Early childhood development (ECD) refers to that stage where young children are taught or cared for by people other than their family, or in settings outside of the home. This is typically before the age of normal schooling. Day care refers to the daytime supervision of children. Thus, an ECD day care business focuses on the daytime care and supervision of young children who have not yet reached normal schooling age. A day care business is a very lucrative and profitable business venture. In the past it was common for parents to stay at home with their children during the day, therefore Early Child Development (ECD) day care centers were seen as more of a luxury than a necessity. Today, only one a few children stay at home with their parents during the day. Challenging economic and financial times have prompted many parents to seek employment. In this regard, in most homes, both parents rarely have time to spend with their toddlers. This has led to increased demand for childcare services. Therefore, the ECD day care business is one of the most lucrative in the world today. With parents becoming busier and children being born every day, it is unlikely that you will struggle to find clients for your preschool business. This article will outline how to start the ECD Day Care business, and the day care business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.
While childcare services are in high demand, it is important to note that there are many other daycare centers already in existence. Thus you have to carry out a market research. This includes assessing the demand and supply of day care centers in your area. As part of your market research, you should interview your potential customers i.e. talk to several parents and families, asking what kind of day care services they could benefit from. Identify the day care center businesses which are already operating in your area i.e. your competitors. Note their strengths and weaknesses, and plan on how you can distinguish yourself from the competition. Ways of distinguishing your business include the kind of facilities at your daycare center, and the nature & quality of services which you offer. Most importantly you require a detailed day care business plan before you venture into this business.
You can charge your services by the hour. This is because some parents or guardians might not leave their children there daily. The other approach fits well for those who leave their children daily. You can charge them as if you are charging school fees. It could be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or even quarterly. Parents or guardians can pay more for other specialist services you might choose to offer. You can extend to product sales for things like children toys, books, clothing, and the like.
Location and Premises for a Day Care
Obviously the ECD Day care centre should be located close to your target market. This is usually in the residential areas where your target market resides. One of the biggest challenges to overcome when starting a day care centre is find suitable premises for it. Suitable sites may be difficult to find or they maybe just too expensive. You have to make a decision on the size and type of premises that you require. This will be determined by the intended size and services of your ECD Day care centre. Usually you will have to rent an already existing building, and renovate it till its suitable to be a day care centre. Sufficient parking should be provided for staff and visitors. The premises should have a large playground for the kids. Take into consideration the impact of playground noise on the neighbourhood. Consider impact of vehicles and increased traffic especially with respect to drop off and pickup of children. Ideally the front entrance should be equipped with a security system and/or intercom. The structure and layout of the building should be such that it does not pose difficulties in the supervision of children or danger to children. The premise you settle on should have sufficient square footage for children to play, eat and sleep. Also, it should be big enough to make it easy to separate kids into different age groups. Also consider the space that will house the toys, furniture, and storage. The indoor space should be large enough to accommodate the desired number of children. The costs of acquiring or renting the premises should be included in the business plan for ECD Centre.
Context And Associated Circumstances Matter
The ECD day care business’ competition dynamics depends on the context in question. Some locations do not have any ECD day care centers. Some locations have one or several. Find out where existing ECD day care centers are located. Some are located in central business districts, some at the peripheries of central business districts. Other ECD day care centers are located within residential neighbourhoods. The point here is that ECD day care centers can be situated anywhere. It is contextual and premised on wide-ranging circumstances. To not do guesswork you must find out who your competitors are, if any. It might not be surprising to find that you could be breaking new ground in a particular location.
Figuring Out How To Offer A Superior Value Proposition
This brings us to another competition dynamic. Why would parents or guardians prefer to find someone to babysit as opposed to using an ECD day care center? A look into that can help you understand what you would need to do to make your ECD day care center competitive. If there are indeed direct competitor ECD day care centers close-by, study them. Find out about their services, the prices, operating hours, the types of clients they serve, their location and why that location, amongst others. There is never a shortage of ways through which you can differentiate your ECD day care business.
There is a lot of equipment which is required for a preschool. This includes various types of play equipment (for both indoors and outdoors), safety equipment, computers, kitchen equipment, furniture, education equipment and cleaning equipment. Other requirements include toys, children books, arts and crafts materials. There is also need of safety devices (e.g., first-aid kits, carbon-monoxide detectors, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, child-proofing supplies, etc.). If you decide to offer transport services to the children, you will have to purchase a vehicle. The preschool business plan should cater for the costs of purchasing the furniture and equipment.
Permits/Licenses, Insurance & Business Bank Account
Permits Or Licenses
Get the ECD day care business formally registered as a business or company. You might have to get it registered with an applicable regulatory board. This will depend on the laws that apply to your specific region. In some places, an ECD day care business must get registered with a regulatory education board. You have to find out what applies to your context. You must also check with your respective local authorities. They might need to ratify and formalize your operations by giving you an operating license. At the end of the day you must ensure you are licensed properly or you have all the requisite permits. Your personnel that handle the children also need to be properly certified.
Insurance & Business Bank Account
You are dealing with young children here; your ECD day care business must be comprehensively covered. Insurance cover must cater for property and the children as well. You would not want a situation where something happens and you have no insurance cover. Not only will it lead to material or human damage or loss; you can end up in jail. Protect your personal monies from any liabilities that may stem from the ECD day care business. You can do this by opening a business bank account for your ECD day care business. That way the finances will not mix.
Capital for ECD Day Care Centre
One of the most important factors to consider when starting a business is seed capital. For a day care business, you will need to have a substantial amount of money. This money will cater for the premise to be rented, the furniture and equipment. Also, you will need to draft a budget for your business. When drafting a budget be sure to reserve a certain amount of money for future monetary needs. When drafting a budget, it is important to consider how many employees you will be hiring and whether you will be renting space or using already existing space either in your house or in your commercial premise. Also, calculate the amount of money you will require to spend on furniture, toys and other equipment. The amount of money will vary depending on the nature and size of your daycare center. That’s it’s very important to have a good and detailed daycare business plan.
The expenses for operating daycare center business include rent, wages, food, transport, advertising, licencing, insurance, food and utility fees. So the expenses of running a daycare center are quite substantial; however, so are the profits that accrue from your business. Your revenue will come from the money which the customers pay for their children to come to your ECD day care center. When you follow all the requisite legal avenues without cutting corners, you will be able to recoup your investment within a short period of time.
Staff & Management
To be successful as an ECD day care business owner, it is important that you hire qualified and well-trained staff. When hiring staff for your business, it is important to outline a clear criterion to follow. This criterion may include experience working with children, education background, and a clean criminal record. Another important tip is to ensure that each one of your clients signs a contract. This contract will outline what services your business will be offering as well as the fee. The contract should also include a policy statement. The required staff depends on the size of the early childhood education centre. You need child minders, teachers, assistants, kitchen staff, security and logistics personnel. The ECD Day Care Centre business plan should cater for the salaries and wages costs.
As with any other business, it is important to maintain books of accounts that show clearly how much money you spend on running the business. The financial statements should also indicate how much profits your business makes. Also, do not mix business and personal funds.
Be Visible Online
If you want your ECD day care business to be quickly discovered, be visible online. It might seem unnecessary but putting up a website for your ECD day care business is paramount. There are countless people who will search for such businesses online. Set up social media accounts for the ECD day care business as well. Include clear and actionable details on all your online content. Include an up to date Google Maps location of the place. Include high definition visuals outlining the facility, services, and prices. Always post regular and engaging content.
Inspire, Solicit, And Propagate User-Generated Content
When it comes to the ECD day care business, word of mouth and referrals are the secret. Often time parents or guardians will only leave their children at ECD day care centers recommended by others. This is usually people who would have used (or use) the ECD day care center. People whose word they trust. This means you can spread brand awareness by inspiring your clients to make positive reviews and testimonials. By propagating such user-generated content you increase the likelihood of more clients who value such social proofs.
Approach Parent Or Guardian Communities
You can push your marketing by identifying parent or guardian communities. For instance, you can tap into residents associations. You can tap into employee groupings. You can even tap into business people or entrepreneur groupings. You can do this offline or online. You can sell you ECD day care business to such communities and generate substantial leads.
There are many reasons why starting a daycare business is a hugely rewarding venture. The demand for child care services is on the increase. The number of women in their childbearing years joining the labor force has increased and will continue to increase. Every year millions of children are being born. Thus your day care business is assured of customers. To attract more clients through referrals, ensure that all children in your day care are well cared for nurtured and play in a safe environment. The primary customers of your day care center will be working mothers and small families that want a place where they can leave their children. A proper marketing strategy should be included in your day care centre business plan.
Working with children can be stressful. However, given that children are usually honest, working with them can be a breath of fresh air especially if you have worked with adults in the past. Therefore, apart from being a highly lucrative business venture, starting a preschool business is also emotionally rewarding. This is especially true since you get to learn and understand human development and different human personalities. Starting a daycare business is challenging; however, this is something that applies to all businesses. Additionally, you will recover the money you invest when starting the business once your ECD center is up and running.
Keys To Profitability
Reputation is important in this line of business. Clients want peace of mind knowing their children are safe. Many security risks these days. They also want an ECD day care center that provides holistic services. Your ECD day care business must provide a better alternative to a client just finding someone to babysit at home. You have to sell and provide benefits and convenience. Cost management is important since enrolment is typically not that big. You need to keep your operating costs at bay to maximize on profits. Inspire customer loyalty and reward referrals to enjoy business growth.
Ascertain the presence of a market before starting an ECD day care business. Not every place is ideal for an ECD day care center. Find cheaper ways of starting it e.g. renting or converting your or part of your house. Find out as much as you can from target parents or guardians prior.
Pre-Written Day Care Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the day care business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive ECD centre business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the preschool business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the business, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global day care business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your day care business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. This is a complete business plan for a day care centre. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the ECD business.
Uses of the Preschool Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The day care business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your ECD Day care centre business
- As a day care business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the preschool business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Day Care Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The business plan for ECD Centre includes, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- Risk Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in the day care business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your day care business
The day care business plan package consists of 4 files
- ECD Day Care Centre Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 81 Pages)
- ECD Day Care Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 81 Pages)
- ECD Day Care Centre Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 46 pages)
- ECD Day Care Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of students, salaries etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Day Care Business Plan (PDF)
Get the ECD Day Care Centre Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
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