Our economic times require both spouses to work if the family is to manage when it comes to finances. Toddlers make it almost impossible for women with new born to go to work. For this reason they stay at home with the toddlers until they are of school going age. Others hire maids to look after their kids while others leave them with relatives for the period they will be at work. All the three options have their advantages and disadvantages.
Why Parents Prefer Daycare
While hiring a maid seems to be the most viable idea, it can be a challenge especially if finances are an issue. Daycares are the best alternatives when it comes to leaving your kid with someone. Paying a monthly fee for someone to look after your kid while away makes economic sense as compared to hiring a full-time maid. Furthermore there is a rise in child abuse cases by maids. A daycare center gives a kid a chance to interact with his/ her peers during the day, and spend the remaining half of the day with their parent. This boosts social skills while maintaining a bond with the parent.
How to Start a Daycare Business
A daycare can be setup using the most basic things. You can either rent out a house and convert it to a daycare center, or use your house as a daycare center. Majority of things needed for a daycare are what we use in our houses on a daily basis. This reduces the need for a large budget to start this business.
What Is Needed To Start a Daycare Center?
A daycare center revolves around toddlers between the ages of 1 year to 5 years. Everything in a daycare has to do with kids and for this reason the center has to be as kids friendly as possible. The colors of the room or rooms have to be lively, well painted with educational stickers on the wall. Add charts and plenty of toys for the kids to spend the day busy. Having a Television set with kids programs is an added advantage since not all find toys as appealing. If possible, have two rooms for the daycare. The first room will be for the youngest toddlers while the other one is for the older toddlers. This will give you peace when it comes to controlling them.
You will need to buy kids furniture which can either be plastic or wooden. Plastic furniture is much more affordable and can be bought at the market. You can get kid’s furniture at Kamkunji market in Nairobi. You will also need to buy utensils since toddlers prefer using utensils that go with their age. The utensils can also be bought at Kamkunji market.
Running the Daycare Center
A daycare center is a suitable business for ladies, preferably mothers or parents. Handling toddlers requires an enormous amount of patience which men lack. You will have to handle all kinds of noises, from crying to food fights, to constant nagging. Motherhood is natural in most women which makes it easy handling kids of all ages. If you are going to hire someone to look after the kids, they must be ones that relate well with kids.
Parents are excited at any sign of their toddlers being little geniuses. They are awed whenever a toddler says something out of their league. For this reason it is wise having an educational aspect in the daycare. Teach the toddlers basic things like alphabets and number counting. Parents will keep bringing their kids at your daycare for this reason. So invest in educational material as much as possible.
Toddlers do not eat hard meals as adults. Have a good meal timetable to ensure the kids are well fed and on time. You can alternate meals to have a good diet friendly meal table. In slums, we’ve observed some daycares requiring parents to bring their kids meal. This setting only works for small income areas such as slums. If your daycare is situated in an urban estate, include food charges in the monthly charges a parent is to pay.
Sleep is essential to a toddler’s growth. Include sleep time in the day’s activities. A toddler who has had enough sleep is always energetic and doesn’t disturb much. The best time for kids to take a nap is after lunchtime. You might have to buy extra mattress and cribs depending with how flexible your budget is.
SAFETY is key to running any institution that handles kids. Make sure that kids do not get access to areas with hazardous objects. You should store away things like medicine, match boxes, needles, coins, electricity. In short keep away anything that can endanger their lives. You should also have each parent’s phone number so that you can reach them in case of an emergency. A close by doctor’s number should always be close. To stay on the safer side, have a personal liability insurance cover.
Daycare charges vary depending with the income of the parents and the area set up. Daycares in slums charge as little as Ksh 20 per kid per day. Those in estates charge as high as Kshs 10,000 per kid per month. The more kids you have, the more money to be made.
It is not hard advertising your daycare. Make use of social media to reach out to parents residing in the location your daycare is set up. Platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp will come in handy when spreading the message. You can also print posters and have them pinned in your estate.
A daycare business can be lucrative for stay at home moms especially in urban settings. They are a good way of bringing in income even when not going to work. Competition for setting up a daycare center is minimal which gives you the advantage. You can start this business in your house and expand it to different branches. This is how most preparatory schools are started. Please note that you might be required to get a business permit depending with the county you operate from.