of development.
If you want to start a preschool, you’re likely driven by a passion to make a positive impact on the lives of families in your community. Although passion helps sustain your mission, running a preschool requires much planning, dedication, and commitment to the operations that make it work. Keep reading to learn the step-by-step process of how to open a preschool.
Why Start a Preschool?
In addition to serving children and families in your area, starting a preschool has many rewards. Owning a preschool is a fun, high-energy business that allows you to constantly learn and grow. As a preschool owner, you’ll have more control over the business aspects such as the operating hours, educational approach, and income potential.
If there’s a need for preschools in your area and you have what it takes — including the desire — to start one, that’s reason enough. But where do you begin? Here are 10 things you must first consider.
10 Steps to Set Up a Preschool
Before opening a childcare business or preschool, you need to have a plan. From ideation to budgeting to hiring, know what to expect when setting up your preschool business.
1. Know the Licensing Requirements
All childcare providers need to be fully licensed before they can legally offer childcare as a service. The licensing process requires an orientation, an application process, plus state and local approval. To learn about the requirements in your area, visit the National Database of Childcare Licensing Requirements here.
2. Make a Preschool Business Plan
While you’re getting ready to obtain licensure, dedicate some time to developing a business plan for your preschool. A business plan gives you a high-level overview of everything you need to effectively run your business. This plan includes:
- Your mission
- Startup and operating business budgets
- Policies and procedures
- Employee pay rates
- Tuition, fees, and payment methods
- Parent-teacher communication
- Marketing strategy
Some preschool owners hire professionals such as a financial planner or a lawyer to help them with a more robust business plan. But if that’s unrealistic for you, don’t let it hold you back from starting your own plan. You can refine it as you go.
3. Develop a Preschool Curriculum
As a preschool teacher, you help your students with many important aspects of child development. Based on your education, experience, and research, develop an age-appropriate curriculum to facilitate learning. Include early childhood education milestones and quarterly goals for the class. Also, come up with plenty of fun lesson plans and activities for the kids.
4. Find a Location
Where will your preschool take place? Whether you rent a space, own a separate facility, or offer preschool out of your home, you’ll need to include the financial and upkeep details in your business plan. Calculate rent, utilities, maintenance fees, monthly supplies, and meals. These costs will help you gauge how much to charge for tuition and services.
5. Buy Preschool Materials
Aside from learning supplies, you can’t open a preschool without the appropriate materials. Toys, bulletin boards, safety equipment, computer monitors, storage cubbies, chairs, and tables are examples of typical preschool equipment necessary for your students. Again, calculate all these costs into your opening budget, as well as estimated replacement or repair costs.
6. Hire Employees
Most preschools operate with a preschool director, preschool teachers, and support staff. Before opening your preschool, start the hiring process. As the owner, you get to set the requirements and expectations for your employees. What level of education does someone need? Are you willing to train someone with the right attitude and skills? How will you support and pay your staff?
Since this is a childcare environment, you’ll need to run initial and yearly background checks on all employees. Once you hire a team, make sure you have options to help them advance further if they’re eager. Educate yourself on how to retain employees to ensure a secure, nurturing environment for your young students.
7. Set Up a Childcare Management Software
Childcare management software streamlines a lot of important business tasks for you so you can focus on being present with students. Childcare software helps with:
- Parent billing
- Curriculum planning
- Learning assessment records
- Parent-staff communication
- And more
Consider setting up a childcare management software before opening your preschool so you have a way to get organized.
8. Market Your New Preschool
Marketing can be included in your budget or you can promote your business at no cost. Free marketing options include:
- Word of mouth: tell family, friends, and local businesses you’re opening a preschool.
- Social media: announce your new services on websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
- Flyers: post flyers or brochures at local coffee shops, libraries, gyms, family clinics, etc.
- Local listings websites: post your preschool launch information on sites like Angi, Craigslist, Nextdoor, etc.
If you have the budget, consider hiring a marketer to publish paid ads on Google Search, social media, and more.
9. Start Getting Customers
Once the word is out and you’re ready to start the business, start enrolling students into your new preschool. Remember, this is your business, so you get to choose who enrolls. While enrollment might be low in the first year, as your business grows you’ll be surprised at the demand for preschool care.
10. Never Stop Learning
Opening your preschool center is only the beginning. You’re in charge of managing and maintaining it for years to come. Keep up with early childhood education trends, learn the latest science of child development, and improve your communication skills. The best teachers are lifelong learners themselves, so continue to fuel your passion as your business grows.
Daily Connect: The Ultimate Preschool Software
Opening a preschool is not easy, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor. Whether you’re opening a new location or starting your first preschool ever, knowing how to do it the right way is sure to bring you a meaningful profit.
With so many obligations as a preschool owner, you’ll likely need a digital software to help you stay organized. Daily Connect, one of the leading childcare and preschool software apps, makes it easier for preschool owners to open and run their businesses.
Start your preschool off right with the help of the Daily Connect app. Get a head start today with a free two-week trial.