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icaredaycare 10:13 AM 03-14-2012
Hey all,

Wondering if any of you had experience, or knows of anyone who has successfully opened a daycare inside a church establishment.

I was just approached from my pastor, and he asked if I would like to help him on a project of opening a daycare inside the church. He said the church is only used Saturdays and Sundays. It is un touched monday-friday. It would help the community, and open up job opportunities.

My question is... how does this work? Do we umbrella under the church? Do we file as a separate entity? Is it easier to do a Daycare? Or would it be easier to do a head start pre school program? I'm not exactly which angle I should approach this. If anyone has info, please let me know. Thanks in advance!
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Sugar Magnolia 11:57 AM 03-14-2012
Unless the pastor is offering you a job as the Director, it is his job to find out the rules and regs. Some states have "exemptions" for church daycares, some don't. My husband and I opened a center (private, not church affiliated) and I am here to tell you, it is NOT EASY.I could elaborate, but don't have six hours to type all that. Unless he is paying you a hefty salary, I would not get involved. You can be a "consultant" for free or cheap, but there is no way ypu should get involved in the highly complex realm of center-opening unless you are being paid like a Director.
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icaredaycare 12:33 PM 03-14-2012
He just only approached me today. He knows that I am a helpful person, but I am also business oriented. If we were both going to take on this task together, I would draft a proposal to be a director for this venture. I did have an idea that commercial daycares would be hard. I have heard horror stories of a lot of people failing mostly because they didn't expect to pay rent for so many months on a building they signed a leased to without a return. This case would be different, because the church is owned, and not rented.

Thank you for your advice though, I really do appreciate it. I understand that this won't be a fly by night project. Ill try to look more into it, there's no rush for this project, it would just be nice to have.

I just figured I post on here first to get more research before I start calling up people.
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Sugar Magnolia 01:00 PM 03-14-2012
I think you should consider it then! I would be glad to help, if you have any questions, pm me But you have some advantages I didn't have. You should not have to go through zoning, the church is already likely zoned for institutional use. You should not hav to worry about traffic studies or parking lot design. You won't have to worry about rent with no income. You WILL need to worry about hiring, training, purchasing furnishings and supplies, budgeting, recruiting clients, etc.This could be an excellent opportunity for you. Best wishes.
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small_steps 01:21 PM 03-14-2012
Maybe I can help a little. I've ran a church daycare. I didn't open it..it had been open for about 3 months when I started working there. I think every church is different. Some have the daycare pay rent and others don't. In the one I worked at we paid a portion of the bills (electric, water & such). I don't remember them charging us rent. It's a lot like setting up a new daycare in a new building. Some churches already have a nice, fenced in playground that has surfacing and some don't have much and you have to get that up to code which can be pretty costly. Then there is the matter of making sure you have the appropriate square footage for inside and outside for enough kids to make at least pay the bills and staff. I know most if not all churches are non profit daycares so they probably aren't concerned with making a profit, just breaking even (which probably won't happen in the first year or two.) Ours was kind of ran the wrong way when the lady opened it. It took me almost 2 years to get her almost $50000 debt cleared. We did without a lot of new items until we got that evened out. I left right after that but I would think now, if enrollment is still good they are coming out ahead.
Also, I worked for a Methodist church and they have something callled a safe sanctuary policy which means there must be at least 2 adults in each classroom. That kind of hurt us because a lot of times our classrooms would have 2 teachers and we'd only have 9 kids (which one teacher could handle per our state standards). Parents loved that we had two teachers in there but that doubled the budget for staff.
Also..usually churches have a "preschool board" that's over your daycare. That can help you and hurt you as a director. Dealing with them had to have been the hardest part of my job, followed closely by staff of course. In my case, most of our board members where just church members who had absolutely no experience in childcare. We had some that were good with business which is important but if they don't know the rules about licensed chidcare they can hurt you. Sometimes they were too involved. For instance, I would have to go through them before I could do anything...I mean ANYTHING!! I would have to call a board meeting if I needed to let a teacher go...even if that was because...say she had spanked a child. Also, churches are big on second chances for employees. They hate to fire anyone and if you have been in licensed childcare centers, you know that sometimes you just have to get rid of some staff. SO if I were going into it with the intention of directing it I would be up front and say "The board is good to have to stand behind me and help make policies and procedures but..I have to be in charge of the daily operations. You have to have control. My staff knew that I couldn't do much to them...without approval from the board so it was hard to maintain respect and control. I even had a board member who took over and ran the staff meeting for me!! I had my own little space that I could talk, but she did most of it. Which was crazy because she wasn't there and didn't know much about standards and such.
Eventually, when a new chairman took over who didn't want all the responsibility things got better and I got my control back and was able to really run the daycare how it needed to be ran. Even parents, especially those that went to church there, would run to a board member if they had a problem and stir up drama. That's how bad it got.
Anyway, I'm not sure if that helped at all but maybe it gave you a few things to look at.
Also, remember, churches generally in my experience, don't pay much for directors. Your earning potential isn't going to be as much as if . you had your own daycare. However, there are also benefits...I mean if it were to fail, you aren't out of a lot of YOUR money. If you have any other questions I can try to answer. I left my church daycare job to open my home daycare two years ago. I love working at home and being with my son, plus I make more money. But I also miss getting out of the house and visiting with staff and parents. Also, church daycares can be a huge asset to the community and offer wonderful ministry opportunities. So....looks like several pros and cons to doing that or opening your own.
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icaredaycare 01:36 PM 03-14-2012
Sugar, thanks for the support! ill pm u when things get rolling.


small_steps, great info! i figured there would be a lot of drama involved. As for directors pay, I would make sure everything benefited me. I have my own inhome daycare. I wouldn't even think about hiring my own director to run my home daycare to help setup and run another daycare unless the price was right.
thanks again for the info!
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Sunchimes 01:53 PM 03-14-2012
I have 2 right across the street from me. I don't know if the links will be helpful, but it will give you an idea of how some of them work.

http://www.hillsborofbc.org/715710
http://hillsborofumc.com/?page_id=81
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icaredaycare 08:57 AM 03-15-2012
Originally Posted by Sunchimes:
I have 2 right across the street from me. I don't know if the links will be helpful, but it will give you an idea of how some of them work.

http://www.hillsborofbc.org/715710
http://hillsborofumc.com/?page_id=81
thank you for the link. It looks as though the church designed the program under their own entity, and not separate. their curriculum is faith based as well. thank you for sharing!
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jojosmommy 11:43 AM 03-15-2012
There is a huge one in our community and always has a waitlist! Has numerous rooms for each age range because of the number of interested families. Be certain that the church will undoubtedly offer scholarships or funding for families who can't pay so work those details out before you even go down that road. And Unless you can run without head start funding I would stay away from that. Our local program has had such enormous ups and downs with funding they are always cutting programs then adding them back if funds end up returning.
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shelby_ 04:19 PM 09-08-2012
im a 20 year old female lookin for a position at a church daycare...i recently left a church daycare because of the work conditions...i really like to get back to work being...i have about 3 years experience working with children...im looking for that opprotunity again and hopefully a great director will give me the chance...my number is 202-489-4466 looking to start immediatly.
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DaisyMamma 05:45 AM 09-09-2012
In my area there are a lot of church daycares. They seem to be successful.

If I were you I would open/file independently so that the business is yours. I would also consider doing just preschool, as the hours are so much better! You could always decide to offer "before care" and "after care".

Good luck. What a great opportunity!
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Unregistered 12:11 PM 09-10-2012
My daughter attended a private preschool run in a church property. Every Friday afternoon the owner was asking any and all parents to volunteer to help pack up ALL supplies for storage. And she was there early every Mon morning to completely rebuild her classroom. Luckily they had a storage building for her use on the property. Just a consideration for sharing spaces.
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Unregistered 12:02 PM 02-25-2014
Ive heard that churches are exempt from having to be licensed as childcare provider? Is this still the case if you are leasing space from the church. Also does anyone know if churches are tax exempt for childcare income?
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llpa 05:05 PM 02-25-2014
I own a daycare ( private, licensed) inside a church where I lease my space for my profit. The church is my landlord. I have a lease w the church, had to have the space meet code for childcare centers and the entire process to open was about fifteen months. I am also in PA so if you have questions PM me and I will answer as best I can. I opened in Sept 2013. When you do it this way the church is the same as any other space you wld rent, with all the typical licensing requirements of the state of PA.
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Unregistered 08:32 AM 05-14-2014
Originally Posted by llpa:
I own a daycare ( private, licensed) inside a church where I lease my space for my profit. The church is my landlord. I have a lease w the church, had to have the space meet code for childcare centers and the entire process to open was about fifteen months. I am also in PA so if you have questions PM me and I will answer as best I can. I opened in Sept 2013. When you do it this way the church is the same as any other space you wld rent, with all the typical licensing requirements of the state of PA.
Hello,

I just came across this thread and the information is very helpful. We are a church looking to start a daycare or pre-k program, and I wanted to make sure we do everything correctly. Is there any way I can contact you and get some information?

Thanks so much.

Chris
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llpa 08:45 AM 05-14-2014
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Hello,

I just came across this thread and the information is very helpful. We are a church looking to start a daycare or pre-k program, and I wanted to make sure we do everything correctly. Is there any way I can contact you and get some information?

Thanks so much.

Chris
Sure! Don't forget tho I am renting from the church so my standards and codes may be completely diff than a church operating for profit or as a nonprofit. You can contact me via facebook at Little Learners Preschool Academy LLC or join the forum and just pm me
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Unregistered 08:57 AM 05-14-2014
Originally Posted by llpa:
Sure! Don't forget tho I am renting from the church so my standards and codes may be completely diff than a church operating for profit or as a nonprofit. You can contact me via facebook at Little Learners Preschool Academy LLC or join the forum and just pm me
That's fine. Any advice would be very helpful. We aren't sure what avenue we will pursue.
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llpa 09:08 AM 05-14-2014
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Hello,

I just came across this thread and the information is very helpful. We are a church looking to start a daycare or pre-k program, and I wanted to make sure we do everything correctly. Is there any way I can contact you and get some information?

Thanks so much.

Chris
Chris are you in PA?
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maddy 11:16 AM 09-19-2018
I am planning to ask a church to lease their Sunday school room for running a day care. can you please give me tips on the difficulties you faced during the process?
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Tags:2012, church, church daycare, exemption, religion - in daycare, tax exempt
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