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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Questions on opening a daycare
Unregistered 06:01 PM 11-29-2011
I have been thinking about starting my own daycare (right now I'm an assistant, but the owner knows about my plans), and was wondering what you all would suggest for the best time to get started. What I mean is, I would have to rent a house for it, so without enough children, I wouldn't have the money for rent, untilities, supplies, and all the start up costs involved. I've already been looking around at homes for rent and talking to the owners of the houses about their lease agreements. I would like to have a sheduled opening date, and just line children up for that starting date so I'd have enough children starting out to pay the rent and other costs, and still have an income. But is that realistic? In your area are there enough children needing care that a daycare could have a specific opening date in the next few months, and advertise ahead of time? How soon before opening would you begin advertising your new daycare to assure enough enrollments before hand, but not so much that parents would not be able to wait that long and end up choosing another daycare? I would need at least 5 starting out, in my area. Rent is EXPENSIVE here, but there's no way could I afford to buy a house, especially when I don't even know how many children I'd be able to count on enrolling.

Last question, how do you find out how much need there would be for childcare in a certain area? I would be opening one in the next town over from the daycare I'm at right now.
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Crystal 06:35 PM 11-29-2011
There should be a resource and referral agency in your county/region. They can tell you about supply and demand. Where are you located?

I don't think it is realistic to expect to have actual enrollment before you have a space that you can present to potential families, as well as some tangible evidence that you will indeed become licensed within the time frame you hold the waitlist.

IF there is a GREAT need in your area, THEN it might be somewhat realistic, but I wouldn't count on it.

If you decide to move forward, I recommend advertising at local hospitals/libraries/pediatricians offices/ etc. towards pregnant women who will need care, just not yet....they would probably be your best bet for starting a waitlist.

Good luck
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Unregistered 04:43 PM 12-01-2011
I will definitely have a place before I try enrolling anyone. I wouldn't ever expect someone to enroll their child in a daycare without seeing the space yet. That's why I wanted to know how to find out the need in this area. If there seems to be a good need for daycare, then I would find a house, have the licensor come see it (to make sure she would license it), and then start interviewing families for a wait list. But I do not want to rent a house (with a 12 month lease, that most require), set it all up, pay for all the start up costs (furniture, toys, materials, supplies, etc), and then end up without any families. What a nightmare that would be. Thank you for suggesting childcare R&R. I hadn't even though of asking them. But the thing is, Our R&R is not very good around here. They don't even have the correct phone # for the daycare I'm at right now. We've called them about it several times, but the number they list for us is still the wrong one on their website. Since we've never gotten families who found us through them anyway, we've just given up on the phone # thing. Anyway, my point is, I don't think our R&R would be very reliable for finding out the area's need, so do you or anyone else have any other ideas? Thanks again, Crystal!
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