While starting a daycare may seem like the perfect opportunity for a career, running a daycare business can present challenges and risks you won't find in other businesses. These risks shouldn't deter you from operating a daycare. By understanding the risks and taking steps to minimize or eliminate them, you can successfully operate a daycare.
An unsafe environment can be one of the biggest risk factors in starting a daycare. A daycare business can present some of the same risks you might face in your own home, with your own kids. The risk of a lawsuit if something happens to a child in your care is a real possibility. Always have insurance coverage when operating a daycare, but above all, be aware of the environment the kids will be in and take as much precaution with other children as you do with your own.
Make sure you have the proper business license as well as any state or local license necessary to operate your daycare. This includes a zoning license as well. Operating a daycare without proper licensing presents the risk of fines or having your business shut down. Each state has its own particular rules and regulations. Check with your state licensing office before you open a daycare.
Loss of Income
Running a daycare successfully rests on your being able to keep enough kids to operate your business. Customers often move away, work schedules change or financial situations change that may mean losing business without notice. There isn't much you can do about this risk. The only thing you can do is to ensure you get paid for the slots you have available. Since a daycare can only be responsible for the number of children its licensed for, you will need to require your customers to pay for the service even if they don't use it for a particular day or week. That particular slot is taken whether it's used or not, so you need to make your income from it.
Check with your state regulations regarding how many children you'll be allowed to have in your daycare per number of employees. This child-to-adult ratio is strictly regulated in each state. Not following the number of adults-per-child rule can result in fines or having your daycare closed.
Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.