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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>I Would Like To Open Up A Child Care Center...
dan2013 04:22 PM 10-03-2013
O.k. some basics: I'm a man.. 29 years of age... I live in New York and don't have any child care experience or certifications. With all of that said, I want to open up a child care center.

I do have experience teaching kids in a karate school and looking after younger family members but that's about it. Because of my lack of experience, and me feeling that since I'm a man, I may discourage business, I plan to hire child care workers and a director.

Some questions...

What do you believe is a good teacher to child ratio to not overwhelm staff but still make a decent profit? I want to hire at least two teachers, two assistants, and a director. I anticipate the center should accommodate about 20 kids.

Do you believe (and consider the fact that I'm in New York) that $225 a week or $900 a month per child is o.k. In my local area the prices vary around 140-180 per week. But I figure with a low staff to child ratio and a better curriculum or services, I can offer a higher price point.

Where can I find a mentor? At times I feel so lost when I'm working on my business plan and would like to be guided by a mentor who's experienced throughout the process. My local SCORE office doesn't have anyone with child care experience. If you feel that you can assist me... even if you're in a different area of the country... please get back to me.

And last question... what books would you recommend that I read? Whatever child care books that are suggested, I 'll definitely check it out.. if it's available at my library.

Thank you all in advance!
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butterfly 06:25 PM 10-03-2013
first contact your local licensing dept. They will be able to tell you the ratio requirements in your state and if the facility your looking to use is even capable of becoming licensed for daycare.

In my area, 20 children would not support 2 teachers, 2 assistants, a director, and myself and cover all the expenses involved in running the center. It would be tough to have 20 children cover my wages with an assistant and the facilities expenses...

Maybe your local licensing dept can help set you up with a mentor.

Read Tom Copeland's books!

Good luck!

And... your sex and lack of experience should not affect your ability to be successful as long as your heart is in it.
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Margarete 06:53 PM 10-03-2013
2 teachers, and 2 assistants for 20 kids sounds pretty reasonable, In California ratio requirements are 1:4 for infants, and 1:6 for preschool or mixed ages 0-5 (limiting infants). So 1:5, 4:20 ratio sounds about right to me, and the price is just on the high side of what centers charge in my area depending on child's age (they often charge more for infants, and less for preschoolers generally).

I don't know what ratio's are required/ typical in your area, so I would first double check what ratio's are required, and what is typical for the centers charging 140-180/ week, to see if that will give you an edge. As a parent I would absolutely be willing to pay more for a lower ratio, everything else considered equal.
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Michael 06:56 PM 10-03-2013
Start here: https://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=598
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Unregistered 09:12 PM 10-03-2013
What kind of knowledge education or background experience do you have in child care?
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Sugar Magnolia 03:10 AM 10-04-2013
My husband and I opened a small center, I would be glad to help. I don't know anything about NY law or requirements, but can help with general ideas, process, etc.
Your price sounds good to me. I also do quality over quantity and get a premium price.
You can PM me anytime.
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dan2013 05:28 AM 10-04-2013
Originally Posted by butterfly:
first contact your local licensing dept. They will be able to tell you the ratio requirements in your state and if the facility your looking to use is even capable of becoming licensed for daycare.

In my area, 20 children would not support 2 teachers, 2 assistants, a director, and myself and cover all the expenses involved in running the center. It would be tough to have 20 children cover my wages with an assistant and the facilities expenses...

Maybe your local licensing dept can help set you up with a mentor.

Read Tom Copeland's books!

Good luck!

And... your sex and lack of experience should not affect your ability to be successful as long as your heart is in it.

Thanks for your reply to my post!

On this site and another, the ratio requirements for New York, this is what I found:

6 weeks - 9 months
(1:4) - Maximum Group Size 8
18 Weeks to 27 Months
(1:5) - Maximum Group Size 12
3 years (1:7) - Maximum Group Size 18
4 years (1:8) - Maximum Group Size 21
5 years (1:9) - Maximum Group Size 24
6 - 9 years (1:10) - Maximum Group Size 20
10 -12 years (1:15) - Maximum Group Size 30

As I mentioned, I'd like to have a low child to staff ratio. I figure starting out, either I'd accept 18 months-5 year olds with one teacher looking after 18 months to 2 and the other 3-5... Or I'd simply have mixed age groups for both teachers. But I don't want to overwhelm staff- so I figure maybe 8 or 9 kids per class. And thanks for the book recommendation...I'll check out Tom Copeland books when I can!
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dan2013 05:33 AM 10-04-2013
Originally Posted by Margarete:
2 teachers, and 2 assistants for 20 kids sounds pretty reasonable, In California ratio requirements are 1:4 for infants, and 1:6 for preschool or mixed ages 0-5 (limiting infants). So 1:5, 4:20 ratio sounds about right to me, and the price is just on the high side of what centers charge in my area depending on child's age (they often charge more for infants, and less for preschoolers generally).

I don't know what ratio's are required/ typical in your area, so I would first double check what ratio's are required, and what is typical for the centers charging 140-180/ week, to see if that will give you an edge. As a parent I would absolutely be willing to pay more for a lower ratio, everything else considered equal.
Yeah I figure that I wouldn't take infants in the beginning. When I hire more staff, I may take infants with the new staff looking after them.

And it's good to hear that you would pay more for a lower ratio. I was a bit worried, even if all things were considered equal, that number may be a bit to high. But in order for me to make a profit and pay back investors, those numbers seem to work in the long run.

Thanks for your reply!
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dan2013 05:35 AM 10-04-2013
Originally Posted by Michael:
Start here: https://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=598
Thanks Michael! I'll check out that thread shortly.
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dan2013 05:42 AM 10-04-2013
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
What kind of knowledge education or background experience do you have in child care?
When it comes to the Child Care business? None. The only experience that I even have working with kids, is looking after my girlfriend's (or my sister's) child here and there when they have things to do and I'm available, I taught in a karate school training kids 7-12 and as a junior counselor for a summer youth program that I did when I was 15 looking after 5-7 year olds.

I'm currently looking for good books to read on the subject- and I'm educating myself on the business through articles and other people's experience with a child care service.

The things that I've done job wise is clerical work in a office, I was a matchmaker/relationship coach, and I have a background in security... nothing that was child care related.
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slorey 05:46 AM 10-04-2013
Are you looking at opening an actual center or an in home program? I am thinking based on what you said that you are looking at centers. Just so you know, in a center, if you do mixed ages, you have to follow the ratio for the youngest age in the group. Check out the new york state office of children and family services website. They should have a lot of info and you can find the state regs there as well. Sorry I don't know the website off the top of my head. I have been a teacher and director in child care centers and now currently run an in home family child care, so feel free to contact me with any questions. Some info I have might be outdated, as I was a director 14 years ago, but I assume the basics are the same. Oh, and I am in new york, and all my experience has been in new york as well. Good luck!
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dan2013 05:48 AM 10-04-2013
Originally Posted by Sugar Magnolia:
My husband and I opened a small center, I would be glad to help. I don't know anything about NY law or requirements, but can help with general ideas, process, etc.
Your price sounds good to me. I also do quality over quantity and get a premium price.
You can PM me anytime.
I would love to be mentored by you! I'll PM you later on today. I have to head out real quick. Thanks!
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dan2013 10:58 AM 10-04-2013
Originally Posted by slorey:
Are you looking at opening an actual center or an in home program? I am thinking based on what you said that you are looking at centers. Just so you know, in a center, if you do mixed ages, you have to follow the ratio for the youngest age in the group. Check out the new york state office of children and family services website. They should have a lot of info and you can find the state regs there as well. Sorry I don't know the website off the top of my head. I have been a teacher and director in child care centers and now currently run an in home family child care, so feel free to contact me with any questions. Some info I have might be outdated, as I was a director 14 years ago, but I assume the basics are the same. Oh, and I am in new york, and all my experience has been in new york as well. Good luck!
Thanks for your reply and valuable information.

Yes I'm currently looking to open a center. I assume 20 would be the max amount to accommodate- but I would like to have two teachers (with assistants of course) and a director.

I believe any information you could provide, especially since you're in NY, would be helpful, so I'll contact you shortly.

Thanks again!
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melskids 11:57 AM 10-04-2013
New Yorker here too! My advice would be to contact your local licensing. They should be able to walk you through everything you need to know.

http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/childcare/default.asp
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dan2013 07:34 AM 10-05-2013
Originally Posted by melskids:
New Yorker here too! My advice would be to contact your local licensing. They should be able to walk you through everything you need to know.

http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/childcare/default.asp
Thanks for sharing your thoughts my fellow New Yorker! I'm in the process of checking it out.
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