Sure, starting a home daycare seems simple enough – it’s just babysitting, right? WRONG!!

Running a home daycare is running a business and you need to treat it as such. As a business owner, you are liable for the well being of every single person that sets foot on your property.

As with any new business, you need to have a detailed outline on how it’s going to run or chaos will surely follow. This is known as a business plan. You’ll use it to figure out how you’re going to run your business and more importantly, make money. 

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Getting Started Page, go do that now.  You will need to find out the specific regulations for opening a home daycare in your area. Plus, you will want to get started on some of the paperwork for your business license, police records, and first aid. 

GRAB A COFFEE

BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO COVER A TON OF INFORMATION

JUMP TO A SECTION

BUSINESS SUMMARY

Who Are You? | What do you plan on doing? | What is going to make you stand out?

FINANCIAL PLAN

Rates | Start-Up Costs | Record Keeping | Payment Policies | Taxes

OPERATIONS PLAN

Designate Your Home Daycare Area | Develop a Parent Handbook | Schedules | Quality Control Checks | Interviewing Parents

MARKETING PLAN

Your own website | Flyers with tear off tabs | Word of mouth | Social Media | Newspaper Ads | Online Daycare Advertising Sites | Craigslist, Kijiji | Put a sign on your yard 

Let’s get started!

Home Daycare Business Summary

Start by briefly summarizing the following: who you are, what are you planning to do? What will set you apart from other daycare providers? You will use this summary over and over again during the planning process.

So NO CHEATING! Don’t skip this step.   

Who are you?

Simply state who you are and why you are qualified to open a home daycare. Don’t worry if you think you aren’t qualified. Chances are you are more qualified than you think, so take a deep breath and just go for it. The following are a few examples:

I am Liz, a stay at home mom of 2.

I am Sally, a preschool teacher taking a break from teaching to stay at home with my kids.

 

What do you plan on doing?

List the types of services you plan on providing. Think about who your ideal client would be and what services they would need. 

Ask yourself the following questions to identify your ideal client:

What ages of children do you most want to have in your home daycare?

Would you rather have sets of siblings?

Do you only want to take on full time children or do you prefer only part time children?

Take some time to really brainstorm your perfect home daycare situation and then write a summary.

For example:

My ideal clients would be a non-shift worker whose contracted hours are 8-5.  The children would be between ages 1-4.  

My ideal clients are teachers, who do not need care in the summer. The children would be between the ages of 1-4. 

Also think about the services you don’t want to offer. If drop- in care doesn’t work for your family, don’t offer it. You will have moments when you are tempted to change your services for parents, but adjusting services based on individual cases will only hurt your business. Make sure you are very clear on what you want to offer and what you don’t.  

Here are some examples:  

  • Care for children between the ages of 1-5
  • Fulltime, part-time, drop in
  • Before and aftercare
  • Provide 24 hour care for shift workers

What is going to make you stand out?

Try to find something that will set your home daycare apart from other comparable businesses in your area. Now don’t go all politician here and make some wild and crazy promises that you won’t be able to keep. It can be as simple as a weekly craft or newsletter. Specializations could include: 

  • Do you speak another language?
  • Do you have a special talent?  (Music, Art)
  • Will you provide transportation?
  • Will you cater to shift-workers who work odd hours?
  • Will provide tons of outdoor time?
  • Will you be an allergy friendly house?
  • Will you serve only organic food?

We will go over more market research in the following section, but start asking around in local Facebook groups and social media groups for ideas. What are local parents looking for in home daycares?  You might be surprised by their answers. It can be as simple as wanting a home daycare to be open until 6 pm. Or something different like a home daycare that provides pet sitting. 

Now, put it all together in a brief summary. It doesn’t have to be perfect. At this point you can cut out what you don’t want to include or add anything extra you think will make your business stand out.  

Here are a few examples 

I am Liz, a stay at home mom of 2.  Liz’s home daycare is located in the Willowbrook area and provides care for children 1-6 years old.  We spend our days, exploring local parks and making crafts.   

I plan on opening a home daycare in the Berryhill area, with transportation services to Berryhill elementary and Markhill elementary.

Tons more infomation to go
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Home Daycare Financial Plan 

In this section, we’re going to work out how much you need to charge your clients in order to turn a profit. Let’s face it, making money is kind of the point and if this venture isn’t going to provide you with the extra cash you want, what’s the point? And although there aren’t a ton of start-up costs for opening a home daycare, there are operating costs that can cut into your profits. Here we will create a budget for expenses, and touch on tax planning.    

Rates

Sure, we would all love to charge the highest rate possible. Who doesn’t want to make a fortune at their home business? but that’s not always feasible. In order to attract clients, you will have to charge rates that are competitive with other businesses in your area. Remember however, that  running a daycare is a lot of work. You will be working long hours, with few breaks So, don’t undercharge yourself, either.

So how do you determine what to charge?

Start by conducting some market research about your competitors. 

You don’t need to break out the excel sheet but you should gather details about your other businesses in your area. Start by calling different home daycares and daycare centers to find out their rates and what they offer. After a few, you will start to see a general average rate for your area. 

Then ask yourself, does any daycare stand out more than the others? If so, what makes them unique? Are they charging a premium?  

Now, go back and revisit your business summary. Did you identify something that will make your home daycare stand out?  Did any of the home daycares you called offer something comparable? What were they charging? You may need to expand your research beyond your local area to find a comparable home daycare.  

Types of rates

Your rates should reflect how you plan on running your home daycare. If you haven’t thought about this yet, it’s a good time to start. Ask yourself if you would prefer to have your number of kids on a monthly basis or have a few full time and a few part-time kids.  

Monthly Rate

Charging a monthly rate is fairly straightforward. This is a set rate for the whole month regardless of how many days are in the month. This rate should be a set amount and not fluctuate.  

Part-time rate 

You can do a few things with part-time rates. Charging a set rate for a certain number of days per week is one option. Another option is charging for a certain number of days per month.

For example:

2 days a week is x amount

3 days a week is x amount

Or 10 days per month is x amount

You’re only allowed to have so many kids in your care, so if you plan on taking on part-time kids make sure that it works in a way for you to be able to fill the other days. 

Examples:

Sally comes three times a week only on Monday/Wednesday/Friday. You can then offer care to another child on only Tuesday/Thursdays. Although this system is more difficult to make work it is possible.  

Margo comes 10 days out of the month. Her parents let you know a month in advance what those 10 days are. With plenty of notice, you can fill those extra spots.  

Frankly if you want to have a steady income, only take on full-time kids. Or only take on 1-2 part-time kids in addition to 1-2 full-time kids.  

If you plan on having a drop-in service, make this your highest per-day rate. Drop-in’s can be a lot of work.  Often these kids are not used to daycares. 

 

Don’t expect to be at full capacity right away. Budget for 75% to 85%. 

Figure out your break-even point. Is there a minimum amount that you “need” to make it worthwhile for you to run a home daycare. For some, this will be $2,000 or other it will be $500.  

Say you need to make $2000 per month and through your research, the average price for childcare in your area is $750.  

You would need to take on at least 3 full-time kids to make your $2000. 

Desired income + monthly expenses / Your rate = How many kids you need to take on.  

***Important this calculation does not take in consideration that you still need to pay taxes on this and in Canada, you need to pay into the Canadian Pension Plan twice.  (See more on Using Your Home for Daycare) If this is a concern for you, adjust these amounts accordingly.  

Now if you are just running a home daycare to make some extra cash, this might not be such a concern to you, but remember your time is still valuable.     

Remember, if you are able to add more value to your services you should be charging more. Also, keep in mind, you should increase your rates every year to keep up with increases in the cost of living.    

 

Start-Up Costs

Although there are not a ton of start-up costs to running a home daycare, there are a few that will have to come out of your pocket before you can take on your first client. Here is a list of possible startup costs for opening your home daycare:  

 

Record Keeping  

Record keeping is so important when running a small business. Don’t fall behind on this.  Set aside time each day to record your attendance and some time at the end of the month to update your expenses and income reports. Get a binder or file folder to hold all your important documents.

Attendance

You should record your attendance daily.  Keep a record of who attended each day, when they were dropped off and picked up. Depending on the type of services you offer the number of hours you work could vary daily or stay the same. Regardless you will need to know this for tax purposes.  

Income 

Record every time someone pays you. Use an Excel sheet, an online accounting program or a notebook.  

Expenses

Let’s face it no one becomes a millionaire running a home daycare. You want to save as much as possible of what you do make.  And one way of doing that is paying less in taxes. Make sure you save your receipts and record all your expenses. The more you can deduct the less tax you will have to pay at the end of the year.    

Here is a list of typical operational expenses for home daycares:

  • Supplies for activities
  • Curriculum materials 
  • Books
  • Fees (e.g. licensing)
  • Food
  • Insurance
  • Maintenance
  • Marketing
  • Office supplies
  • Postage
  • Printing
  • Professional services (e.g.lawyer or accounting)
  • Accounting Software
  • Supplies (cleaning, kitchen and teaching)
  • Telephone and Internet
  • Utilities       

 

Payment Policies

 

How are you going to make sure you get paid? 

You can require payment either monthly, bimonthly or weekly.  Also include how far in advance you want to receive payment. The first of each month is commonly used. However, you can choose to require payment two weeks in advance of services. You can match your payment schedule with the parents’ salary payment and get paid the same day they do.  

Decide how you are going to handle drop-in payments?  Will you require payment in advance? 

Are you planning on charging late fees?  If so, when do you plan on requiring payment.

For example:  

Payment for late fees are required within 24 hours from the occurrence or subject to termination of care

Payment for late fees will be added to next months payment.  

Inform parents what forms of payment you accept, most common are cash and Email Money Transfer (EMT).

You should state that fees are nonrefundable and services are subject to termination if not paid on time.

Develop a system for yourself to ensure you’re on top of getting paid and nothing gets missed. You don’t want to be working for free.  

For example you can make a policy that part-time parents need to have their required hours submitted by the 1st of every month. You can send a reminder email the week before to ensure you have enough time to fill any empty spaces.

You can you also use an application like Waveapp to create recurring invoices, send payment reminders and generate payment statements.  This program is free. 

 

What if a parent doesn’t pay?  

You need to decide before opening what your policies will be on non-payment. Unexpected bills and extenuating circumstances do come up for parents. However you have to remember you’re running a business here and you deserve to be paid. Simply put: don’t provide services without for free.   

 

Taxes

The last thing you want is a big tax bill at the end of the year. Decide on how you plan on address paying your taxes. The easiest way is to put a little away each month in a savings account. You can always set up an automatic transfer, so you don’t forget.

Get a file folder to keep all your receipts in one place.   

Decide whether you are going to do your own taxes or have an accountant file your taxes for you.  If you go the accountant route, look for an accountant who is knowledgeable about home daycares. Here is a great resource if you plan on doing your own taxes (add link to tax book)

 

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 Home Daycare Operations Plan

Your operation plan defines the nitty gritty details how exactly you are going to run your business.  While there are regulations that home daycare have to follow, you have a lot of freedom in how you run your home daycare. You get to choose your hours, days off, policies and even which children you take in.  

Designate your home daycare area

If you have not by now, figure out all the areas of your house you will be using for your home daycare. You should include a dedicated area play area, sleeping area, eating area and bathroom. Calculate the square footage and keep it handy for your taxes.  

Now start addressing your supplies needs for each area.  

You might already have everything you need but check out The Ultimate List of Home Daycare Supplies. This post goes into detail on everything you possibly can think of to run a home daycare.

 

Develop a Parent Handbook – Policies and Procedures

If you want your home daycare to run smoothly from day one, you need to figure out your policies and procedures. While this sounds like a daunting task, it will be incredibly helpful when it comes to communicating your expectations with parents.       

 

A Parent Handbook is an easy way to share your policies and procedures. It’s an informational guide for parents outlining everything you expect from them. What they should expect from you, payment information, behavior policies and emergency information. A handbook sets you up for success by getting everyone on the same page, but it’s up to the parents to read it.

 

Hours of Operation

 

What hours do you want to work? 

What days do you want to be open?

Keep in mind the average person works 9-5 Monday through Friday and must commute to and from work. Yet there still is a market for part-time, overnight or even care on weekends.

It’s tempting to change your hours in order to sign a new client. But over time your work- life balance will suffer and you will end up burning yourself out.

 

Contracted Hours / Days

 You should insist on each child having contracted hours. Contracted hours are the time/days the parents will be dropping off and picking up their child. For example: If you have a part time child that comes on 3 days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9am to 5pm, you can schedule other part time children around those days to fill your Tuesday and Thursday time slots. If the clients need to change their contracted three days to a different three days, in your contract, specify that you can refuse such changes due to a conflict and have the right to end the contract. 

Contracted hours allow you to schedule activities. You will know approximately when each child will be coming, and you can plan around drop offs and pickups.

While late drop off and picks happen, you want to make sure that the parents know you are serious about open communication. Be sure to ask them, if they are going to late that they call or text you to let you know. You will soon find out that maintaining a schedule and following a routine is important.

 

Holidays  

What holidays do you want to observe?

It’s widespread practice for clients to pay regular fee for civic holidays. For example, your monthly rate is $800, so you would not give a discount because you’re closed for a holiday.

 

You can choose to either charge parents for your vacation days or not. But, you must make this completely clear to clients before they sign your contract.  

 

Be sure to state that if the parent decides to take a holiday or day off and pull their child out of your care for that day, they still pay your full monthly fee. They will not receive a refund or credit.  This is important because often you put out your own money for food beforehand. You don’t want to be losing money because a parent took a Friday off. Your time is valuable and there is a cost to holding a spot for them.        

 

Some providers also include a few paid personal days in their contract. This is 2-3 days that they would elect to take of during the year the parents would pay for. For example, you want to take next Friday off for a funeral. You would inform your parents that you will be taking a personal day. This would be one of your paid days off. This saves you the hassle of issuing refunds or credits for having to take a day off.

 

Pickup and Drop off Policies

Nothing is worse that a parent drop off a child early and you’re still in your bathrobe. Or you need to drop your kid off dance class and a parent hasn’t pick up their kid yet.

 

Most parents are good about picking up their children on time. Unless an emergency arises, you shouldn’t have a problem. But it’s always a good idea to have something written in your handbook about early/late drop offs. This is primarily so that you are not being taken advantage of. The chances that you are going to have to charge a late fee is slim, but it is a good idea to put a monetary value on being late such a $5 fee for every ½ hour the child is in your care past their contracted hours. Most large daycare centers have similar policies and strictly enforce them.  

 

Once a child is in your care, you are responsible for who you release that child to. You need to have it written in your handbook and contract, who is allowed/ not allowed to pick up a child. It is best to get this in writing, so in the case of a mix up you can prove you have done your due diligence. Specify that you will be asking for photo ID before releasing a child to anyone you have not met in person. 

 

Restraining Orders  

In the event of a court ordered restraining one parent from a child, you need to have a legal copy of the restraining order and a written note from the custodial parent. Without these items on file you can’t prevent the non-custodial parent from picking up the child. You don’t want to be in the middle of a messy divorce. 

 

Provider’s Sick Day Policy 

If you need to close on a given day because of illness, you need to decide if you will provide a refund for the day.  Most home daycares do not charge customers for their own sick days. Or have a number of sick days outlined in their contract.  

 

Illness Policy

You wouldn’t invite someone over to your house that had been up vomiting all night, so don’t do it with your home daycare. Parents will test you on your illness policy, but you need to stand firm. You may have to remind parents that bringing a sick child into a dayhome spreads the illness to not only the other children in your care, but also yourself, potentially rendering you unable to care for their child. 

Specify the symptoms you consider a child to be too sick to attend. Make a list of symptoms, then specify when a child is safe to return. Generally, a child should be well enough to take part in normal everyday activities.

  

What are you going to do when sickness develops during the day?

Outline what you expect parents to do. For example, will you call them and expect them to come pick up their child immediately? 

 

Ask parents to let you know as soon as possible if their child won’t be attending due to illness or for any other reason. This will allow activities to carry on as scheduled and help you know how many children you need to prepare meals for.

 

Medicine Policy and Procedure

 

Get parents to provide written consent before you administer any type of medicine. Parents should label all medicine with the child’s name, dose and dosage times before you administer anything. You should specify that you won’t administer any medicine not complying with the policy. 

Example of medicine policy:

Prior to administering any type of medicine to your child(ren), I require written consent by a parent. All medicine must be properly stored in a container labeled with the child’s name, dosage and times to be administered.  Medicine supplied in unmarked, unlabeled containers and/or without written consent will not be administered.   

 

Medical Emergencies

Minor bumps and scratches are inevitable. You should specify how will you handle minor injuries. Will you administer first aid, then let the parent know at the end of the day what happened? Or will you call the parents right away?

 

What are you going to do in case of an emergency injury or illness? Specify who is responsible for the cost of any emergency medical treatment/ transportation. 

 

Emergency Plan and Evacuation Plan

Provide parents with your emergency plan.  Where you are going to be and how to contact you.  What evacuation sites you are going to be at incase of fire, earthquake, flooding etc.

 

Behavior policy

 Give a brief summary of how you are going to handle children’s behavior. For example, do you plan on using the “time-out” method?  If a behavioral issue continues without resolve, how do you plan on handling such situations? Think about at what point would you want to end a contract over a behavioral issue.  It’s unfair to the other children in your home daycare if you spend your whole time dealing with one child.

 

Clothing Policy

Clothing can become a big issue if you don’t specify what you expect. Make sure parents know that you want children to be dress in comfy clothing that can get dirty. You don’t want to be responsible for any stained or ruined clothing. Older children should be able to operate their clothing themselves, without your help. Insist on at least one spare change of clothes regardless of the child’s age. You want to keep children happy and comfortable. Younger children should have at least two changes of clothing (including socks).  

Kindly remind parents that if outdoor apparel is not supplied, then everyone has to stay inside.   Often this can happen in winter time because of a lack of snow pants, hats or mitts. You can suggest that parents leave an extra set at your house to prevent this from happening.  

 

Meals and Snacks

Provide parents with a schedule of meals and snacks. Inform them if they drop off after a scheduled meal time, you expect the child to have eaten. You don’t have time to supply meals on demand.

 

Are you going to allow a child to bring food from home? Often parents will sneak snacks into a kid’s backpack,  in case their kid gets hungry. But this can cause conflict between kids and issues for you if another child that has allergies.  For special occasions like birthdays, you can decide on a case to case basis if you are going to allow special treats from home.   

 

What are your procedures for storing breast milk? Put in place a procedure for yourself, so that you never run out of breast milk or formula.  An example of this would be that you require to have at least half a can of formula on hand at all times. Are you going to be responsible for sanitizing the bottles? or do you expect parents to supply sanitized bottles every day. 

 

Food Allergies

You need to decide if you will allow children with food allergies to attend your home daycare.  

Can you guarantee your home daycare is safe from allergies? 

Are you comfortable administering an EpiPen? 

Decide which food allergies you will allow.  An allergy to mangos is a lot easier to deal with than a peanut allergy.  Also specify any allergies where parents need to supply the food. Such as in the case of a gluten allergy, you can ask the parents to supply bread, dry pasta or crackers.  Specially foods can be expensive, and you don’t want to blow your whole food budget on one child. 

 

Potty Training Policies

At one point in your home daycare career, you are going to have to assist with potty training. The key word here is “assist” with potty training.  Communicate with parents that it’s not your job to potty train their child. If they have a method that has been working for them, then you’ll try to continue with that method.  However, their child must wear clothing at all times and you’re unable to follow a strict timed potty schedule. (ex. taking a child to the potty every ½ hour). Children need to be able to pull down and up their pants themselves. Suggest “User friendly” clothing, such as shorts and pants with elastic waist.  Kindly mention if you run out of dry clothing, that you will be calling and expecting them to drop off more. 

 

Termination Policy

Decide on how much notice you need from a parent before they can terminate their contract. Two weeks’ notice is common, but some home daycares require a month notice.

 

Outline reasons to parents why you would to end a contract.

Here are some suggestions,

 

  • Failure to provide payment for services

 

  • Routinely late picking up their child

 

  • Failure to complete the required forms

 

  • Lack of parental cooperation

 

  • Failure of child to adjust to the home daycare after a reasonable amount of time

 

  • Physical or verbal abuse of any person or property

 

  • Lack of compliance with handbook policies and procedures

 

  • Serious illness of a child

 

Other policies and procedures you may want to consider including:

 

Indoor activities 

What activities are you planning to engage in, circle time, reading, singing.  Give parents a brief summary of daily activities you plan on doing.  

 

Outdoor activities

How much outdoor time are you planning on having?  Include what your weather limits are. How hot or cold do you consider to be unsafe to play outside?

 

Napping / Quiet time procedures

Give parents a brief outline of how you are going to handle napping/quiet time.  Do you require all kids to nap? If not, what do you expect from children during quiet time.  Remember this is probably the only time you will get a break during the day. 

Are parents responsible for bringing their own Pack and Play or are you providing beds?

 

Immunizations Policy

Consider if you need all children to be immunized/or not to attend your home daycare. This is a personal preference. 

 

Transportation 

Many home daycares provide before and after care for school aged children.  This sometimes includes transportation to and from school in their own vehicles.  Also, some home daycares offer field trips to local attractions such as a library, park or zoo. If this is something you want to provide consider the following:

Do you have a vehicle that could adequately fit all the children?

Do parents need to provide car seats?

What schools are you willing to provide transportation to?

Who is going to pay for admission to attractions?

 

House rules

Providing a set of house rules is a wonderful way to express your expectations of a child’s behavior.  For example: you expect no jumping/climbing on couches.  

 

Toys from home

Are you going to allow toys from home? Often these items cause fights among the other children.  An exception to this should be a comfort toy/blanket for napping. 

 

Two-week trial period

You can choose to implement a two-week trial period for both parties. This allows adequate time for a child to adjust to your home daycare.  At the end of the two weeks, either party can terminate the contract for whatever reason they see fit. Trial periods allows you to see how a child fits into your home daycare dynamic. 

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Schedules

While you can run a home daycare without a schedule, you will save yourself a ton of grief if you have at least a guideline of activities.  You can also include this in your parent handbook to give parents an idea of your daily activities.   

Kids thrive on routines and while you don’t have to have a strict routine, a schedule can help children navigate their day and ease the transition from one activity to the next.  For example, they will get to know that after lunch they go for nap.

Start by setting a time for breakfast, lunch, and snack times.  Then think about naptime and activities. 

 

Quality control checks (Cleaning)

Kids are sticky, messy and germy but in a good way. Don’t forget, this is not only your place of work, but also your home and the last thing you want is to be sick all the time. If you take a sick day, you most likely are not getting paid so you should be motivated not to take too many. While you don’t have too much control over what kind of germs enter your home, you can control the spread of it.  

Put in place a cleaning routine. Just like any public washroom, keep a cleaning checklist.  There will be things that you have to do everyday. And other things you will only have to do once a week. Make your checklist as detailed or not as you feel like. 

Items to include:

Bathroom, Floors, Bedding & Toys

 

Interviewing Parents

The interview process can be a bit scary when you first start out.  But remember you’re also interviewing them too.  

Never commit to taking on a child full time until you have met them.      

For any new prospective client, suggest a “meet and greet.” What is a meet and greet?

A meet and greet is an opportunity for prospective parents to come into your home and check out the space.  It gives parents time to ask you any questions and voice any concerns they may have. A meet and greet also gives you a chance to observe a child’s behaviour and ask them any questions you may have. Such as is your child a bitter? Has the child ever been in a home daycare before.  If so, why did you leave the last home daycare.   

Don’t be afraid to say “no” to a parent if you don’t think their child would be a good fit. You’re better off to be honest and up front. One child can completely change the dynamic of your home daycare and cause you and the other children in your care undue stress.  If you are unsure, then suggest a two week trial period before committing to a contract. Revisit the section of your business summary where you outlined who your ideal client would be. Be picky.  

Now, it’s time to get your first client.  

Almost Done
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Home Daycare Marketing Plan

When starting a home daycare business, you don’t just sit there waiting for families to knock on your door. You need to get your name out there.   

If you’re just getting started, marketing your services may not be your strongest skill. Thankfully, there are many ways you can easily advertise your home daycare business.

Here are some ideas for home daycare advertising to give potential customers a better sense of your services.

Your own website

This is perhaps the most inexpensive way of reaching out to parents. A website should introduce your daycare by highlighting the basic information like name, size, location, and the age range you accept. Secondly, you should come up with a business name and logo that stands out from other family daycare services. Obviously, the website should sum up the services you offer.  And you can even outline your policies and procedures. Also list some features like meal/snack options, size of your space, outdoor play setup, fencing, and more. Besides that, you should include short endorsements from past customers so that parents can know their children will be under constant supervision.  

Flyers with tear-off tabs

This is the easiest home daycare marketing strategy. You should make colorful flyers (red, yellow or blue) that show the contact number, email, and services offered. Needless to say, they should be child-friendly – include some pictures of smiling happy children or clip art. It’s worth mentioning that you should not list the price on the flyers. This is because you want the parents to choose a family daycare based on the services, not price.  Flyers work best when they are posted in locations most likely to reach your target market. Where do parents frequent that they may see your ad? The best place to distribute them is in community centers, coffee shops, and libraries.

Word of mouth

Tell everyone about your new venture. You can notify your neighbors, family, co-workers, and friends. And if you already have clients, ask them to recommend a friend.

Social media

The strategy you use on your social media marketing should reach families looking for daycare centers. You should make Facebook page for special announcements, reminders and examples of fun activities. Most parents will appreciate a platform where they can see and share photos of their kids activities. But keep in mind not all parents what to have their kids faces on social media.  Make sure you have a photo release form signed before posting any child’s face.

Other social media platforms you can use include Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Newspaper Ads

You should include information like your approximate location, opening and closing hours, and anything else that makes your business special. For best results, you may want to place your ads on smaller local papers rather than a big display ad. Of course, it pays huge dividends if you place an ad in the childcare section. It’s important that you inquire on the details allowed, but don’t forget to include the brand name and contact information.

Online daycare advertising sites

Online advertising sites make it easy for parents to search for services in a specific area. They give information on who you are and the services you offer.  Most advertising sites charge a fee to post. If you choose to use one of these sites, always emphasize on any information that makes your business stand out from the competition. And include photographs to showcase your home daycare to prospective clients.

Craigslist, Kijiji

This type of site is commonly referred to as the “hunter’s dream” – you’ll find everything you want here. Even better, you can list your childcare websites. There is a separate section for baby-sitters and daycare providers.

Put a sign on your yard

This will help potential clients know who you are and what you have to offer. All the parents living close to you will be aware of your daycare and will probably mention the same to other parents. These signs can be customized to suit your needs. Be sure to include your business name and contact information.

The above advertising methods will give you an opportunity to toot your own horn. As you embark on the journey, highlight everything that makes your business different from the competition. For best results, do some research to understand the services your competitors are offering. Be creative with your marketing strategies, and you’ll have a full house in no time.

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