How to Start a Daycare Business


• Decide on a business model and location for the daycare. Consider licensing requirements, budgeting, zoning regulations, insurance needs, and your target clientele.

• Hire qualified staff members to provide quality care for children in a safe environment that adheres to safety regulations.

• Set up systems for marketing and operations so you can attract customers and manage finances efficiently. This includes creating policies, pricing structures, operational procedures, accounting practices, and outreach activities.

Despite a slight dip in demand for daycare centers in the last two years, the market has increased again as parents return to work. As a result, the job growth outlook for the industry between 2020 -2030 remains on par with the national average for other sectors at 8%.

Like all businesses, daycare centers are battling inflation’s effects on operating costs. However, they have several benefits, including a rewarding career, financial freedom, and tax benefits.

Starting costs for a daycare center will depend on its size and location and range between $10,000 for a home-based one and $100,000 for a larger center.

SWOT Analysis of a Daycare Business


  • High demand for childcare services
  • Potential for high-profit margins
  • Flexible hours and schedule
  • Satisfaction in providing a positive learning environment for children


  • Strict regulations on operating procedures
  • Cost of hiring qualified staff members


  • Large market for daycare services
  • Growing trend of parents returning to work
  • Income potential


  • Increasing competition from other daycare businesses and home-based care
  • Rising operating costs due to inflation

By understanding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with daycare businesses, entrepreneurs can gain insight into the strategies they will need to implement to succeed. With a well-thought-out plan, a dedicated team of employees, and creative marketing methods, any entrepreneur has the potential to build a successful business in this growing industry.

Steps Required to Start a Daycare Business

The path to starting a daycare center may differ slightly for each business owner, but these steps are essential:

1.      Decide on the Type of Daycare Center

Permit requirements will depend on the type of daycare facility you plan to open and the age groups you will focus on. Therefore, before even drawing up a business plan, take the time to consider the requirements.

Also, conduct market research to determine the daycare needs in your area and your prospective competition. After all, you do want a viable venture!

Another consideration is whether you plan to buy into a franchised daycare facility or open one independently of others. With a franchise opportunity, you follow their streamlined steps, making opening the facility easier. They do a lot of the planning and licensing, but you get this service for a franchise fee.

Are you planning on becoming a sole proprietor, do you want a partner, or is an LLC better? Consider the various types of business entities, and speak to your accountant or lawyer to determine which offers you the best tax benefits and liability protection.

2.      Prepare the Daycare Business Plan

Now that you have a better impression of the type of daycare business you want to start, you are ready to prepare your business plan.

Every business needs a business plan, so start with a summary or outline of all your thoughts. Then write a company overview and follow that up with an assessment and market analysis of daycare needs in your area based on your research.

Finally, every good business plan includes a marketing and sales strategy and a financial plan with future projections. Therefore, prepare your budget for the startup costs and the running costs.

It’s essential to consider the following:

  • Daycare equipment, educational tools, toys, cleaning materials food, wages, insurance, and licensing
  • Your tuition fees
  • Predicted daycare revenue for up to three years
  • Your break-even estimation
  • Consider the daycare center tax deductions in your calculations

We have created a sample business plan and included it at the bottom of this article.

Next, find an original name for your daycare business and check for its availability before creating your marketing plan. See the ideas below for sample names and mission statements.

Regarding your marketing plan, you may already have a network of local parents if you have cared for children. In addition, word-of-mouth is still the best way to market your business when combined with traditional local advertising. However, that’s not enough in this digital age, so think about your website and social media marketing plan.

Remember, your business plan’s purpose is to help guide you as you grow your business, but you can also add to it over the years. Use one of the templates below if you need help generating a business plan.

3.      Obtain Certification and Licenses

Each state differs in the qualifications required to become a daycare teacher. However, in all states, you will need a combination of licensing and certification. The best place to find out the legal requirements for your area is to contact the equivalent of the Division of Child Care and Family Services in your state.

All states require that you and your staff have CPR and basic first aid certification, and some require security checks on you and your employees. Make sure to satisfy all the requirements to avoid future fines that will harm your daycare business’s reputation.

4.      Find Your Daycare Facility Location

In most states, you can only get your license or registration after you get the approval that the facility meets the state’s health and safety requirements. Therefore, you must make the required adjustments to meet the local zoning, fire, health, and safety laws, even if you plan to start the daycare center at home.

5.      Daycare Center Insurance

You cannot get a daycare facility license without ensuring you have liability insurance in some states. Not all states require home-based daycare centers to have liability insurance, but it’s best to have it to protect yourself against the risks.

Other insurances every daycare center needs include property insurance, business insurance, and workers; compensation. Speak to your local licensing office and insurance broker to determine the insurance required and the best coverage.

6.      Open a DayCare Business Bank  Account

You will want to keep your daycare business income and expenses separate from your personal ones. That means you need a different business checking account and business credit card for all business finances, making it easier for your accountant during tax season.

A business credit card you pay on time also increases your business credit score for a better credit line with suppliers.

7.      Daycare Center Financing

Limited credit history usually makes it difficult for new business owners to get financing, forcing them to turn to family, friends, or savings. However, there are some funding opportunities worth trying for as a new business owner:

  • SBA microloans
  • Government and state grants

8.      Preparing the Daycare Facility

Now that you have the premises, licensing, and money to buy supplies, it’s time to prepare your daycare business.

Clean and sanitize the place and ensure the childproofing of all areas according to the children’s ages. Place all the equipment in place and create storage areas for smaller items. You are almost ready to start your daycare business.

9.      Hire Daycare Staff

Your staff requirements will depend on your state’s ratio requirements for the number of children at your center. Remember, you must also maintain the number of children to your state’s maximum requirements.

You may start solo for a smaller facility and hire as your business needs change, but always ensure you have enough staff to meet the requirements. When hiring, ensure they have training and experience with the right references. They must also undergo the required criminal and health checks.

10.  Draft Your Daycare Business Contract and Policy

One final step to further protect your daycare business legally is to draw up a contract that parents sign. Again, every daycare facility has requirements and needs, so you will need to discuss these with a lawyer to outline them correctly in the contract.

The contract must state what child care services you provide, your compensation for providing care, specify the payment terms, and your rights to terminate providing the care. You can also specify your policy on sick children, how you’ll deal with injuries at the daycare center, and under what conditions you offer refunds.

You add all the logistical information about running the daycare center in your policies, including drop-off and fetching times, vacation protocols, curriculum, field trips, etc.

In both cases, clients must agree and sign both.

Safety and Security

Ensure you also include safety and security measures in your daycare center. Invest in fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and emergency exits plans which are essential for any childcare facility.

If possible, install a surveillance system to monitor children at playtime and check-in/out times. Hire responsible staff aware of the safety precautions necessary when working with kids and constantly remind them of the importance of this aspect of the job.

Finally, conduct regular drills to practice what to do in case of an emergency or natural disaster. Teaching children and staff how to stay safe in each situation helps prevent any potential issues.

Getting Clients for a Daycare Business

With all the prior steps complete, you are now ready to start advertising and getting more clients. You can add your business to local listing platforms, reach out to parents in your community via door-to-door fliers, or network at schools, libraries, and churches.

Consider partnering with other childcare centers in your area for cross-promotion of services and online marketing on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Additionally, word of mouth is an excellent way to get more customers, so don’t forget to ask family and friends to help build your client base!

Once you have a steady stream of clients each week, it’s time to concentrate on providing quality care and earning their loyalty.

Bottom Line

Starting a daycare business has its challenges because of all the demanding requirements. However, the challenges are minimal if you find this a gratifying occupation. Once you have followed the guidelines above and started your daycare center, you can look forward to growing the business and gaining financial freedom.


What kind of insurance do I need for a daycare center?

You will need liability insurance, property insurance, business insurance, and workers’ compensation. Speak to your local licensing office and insurance broker to determine the best coverage.

How do I get funding for my daycare business?

Some funding opportunities are worth trying as a new business owner, such as SBA microloans and government and state grants. Additionally, you may also turn to family, friends, or savings.

What should I include in my daycare contract and policy?

Your contract should state what childcare services you provide, your compensation, and your payment. Your policy should cover drop-off and fetching times, vacation protocols, curriculum, field trips, etc.

What safety measures do I need to take for a daycare center?

Ensure you have fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and emergency exit plans in place. Consider installing a surveillance system to monitor children at playtime and check-in/out times. Regularly conduct drills to practice what to do in case of an emergency or natural disaster.

What kind of qualifications do I need to open a daycare center?

Depending on the state’s requirements, you will need certifications such as a Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate or Early Childhood Education (ECE) certification. Some states may also require additional courses relating to safety, health, nutrition, and first aid for children. Check with your local licensing agency for more information.

How much money do I need to start a daycare business?

The cost of starting a daycare center can vary significantly based on your location, size, and amenities. Generally, you will need to budget for licensing fees, insurance, equipment and supplies, facility rental or purchase costs, and payroll.

Do I need a license to open a daycare business?

Yes. You must get the appropriate state licenses before opening a daycare center. Requirements vary by state, so research the specific requirements in your area. Sometimes, you may be required to pass an inspection before getting your license.

What is the best way to market my daycare business?

To attract new clients and grow your business, it is essential to have an effective marketing strategy in place. Start by creating social media accounts on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram; post updates regularly with information about your business. Additionally, consider creating a website for your daycare center to showcase your services and amenities. You can also create flyers and distribute them in local businesses or host an open house.

Create partnerships with other daycare centers to cross-promote each other’s services. Finally, don’t forget word of mouth; ask friends and family to spread the news about your new business.

How do I hire staff for my daycare center?

Hiring the right staff is integral to running a successful daycare business. Start by writing clear job descriptions outlining expectations, qualifications, and duties. Then create an application form that asks for relevant information about each candidate, such as experience, certifications or education, references, etc. Once you have narrowed down your top candidates, conduct face-to-face interviews to understand better their skillset and level of commitment to the role. Before making any offers of employment, be sure to run background checks on all candidates and verify references. After hiring, ensure your staff receives the proper training to equip them with the skills necessary to provide quality care for children.

Do I need insurance for my daycare business?

Yes. You must have sufficient liability insurance coverage in case of an accident or injury on your premises. Check with your state licensing agency to determine the required insurance coverage and contact a reputable local insurer for a quote. Additionally, consider getting workers’ compensation insurance if hiring employees, as this will cover their medical expenses if they sustain injuries while working for your daycare center. Lastly, ensure all your equipment is adequately insured in case of theft or damage from natural causes such as fires or floods.

Sample Names and Mission Statement for your Daycare Business

Using these sample names and mission statements can be a great starting point when creating the perfect name and mission statement for your daycare business.

Begin by brainstorming words and phrases representing your values, vision, and goals. Consider how you want to be viewed by potential customers or communities. Once you have narrowed down your top choices, think of catchy words or rhymes that can make your business stand out from others.

You should also ensure another entity does not already take the name to avoid any legal issues. After coming up with several options, use a trusted advisor or friend to provide feedback on each choice before making a final decision. A great name and mission statement will help you establish your daycare business as a reliable, professional, and successful operation.

1. Kiddie Kapers: Here at Kiddie Kapers, we aim to ensure every child gets the best possible care in a fun and safe environment. We understand the importance of giving your little ones an enjoyable time while providing them with learning experiences, so we offer activities and educational materials tailored to their age group.

2. Sunshine Daycare: At Sunshine Daycare, we nurture each child’s creativity and potential by providing stimulating activities in a loving atmosphere. Our experienced educators create an individualized curriculum for each child based on their unique interests and needs. Whether they are curious about animals or passionate about music, they will find plenty of opportunities to explore here.

3. Little Wonders: Our daycare center is dedicated to helping children reach their full potential. We provide a fun and safe space for them to explore, learn, and grow through creative activities such as music, art, and playtime. With our experienced staff members by their side, the possibilities are endless!

4. Tiny Toes: Here at Tiny Toes, we strive to create a loving atmosphere where children can feel secure while learning new skills. We offer various educational programs designed to nurture your little one’s development in an age-appropriate way while engaging in plenty of fun activities promoting curiosity and exploration.

5. Super Stars Daycare: At Super Stars Daycare, our goal is to help each child become their little superstar! Our qualified educators are passionate about creating a stimulating environment that encourages children to reach their full potential. From music to art, sports, and more, there’s plenty for your child to discover here!

6. Busy Bees: Welcome to the Busy Bees daycare center, where your little ones can have fun while developing valuable skills. Our experienced staff creates activities tailored to different age groups and educational materials to encourage exploration and creativity.

7. Kidz Korner: Kidz Korner provides a safe and nurturing space for your kids while they explore the world around them. Our knowledgeable educators’ craft individualized lesson plans based on each child’s unique interests, ensuring they have plenty of opportunities to learn and grow in a fun and stimulating environment.

8. Kids R Us: At Kids R Us, we understand the importance of providing your children with quality care. That’s why we offer various activities tailored to different age groups; from music and art to sports, your little ones will find plenty of ways to explore their creativity here!

9. Superhero Academy: Our Superhero Academy daycare center provides a safe and nurturing space for kids to discover their hidden superpowers! Whether they are passionate about art or love playing games, our experienced educators create individualized lesson plans based on each child’s interests – so join us today as we help your little ones become the best superhero they can be!

10. Tiny Tots: At Tiny Tots, we believe that every child should have the chance to explore their potential in a safe and nurturing environment. We offer various activities designed for different age groups and educational materials tailored to each individual’s interests and needs. With our experienced staff members by their side, your little one will indeed have an enjoyable time here at Tiny Tots!

11. Learning Land: Welcome to Learning Land – a daycare center where learning never has to stop! Our educators know how important it is for children of all ages to receive quality instruction, so we create stimulating activities and educational materials tailored to each individual’s needs and interests. With our experienced staff by their side, your little ones will have plenty of opportunities to explore the world around them!

12. Tiny Tykes: At Tiny Tykes daycare center, it’s all about helping your children reach their full potential in an environment filled with fun and discovery! Our qualified educators create individualized lesson plans based on each child’s unique interests and needs, ensuring they have plenty of opportunities to learn and grow here at Tiny Tykes!

13. Sunshine Kids: Sunshine Kids is a friendly daycare center that provides quality care for your little ones. We offer various educational programs to nurture development while engaging in age-appropriate activities. From art and music to sports, your child will have plenty of ways to explore creativity here!

14. Kiddy Korner: We strive to provide your children with the best possible care at Kiddy Korner. Our qualified staff members create individualized lesson plans based on each child’s interests while incorporating educational materials designed to foster exploration and development in a fun and stimulating environment. Join us today as we help your little ones reach their full potential!

25 More Business Names for a Daycare Center

1. Little Learners Daycare

2. Cheerful Kids Corner

3. Tender Care Daycare

4. Tiny Treasures Learning Center

5. Creative Kids Clubhouse

6. Sunshine Playtime Academy

7. Happy Buddies Child Care

8. Precious Steps Early Education Center

9. Puddle Jumpers Preschool & Daycare

10. Smiling Stars Daycare

11. Kidz Korner Learning Center

12. Growing Minds Academy

13. Busy Bees Childcare and Learning Center

14 Joyful Journeys Montessori School

15 Rainbow Home Pre-School and Daycare

16 Little Explorers Day Care and Preschool

17. ABC 123 Child Care Center

18. Growing Up Together Daycare

19. Kool Kids Academy

20. Kinderland Learning Center

21. Sunshine Children’s Garden

22. Rising Stars Educare Center

23. Kidz R Us Daycare & Pre-School

24. Superhero Academy Daycare & Education Center

25. Tiny Tots Early Learning Academy

Sample Business Plan for Daycare Center


1. Executive Summary

ABC Daycare is an independent day care center situated in the city of Houston, Texas. Founded by Ms. Jane Doe, ABC Daycare offers a variety of childcare programs and services for children from ages 6 months to 12 years old (preschool). Our mission is to create a safe, secure, and nurturing environment for our students that encourages exploration and discovery. We also strive to provide parents with peace of mind knowing their children are well taken care of during their work hours or when they travel away from home.

2. Business Model

At ABC Daycare we offer multiple services such as: full-time daycare programs; part-time daycare programs; after school programs and summer camps. We also provide snack and meals, educational activities such as stories, field trips and arts and crafts, daily naps for the younger children, a library of books for the older children and much more.

3. Market Analysis

The Houston childcare services market is rapidly growing due to population growth. According to the U.S Census Bureau, Houston has a population of approximately 2 million, with 25% of those residents under 18 years old. Based on that statistic alone, we can conclude that there is a big demand for childcare services in this area which provides ABC Daycare with an opportunity to capture a portion of this market share. Furthermore, we have researched to determine the need for our services in the local area. The research shows a definite demand for daycare services with an even split between full-time and part-time programs.

4. Marketing and Sales Strategy

To gain market share, ABC Daycare will focus on creating awareness of our services through various marketing campaigns such as radio advertisements, print ads in local newspapers, fliers distributed within the community, and creating profiles on popular social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, etc. We will also partner with multiple organizations in the local community (i.e. churches, schools etc.) to increase our visibility among potential customers. Furthermore, we plan to offer discounts and promotions to new customers to attract them to our services.

5. Financial Plan

ABC Daycare plans to finance its operations through savings, investor capital, and bank loans. The startup cost for the daycare center is estimated at $100,000, including costs such as rental deposits, furniture, supplies, equipment and marketing expenses. We also anticipate an additional $150,000 in working capital that will be needed for the first 6 months of operations. We assume that ABC Daycare will be profitable after the fifth month of operation and expect to generate an annual income of up to $500,000 per year within 5 years of opening.

6. Conclusion

ABC Daycare is an excellent opportunity to provide the growing population of Houston with quality childcare services. With a team of dedicated and experienced staff, we are committed to providing children with an atmosphere that is safe, enriching, and, above all else, fun! We look forward to becoming an integral part of the community.

Thank you for taking the time to review this business plan. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments.

Good luck!

Note: This sample business plan is based on fictitious information and should be used only as a reference when creating your daycare center business plan. It is highly recommended that you seek professional advice before starting your business venture. Also, consult local laws and regulations related to child care services.



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