Starting A Daycare (Page 3)
Depending on your city sign ordinances and your finances, go all out with your
sign. Advertise the name of your day care center, the hours you're open, whether you
accept drop-ins, overnighters, or weekenders, and of course, your phone number .
||The sign makers and advertising people may strongly advise you against so much
wording on your sign, but in this instance, don't listen to them. Your sign should state all
essential information, and serve to convince passers-by that you can handle their childcare
problems whenever the need arises.
If you initially locate in, or through the sponsorship of a church or labor union,
these people can assist you tremendously by including a mention of your services in their
membership bulletins, and by passing out circulars or flyers.
You'll need to decide on your regular day care hours. Generally, these are from 6
a.m. through 6 p.m. You'll also need to decide whether you want to offer breakfast for
the children. If so, you'll have to plan for a cook and food supplies for morning meals.
We'll discuss kitchen facilities and kitchen help later, but the first decision must be if you
will include breakfast. You'll already be set up with kitchen facilities and a cook because
you will be serving a noon meal. If you do decide to offer breakfast for those parents not
wanting to feed their children at home, you'll be able to add $8 to $12 per week to their
billing. By buying your food supplies in bulk, you'll probably be able to realize some
savings in overall food costs.
Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks are required in some states, but even
where they're not required, they are pretty much standard fare in most day care centers.
Fresh fruit, cookies, and juice are the usual snack foods served in most day care centers.
As mentioned earlier, you'll definitely be providing a hot meal for the children at
noon. This entails a cook, dishes, planned menus, food supplies in bulk, and perhaps
even small size table and chairs. You'll also have to have kitchen help and facilities for
washing the dishes.
These are just some of the important overhead costs you must plan for, and of
course you will work to keep them as low as possible. As you should know by now, the
greater your overhead, the more children you're going to have to take in, and the more
children you take in, the greater your space requirements.
All profitable day care centers operate according to planned routines. The day is
broken down into one-hour segments, with pre-planned curriculam, much the same as
classes at a public school.
A typical day begins with a play period from whenever the children arrive until
about 9 o'clock. For this, you'll need indoor sand boxes, toys and perhaps a family-sized
television set. From 9 to 10, the children are separated into groups - generally by ages -
and you hold a reading or story-telling session. The mid-morning snack time is
scheduled sometime between 10 to 11. For the younger children, this might include a
mid-morning nap. After snack time, a learning session is usually held. Typically, this is
the time when guests are invited in to speak or entertain the children.
Starting A Daycare Page 4 >>
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