Have you ever wanted to start you own day care but hated the long hours? Here is a possible solution with a built-in breaks between shifts to catch your breath.
Set up a part-time day care program and cater to other work at home moms. You could have one group in the mornings from 8-11, and another in the afternoon from 12-3. Most likely the majority of children you will care for are preschoolers and younger. In addition to diapering/potty training, you would be responsible for providing activities, reading stories, and preparing snacks for each shift. Start by contacting your area family day care office for regulations. You are required to go through a screening process and a series of training courses. The family daycare office will give you guidelines on how many children you may care for at one time and how much space you will need to begin your venture. They will also brief you on food handling, safety, and child abuse. Also remember to consult with your insurance agent about liability coverage for your business
If you already have children, you may not have to buy toys and books. Just be sure to inspect toys before approving them for your program. Check out your lending library and AAFES stores for activity and resource books. Designate a space to display art work etc. for your children. A good place would be where you would have your parents sign the children in and out. Also before you throw anything out make sure it can’t be recycled for the program. Empty paper towel rolls can be used in art projects. Old baby food jars can double as push pins containers for the bulletin board. You get the idea.
Small children respond well to learning from themes. If you have school age children, you may already be familiar with the format. For example, you have a theme on family. You could have the children bring in some pictures of their family members and let them share and tell. Another day you could talk to the children about the differences in family make-up, i.e., single parent families, etc. Make snacks a part of the fun as well. Include children in the preparation. Their snack can also be a great learning experience.
Keep a spare supply of diapers, wipes, formula (regular and soy), extra clothes, and a first aid kit on hand. Make sure to document any and all accidents, and notify parents. On a daily basis make sure the area that the children will occupy is completely childproof. Try to leave as many age appropriate items as possible down within their reach to keep wondering eyes and hands busy.
To market your service start by telling everyone you know about your new program. Print up flyers and business cards, post them everywhere you can get permission. You can also place an ad in the classified section of your newspaper. Word of mouth by far is the strongest marketing strategy in the child care business. Almost anyone will prefer a recommendation to an advertisement. Offer an incentive to parents by giving them a discount on services for referrals.