You have decided to start on the journey to turn doing what you love, caring for children, into a career. Opening an At-Home Daycare, is an amazing way to earn added income while raising your own child, or to apply your past experience from working in a daycare. Whatever the reason, here are some things you should keep in mind before opening your At-Home Daycare!
1: Set Boundaries in your Home
Let’s not deny that children are the next generation’s little explorers. Their curiosity urges them to discover the unknown, and in this case, it may be your private study, closet, or even your bedroom. Inviting your work life into your home is an interesting subject. The amount of privacy you have is reduced significantly, so be sure to set up barriers.
2: Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
Home is often the place of respite where people relax to de-stress from work and other life problems. Since you’ll be combining these two worlds, it is important you set time in the day to de-stress, un-wind, and mentally reset for the next day. Whether it be something as simple as lighting a candle and reading a couple chapters of a book, or taking a short walk around the neighborhood find what brings you peace. Caring for others is a lot easier when you’ve taken care of yourself.
3: Create and Stick to a Schedule
From opening to closing, it’s imperative that you have a set schedule. Snack time, nap time, play time, etc. should all occur at a set time every day otherwise you may have a difficult time monitoring everything ranging from the inventory of snacks to children’s locations. Take your learning day by day. Learn how to track meals with the CACFP Meal Tracking feature of the Kinderlime Sign In-Out app.
4: Market Yourself
If you want to continue your passion in the long run, it’s important that you are able to differentiate your services from your neighbors who are also running an at-home daycare. If you’re unsure of how to brand yourself, start with figuring out your purpose for starting your business. What unique impact can you leave on potential customers? Survey your competition if needed.
If you need a bit of inspiration, check out:
7 Tips to Increase Attendance in Your Afterschool Program
5: Word of Mouth is More Effective Than You Think
One of the hardest decisions a parent makes when sending their child to daycare is choosing which one. There are many questions parents ask themselves before handing their child to a stranger. That concern is often lifted when they are referred to a place by a friend, and recruitment becomes a lot easier. So the next time a parent leaves, ask them to rate your services so that they start thinking about your service. If everything goes well, you may find your business growing.
6: Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
When people are first starting their business, one common mistake they make is saying yes at every whim. Don’t be afraid to say no to customers. Customers will often request special treatment outside the scope of your work and if you are uncomfortable doing so, don’t hesitate to say no. Saying yes too often may lead to unintentional results, such as word of mouth spreading your ‘new’ services that were originally intended for one customer. While it’s okay to accommodate and make compromises, don’t forget that you are running a business and if you don’t want to or are unable to provide a service, it’s entirely fine to say no.
7: Prepare for the Bad Days
Operating a daycare is plenty stressful. It’s hard work – you have to manage time for not just yourself, but the time for all the children you’re watching. While we wish that it was always sunshine and rainbows, the reality is that there will be days it’s raining. There will be moments when things don’t go according to plan; someone got hurt, children aren’t listening, and parents are unhappy with the services. Here are our Top 4 Daycare Safety Mistakes you should note in order to avoid accidents.
8: Have fun!
There will be times when you’re not in your groove, but don’t forget that at the end of the day, you’re doing what you love. You are making your vision come true!