Starting A Daycare (Page 6)
When a prospective client calls to ask you about your services, you should
explain how you operate, and emphasize your invitation for them to bring their child in
so that the two of them can be taken for a tour of your facilities.
||Once in the center, your manager or director takes the parent and child on a tour,
all the while explaining to parent the advantages of the center's structured learning and
play program as compared with everyday run-of-the-mill baby-sitting services. It's
important to have the child along, because as he sees the other children at play, he will be
drawn to them, and this will greatly influence the parent in deciding that your center is
the right place for his child.
After the tour, steer the parent back into your administrative offices and propose
enrollment of the child. Begin by asking where the parent works, what hours and if he or
she ever has to work overtime. You then ascertain the hours they'll want to drop off and
pick up their child.
Strict procedures are absolutely essential regarding the pick- up of any child.
Frightening as it may be to contemplate, we have all read accounts of strangers (or noncustodial
parent) kidnapping a child. Printed forms must be provided, and authorization
signatures must be compared when anyone other than the legal guardian takes a child
from your care. You will learn these requirements from your licensing office. Our
advice to you is to follow them meticulously.
You should have a slickly printed, quality brochure showing your rates, your
services, an outline of the curriculum, and a statement of your benefit goals for the
Check with a legally qualified person about the need for a contract. The parent
will probably simply fill out a questionnaire-file card giving address, place of
employment, medical information about the child, and place he or she may be reached in case of
Most day care centers accept all children between two and six years of age. And
there are many nowadays who take infants from six weeks. Of course, your personnel in
this situation will be thoroughly oriented in infant care, and you must ascertain if these
babies are well when brought in to you. Otherwise, you put yourself in the position of
"hospital" care instead of day care.
Generally, children aren't allowed to bring toys from home. You may want to
allow the children to bring their own blanket from home for nap time, but if you allowed
toys from home you would be opening "Pandora's box" of possible problems relating to
sharing and ownership. In light of this, you will want a full complement of appropriate
toys and play items in your center.
If you decide to include short-term baby-sitting services, a good idea would be to
include within the layout of your facilities a small one-bedroom apartment for a live-in
or couple. An older retired couple would be ideal, with the husband serving also as
maintenance and handy-man.
Around-the-clock baby-sitting services, in addition to your regular day care
center, can add tremendous and immediate cash-flow profits to your business, but
correspondingly increase your payroll for qualified personnel. Such services would
enable the parents to drop their children off in the evening, and leave them around the
clock or over the weekend. There will generally be no need for any planned program
because these children will be sleeping during most of the time they're in your care.
As you establish the image and reputation of your day care center, the parents in
your area will be much more inclined to leave their children with you for baby-sitting
duties. And because you are considered tops in the area of responsibility , you'll be able
to charge the very top rate of the baby-sitting fee structure. Keep current with fees
charged by other quality businesses similar to yours.
The demand for unplanned or emergency baby-sitting services is very large. Not
too many day care centers are aware of this potential for extra profits yet, but the ones
that are find that their incomes can increase by 30 percent or more! We certainly
recommend consideration of this idea for anyone involved in a day care service.
Another area that could mean enhanced profits for you is bus or van pick-up
service for the children. Of course, this would increase your operating costs (and
consequently your fees) but the convenience of pick-up is gaining in popularity. You'll
need a custodian for indoor and outdoor cleanup, and if you have access to a bus or van,
he could be assigned additional duties as the driver. Some day care centers offering pickup
service for their children contract with local transportation services to provide this
service. Be certain of the driving experience of your driver if you contract for this
Starting A Daycare Page 7 >>
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