Step 1: Find out what the Law Requires
Some African countries may have laws which regulate crèches and day care services. These laws may require day care operators to be licensed or certified by the authority or professional association. Most of these laws and regulations have become necessary to discourage and punish any form of child abuse. As a result, the strict guidelines may often increase the cost of running a daycare center business. Some of these regulations specify the minimum space and staffing requirements, the maximum number of children that can be admitted (depending on space), types of toys, mandatory documentation and many other things.
These strict regulations are responsible for the low profit margins experienced by daycare businesses in many countries. It’s very important that you check with the authority to understand what the law requires from day care operators in your area. Getting shut down by the authorities after you have opened for business may cost you a lot of money and your reputation.
In Nigeria however, much regulation is not required. You can get your daycare center started before seeking approval where necessary.
Step 2: Get a Good location
Getting the right location for your crèche/daycare center can often mean the difference between success and failure. The ideal location for a daycare center is safe, clean, accessible and close to the homes or offices of the parents. Although a day care operation can be home-based or in a dedicated facility around shopping malls, industrial and office areas, it’s important to ensure that all the potential dangers that could affect your business can be avoided.
In addition to a good location, the building or space used for a crèche should have all the necessary facilities. A few of these include: kitchen, toilets, bathrooms, beds, blankets, toys and outdoor playgrounds. While designing or modeling your crèche, you must always keep in mind that you need to create an atmosphere that appeals to parents and makes children happy and comfortable. If parents do not like the feel of your crèche, they may not use or recommend it to others.
Step 3: Hire the Right Type of Staff
Apart from good location and full facilities, the people who run the daycare center will be key to the success. It’s essential that your staff is empathetic, sensitive, patient, and have a natural energy and love for children. Above all, your staff must have the success of your business at heart all times. This means building and maintaining good reputation which is essential for daycare center business. Your reputation is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to advertise your services and get new customers.
Training in basic care giving and first aid is very important for your staff. Negligence and ignorance can often lead to avoidable accidents and mishaps at the Center (which you don’t want). If you have the passion and some of the qualities we talked about above, you could run the crèche yourself or hire someone to do it for you. An experienced nanny, a middle-aged or retired nanny
Step 4: Develop a Valuable Curriculum and Routine
Parents always expect good value for the fees you charge for your day care services. If parents can see an improvement in the mental, emotional and physical development of their kids, they will continue to hire your services and gladly recommend you to family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.
To help the kids develop mentally, work out a routine that encourages and engages their curiosity. Teaching simple rhymes, songs, numbers and alphabets helps to develop the memory of children and aids their language learning ability. Puzzles and games are very popular with young kids and helps them to learn shapes and colors. Dancing is another great way to hold their attention while they learn. An interesting day care experience allows kids to bond, make friends and look forward to coming back the next day. You’re very likely to retain the parent’s interest if their children are interested.
Attention to Children is Important
Proper attention, affection, order and discipline are critical to the emotional development of children. It’s important that the kids under your care learn good manners and are able to interact well with their peers. Physical health is also as important in your crèche. You must ensure that high standard of hygiene is maintained if decide to serve meals. The food has to be nourishing, tasty and contain a well-balanced diet that will support child growth. And should a child contract a contagious illness (like chicken pox, cough etc.), it’s important that you stop them from attending the crèche until they are fully recovered.