It sounds like a mammoth task, doesn’t it – “Opening your first home childcare”?! Appears to be pretty daunting, hey? But breaking it down into bitesize pieces is going to help you. Just try to focus on each thing you need to get done, and don’t let yourself get caught up in the overwhelm of starting a new business.
Starting my first childcare business in my family home was a huge learning curve for me. You’ve really got to be sure that this is something you want to do. It’s no longer a case of having your kids’ friends over for dinner, it’s your livelihood. There are regulations and guidelines you’ve got to follow. This is a commitment! But it is soooo worth it!
Why home childcare?
My reason for setting up my first business as home childcare is pretty common, I guess. I wanted a job where I could balance my home life and work, that used my skills and stretched my intellect. It gave me the chance to be my own boss, but still be at home when my baby girls got back from school. Caring for other people’s children in my own home meant I could be around to support my own kids. There was also the added bonus that if there was a performance on at the school, I could make it an educational field trip for the day care!
Still feeling a little unsure? Never fear, lovely Ninjas! As a seasoned childcare business owner, I have some tips to share with you. We’re going to get you feeling organized, confident and ready, so you’re not frazzled when you open the doors!
Get your mindset ready
When you’re opening your first home childcare it can feel a little strange. You’re essentially turning the place where you live and sleep into a work place. And that is a pretty scary thing to do! So what you need to do is develop strategies that get you in the right mindset. These will help you keep a balance.
The way we approach our challenges often sets out how they’re going to be. For example, if you rush around in a frenzy setting up your home childcare the reality is that you’ll probably end up running your business in the same way. I believe that being organized, calm and confident in my abilities will set me up for success, and it’s the same for you.
Surround yourself with positive messages and people who believe in you. Put post-its on the cupboards reminding you that “you are awesome” and “You’ve got this”, and get some dollar store frames and print off some posters with affirmations on them – make your own on Canva or use this template. Here is a really great article with some business specific affirmations for you to read. I love this print from the talented British designer, Ruthie who runs “Ohverlee“.
Make sure you’ve got a space at home that you can go and reflect in at the end of the working day. Somewhere calm, child free and relaxing, where you can light a candle or be creative. I’ve written more about creating a space for yourself here.
Plan, plan and plan some more
This is super important and will make opening your first home childcare feel easy breezy! Making plans and putting them into action is how you are going to run a successful childcare business, so let’s start off the way we mean to continue, right?
With opening your first home childcare, you’re bound to be on a tight budget, so planning is key. So, first of all, you’ve got to plan out your space. What do you want the parents to be buzzing about when they visit? What do you want the kids to notice? Think about what you’re offering families and plan out how that’s going to work. Take time to figure out the curriculum – will there be a theme each week or month? Plan out activities you’d like to try and trips you’d like to make – this’ll get you ahead of the game!
Plan out how you want each day to look. Will you begin each day with a story? Will the kids be allowed to free-flow into your outside space (if you have one) or will there be set times?
Plan out meals you might prepare each month taking care to have a healthy balance and not too much repetition. Then you can get list ready for grocery shopping. It doesn’t matter that you’re not open yet. This is going to save you time when you are!
By breaking down each part of the business, and planning it out, you can then start thinking about systems!
Start with systems
Before you open your home childcare, it’s a good idea to have some systems in place. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am systems obsessed – and for good reason! It’s how I have grown my childcare business and it’s how I stay sane! By being organized, and using systems, I have more time for the fun stuff!
The way I do this is I write down all my plans – every area of the business, every little task – and I then look at ways I can simplify or put a system in place. This ranges from staffing to hygiene, food to safety! I have systems in place for everything. And I cannot stress how essential this is if you want to start off on the right foot. You might change the systems once you get going, but it’s good to get organized in advance of opening.
Hopefully you’re now feeling a little more prepared and ready to begin this journey? And perhaps more motivated to get started on organizing yourself?! I love hearing about how other people go about setting up their childcare businesses, so please leave a comment below or drop me an email with how you’re doing.
This is such a great industry to be in and it’s why I set up my membership to help other women become successful childcare ninjas as well!
My community of Childcare Ninjas is here to help with tips and advice, and to support you while you’re opening your first home childcare business – and beyond!
Please tap into the hive mind over in the free Facebook group, and if you want to join the Ninja Membership head here now to reserve your spot! And don’t forget to follow @ChildcareNinjas on Instagram for more ways to grow your business!