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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

How to start a day care business at home?



“Managing my kid is such a headache. How can anyone manage many like him together?” Often a home maker steps away from venturing into starting a day care because of this inability. But factually, kids are full of energy and if you can divert this stupendous energy into something engaging, there can’t be anything better than operating a crèche. The fun and laughter filled atmosphere that they bring in is incomparable with other happiness in life. And the best part is that you can start off your day care centre right from your home.

Why is day care an ideal business opportunity for women at home?


Many working couple find managing kids as the biggest pain than the stress at work. If things are not fine at home, how can someone focus on his or her career goals? The frequent disturbing thoughts like is he eating properly, or has he taken his nap, is he all safe at home, is he throwing tantrums, etc keep haunting a dutiful parent.  Every such working parent yearns to have someone trustworthy to look after the kid. Some are lucky enough to have a dedicated maid to take care of their little ones. Yet when they don’t turn up one fine day, things go for a toss. A permanent solution to take care of kids is to put them in a crèche.

A crèche or day care centre allows a child to explore a world different from his home. Having peers to mingle with can make him socially active. Such an environment helps him to grow in a more rewarding manner.  And the parents too can focus on their career. Any home maker can utilise someone’s weakness in bringing up a kid to her benefit by opening up a day care centre at home.  The warmth and love that you shower on the kids return to you in multiples. And you will find this as better pass time than trying to take a nap or watching a cookery show on television.  So what all exactly do you need other than home to start your day care?

Setting up a day care at home


Before you go ahead with turning your home into a day care you should have a proper plan and vision about it. You should have a fair idea of the total required space that can be utilised for your crèche. For that, you should know in advance how many kids you can accommodate and the preferred age group that you can handle. Apart from the space, you should provide a child friendly environment to make the most out of your day care. By child friendly it means to have a safe, entertaining atmosphere. To get an exact idea of running a crèche, you can visit an adjacent day care centre.  

Child safe environment: A child safe environment allows the kid to be a free spirit without hurting himself in anyway. Ensure that all the outdoor exits like doors, windows and balconies are properly locked during the operating hours of the crèche. This ascertains that the kid cannot go out of the centre without your permission. All the sharp, heavy objects needs to be covered up or moved to another location away from the kids. If your budget allows, you can cushion the floor with colourful mats. To ensure the safety of the kid, you should limit the dropping and picking of kids at the door of the day care centre and that too only to authorised persons.

Entertaining and Engaging kids: Depending on the age group of the kids, you can plan for different ways to entertain them, the more creative your ideas are, the better. Most of the kids do enjoy drawing or painting and you can keep them occupied with a set of pencils, papers and crayons. Yet another way to entertain kids is to dance with them. Put some moderately loud music and get them follow your steps. If you practise yoga you can engage the kids by letting them follow some easy postures. You can invoke the inherent inquisitiveness in kids by showing them simple science experiments like why plastic floats and stone sinks in water.   

Having a mini garden where kids can grow their plants will make them understand how plant grows. You can enhance their creativity by teaching them some hobby ideas like paper crafts or stitching. If the kids are school going ones, you can help them finish their homework and revise the curriculum at school. You can read out stories or play puzzles and games to entertain them. Internet has opened up a vast window to teach kids whatever they are curious about. Shortlist good videos and let them enjoy. And as a surprise you can play Tom and Jerry cartoons once in a while to let them laugh their heart out.

Food and water: Kids tend to be more hungry when at a place other than own home. While planning for the crèche, have a proper menu in mind to feed the little ones. Ensure that the food is healthy and hygienic. Providing something that everyone is fond of is a better solution. Also water or fruit juices can keep the energy level high. You can limit giving junk food to the kids to special occasions like a birthday celebration or some festival etc.

Toilet: After the hunger and thirst, then comes the toilet. You will find kids making frequent trips to toilet. In your crèche plan have a proper solution for accommodating this need. If you are planning to accommodate more than 4-5 kids you will definitely need more than one toilet and possibly a helper to attend them.
Timing: You should know what time of the day is convenient for you to conduct the day care at home. The timing should be such that your free hours at home is utilised for this and not bothering the rest of the members of the family. Fix the timing so that it is easy for the kids to attend too. Inform your kith and kin in advance of the timing so that they never end up complaining about your unavailability later.   

Fees: Have a fair idea of the running expenses of the crèche and make a fee structure per kid. The fees should cover the operating cost and fetch you some pocket money. If you are still ambiguous about how to setup the fee, just enquire at the nearby day care centres. Also you can look around for the affordability of parents so that the fee that you are charging is not too high either.

Managing worst case scenarios: Your plan should accommodate the worst case scenarios like managing with an emergency. If at all a kid gets hurt or if suffering from some injury, be ready to rush him to the nearest paediatrician. Have some emergency cash ready in case you have to take him to a hospital.  Also you should be strict about not allowing an unwell kid to attend the crèche till he is alright, thus saving other kids. Once the crèche time is over and if nobody turns up to pick the kid, you should have a provision to temporarily extend his timing. Also sometimes you may have to suspend the crèche; for example if you fall sick or you are travelling to your native or you have some guests at home. Talk to the parents’ in advance about any such possible holiday.

Advertising: Once the setting up is done and things are in place you can advertise to get kids. Word of mouth, attaching pamphlets with newspaper with the help of newspaper boy or JustDial can be tried depending on your budget. You can also put up a notice at the nearby preschool after talking to the school authorities.

Why setting up a day care centre is easier than you imagine


Every woman is naturally gifted to take care of kids. And if you are a mom, definitely you have mastered the art of managing kids. This inborn talent can be put to use by setting up a day care centre at your own home. To set up a day care, no prior experience is required but Montessori training can be an added benefit. Kids demand warmth and love from their care takers. And to be successful, you just need to be their good friend and guide. Once you are up and running you can think of scaling up your crèche to a hobby class or a preschool according to your preferences.You can find a decent name for it and invest more money in it to make it more professional.

Many working women prefer to put their kids in crèche as it allows the parents to continue building their career without compromising on the upbringing up of their kids. The kids enjoy their time there as they are occupied with some activity or other and having friends to play with make them socially active. Indeed, it will be very happy for the parents to receive a happy kid back home after a tedious working day!