Due to its diverse population and rich economic base, Florida is home to many small businesses that thrive despite the presence of heavyweights (large companies).
- 1 Opening a Daycare Business
Opening a Daycare Business
Opening a Daycare Business in Florida requires special state licensing and audits that can take up to 90 days to complete. If you are looking to open your business in Florida, set aside enough time for this process. You will need to consider your ideal location, how many children or families you want to serve, and how you will look for quality workforce. Florida has a complex Daycare Business licensing system but also offers a counseling system designed to guide potential owners in the process.
Set a budget
Starting a daycare in Florida costs include physical location preparation items such as rentals, renovations, play equipment, furniture, and security cameras. Other items that should be included in the starting budget include utility startup fees, licensing, inspections, and insurance. You may also need to advertise employees and then pay for their training. List all the possible start-up costs so you know how much money you need to get started.
Research licensing requirements
Review the rules for your county and city regarding general business licensing and daycare requirements. Each city or county may have different requirements, so it is important to contact the appropriate local office. If you are registering, start the process and choose a name for your business. When you have obtained all licenses, post copies in the appropriate areas of the daycare.
Create a business plan
A business plan gives you a clear idea of the potential profit. For this reason, most funding sources ask for a copy of the business plan along with loan applications. Make sure your plan includes your goals, expected costs, headcount, and projected earnings.
Choose a place
Be aware of the number of families or children you want to serve, and the number of classrooms you plan to use. The ideal room will have enough space for a playground. Florida’s current daycare playground requirements include 45 square feet of space for each walking child or toddler. Babies do not currently require a place in the playground.
Requirements for government consulting
Complete the Florida Daycare Licensing Questionnaire. After you complete this form, you will be assigned a counselor to guide you through the special requirements of child care in Florida. Your consultant will provide you with information and forms about teacher licensing and help you work with a complex daycare system. Before opening a daycare, you need to go through a consultation and fulfill all the requirements.
Interview and recruitment
Recruiting, interviewing and hiring a principal, teachers and support staff. Work with your licensing consultant to make sure each new employee meets the licensing requirements for Florida daycare.
Purchase of goods for child care
Buy toys, playgrounds and school supplies and stock up in classrooms. If you are caring for babies, purchase furniture and supplies for your daycare.
Advertise your business
Start advertising to daycare clients approximately 60 days prior to the expected opening. Offer an introductory special or early registration promotion.
Your advertising should not be limited to ads in local newspapers. You will also need to create a website that shows parents exactly what they will get when they enroll their children in your daycare. Social media accounts are best for keeping parents updated on enrollments, vacations, and any planned outings. They can also be used to collect feedback, leading to new enrollments in the future.
Make a schedule
Work with your staff to schedule each class, including disembarkation, appointments, naps, and games. Fill your kitchen with snacks and your craft space with craft supplies. Open up on your first day and start following your daily routine. Bill parents and pay employees on a regular basis, and adjust your monthly budget to accurately reflect your operating expenses.
Check the proposed building with your local fire, zoning and construction authorities before signing a lease or sale. Once you have been assigned a licensing consultant, it can take up to 90 days to complete the Florida licensing process. Choose the opening day accordingly. Hire at least one bilingual worker for your kindergarten; Florida is home to many Spanish speakers and your staff will be able to interact with your clients and children.
Many daycares fail in their first year because they underestimate the costs of running a business. Be as precise as possible when setting your budget. Since daycare workers in Florida require background checks before they can work with children.