How to Start a New Night-Time Day Care
If you feel nothing but compassion for children and want to care for them and wish to be self-employed, a day care facility may just be the right kind of business for you. The beauty of such a facility is that you don’t just have to operate it during the day; you can have it open at night as well to cater to those parents who have a more difficult work shift. But just before you start, there are a few things you need to get right.
First, you need to know what requirements your state has when it comes to day care facilities with overnight day care services or 24-hour child care. The best place to start is at the Department of Human Services or the Department of Social Service of your local state. These departments are responsible for regulating day care facilities and will provide you with detailed information concerning the state requirements for starting a day care facility in your area.
The Child Care Licensing Office is responsible for licensing in your state. Get in touch with them to find out more about how you can obtain a license. A good place to start is ChildCare.net, where you will find a list of offices for your state. Once you have a business plan in hand as well as a location for your business, you can apply for the license. Your facility will undergo inspection for safety and sanitation compliance before that license can be granted.
All the information you collected concerning your state’s requirements should come in handy as you find a facility that complies with all of them. Be very specific about the safety and sanitation regulations as these are probably the most important things that will be inspected before you acquire your license.
Your child care workers should be qualified. You will need more than one worker if you expect to have a lot of children at the facility. Different states will generally have different requirements as far as the number of children one worker can legally care for is concerned. Ensure your staff members have experience in childcare and good references. You should also do a thorough background check before hiring them.
Your child care facility needs operating hours. For most child care facilities, this is usually 12 hours. However, if the center is near your home, you can keep it open for longer. You can start the evening hours around 6 p.m. and close at 6 a.m. the next morning.
The facility needs toys, play sets, tables, and other furniture that are both safe and stimulating for children. Be careful about the safety of different toys for different age groups. You should also have well-defined areas for different activities, such as bedtime, naps, meals, and play.
The final step is to extensively advertise your facility to your local community. The fact that you offer nighttime services should be a strong selling point for some parents and will quickly get your customers. You can advertise in a variety of inexpensive ways, such as referrals, doctors’ offices, partnerships with related businesses and daytime facilities, yard signs, car flyers, and brochures.