With many parents taking on more jobs to boost their income, there is an increased demand for daycare centers. Starting a children daycare center is an excellent idea if you like taking care of children. Recently, there have been increased cases of child mistreatment and kidnapping by house-helps. This is another reason why parents prefer taking their children to daycare centers. This creates opportunities for those who wish to start daycare centers.
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This is what you need to start a daycare business in Kenya.
Understand the Basics of the Daycare Business
Although the daycare business is like any other business, it requires special attention as you will mostly deal with little children. You need to have the love for children, have basic knowledge of early childhood development, CPR, know the signs of common childhood illness, and First Aid skills. Additionally, you will need to know the types of daycare to choose where to specialize.
Types of Daycare
Daycare centers are categorized based on age groups of children, working hours and location.
Daycares based on Age-groups
- Restricted age-limit daycare centers: These are daycares where they limit certain age groups. In most cases, they only accept younger children, since they are easier to handle.
- Free-age daycares: Children of all age groups can be enrolled.
- Daycares based on location: They are categorized into two;
- Group daycare centers. They are run by professionals and are usually licensed.
- Home daycare centers. They are run from homes and are often unlicensed.
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Find an Excellent Daycare Center Location
An excellent location is vital for the success of a daycare. You can operate the daycare from a rental space or your home. Whichever choice you make, make sure that the location is safe for children.
A daycare facility should be spacious where children can play. If you are renting out space, you will need to consider rental costs. A spacious house costs around Ksh 5,000 in rural areas and between Ksh 20, 000 and Ksh 50, 000 in urban areas.
Write a Daycare Business Plan
A business plan is essential for your daycare business. You will need to state your mission statement, budget, marketing strategy, how and when to hire staff, your pricing, and how you intend to expand. You opt to hire a professional to write a daycare business plan for you.
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Raise Startup Capital
It is best to start small and expand over time. Startup costs for daycare center vary depending on the number of children you want to enroll and the type of facilities you intend to install. However, with Ksh. 100, 000, you can purchase basic equipment and pay for licenses.
Get the Necessary Daycare Licenses and Insurance
When parents are choosing a daycare facility to enroll their children, they check if your business is licensed and insured. A licensed and insured daycare implies that it is safe for children. A Liability Insurance cover is ideal for a daycare business to protect children, staff, and daycare facilities. You will also need the following business licenses to operate your business legally.
1. A single Business Permit
Obtain a single business permit from your county government. Its cost vary from one county to the other, but it ranges between Ksh 4, 000 and Ksh 15, 000.
2. Fire Safety Certificate
Fire inspectors need to inspect if there are fire safety equipment like fire extinguishers in your daycare center. Some activities that take place in a daycare, like cooking can cause fires. In case of fire accidents, you should be in a position to control the fire. The license will cost around Ksh 3, 000.
3. A Public Health Certificate
Daycare centers enroll children from different backgrounds. They need to maintain high levels of cleanliness from personal hygiene to environmental cleanliness. A public health officer will inspect your premises to ascertain that the place meets the hygiene requirements and safe for kids. If you meet the requirements, you will be issued with a public health license. The license costs about Ksh 3, 000.
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Buy the Necessary Items
Upon acquiring the relevant licenses and permits, you need to prepare your daycare premises to start operations. The environment should be child-friendly and as such, you need to stuff that children can play with. Your budget will determine the items to buy. You will need the following.
- Furniture like small plastic chairs, stools, chalkboard, tables, and nap mats.
- Toys such as ribbons, dolls, puzzles, stuffed animals, watercolours, and paint.
- Educational materials like charts and storybooks.
- Appliances like kitchenware.
- Playground material such as bouncing castles and trampolines
Determine Your Pricing
When it comes to pricing, consider your rental fees, staff salaries, and children activities you will be offering at the daycare facility. The pricing can also be determined by kind of daycare it is.
High end daycare centers are mostly located in high-income neighborhoods. Most of them charge between Ksh 500 and Ksh 2,000 per child per day. Mid-level daycare centers charge between Ksh 200 and Ksh 1,000 per child per day. Finally, lower-end daycare centers charge between Ksh 20 and Ksh 200 per child per day.
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Market Your Daycare Center
Marketing is crucial for the success of your daycare center. You can distribute pamphlets, brochures, and newsletters. The best way to market your business is through referrals. This is possible when you build cordial relationship with your clients by offering excellent quality daycare services. You can also do social media marketing.
Parents will entrust you with their children only if you offer quality services and if their children are safe. A daycare center mainly works on the principle of trust. As such, daycare owners need to build trust with potential customers. Professionalism is key to the success of your daycare business.