Parents are eager to return to work but face a child care dilemma. Many states ordered daycare centers to close during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, others stayed open for essential workers only. If you have an established facility and want to expand to meet a demand for quality care, there are some steps you can take to set up your new facility efficiently. Below, we reveal the roadmap for opening a new daycare location.
Research the Local Licensing Requirements for Childcare Facilities
While you may know about local licensing requirements (particularly if your new location is in the same region as your current facility), keep in mind that different regulations may apply if you set up a location in another town. It’s important to maintain compliance at all times, which you can do by consulting the licensing guidelines at ChildCare Aware of America.
To learn about your state’s licensing requirements, be sure to check with your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency.
Create a Business Plan for Opening a New Daycare Location
Your current facility may already have a unique mission statement and on-site policies, but you should also consider creating a separate business plan for your new location. For instance, consider developing a plan that covers all the necessary elements that go into daily operations. You should also determine how you’ll finance the building of your new facility, either through government grants or a private loan.
Consider using your local CCR&R as a resource to learn about federal financial assistance for opening a new daycare location.
Choose the Appropriate Location
When selecting a new location, there are certain aspects to consider. For example, rather than building a new facility, you may want to rent an existing facility if it’s more cost-effective. You may also have to comply with certain child care zoning laws, depending on the location. These zoning laws may restrict the number of children you can have in your daycare. Again, your local CCR&R should have information about this.
Get Everything You Need for Opening a New Daycare Location
Once you’ve decided on a location, it’s time to prepare the facility before opening. Consider all the equipment and furniture your facility will need, including certain safety supplies such as first-aid kits and fire extinguishers. Also, learn about national accreditation and whether your state has a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). If your facility meets or exceeds federal standards for quality, this can be a key differentiating factor when you advertise your new facility.
It’s also important to develop the necessary policies and contracts for your facility. Make sure your staff and parents have handbooks, and develop crisis management plans for emergencies, discipline issues, safety, nutrition, and data privacy. However, make sure your policies adhere to federal and local guidelines.
Select the Right Staff to Run the Facility
You can have all the best equipment and policies in place at a perfect location. However, none of those elements will matter unless you hire the right staff. When hiring employees, be sure to do comprehensive background checks. So, before you put out that job ad, read about the federal background check requirements for daycare providers.
It’s important to conduct thorough background checks and ensure that all references are verified. You can’t afford to make mistakes when it comes to ensuring the safety of your young charges.
Have the Right Insurance Policies in Place
It’s also important to ensure that your new location is insured, based on its specific type and size. A child care facility will require different types of insurance, including property, workers’ compensation, business, and liability insurance. These policies will help protect your business, facility, employees, and students.
Read more about the types of daycare insurance before you decide on the policies for your new facility.
Market Your New Location Through an Advertising Campaign
Once you have everything in place, you can advertise your new location through a marketing campaign and begin posting listings. Make sure you market your facility via social media and local newspapers, as well. To cater to your local community, consider ads targeting your region. You can also promote your old and new locations through industry-relevant child care blogs, including websites that cover early education topics.
Leverage Prime Child Care Software for Optimal Control and Efficiency
As you may know, there are many aspects involved in opening a new childcare location, which means there’s much to keep track of to ensure success. If you’d like to maintain transparency and keep everything organized throughout the opening process, consider investing in daycare management software.
How You Can Use Prime Child Care Software to Your Advantage
With the right child care software, you can perform many tasks to facilitate the opening process for your new facility.
For instance, our software maintains accurate digital records you can use when applying for insurance coverage. Our platform also integrates seamlessly with other third-party software, which will ensure that your facility benefits from the same services available at your current location.
When it comes to hiring staff, the software can also help you select the right candidates based on background checks and reference verifications.
Setting up your facility will be easier than ever with the help of a comprehensive solution. Once your facility is up and running, you can further manage your new location by using the software to:
- Track attendance and check-ins
- Measure parent engagement to help optimize care
- Manage billing and liability-related expenses
- Facilitate online enrollment for parents
- Manage the curriculum and classrooms
- Manage staff and payroll
- Keep track of electronic payments
Opening a New Location While Reducing Time Spent on Administrative Tasks
With the right child care management software, you’ll get total control over the opening process from start to finish. From the development of your new facility to HR policies, the right platform will provide the tools needed to measure the success of your efforts. As a result, you’ll be able to spend less time managing manual-intensive administrative tasks. And, you’ll be able to focus on building relationships with staff, parents, and children.
Taking the above steps can help ensure that opening a new daycare location is a successful experience. In turn, you’ll benefit from the efficient processes you put in place when you’re ready to build another location.
If you’d like further help in opening a new daycare location, contact us. At Prime Child Care Software, we’re focused on your success.
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