The biggest pitfall for home daycares is the high turn-over rate. Jobs change, lay-offs happen, people move. This can have a negative effect on your daycare if you are not well prepared with a back up. Avoid being a great daycare with no children in it by establishing a strong waiting list from the beginning.
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Daycare Start Up Tips - Five Steps to Avoid the Biggest Daycare Pitfall

You are going to open a home daycare. You have a room in your house prepared, have obtained a business license, possibly obtained a contract through the region and now you just need children. The biggest pitfall for home daycares is the high turn-over rate. Parents and children will come and go and you can never really be certain that a parent will stay with you for as long as they originally intended. Jobs change, lay-offs happen, people move cities. This can have a negative effect on your daycare if you are not well prepared with a back up. Avoid being a great daycare with no children in it by establishing a strong waiting list from the beginning.

Step One: Name Your Daycare.

This important Step establishes your daycare as a small business. Create a logo to go with your name and you can then use this for a letter head and on newsletters for parents. It will also benefit you in word-of-mouth circles as it gives parents a name to tell their friends about when they they will say, "My child goes to such-and-such daycare." This will be more memorable for the listener.

Step Two: Host an Open House.

Real estate agents know that open houses sell houses. Open houses can sell a potential parent on the merits of your home as well. Organize an open house a month before you would like to open. Have a community BBQ or offer coffee and donuts. Buy a sizable ad in as many community papers as your budget will allow. Go big for this ad because your business is new and you want the ad to catch parent's attention.

At the open house, guide parents through your home. Tell them about who you are and what your goals are for your daycare. Provide a registration package and set up a date to have a registration interview for those interested. My open house gave me a great start with three children registered for opening day.

Step Three: Create a Website.

We live in the age of information and consumers are becoming increasingly more reliant on the internet to gather information and opinions about a service they are interested. If you feel that you are not technically inclined don't let this scare you. Setting up a website can be as easy as calling a local internet provider and meeting with a web designer to explain your business. They will then do all the work.

If you are comfortable online and want to have some fun with your website consider linking it to your own personal blog or creating different pages on your site that are of interest to you and your parents. Some daycare providers have even set up a camera in their home that linked to their site and parents could use a password to access the site and then be able to watch their kids throughout the day.

The online possibilities are endless but the point is simple. Providing a website will attract people to your daycare and give your business credibility.

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