How to Start a Montessori Preschool

Montessori education has been around for over a century, and families continue to choose Montessori preschools for their young children. The Montessori style is self-paced, student-centered, and focuses on a child’s whole development— physical, emotional, social, and mental. 

Running a Montessori school for early childhood education can be rewarding and beneficial to your whole community. If you’re thinking of opening a childcare center that fosters this alternative learning environment, keep reading to learn how to start a Montessori preschool.

Why Start a Montessori School?

When you start a Montessori preschool, you’re committing to offering a robust education to children of all learning styles. In fact, Dr. Maria Montessori first developed this type of school for children who were formerly unwilling or unable to learn in traditional education settings. 

The Montessori method:

  • Focuses on hands-on learning 
  • Cultivates independent thinking
  • Encourages self-guided activities 
  • Is inclusive of children with special needs
  • Welcomes mixed-age learning environments 

Other benefits of opening a Montessori preschool include serving a diverse population, collaborating with innovative childcare experts, and earning a higher income.

Opening a Montessori School or Daycare

Since a majority of Montessori schools and daycares are privately run, the process of starting one is slightly different than opening a childcare center. Let’s explore every step of the process. 

Get Montessori Certified

To become a Montessori director or teacher you need to go through a certification process. This proves that you understand the Montessori teaching model and philosophy, and have the training required to deliver Montessori education to your class. You can find education programs to become certified on the American Montessori Society website.

Know the Local Regulations

There are state and local licenses you need to obtain to legally run a childcare center. For private schools, the regulations vary from state to state. Learn about all the rules and regulations you need to open and run your business safely. If not, you put your preschool at risk of getting fined or shut down.

Create a Montessori Business Plan

You might want to form a business plan when starting a Montessori school. Think about everything you need to open your doors and start serving families. 

A preschool business plan includes:

  • Creating a budget
  • Making a schedule 
  • Observing your competition 
  • Finding a facility
  • Making a curriculum 
  • Hiring staff 
  • Purchasing supplies and equipment 
  • Getting organized for everyday operations 

Research the average cost to start a Montessori preschool. If you need to fundraise or look for grants before opening, include that as part of your business plan. 

Establish a Curriculum

Set up the curriculum your Montessori school will implement throughout the class. Because the Montessori approach tends to be more exploration-focused than other preschool programs, your curriculum should include the five main themes of Montessori teaching.

  1. Practical Life: A child engages with their environment while learning independence, order, and basic functions through life. This includes exploring curiosity, caring for others, caring for the self, and caring for the environment.
  2. Sensory: Children learn through all five senses, and learn to pursue discoveries that were sparked by the senses. This includes using sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing to learn about the outer world.
  3. Math: Children learn math at a gradual pace and must understand basic concepts before moving on to abstract applications. 
  4. Language: Class engagement helps kids expand their vocabulary and language skills, as well as improve communication development. Many Montessori schools incorporate multiple languages in the classroom, as it encourages children to develop different modes of listening and comprehension.
  5. Cultural: Children learn about change and how to respect people’s sense of importance in the world. This is learned through lessons on history, art, science, and geography, as well as group activities.

Pick a Location

Where will you operate your Montessori school? If you don’t already have a location in mind, start looking at local places to rent or buy. When you get a location, you want to design it to encourage optimal Montessori learning.

Your location needs to facilitate an organized environment, allow for meal preparation (by teachers and children), have a shared group area, stations for individual learning, and have age-appropriate storage. You also want to consider outdoor space to play and multiple classrooms for different age groups.

Get Special Equipment

To teach preschool with the Montessori method, your classroom needs some special equipment. Aside from the standard preschool furniture and supplies, many Montessori schools have:

  • A wide variety of sensory materials like foam toys, musical instruments, and beads
  • Hands-on “personal life” items like toy kitchens, toy irons, child-sized brooms, non-toxic cleaning products
  • Maps and 3D globs
  • Movable alphabets
  • A pink tower 

The type of equipment and supplies you select should align with your curriculum, and cater to the special niche of students you plan to market towards (if applicable).

Hire Montessori Employees

You’ll need a team to help you run your Montessori preschool. It can be challenging when hiring employees for Montessori schools because not all candidates with childcare backgrounds will have Montessori experience.

However, many Montessori preschool directors leave room for growth in the hiring process. For example, if a potential hire has a good educational background, a great attitude, and is willing to learn more about the Montessori method, they can be a good fit for the job. 

Set Up Tuition

Calculate how many students would be ideal for your program and how much tuition needs to be to run a successful Montessori business. Many Montessori schools charge more than public childcare centers or franchises because they’re privately funded and supported by families who are willing to invest in this type of education. 

When setting up tuition, consider offering two or three different options to families. This allows parents to choose how often their child attends your school based on their family schedule. 

Market Your Preschool

After you’ve arranged a lot of the logistics of your Montessori preschool and are ready to open your doors, you might want to market yourself in-person and online. Marketing lets local families know you’re open for enrollment. When done correctly, you can capture the interest and unique values of the families who are looking for a new Montessori school like yours. 

Here are a few things to consider when marketing your preschool:

  • Get a website. A good website can help people find you via Google Search and showcase your values, programs, and facility to those looking for local preschool options.
  • Share brochures around town. Get the word out by leaving free pamphlets at local libraries, cafes, medical offices, or parks. 
  • Post announcements online. You can post free announcements on educational platforms or invest in paid advertising for your local directories.

There are many other ways to market your preschool successfully using social media, referrals, and newspapers.

Use a Childcare Management Software

Today, it can be extremely difficult to organize everything you need to start a Montessori preschool. Many childcare centers, both private and public, use digital software to help them manage their business.

A childcare app like Daily Connect helps Montessori directors manage parent communication, class attendance, learning assessments, and even Montessori curriculum guidelines. These types of software also allow you to stay up to date with state inspections and communicate with staff.

Daily Connect Adds Extra Attendance Tracking Features

At Daily Connect, we’re constantly working hard to add new features that make life easier for our users – childcare professionals around the world. 

In a recent update, we added several new features to our attendance tracking tools. Together, these will improve the sign-in process, add additional security features, and make it easier for administrators to track attendance. 

These features have now been activated on all active Daily Connect accounts. Read on to learn more about how you can start using them and the benefits you can expect to see. 

Paper QR Code for Sign In Kiosk

Since launching in 2020, Daily Connect’s digital sign-in kiosk has evolved to become a popular feature that’s widely used. The digital sign-in kiosk allows parents to sign-in or sign-out their child digitally, either by using a unique PIN code or by scanning a QR code displayed on a device. 

To use this feature, many childcare providers have set up a tablet at the entrance of their facility, or alternatively, have used tablets or smartphones used by teachers in individual classrooms. 

This latest update removes the need for these dedicated devices. Instead, you can print out your QR code and place this at the entrance to your facility. Parents just have to use their Daily Connect app to scan the code to sign their child in and out. That makes for a smoother childcare sign in process and frees up an additional device that was previously only used for the sign in process. 

To print your QR code, navigate to Settings > Sign In Kiosk in the Daily Connect web application. You can still collect parent’s signatures and ask sign-in survey questions with this option, and teachers can use the QR code to clock in too. 

One thing to keep in mind is that this sign-in method is not the most secure. Parents and teachers could take a photograph of the QR code and use this to sign in when they’re not at your facility, causing confusion. 

If this is a concern, either change your QR code on a regular basis. You can do this by navigating to Settings > Sign-In Kiosk > Print Code > Reset Code in the Daily Connect web app. 

Preventing Manual Sign-In and Sign Out

To add an additional level of security, we’re adding a new option that gives childcare centers the ability to not allow parents to sign-in using the Daily Connect mobile app, unless they use a QR code or PIN code. 

Sometimes, parents can sign in and out from home when using the Daily Connect app. That can cause issues with billing, timing, and more for administrators, and if it happens too often, it’s best to turn this feature on. 

You can disable manual sign-in and out in the Settings > Sign In Kiosk in the Daily Connect web application. 

Easily View Children Sign-In and Sign-Out Times

We’ve also made improvements to the Attendance Dashboard on the Daily Connect web application. In addition to the list of children and teachers that are currently at the facility, the dashboard now also shows children and teachers who have already signed out for the day. 

Additionally, you can toggle the In/Out toggle on the right of the Attendance Dashboard to view the children who have left and check what time they signed out. 

Together, these features will significantly streamline the sign-in and sign-out process, helping teachers and administrators save time every day. 
Did you know that many of our new features start with feedback from Daily Connect users like you? If you’ve got an idea for a new feature that would make a big difference to the way you run your childcare center, reach out to support@dailyconnect.com to let us know.

10 Tips to Help Your Childcare Center Stand Out From the Competition

As a childcare provider, you want to offer the best service possible to the families who trust you with the care of their children. But how can you do this in a way that sets you apart from other daycares? Read on to learn the ten best tips to make your childcare center stand out from your competition. 

What Makes a Childcare Center Stand Out?

Three key things make an exceptional childcare program. Consider these the “Three E’s”.

  • Engagement: This encompasses all the ways that you interact with your childcare clientele, from children and staff to parents and the public.
  • Environment: What is the indoor and outdoor environment like? Do families feel welcomed, comfortable, inspired, and cared for? The overall atmosphere of your childcare center says a lot about the program.
  • Experience: Every experience a child has at your facility holds weight in the eyes of a parent or guardian. Daily activities, your disciplinary approach, and learning outcomes all reveal what you have to offer compared to the rest of the local childcare options.

A 2019 survey on early childhood care arrangements found that parents’ top criteria for choosing a childcare center (in order of priority) are:

  • Reliability 
  • Flexible times for care
  • Staff qualifications
  • Program activities 
  • Learning opportunities

When looking for top-quality childcare, parents don’t just want to know not only what makes your childcare center different. They also want to know why that matters and how you’ll be invaluable to their child’s early development. Here’s how to make it clear.

1. Put Relationships First

You run a business that’s both social and relational at its core. In fact, it’s likely you got into childcare because of your caring personality and compassionate drive to help kids in your community. But to truly stand out from any average childcare provider, all your employees have to genuinely connect with families on a personal and professional level.

How do your employees carry themselves? Do your staff members exude the attitudes and actions you want your program to represent? How is parent-teacher communication? Lackluster relationships throughout your business often result in mediocre care. Strive for healthy relationships all around, as it sets a foundation for the whole customer experience. 

2. Prioritize Your Childcare Facility 

The physical condition of your childcare center matters not only to families and children but to state licensing inspectors as well. Neglecting the cleanliness of your facility or running a class size that’s too large could potentially put you out of business.

Indoor and outdoor equipment should be clean, functional, and safe. Age-appropriate materials and toys are encouraged so families and inspectors can see how kids interact. Make a monthly task to clean and decorate the classroom. Keep things educational and playful while showcasing student progress on class bulletin boards.

You want useful equipment (but not too much) and a mentally stimulating learning environment (but not too distracting). If you ever want to scale your childcare business, consider moving to a bigger facility so you can maintain accurate staff-student ratios.

3. Share Your Philosophy

Get clear on what your mission statement is: why is childcare important to you? What do you hope to offer the families who enroll in your program? What has your educational or personal background taught you about child development? 

You can explain your learning philosophy to prospective parents, on your website, or during employee training. People don’t make childcare decisions solely based on what is tangibly offered— they also make decisions based on emotions and beliefs. Your philosophy might be the only one that aligns with what a parent is looking for in a daycare. Share it.

4. Invest In Branding and Website Design

Branding your business and having a website for people to browse can bring in new families with ease. Using best childcare website practices like optimization and marketing, customers can find you while searching for childcare in their area. 

5. Utilize Your Love for Childcare to Educate Others

If you love education and networking, seek leadership opportunities outside of your own business. By being of service to your larger community, you can establish yourself as an expert, thought leader, and friend. 

Think about what specific childcare topics you’re passionate about. Could you teach a parenting course about how to encourage naps in stubborn sleepers? Do you have a recommendation for the local education district? Have you always wanted to start a support group for single moms? 

Contributing free, supplemental resources show you’re serious about child well-being. This can build trust with your community and attract new customers along the way.

6. Offer Multiple Pricing Packages

Today, parents live unconventional lives. For many, there’s no standard nine-to-five work schedule anymore. Parents want childcare options that work for their lifestyles.

Make your childcare center stand out by offering multiple programs and pricing packages. For example:

  • Full-time childcare (4-5 full days a week)
  • Part-time childcare (2-3 partial days a week)
  • Flexible childcare (1-3 days a week, partial or full)

Some childcare providers choose to negotiate with families on scheduling, pricing, or both. Consider tuition and parent billing options that work best for your business and the families you serve.

7. Host Events and Fundraisers

Plan seasonal events at your childcare center. Holiday parties, barbecues, and fundraisers are great ways to bring families together and nurture your customer relationships. It also makes kids feel excited and connected, which is important for social-emotional learning.

While other childcare centers might do the bare minimum, supervising kids until the parents return for pick-up, you can go above and beyond to establish a tight-knit community.

8. Contribute to Employee Development

Every one of your staff members is different. They may be with your business long-term or for only a season as they pursue higher education. No matter what the case may be, pour into team development. 

Your business wouldn’t be possible without your employees. Coworker camaraderie is essential to the overall communication and success of your childcare center. Your team has to operate with a good balance of fun, maturity, problem-solving, and trustworthiness. 

While employee development might not be obvious to parents looking for childcare, the underlying result will be clear in everything you do to manage your childcare business.

9. Create Enrichment Programs 

Are there services offered at your childcare center that others don’t have? Think about what makes your program one-of-a-kind. 

Maybe you have bilingual staff and offer a multilingual program for cultural diversity. Or perhaps you tend a class garden where students learn to grow vegetables. Do you have a knack for introducing kids to STEM? Make sure you highlight any enrichment options at your daycare. If you don’t have any, consider creating some.

10. Use Technology to Enhance the Parent Experience

In childcare, one of the best ways to stand out from your competition is to have some sort of technology that parents can use to interact with you. Childcare apps like Daily Connect allow parents to pay bills online, access a shared childcare calendar, and receive important text and photo updates from childcare providers.

Thanks to childcare software, parents can stay involved throughout the day instead of missing out on their child’s precious milestones. This option truly stands out for families looking for quality childcare they can trust. 

To learn more about how to differentiate yourself from other daycare options and effectively manage a successful childcare business, reach out to Daily Connect for a free trial today.

11 Things to Include on Your Childcare Center Website

Families today turn to the internet when searching for childcare. As a childcare provider, one of the best ways to attract new customers and share your service with your community is to have a great childcare center website. It’s a key ingredient in your marketing funnel, which guides families through every step of the scouting and decision-making process.

Here are some of the most important things to include on your childcare center website that’ll benefit your business and the families you serve. 

1. Good Web Design 

Internet users today can distinguish an impressive website from a lousy one. When it comes to the design and layout of your site, you want to provide parents with a professional and streamlined experience. 

Your homepage should be appealing and clear enough for visitors to want to navigate the rest of your site. Have clear CTA (call to action) buttons and a comprehensive menu with links to pages that have useful information.

2. Mobile Responsive Design

When creating or updating your childcare website, make sure it’s compatible with mobile browsing. Professional web designers know how to make all site elements look and function properly on mobile. Since more than 50% of mobile users browse the web on their smartphones, responsiveness is a must. 

3. Professional Photos 

Include high-quality images throughout your site. A great way to attract prospective parents is to include original photos of your childcare center. Avoid stock photos if you can, as they come off as cheesy and unoriginal. 

4. Social Proof (Testimonials)

Before making a decision, people want to know what other customers are saying. Make sure your site is peppered with testimonials and positive reviews from happy families. These can include quotes, stories, and preferably a name and photo. You can include past and current parent testimonials. 

5. Video Tour

Parents want to see what your facility looks like before they reach out for an in-person tour. Upload a short video featuring the director, key staff members, and equipment throughout your campus. It’s a great way to showcase a “day in the life” at your childcare center. 

6. About Page

Your about page is where site visitors go to learn what your childcare center is all about. Things you can share on your about page include a brief founding story, mission statement, and tagline. It’s also helpful to share a few of the following items in depth.

Your Childcare Philosophy 

What is your approach to childcare? Share what makes you different from other local childcare providers. This can include a special curriculum, unique on-site features, or stand-out enrichment activities.

Staff Introductions 

Including staff members’ photos, names, and roles lets parents see who their child will be interacting with every day. It encourages interested families to move forward with their childcare signup. 

Classroom Gallery

Post a few pictures of kids playing, learning, and enjoying their time at your childcare center. You can even include a gallery of classrooms, amenities, and play areas so that parents get a feel of the learning atmosphere.

7. Programs Page

The programs page is where you can inform site visitors about what your childcare center offers. It’s a page to showcase how it’s run. Here are some important things to include. 

Ages Groups and Learning Frameworks 

If you have various programs (for example, infants, toddlers, and age four), break them down on your programs page. Include the learning frameworks and developmental outcomes you use for each group.

Schedules 

Listing the hours of operation, a seasonal schedule, and notable events on your website allow parents to compare your availability with their childcare needs. 

Tuition Information 

It might feel strange to publicly share the pricing and tuition of your childcare center. But this can notify parents that you’re being transparent and professional upfront— two qualities essential to reliable childcare. 

Tuition and pricing details can include: 

  • Commitment period 
  • Plan options (part-time or full-time childcare)
  • Free visitation or trial session 
  • Discounts for enrolling multiple children 
  • And more

You don’t have to share every term or fee in your tuition information online— that’s for the parent handbook. If you’re hesitant about including prices, you can write “starting at” dollar amount. 

8. Parent Portal Page

A parent portal is an online platform where families can access their information and communicate with your childcare center. You have a few options to consider when setting up a parent portal page.

Childcare Application 

Some childcare providers prefer in-person applications. But you can also accept them online, especially if your facility is used to multiple programs running year-round. Allow prospective parents to download, upload, and submit applications directly to you online. 

Program Calendar 

Once enrolled, maintaining a program calendar online lets parents easily keep track of their child’s class schedule. 

Communication Methods

To avoid a cluttered email, many daycare and childcare centers provide direct message options to legal guardians. They do this through online and mobile parent communication apps, many of which are featured in childcare software. 

Payment Processing 

Having an online payment system makes your life as a childcare director much easier! It ensures parents can easily pay their childcare tuition on time— no more forgotten checks, confused pay schedules, or late fees. Many childcare payment systems allow recurring payments, which parents prefer.

9. FAQ Page

When someone visits your site to learn about your childcare services, they likely have questions. Having a page for frequently asked questions (FAQs) informs site visitors of all the details they need to know and decreases the number of busy phone calls.

Examples of FAQs to answer include: 

  • Is there a diaper changing station? 
  • Are snacks provided? 
  • When does pick-up time end?
  • What will my child learn?
  • Does my child have to be potty trained to attend childcare?

If parents have any questions that aren’t listed on the FAQ page, they can inquire through a phone call or contact page. 

10. Contact Page

A contact page is one of the most important pages to have on your childcare website. This is where people go to directly contact you for any reason: enrollment opportunities, payment errors, program questions, and more.

Make sure you have a clear (and clickable) phone number on your site, as well as links to email, social media, and mailing address. Also, include a contact form where people can submit questions and concerns directly from your site.

11. Blog Page

For a more Google-friendly website, a blog page is a good idea. Posting quality content helps readers and search engines view your site as educational and authoritative, ultimately improving your site rank. Blogs also help with childcare SEO (search engine optimization).

Website Integrations and Advanced Childcare Center WebsiteTechnology 

Having a professional website can be a huge asset to your childcare center. But it’s not the only piece of technology you need to run a successful childcare business. There are affordable mobile apps and digital childcare tools that help you organize, manage, and improve your business at all times. 

Once your website is ready to go, you can integrate it with childcare management software. A childcare software handles parent communication, learning assessments, attendance tracking, billing, and more. It’s the perfect tool to use alongside a robust site when marketing and maintaining your childcare center year after year.

Curious about how to improve your online childcare management? Reach out to Daily Connect to get a free trial of this type of childcare software today. 

20 Ways to Improve Your Childcare Business

It’s summer break in the northern hemisphere. The sun is out and childcare is slow (or closed). As a childcare provider, now is your chance to rest and recharge. It’s also one of the best times for you to reevaluate your business so you can prepare for the new school year ahead. 

If you’re a childcare business owner, you’ll want to use the summer slowdown to consider ways you can improve. Here’s a list of ideas to further your childcare business success, categorized by each main category of a childcare operation. 

Childcare Enrollment 

Keeping your doors open and your enrollment at its peak is vital to your business. How can you improve the enrollment rate and make sure families keep signing their kids up for your program?

1. Have a good website

A website is a place where potential customers can learn about you. A good website helps people find you online, gives locals a way to contact you, and effectively promotes your business 24/7 with good marketing.

2. Market your childcare center

Having a childcare business strategy includes marketing. You can do this through your website, social media, local education bulletins, and word of mouth. Marketing can be free or paid (or both).

Learn More: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Enrollment in Your Childcare Center

3. Create a referral program

Start a referral program to spread the word about your childcare or daycare. Incentivize enrolled families to recommend your business to their friends and family by offering them a tuition discount or token of appreciation, like a gift card for a local restaurant.

ECE Standards and Learning Assessments

Following Early Childhood Education (ECE) standards upholds your reputation as an educator and helps your students learn. Learning assessments and ECE go hand in hand. There’s always room for improvement, and it’s a surefire way to improve your childcare business.

1. Learn something new

You don’t want your teaching methods to get stale or outdated. It’s important to keep learning and improving your knowledge of child development. After all, the best teachers are eager learners.

2. Revamp your curriculum

Review your curriculum and last year’s learning outcomes. What areas need to be updated? How can you provide a better learning structure for your students?

3. Digitize childcare learning assessments 

If you don’t have digital learning assessments that let you observe classroom insights, consider switching to one. These let you keep every assessment in one place and give access to assistant teachers so they can help children who need extra support. 

4. Incorporate all learning styles 

Different kids have different styles of learning. Are you currently teaching in ways that cater to each kind? Go through your teaching style and notice any gaps in your class learning outcomes

Learning Environment 

Maybe your childcare operation is solid but you need to focus on improving your childcare business’s physical location. Maintaining a clean, safe, and organized facility is key to childhood learning.  

1. Upgrade to new equipment 

If there is any broken or outdated equipment at your center, plan for necessary upgrades. Check the condition of items including tables, chairs, electronics, sleeping mats, changing tables, learning supplies, and safety devices. 

2. Improve checklists to stay compliant 

Review the daily/weekly checklists you and your staff use to stay in compliance with health and safety regulations. Is there anything your team frequently missed in prior years? Consider making these checklists digital to make sure everything gets done.

3. Set up a security system 

If your childcare center is larger or in a busy location, you might want to set up a security system. This can include a safety camera of the entrance or lobby, password protection for computers, and secure child check-in for parents.

Tuition and Bookkeeping 

Every business owner wants to improve their finances— no matter what stage of business growth you’re in. What does that look like for childcare providers?

1. Use a childcare accounting program 

If you’re still relying on spreadsheets or bank statements, you need some kind of accounting software to get organized. Check out a childcare-specific bookkeeping program to help you out. 

2. Switch to online billing 

Childcare accounting includes keeping track of parent payments. If cash and checks are overwhelming every month, get a digital billing software to make your life easier.

3. Revise your budget and pricing

Sometimes, your pricing and tuition fees fluctuate. Things like an increase in demand, economic inflation, or employing new staff members affect your costs. Every year, revise your budget and adjust accordingly so you can give families early notice if tuition increases.

Managing Employees

Without teachers and staff, childcare wouldn’t be possible. Here are ways you can improve your business for the whole team.

1. Use digital management 

Allow staff to communicate with each other and with parents through digital management tools, like Daily Connect

2. Offer staff education and team building 

Focus on improving the culture and expertise of your team. Good leaders encourage continued learning and practice team-building exercises. 

3. Check in with staff regularly and welcome feedback 

Evaluate how approachable and receptive to feedback you are. Your staff should be comfortable coming to you with questions, concerns, and ideas that help improve childcare. 

4. Make a recruitment plan

If you run a childcare facility or at-home daycare, you’ll most likely reach a point where you need to hire more staff. Going into the new school year, determine a plan of action for hiring. This helps you when hiring for the first time or when an existing staff member quits. 

Parent-Teacher Communication

Parents want their children to be in the hands of someone they fully trust. Improving your parent communication is essential to keeping parents informed and children safe. 

1. Send a monthly email newsletter 

Write a monthly class newsletter to send to parents once a month. This can be brief but should include upcoming events, requests, and highlights of your program. 

2. Communicate digitally with parents 

A lot of parents these days aren’t always available for phone calls or emails. Use a digital childcare app that offers secure parent-teacher communication through direct messaging.

3. Use a childcare CRM tool

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps you keep track of leads, existing customers, and important details for everyone who contacts your program. There are childcare CRM tools for childcare owners like you.

Improve Your Childcare Management

A childcare management software can help you improve every aspect of your business. It’s a good idea to find right one and get set up before the new school year starts. 

Apps like Daily Connect are multi-featured, affordable, and extremely helpful for growing your childcare business year after year. To get started with a free trial, reach out to us today.

How to Get a Childcare License for Your Daycare

Anyone who runs a childcare business is responsible for providing the care and protection that children need in their developmental years. To make sure childcare owners are compliant with these standards of care, they need to meet licensing and certification requirements.

If you’re wondering how to get a childcare license for your new daycare center, you’ve come to the right place.

Why Get a Childcare License?

Having a childcare license proves that you can be trusted by parents, employees, and local childcare organizations. Getting a license reflects your ability to abide by government standards related to:

  • Heath and sanitation 
  • Indoor and outdoor recreation safety 
  • Teacher-student ratios 
  • Emergency responses
  • Employment background checks 
  • Nap time and sleep routines
  • Food and snack preparation 
  • Incident reporting 
  • Curriculum frameworks 
  • And more 

If you need help learning about all the daycare licensing requirements for your business, find a local Childcare Resource and Referral Agency to contact. 

What Type of Childcare License do You Need? 

To figure out what type of license you need, there are a few things you need to consider. First, different countries, states, and even local counties have different requirements for licensing, so do your research. Second, licensing requirements vary based on enrollment, affiliation, and type of childcare. 

Most facility-based childcare centers must be properly licensed. Many at-home daycare centers must be licensed unless you only care for a small group of children. There are several licensing exemptions for both childcare centers and home daycares, depending on the area. Let’s review each type of licensing. 

Child Care License for Childcare Centers 

Since childcare centers are often the most frequented type of childcare business, licensing and regulation are a top priority. If you plan on opening a childcare center or daycare with plenty of room to scale your business, get licensed early so you have everything you need to do so safely and legally. 

Family Child Care Home License

Some providers run at-home daycares or family childcare homes. Not all of these daycare providers are required to be licensed, but many are— especially those that are more established or have a larger student capacity. You need an in-home daycare license if you want to employ staff members and enroll more than a handful of students.

Exemptions from Child Care Licensing 

Some religious and private daycare programs are exempt from obtaining a childcare license. Other in-home daycare providers don’t need a license if they’re only caring for children of the same household, whether in the family’s home or the home of the provider. Babysitters and nannies are also exempt from needing a license.  

Always check with your local department of childcare to make sure you meet the requirements for licensing or exemption. In some cases, even with an exemption, childcare programs are still put on record with local childcare offices.

How to Get a Childcare License

The step-by-step process of getting your childcare license depends on your area. But there are a few general expectations you can have going into the process.

  • Have the right level of education. To provide the nurturing environment and early childhood education young kids need, you need to have some sort of education. 
  • Attend an orientation. In most U.S. states, you’ll need to sign up and attend a pre-application orientation for interested childcare providers. This will cover everything you need to know about applying for a license and opening a daycare
  • Fill out an application. Complete the required childcare licensing forms and send an application to be reviewed by the state department of childcare. This often includes your personal information, compliance agreements, financial statements, etc. 
  • Undergo background checks. Licensed childcare providers must pass criminal background checks and fingerprint scans. You may also have to be cleared by state child abuse organizations. 
  • Pay required licensing fees. Once you send in all applications and screenings, you pay a licensing fee. 
  • Receive an on-site inspection. Before you can open your daycare business, your location (whether in-home or at a facility) must be inspected and approved.
  • Wait for your license to process. After all the steps have been completed, you may need to wait to receive your licensure status. If you pass, you’re now ready to operate.

Getting a childcare or daycare license is a thorough process. Getting a license is the minimum requirement for providing adequate childcare. But remember: the logistics of running a professional daycare business don’t stop at license approval.

What You Need After You Become a Licensed Childcare Provider

Once you’ve gotten licensed, the process isn’t over. Even though you can show you’re capable of providing childcare that meets all the health and safety standards, you still need to keep up with implementing them. This is in the best interest of your staff, your company, and your customers. Here are some things to prepare for.

Keep Records at Your Daycare Business 

Make sure to keep records of everything in your business. This includes:

  • Annual license updates
  • Inventory of supplies 
  • Tuition and billing 
  • Attendance records 
  • Developmental assessments 
  • Learning frameworks 
  • Cleaning schedules 
  • Nap and sleep schedules 
  • Incident and injury reports
  • Mandated reporting 
  • Food allergies
  • Emergency protocols 

Failing to meet these requirements can get your childcare business shut down because it means you’re failing to maintain professional levels of care. One of the main reasons you must keep track of your records is to make sure you’re also prepared for random inspections. 

Be Prepared for Periodic Inspections 

As a licensed childcare business, you are subject to random state or local childcare inspections. This means a childcare authority can arrive unannounced to make sure you’re meeting all the rules and regulations that comply with licensing, as well as treating the children with respect in a healthy learning environment. Successfully coming through inspections is much easier if you ensure all of your records are well organized and easily accessible at any time.

Receive Legal Coverage

At some point, you might consider legal guidance for your childcare business. Legal assistance isn’t only for times of trouble. It can act as a protective measure and potentially save your business. You can prepare and safeguard yourself for situations such as someone trying to copy your brand, unreasonable disputes from parents, financial reconciliation, and more.

Manage All of Your Childcare Details in One Place

Getting and staying licensed for your childcare business may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, today there are a lot of digital tools available for busy daycare and childcare centers to keep track of everything in one place. 

Having some type of childcare management software can help you and your team manage all licensing requirements throughout the year. From signed documents and learning assessments to incident reports and health checks, childcare software has everything you need to run your business legally and efficiently. 

Ready to take charge of your licensed childcare business? For all your documentation and daycare management tasks, Daily Connect has you covered. Reach out and start your free trial today. 

Everything You Need to Know About Childcare Billing Software

As a childcare provider, you have many responsibilities to keep track of every day. Staying on top of the billing process is a common challenge for many providers. Your finances are the main resource that allows you to run your business, so having some type of digital childcare billing software is crucial. It makes sure your doors stay open, your supplies remain stocked, and your employees get paid on time. 

To help you find the support you need, we’re sharing everything you need to know about childcare billing software. 

What Does Childcare Billing Software Do?

Unless you use some type of childcare software to help you with billing, it can be overwhelming to effectively manage this process. You, your accountant, and the families you serve can all benefit from a childcare center billing software. Here’s how.

Easy Invoicing 

Have you ever sat down at your computer at the end of the month to realize how much time is wasted creating new invoices for each family? Sending invoices manually means you have to wait for parents to send their payment, then sometimes wait days for tuition payments to process. 

With childcare billing software, you can set up automatic recurring invoices every month. You can also customize childcare bills for each family. Some childcare platforms even allow you to record late pickup fees as they occur, so you never forget an extra charge. 

Online Payments

Charging and receiving childcare payments online is a lifesaver for business owners. With online billing, you can:

  • Set up recurring billing 
  • Accept online payments via credit card, debit card, or ACH bank transfer 
  • Let parents access their own online dashboard via desktop or mobile app
  • Securely keep parent credit/debit card information on file to process approved transactions for things like supplies, field trips, or fundraisers 

All billing platforms require small fees for online payment processing. These are typically around 3% of the payment. Childcare billing platforms involve similar processing fees, but some allow you to process offline payments for no extra charge. You can receive payments via cash or check and still log the financial information all in one place, saving you extra costs. Online payments are still affordable as they only charge a minimal fee. 

Childcare Business Bookkeeping 

Sorting through spreadsheets every tax season is no fun, which is why the best childcare billing platforms include an organized system packed with your most important financial details. You can use it to make life easy for you and your accountant come tax time.

Here are some ways childcare software helps your recordkeeping: 

  • View your progress year after year
  • Save yourself the trouble if you ever get audited
  • Project revenue on a month-to-month basis
  • Notice any gaps in your billing system 
  • Track late or missed payments

The longer you use a childcare billing software, the more you can learn about your business’ tuition trends and growth over time, setting you up for success. 

Financial Safety and Security 

Billing platforms for childcare centers are favored for their bank-level security. One major benefit of using a childcare software is that it’s safer and more secure than generic payment processors like Venmo or PayPal. 

Bank transfers are safely processed on time, whether parents make a one-time payment or set it up to recur every month. Plus, you’ll never miss a payment due to security warnings. 

Parent Communication 

Childcare billing platforms include parent communication features. This allows streamlined updates between teachers and families. Billing systems give parents access to payment policies, digital invoices, payment receipts, late notices, and more. 

Here are some examples of what childcare software can do for your parent communication:

  • If you’re planning on raising your tuition fees next year, you can inform families ahead of time so they can prepare financially. 
  • If a parent doesn’t use online payments but tends to forget to pay on time every month, you can set up automatic email reminders to help them out. 
  • If a parent’s credit card expires in your system, you can send them a direct message asking them to update their information to continue automatic payments. 

With so many benefits of the top childcare billing software available, choosing the right one will aid your business from every angle. It’s also a good idea to know your options if you’re planning to start a childcare business. That way, you’ll begin on the right track equipped with everything you need to grow your business. 

Childcare Billing Software vs. Generic Billing Software

A lot of childcare and in-home daycare providers think they should save money on monthly subscriptions and simply use a generic payment processor instead. But you might want to consider the risks and rewards associated with both types before making a decision. 

  • Generalized billing platforms often aren’t any cheaper than specialized childcare software, and don’t guarantee security or childcare features your business needs. 
  • Childcare billing platforms integrate with other digital aspects of your business, as they’re created with you— the childcare provider— in mind.
  • Childcare billing systems come fully prepared with everything you need, from learning and assessment records to attendance tracking and more. That way, you can have everything in one place. 
  • Billing platforms catered toward childcare businesses let you customize your invoices with the name, contact details, and logo of your childcare center. 
  • Using a generic payment processor can make you seem unprofessional to potential customers. Having software set up throughout your childcare center gives the impression that you take your business seriously.

Need help setting up a billing process for your childcare business? Check out the Quick Guide to Childcare Billing for more guidance.

Best Billing Software for Childcare Centers

Opting into a billing software created specifically for childcare businesses makes admin tasks easier, saves you financial stress, and improves the lives of the parents you support. If you’re ready to invest in the best billing software for childcare, there are great options available. 

When searching for the right childcare platform, consider:

  • Your budget
  • Classroom size
  • Additional software features you need 
  • Ideal level of parent-teacher communication
  • Payment security 
  • Software integrations 
  • What you need to switch from an existing childcare software to one that includes billing 

Want to use a childcare app that does it all? Daily Connect is an affordable, full-featured childcare billing software for childcare and daycare providers like you. Schedule a free demo today to see why it’s loved by daycares, preschools, and childcare facilities nationwide. 

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Daycare Business?

Opening a daycare business comes with a lot of financial demands. According to Freshbooks, the average cost to start a daycare business or open a childcare center or daycare is $10,000 to $50,000. Of course, costs depend on the location, enrollment, and type of daycare you open. But before blindly investing in various daycare costs, you should know what to expect. 

Here are some ideas on how to budget for a daycare business plan.

Daycare Business Expenses You Need to Consider

At the end of 2021, a public health survey from NPR and Harvard showed that nearly 40% of parents face challenges finding adequate childcare. Opening a daycare for young children is a good, essential deed in today’s society (and a profitable business venture), as there are more families in need of childcare than there are licensed providers. 

But what exactly does it cost to start a daycare business, and how should you budget for these? Here are some of the main financial variables:

  1. Location 
  2. Administrative costs 
  3. Daycare equipment 
  4. Hiring and paying staff
  5. Marketing 
  6. Accounting 
  7. Daycare management software

Let’s dive into each of these sections further so you can begin effectively planning your daycare business!

1. Daycare Location 

Daycare centers are often located either in someone’s home or at a childcare facility. There are unique expenses associated with each, so we’ll break down the most important ones for both.

Cost to Start a Daycare Business: In Home Daycares

When you open an at-home daycare center, you skip having to pay monthly rent for a commercial space. But you still need to cover the spike in your utility bills, proper licensure, and any renovations required for your daycare operation. 

For home-based daycare, note that you may be limited in the number of children you’re allowed to enroll. So if you hope to scale your childcare business, finding a rental may be ideal. 

Cost to Start a Daycare Business: Rented Location

If you open a childcare center at a rented or owned facility, costs increase. You cover rent, loan payments, and maintenance/repairs. Childcare center rent tends to cost $1,000 to $5,000 per month, depending on size. 

2. Daycare Administrative Costs

There are a handful of administrative expenses you can’t avoid as a childcare provider. Primary admin requirements include:

  • Licensing and certification fees
  • Liability insurance (home daycare vs a facility)
  • State and federal business fees
  • Professional development (staff training, leadership materials, etc.)
  • Remote activities (field trips, transportation, etc.)
  • Legal fees (lawyer, trademark, etc.)

Factor in every license and certification you and your employees need to operate legally. Keep track of how often each must be renewed, as you’ll likely pay for each renewal. If you don’t know what forms you need to get fully up and running, contact your State Department of Children and Family Services for guidance. 

3. Childcare Equipment & Supplies

What supplies do you need at a daycare center? From furniture and safety equipment to snacks and art supplies, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars at startup. For ongoing inventory, you’ll likely pay anywhere from $100-$600 per child every month. 

Here’s a list of basic necessities when it comes to childcare supplies and equipment: 

  • Tables and chairs
  • Cubbies and storage 
  • Toys and electronics
  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • Gates or room dividers 
  • Housekeeping materials (trash bags, baby wipes, etc.)
  • Cribs or cots for naptime
  • Office supplies 
  • Kitchen materials 
  • Changing tables 
  • Safety equipment (fire alarms, first-aid, PPE)

The investment it takes to get all these supplies might seem overwhelming but remember: your tuition will start to cover all these expenses and leave you with a profit once you’re operating smoothly. 

If you need extra support when starting your business, read the 6 Key Elements of a Daycare Startup Business Plan.

4. Hiring Daycare Staff

You can’t run a business at scale without quality staff. Even if you run solo for now or only need to hire one assistant, eventually you’ll want to recruit and hire employees to work at your daycare business. You deserve help, your staff deserves a fair wage, and the kids you care for deserve the extra attention. This is a worthy investment. 

The cost of hiring employees includes paying for job listings, hourly wages, benefits, training, and background checks. 

5. Marketing Your Daycare Center

These days, it’s uncommon to not need some sort of marketing strategy for a new business. If you have a wide network and already serve in the childcare industry, it’ll be easier to reach customers word of mouth. But if you’re new to setting up a daycare, advertising can help get you found by your community. 

You can choose one or all types of marketing for childcare: 

  • Local self-promotion: Print flyers, business cards, or brochures. Post promo materials at libraries, schools, coffee shops, medical offices, and wherever there’s a local bulletin board.
  • Digital marketing: Use paid Google ads, your website, or social media to market your daycare business. Paid ads vary from $10-$100 per listing, depending on competition and the platform. If you’re clueless about marketing but want the best results, hire an expert. 
  • Network marketing: If you’re not into direct advertising, you can join community forums and local online directories. You’ll want to create a profile showcasing your service, mission, and contact information. 

6. Accounting and Payment Processing Fees

To organize your finances properly, you’ll have to spend a little bit of money. Hiring an accountant to cover your bookkeeping and tax preparation is a smart choice— this can cost a few hundred dollars. 

Another cost to consider when opening a daycare center is payment processing fees that come with online billing. Most payment processors charge a set amount (usually something like $0.35 per transaction) plus a percentage of the incoming payment. They do this to cover their operation costs.

7. Childcare Management Software 

Running your daycare business gets a lot easier when you have some sort of digital management system to keep you organized. A childcare software provides you with every tool you need to receive tuition payments, organize your curriculum, track children’s learning assessments, and even communicate with parents. 

Daycare management platforms are often charged based on their subscription tiers plus a one-time setup fee. The average cost ranges from $49 to $199 per month, depending on the company and your enrollment size. Fortunately, there are some great, affordable management apps designed specifically for daycare centers, such as Daily Connect.

Learn more about childcare software here: The 10 Best Childcare Software Platforms for Daycare Centers.

Is the Cost of Starting a Childcare Center Worth It?

Anything worthwhile requires a significant investment. But if you’re committed to serving the families in your area with the childcare they desperately want and need, managing the daycare startup cost is worth it. When done right, you can ensure a profitable return on investment.

If you’re new to the childcare business— or if you’re already operating from home but want to grow— you can start using a childcare management app to help you organize your expenses. Daily Connect exists to help daycare providers like you achieve business goals and support the kids they care for. Reach out to learn more about daycare startups or start a free trial today.

How to Choose the Right Childcare App

Using a childcare software application helps you run your business toward success. It can improve the daily operation of your childcare center, encourage a better quality of care, enhance interpersonal communication, and skyrocket learning outcomes. If you’re trying to find the right childcare app, here’s how.

What is a Childcare Management Software App? 

Childcare management software is a set of digital programs that combine administrative, financial, and managerial support to childcare providers and daycares. It’s a streamlined database that saves time, gets you organized, and keeps important records of all things related to your childcare business. 

Many childcare software solutions operate in a consolidated app that teachers and parents can use with ease. Some of the benefits of using a childcare app include:

  • Improves communication between staff 
  • Increases trust in parent-teacher relationships 
  • Saves time during operation hours
  • Automates scheduling, emailing, and billing 
  • Organizes essential documents
  • Promotes consitent curriculum and learning 

Overall, a good app gives childcare directors and their teams a chance to spend more time with the kids so they don’t have to worry about paper forms or desktop scheduling all day long. You likely already know you need a childcare app— here’s how to find the one that’s best for you.

What to Consider in a Childcare App

When conducting your search, there are a few questions you can start with: 

  1. What are the immediate needs in your childcare business? 
  2. Does the app have the right features? 
  3. Will other teachers and staff need access to the app? 
  4. How easy is the app to use? 
  5. What is your budget for a childcare app? 
  6. Does the app support your education model and learning framework? 
  7. Does the app have positive reviews from other childcare providers? 
  8. How customizable is the app? 
  9. What level of parent-teacher communication does the app provide?
  10. Will you need a free trial?

Dive into each of these questions further in the next 10 sections.

1. Childcare App Criteria: What Your Childcare Needs

First, get clear on what your childcare business needs an app for. Are you switching to a childcare software for the first time or transferring from a previous software? For what purpose will you be relying on the app the most? For example, do you need an app to track learning outcomes, or do you need something more robust that can manage your payments as well as site-wide communication? 

Laying out the criteria your ideal childcare app must meet will help you vet the best options and make the right decision. It’s important to assess beforehand so you can properly judge which features and functions will be worthwhile.

2. Childcare App Features 

Search each childcare app’s website and study the features available. Some might have the right level of usability you’re looking for (such as an app for large preschool centers), but lack the right functions (such as parent messaging or cloud storage). 

Many childcare apps may have similar features. But now is your chance to consider what user interface (UI) you prefer to use those features in. It’s a good idea to look at app screenshots, read the company blog, and preview examples of how the app works. 

3. Teacher and Staff Access to the Childcare App

Does your staff need to access the childcare app? Whether it be checking daily attendance or sending DMs (direct messages) between parents and teachers, a childcare app can bring your team together for the better. 

Instead of communicating by walkie-talkie and rushing from classroom to classroom, in-app information sharing features can save everyone time and liability. Allowing staff access can enable team members to share signatures, worksheets, weekly snack plans, and anything else necessary to the day-to-day functions of your childcare center. 

4. Ease of Use

Not everyone who runs a childcare center is tech-savvy enough to learn a variety of complex software systems. Managing your daycare should be simple; using an app throughout your daycare center should be helpful, not a headache. 

Figure out how easy it is to use each childcare app. Some of these brands might be versatile for all levels or they may contain interfaces that take a little more detailed understanding of tech. 

5. Childcare Software Budget and Pricing 

Factoring your budget into your search for the perfect childcare app will prepare you to cover expenses and get the biggest bang for your buck.

Some childcare software apps offer different subscription plans and pricing tiers. A good suggestion is to create a shortlist of your favorite childcare apps based on features, pricing, reviews, and free trial opportunities. From there, you can investigate further or test out each app before you buy. 

Another thing to note about pricing is whether or not the app requires contracts or charges extra fees. To keep it straightforward, go with an app that is upfront about pricing and has a fixed monthly or enrollment-based price.

6. Childcare Curriculum and Learning Support 

Educating the kids in your care is a top priority. Finding an app that offers learning support and curriculum storage is a major component of this app search. Do you need help keeping track of the learning and assessments in your classroom? A childcare app can help you do that.  

7. Daycare App Reviews 

What are other childcare providers saying about the apps you’re considering? Before you make a final decision, read various app reviews. To see a good example of childcare software reviews, click here.

8. App Customization for Your Business 

Especially if your childcare staff is more technically inclined, consider an option that allows customization. This includes creating your own in-app report forms, learning framework checklists, parent email lists, payment processes, and more. If you have something specific you need in a potential childcare app, talk to the customer service team and ask. 

9. Parent-Teacher Communication 

There’s always room for improvement when it comes to parent-teacher communication in childcare. Not all daycare apps include a communication feature, so decide in the beginning whether or not this is a deal-breaker for you. 

It’s a good idea to decide on an app that includes parent-teacher emailing, photo/video sharing, or direct messaging. That way, your business has a record of all online communication between parents, including required documents, incident reports, and payment inquiries. 

10. Free Trial of the Childcare App

It’s rare for childcare software apps to offer a no-commitment free trial, but some do. If you can, prioritize an app that offers a free trial before committing to one for an extended period of time. This lets you and your team get a real feel for what you like and dislike about the app, and gives you insight on whether or not it’s the right choice for you.

Choosing the Right App for Your Childcare Business

It can take time to research all the childcare software apps available today, but hopefully, these tips help you find the best one for your business. Remember: choosing the right app depends on what matters most to you and what will work for your childcare center. 

To meet all the considerations listed in this article, look to Daily Connect: a childcare software for at-home daycares and established childcare centers. You can get started with a free trial today. 

10 Steps to Opening a Daycare Center

Starting a daycare business is an ideal pursuit for anyone with childcare experience. Running a childcare center allows you to serve the families in your community while establishing your own clientele, schedule, and unique approach to teaching. If you’re considering opening your caring arms to the public, here are ten steps to opening a daycare center you should be aware of. 

1. Ask Yourself Why You’re Opening a Daycare Center

First, assess the meaningful aspect of your future business: why do you want to run a childcare center? There are many reasons why people open a daycare center, from financial independence to giving back to the community. 

Running a childcare center can be emotionally fulfilling, provide a decent income, and cater to childcare owners who want to include their own kids in their everyday life. You probably have a passion for teaching young kids, but it helps to have clear goals and know why you want to manage a childcare business

2. Learn Your Local Daycare Regulations 

Every state has a set of regulations, standards, and guidelines for operating a childcare center. Learn your county’s additional guidelines front to back, so you can have everything you need to open safely and in compliance with the law. 

  • Check with the Department of Children and Family Services in your state. Gather their guidelines for childcare service providers. 
  • Get licensed! This process ensures you’re CPR certified, have a clean record, and can adequately offer childcare in your area. 

You’ll need to get on the phone and talk with childcare agencies near you. Don’t skip any of these required steps. A great way to organize this process is with the help of childcare software, where you can upload all of your documents in one place. Some of these apps even provide you with a list of state requirements to fulfill. 

3. Find a Good Location

Once you get licensed and know what regulations to follow, start planning your daycare location. Do you want to rent a space to operate a childcare facility? Or are you going to run an in-home daycare? Location is important to families who will enroll in your childcare business, so take the time to properly scout ideal locations. 

4. Develop Childcare Policies, Procedures, and Contracts 

Here is one of the most important steps for opening a daycare center: craft and implement your policies/procedures. You need a plan for every scenario that may occur at your daycare. 

Examples of essential policies and procedures include:

  • Emergency plans
  • Health and safety procedures 
  • Daycare rules
  • Privacy standards
  • Mandated reporter processes (state and federal)
  • Parent handbook
  • Employee handbook 
  • Tuition agreements 
  • Enrollment contracts 

These policies and contracts help protect your students from harm and keep you safe from potential legal trouble. Establishing clear contracts and procedures upfront allows everyone— from staff members to parents to daycare supervisors— to maintain clear expectations in case anything goes wrong. 

This can result in a lot of paperwork. A digital filing system might be ideal for your business. Consider a daycare management system that keeps track of your contracts, policies, and incident reports. That way, you won’t lose track of any important information you might need in the future. 

5. Hire the Right Childcare Staff 

Unless you’re running a solo daycare operation, hiring is inevitable once you hope to expand your business. Taking on help gives you the time, energy, and extra hands you need to attend to more kids at your daycare center. It also helps you manage your business like a responsible childcare director. 

Recruiting and hiring childcare staff might seem intimidating, but it’s worth it if your daycare center needs help fulfilling a larger teacher:student ratio. Make sure you run candidate background checks, talk to each candidate’s references, and make smart hiring decisions. Your business and the families you serve all depend on the best care and education of your students. 

6. Create a Daycare Curriculum 

How (and what) are you going to teach the kids at your daycare? Come up with an early childhood education (ECE) curriculum that meets the needs of young children in your care. ECE curriculums can change depending on the season or developmental phases of your students, so look for a system that allows you to edit and improve your lesson plans over time. 

Don’t forget to pay attention to the required learning and assessment frameworks in your local area. A major part of your job is to observe how each child is on track for going into kindergarten after being at your daycare center. 

7. Set Up a Daycare Activity Schedule

Having a set schedule sets you, your staff, and your students up for success. When young kids know what the expected routine is, it can improve their behavior, attention span, and social development. 

Maintaining a fun, consistent schedule of activities and events at your daycare center isn’t always easy. But there are tools today that help childcare professionals make sure they stay organized and on track. With the use of digital calendars and childcare mobile apps, you can stay alert for every task of the day. 

8. Establish Daycare-Parent Communication Methods

Parents always want to know how their child is doing and what they learn at daycare. Improving parent communication at your childcare center is extremely important to keeping parents happy, and making sure leaders do their job at relaying information to the families you serve. 

Today, many daycare providers use childcare communication apps to send direct messages and instant updates to parents while their child is at daycare. Receiving cute photos, special moments, or learning milestones means the world to busy parents, and digital systems make it easy. 

9. Grow Your Daycare Enrollment 

Once you start enrolling the first few kids into your daycare program, it’s time to further market your business. You can grow your enrollment through digital marketing, local childcare listings, and word-of-mouth referrals from existing customers. 

There are many ways to easily attract new families to your daycare center. To learn more about growing your business, download this free resource: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Enrollment in Your Childcare Center.

10. Manage Your Daycare Business 

When everything is established, your next step is learning how to manage your daycare professionally. Management is an ongoing job, and there will always be room for improvement in this area. Whether or not you have existing management skills, get ready to take them to a whole new level. 

When you become a daycare owner, you become the manager of:

  • Daily childcare activities 
  • Parent communication 
  • Tuition payments and late fees 
  • Teachers and staff members
  • Scheduling
  • Bookkeeping 
  • Daycare marketing
  • And more

That’s a lot of details to keep track of. How do daycare providers manage their childcare business in a way that actually works? These days, it’s useful to set up an affordable daycare center platform. 

Bonus: Use a Childcare Software 

One way to manage your daycare business successfully is to use multi-featured childcare software that has a proven strategy for providers like you. A childcare software lets you track attendance, store official documents, manage your schedule, communicate with parents, encourage staff compliance, and more. 

Use a childcare software like Daily Connect when opening a daycare center. Daily Connect is an app that helps you every step of the way. To learn more about how a daycare management platform can help you when opening and managing a new daycare center, sign up for a free trial today.