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Old 02-25-2018, 10:58 AM
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CityGarden CityGarden is offline Member
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: The Happiest Place on Earth
Posts: 1,667

I am in Southern California and my rates are on the high side for my area. I think doing the small license for the first year is best as you are able to really learn and define your policies, etc.

I have been open a year this month and though I felt I had the perfect contract and handbook before I opened once I interacted with my clients the need for revisions were apparent. I have had three different versions of my contract and two versions of my handbook in one year.... I am thankful for opening small so I had the ability to make those changes in a smooth manner. Also this work is physically demanding in ways I had not thought of so I am glad I was able to build up to that. There are ways to have a large license in the beginning in California (past history working with children, etc.) but there are also hoops to jump thru like having fire clearance, not having another large daycare within a certain radius, etc.

For me IF I want to stay in the business long term I know I will expand to the large license but it is less so for the money and more so for the type of program I want to offer my community and the companionship of another adult for myself. Crunching numbers quickly since I only take 2+ and not school age expanding would only allow me to go from having 6 dcks to 10 dcks and it would cost me the income of 2-3 dcks for the assistant and it would also cost more in materials, supplies and wear and tear on the items so I might make slightly more but it would not be something to do for an increase in income for me.

One piece of advice when opening to not burn out is to start small, be mindful when setting your rates and offerings and specialize in something

I personally see providers in my area do best when they specialize age wise i.e. focusing on Infant Care 0-2 or preschool age 2-5 (note with infants you can have less children but can charge significantly more and there is a HUGE demand for infant care.)

Another path is to focus on offerings i.e. is your program "green" "organic" "RIE trained" "Montessori" "Playbased" "Media Free" etc. Are you "all inclusive" etc.

Best of luck!
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