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  #1  
Old 01-04-2019, 08:54 AM
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Default How Early to Start Advertising New Home Daycare?

Hi everyone, I am new here and the information on this forum has been so helpful so far.

I am pregnant with my first child and I want to quit my full time job and start a home daycare after she is born. I am due at the end of May and I was thinking I will open my daycare early in September. I am hoping to find 2-3 toddlers/preschoolers to enroll by September.

My concern is quitting my full time job before I have daycare clients lined up. I can't afford to not have income. My question is, how early should I start advertising? I know it can take a while to fill up daycare spots. I am in a busy metro area where good home daycares have waiting lists but I am reluctant to leave my job without having some kids lined up. I plan to take maternity leave until mid-August so I have until then to see if I can get families to sign up. Is it too early to start advertising now? Has anyone else been in this situation? Any advice?

Thank you!
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:21 AM
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Have you begun the licensing portion yet? Most have rules of when to start.
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:52 AM
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in our area, most of the enrolments happen at August-September. You can start advertising now but mention that your program will start at the coming September.
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:14 AM
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I'm starting the licensing steps now, I'll look into that, thanks
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ColorfulSunburst View Post
in our area, most of the enrolments happen at August-September. You can start advertising now but mention that your program will start at the coming September.
That's good to know, thanks!
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
Have you begun the licensing portion yet? Most have rules of when to start.
Depending on your state you can sometimes watch up to a certain number of kids without a license. In my state I can watch up to 3 children (counting my own) without a license. I found a pair of full time siblings to get me started, so I watched them and one other child until I finished getting my license.
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
Have you begun the licensing portion yet? Most have rules of when to start.
I'm starting the licensing steps now, I'll look into that, thanks
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by much_lovee View Post
Depending on your state you can sometimes watch up to a certain number of kids without a license. In my state I can watch up to 3 children (counting my own) without a license. I found a pair of full time siblings to get me started, so I watched them and one other child until I finished getting my license.
Right, from what I have read, in my state, I can watch up to 4 children without a state license. However, my county requires a business license for home daycare so I'm looking into those requirements now.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:50 PM
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Wow, 4 without a license?! I'm in Alabama and we can't have even one single child without a license, unless they're related. Also, no advertising is allowed until the license is in hand. They're super strict.

I think the fact that you can have 4 without a license will help you tremendously in making a smooth transition. You'll have an income while still getting your license in place. You could practice permanently without a license since that limit is so high, but I wouldn't recommend it. Parents, at least in my area, want licensed caregivers. But that could be because they know it's illegal here.

And I think it's fine to advertise now. Pregnant moms usually start hunting for childcare well in advance. That's been my experience, at least.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by NotInKansas View Post
Wow, 4 without a license?! I'm in Alabama and we can't have even one single child without a license, unless they're related. Also, no advertising is allowed until the license is in hand. They're super strict.

I think the fact that you can have 4 without a license will help you tremendously in making a smooth transition. You'll have an income while still getting your license in place. You could practice permanently without a license since that limit is so high, but I wouldn't recommend it. Parents, at least in my area, want licensed caregivers. But that could be because they know it's illegal here.

And I think it's fine to advertise now. Pregnant moms usually start hunting for childcare well in advance. That's been my experience, at least.
I'm in Iowa and we can have 5. I did child care in WI and was licensed but you can care for 6 - three related children ( your own or a relatives) and three other without county certification or state licensing.

Wow! You can't advertise till licensed?
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:41 AM
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Sounds like you're doing your homework. As long as advertising early is allowed, I say start soon. People often look months ahead for daycare, especially if a family has a newcomer. Like you, they may have plans to look for care in September and may want to find something now.

Is your place ready for showing, or would you just build up an "interested" list and do showings and interviews a bit later?
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:21 PM
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Welcome to the forum it is a great resource so be sure to search old threads, take time reading and learning and put items in place to reduce headache later.

Get licensed! Even if you can watch 4 children w/o a license it may be in your your best interest to be licensed and if not to at minimum aim to follow the license guidelines / best practices. (Both business license wise and child care license wise)

While waiting for your license establish a website, have marketing materials made (flyers, business cards, post cards, etc.), work on your handbook and contract, etc. In my state you need a license # to market the business but they were okay with me marketing an open house, or pending openings so long as it was clear licensing was pending.

I would suggest specializing in infant only care if you want/need consistent guaranteed income. In this field the new providers who never seem to lack clients is with infant care.... that is if you like and can handle that age. I specialized in care for 2 years until entry to school and I am competing with large preschools/center and free or reduced cost public options.

I love my age range and so enjoy them but from a business stand point wish I set up for infant care for more stable income. The trade off is with the age I am caring (and the area I live in) my day ends earlier than if I offered infant care.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LK5kids View Post
I'm in Iowa and we can have 5. I did child care in WI and was licensed but you can care for 6 - three related children ( your own or a relatives) and three other without county certification or state licensing.

Wow! You can't advertise till licensed?
Nope! There's an entire section in our Minimum Standards about how we're not allowed to advertise prior to licensing. And not one single child without a license. Alabama is super strict. They make it really difficult to get started.
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