Not all parents need full-time day care for their children. Some of them just need child care every once in while so they can go to the grocery store, make a hair appointment or take a much needed break. So instead of paying the hefty price to enroll their children in full-time child care programs, these parents opt for drop-in service. Learn to start a drop-in daycare with these steps.
Decide if you want to run your drop-in day care service in your home or in a separate building. Running a drop-in day care inside your home will limit the number of kids you're allowed to care for at one time, but your overhead costs will be minimal. If you choose to run your drop-in day care outside of the home, you can have as many children as the square footage of the building will allow.
Apply for a day care license. Check with your state licensing agency to find out what the requirements are to run a drop-in day care in your area. Typically, drop-in day care services are required to meet the same standards as full-time day care programs.
Get a criminal background check. Before you're officially license to operate a child care center, you will be required to pass a criminal background check through both the federal and state bureaus of investigation.
Get the necessary child development training, as well as pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first-aid certification. Although most states don't require a college degree to own or operate a day care center, you may be required to have a certain number of child-development training hours.
Child-development training hours can be obtained through workshops in early childhood education or in local community college courses. Pediatric CPR and first-aid training can be obtained from your local chapter of the American Red Cross.
Set up your day care environment. Even if you will be caring for children only part-time, you will still be required to have enough age-appropriate toys and equipment to accommodate the number of children for whom you are licensed to care. The equipment should include books, child-size tables and chairs, and a variety of indoor and outdoor toys.
Advertise your business so parents will know the type of service you provide. You can advertise by passing out fliers and business cards, placing an ad in your local newspaper, and putting a sign on your car or in front of your day care. Once you build your clientele, the word about the quality of your drop-in service will spread quickly. So maintain your reputation by following regulations and providing children with a safe, clean and comfortable place to spend their days.
- Rohan Baumann