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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Where Did You Start?
Hunni Bee 12:07 PM 01-13-2019
My best friend and I (who are also coworkers) have been planning to start a Nature School/Childcare for a couple years and now agree that its time to stop planning and start doing.

We've been learning about licensing requirements and writing a basic business plan, and we both have lots of background in daycare administration, licensing compliance, etc. We just are unsure of what our first step should be.

We do not have money saved. We may be able to borrow a few thousand from family. We are both single mothers with not great credit.

We are in Virginia. Licensing states that any childcare home in which the operator does not live in or with more than 12 kids is automatically a center. We want to purchase a house. We have been perusing foreclosures and such and would have to find out the zoning info for whatever neighborhood we choose.

We don't know whether first to try and apply for a small business loan, attempt to purchase the home, or wait until we can save more money, which could be never.

Those who have done this, how did you do it?
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dreamer 05:21 AM 01-15-2019
I havenít started but I recommend saving if you can, so you can avoid the debt.
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Blackcat31 06:08 AM 01-15-2019
I would secure financing first so you know what price range etc to look for. A fixer upper might be cheap but costly to fix up and a place already completed might be costly to afford monthly so I'd definitely sit down with a financial planner or a loan officer at the bank and discuss your plan with them.

They can help you decide what steps need to be completed before others.

I'd also contact your area Child Care Resource and Referral agency and inquire about financing for child care. Many states/areas offer low cost loans and financial help to those wanting to open centers or expand their businesses. If they don't, they may know where to point you. Our area CCR&R has fantastic resources for providers here.

Good luck!! Sounds like a great investment in your future!!
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Hunni Bee 11:55 AM 01-18-2019
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I would secure financing first so you know what price range etc to look for. A fixer upper might be cheap but costly to fix up and a place already completed might be costly to afford monthly so I'd definitely sit down with a financial planner or a loan officer at the bank and discuss your plan with them.

They can help you decide what steps need to be completed before others.

I'd also contact your area Child Care Resource and Referral agency and inquire about financing for child care. Many states/areas offer low cost loans and financial help to those wanting to open centers or expand their businesses. If they don't, they may know where to point you. Our area CCR&R has fantastic resources for providers here.

Good luck!! Sounds like a great investment in your future!!
Thanks BC!
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CityGarden 01:32 PM 01-18-2019
I would suggest you keep your jobs, pay off debt, save and meet with a financial planner. Starting a business can take a while to be profitable so you want savings to cover a period of time if needed, you will also need funds to rent/purchase a space and fix it to licensing standards.

A provider friend of mine just transitioned from in-home care to her own center located on a rented space from a church. It cost her $12,000 and 3 months to remodel the space and get it 1) ready for children and 2) pass licensing before she could move her program in. She also had to pay rent on the space during the remodel. Luckily she could still run the in-home program while this was going on so she still had an income and could build enrollment.
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Mom2Two 11:37 AM 01-22-2019
Could you keep your jobs and start with a little weekend care or babysitting, just to get your feet wet and get some extra $?
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Tags:daycare experiences, reason you got into daycare
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