Business analysts agree that the demand for daycare centers will continue to increase in the coming years. Mothers of today would want their children to be as educated as possible at their earliest age. It is also a trend that both parents work outside the house, thus, they need a trusted facility to take care of their children while they are working. Here is a guide on how to start your own daycare center in Pennsylvania.
- Start it small. Unless, of course, if you have a million dollars to invest. Starting it small, say having a baby-sitter service first, will provide you with the needed training for a fully operational daycare center in Pennsylvania. This will also expand your network of loyal customers. Children who are left under your care as a baby sitter will most probably be enrolled in your daycare center.
- Plan the business. Homebased daycare center is the trend for most starters. Operating right at the comfort of your home is less stressful. However, the client base could be limited considering that there are better locations like those nearby communities and workplaces. Careful planning based on your location and people in the area should be done. Otherwise, you might end up with few enrollees just because of poor location choice. Take note also that every child should be allotted with at least 65 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. The space should follow the general safety rules.
- Obtain the Certificate of Compliance. You cannot legally start a daycare center without complying with the rules and regulations of the Department of Public Welfare of the State of Pennsylvania. You may apply as an individual or as a representative of a corporation or group. Attending an orientation provided by the said department is required to be made within 12 months prior to the start of daycare center operation. After this, the daycare center will be inspected after every 12 months or until it is due for renewal.
- Look for daycare center staff. A daycare center should have a director, a group supervisor, an assistant group supervisor, nurse, and the teaching staff. Staff persons should be at least 18 years old and should have the Development Associate credential or the Certified Childcare Professional credential, which can be attained from an accredited educational institution. At least one year of working experience, related to caring for children, can replace this. A yearly training of at least six hours is also required for each staff person. Other necessary trainings that should be taken at least once a year are first-aid, fire safety, lifeguard training, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and water safety. Volunteers for the daycare centers are allowed if they are at least 16 years old. Take note that there should be at least one staff for every four infants, five young toddlers, six-year old toddlers, 10 preschoolers, and 12 young school-age children.
- Prepare the daycare materials and equipment. All toys and learning objects should be at least one inch in diameter. Removable parts are okay as long as they have at least one inch in diameter. Styrofoam and plastic bags should be kept away from children. Furniture pieces should be easily cleaned, safe, durable, stable, and appropriate for the children’s age.
These are only general guides on starting your own daycare center in Pennsylvania. The rules and regulations are more detailed. So it’s best that you obtain a copy of the list of rules from the legally responsible department.