How to Start a Daycare in Kentucky

Babyaugen image by Christian Oberberger from Fotolia.com

Daycare centers offer an asset to the community. Kentucky requires that a daycare director be at least 21 years of age and have a high school diploma, according to Small Business Notes. Consider offering before office hours and after school hours for your daycare to accommodate those parents who may need time to drive to work in the mornings and who may need after school care before they return home from work. Accommodating schedules of the parents will help the daycare get off to a positive start.

Beginnings

Call or write the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Division of Regulated Child Care to request a packet of information that includes daycare provider applications. 275 East Main Street Frankfort, KY 40621 Phone: (502) 564-7962 Fax: (502) 564-9350

Complete the forms, once received. The state of Kentucky does sometimes require a background check for daycare providers so have a background check completed if necessary.

Advertise your daycare in a local newspaper and by putting out flyers, placing business cards at local children's clothing stores or daycare centers in your area that are at capacity.

Prepare parent handbooks and folders, labeled appropriately for each form needed. You will need a form for medication permission slips, injury reports, meal plans and daily schedule. When you begin to sign children up for your daycare, each child needs her own folder with her name on it and her emergency information, immunization record, phone number(s), address and birth date inside, as well as copies of permission slips and injury reports and the date that she started at the daycare.

Decide what payment rate you will charge and if you will accept state pay or not from parents. State pay is when you will allow Kentucky to pay for some of the children who are on state assistance to pay for their child care cost. The state will pay you directly for these children but the pay will be monthly instead of a weekly pay that you may agree to with other parents.

Preparations

Prepare an escape route and emergency shelter plan. The state of Kentucky requires this for all daycare facilities. You will need to draw this out on a chart or on a sketch pad and clearly label each exit and escape route and emergency shelter plan and place it in a folder by each door clearly marked, "Emergency Route" or "Emergency Shelter Plan."

Keep a chart handy of Kentucky's required child care worker and child classroom ratio. This ratio is related to the age of the children. Consider the children's ages when signing them on in your daycare to better compensate for your time and space allotment.

Consider requiring the parents to supply the nap mats, blankets and pillows that you will launder each week at the daycare center. This will cut down on the cost for you and help the children feel more at home in having their own items. When starting a daycare, cots or mats are required for naptime.

Complete background checks of anyone in the household who is 18 or over. The state of Kentucky requires, also, that anyone who has lived outside of Kentucky in the last five years have a background check outside of the state of Kentucky, as well.

Place fire extinguishers in easily accessible locations and install smoke alarms.

Arrange the supplies for the classrooms, including the tables, chairs, crayons, books and toys. Place the televisions and vcr's or DVD's or anything with chords where the children cannot pull the chords and pull a device down upon them.

Set up all of the outdoor toys and test them for broken parts. If a toy has a broken part, discard it.

Immunizations

Receive a TB test. You will need to have one done, as well as any other worker that is 18 or over. These can be done at any Kentucky Health Department.

Keep a record of all immunizations of any daycare worker, including yourself. The immunizations need to be current.

Scan the children's immunizations and keep the record in their chart. If the immunizations are not current, they need to follow the state of Kentucky's guidelines for immunizations. If you are unsure if a child's immunizations are current, call your nearest health department.

Safety Devices

Create a first aid kit and keep it in a convenient cabinet, unreachable by children. Keep a box of disposable gloves with the first aid kit.

Lock safety locks on knife drawers, ovens and any other drawers where sharp objects are kept.

Cover all outlets with outlet covers and put step stools in the bathroom for the sink and toilet. Include antibacterial soap and baby wipes in the bathroom.

Keep baby gates ready and on hand for areas where baby gates will be needed, before the opening day for the daycare. Safety needs to come first.

References

Resources

About the Author

As a former elementary school teacher, Cheryl Starr now writes full-time from Missouri. Her work has appeared in various magazines, including "Teachers of Vision," "Insight" and "Highlights." She is currently writing a novel and a devotional book. Starr studied elementary education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Photo Credits

  • Babyaugen image by Christian Oberberger from Fotolia.com