Some decades ago, we had more full-time housewives in Nigeria, but the story has changed rapidly in recent times. The state of the Nigerian economy has made both men and women double their hustle. Hence, most women don’t want to stay at home idle. As a result, a lot of working mothers take their children to a daycare center while they go about their white-collar jobs or businesses.
Actually, a daycare center is one of the businesses you can start from the comfort of your home and it doesn’t cost much to set up. Do you have a natural passion for taking care of children or you are just interested in owning a daycare business?
Whatever your reason for choosing to operate a daycare center is, this article will walk you through everything you need to know about starting and running a daycare center in Nigeria.
Daycare Center Defined
As the name implies, a daycare center also known as pre-school or child care is a center that provides supervision and care to infants, toddlers, and young children during the day.
So, how does a daycare center run? Normally, daycare service involves taking your child to a location away from your home to an establishment where children are being catered for.
Most times, parents drop their children in the morning and pick them up later in the evening when returning from their day’s job. A daycare is different from babysitting because babysitting requires that a child be
taken care of in the parent’s home. Children taken to a daycare center are usually between the age of one and six.
Why You Should Start A Daycare Business
Actually, Nigeria is becoming more of an urban nation, and babysitting your children every day may make one miss out on the several opportunities out there. Hence, the demand for daycare service is increasing by the day and from all indications, it will continue to increase.
If you are a mother or father yourself, running a daycare center will give you the opportunity to take care of your children and still make money taking care of other children. Apart from the profit involved, the business helps you develop patience which is a virtue required when caring for children.
Furthermore, spending most of your work time with children can help you appreciate the simple things in life, like health and friendships, rather than getting stressed out at an office.
Things To Note Before Starting A Daycare Center
Prepare for mishaps and emergencies that come with working with kids. Hence, it is advisable to get a first aid box and learn all there is about childcare before starting the business. In addition, it is better to have a partnership arrangement with a nearby hospital in case of any casualty.
Many parents want the best for their children and would love to verify if your daycare center is the best for their children. Therefore, you need a degree in education or experience working with an established daycare center.
Also, you will need a good dose of patience to work with children. So, if you are the impatient type, this business is not for you. Consider other businesses that we have discussed on this platform.
Steps To Start A Daycare Center In Nigeria
Step One – Draft A Business Plan
You may ask, why do I need a business plan for a daycare business? The answer is not far fetched. Every business requires a blue print that’ll guide its operation.
In addition, you need to identify the type of daycare center you are starting and create the appropriate plan around it. The various types of daycare centers include Montessori daycare, Religious daycare, At-work daycare, etc.
Typically, a business plan is a detailed document containing the long term goals and objectives of your new business and how you intend to achieve them.
Normally, here are the basic information that should appear in your business plan:
- An overview of your daycare business
- Executive Summary
- General company description
- SWOT analysis
- Market Research
- Your Strategy
- The Team
- A marketing plan
- An operational plan
- Financial projection
- An appendix
Contrary to what many people think, a business plan is not a bulky and complex document. You can discipline yourself to write a page per day and in few days, you will have your business plan ready.
Step Two – Register Your Daycare Center With CAC
The first step to structuring your business in Nigeria is to register it with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). CAC is the recognised body in charge of business registrations in Nigeria. To get started, visit CAC’s portal to run a search on the availability of your chosen name. This step is important so that you won’t be building on someone else’s registered name.
If your name is available, reserve it and move to the registration process proper. Basically, the information needed to register your business are your name, residential and office address, and valid ID card among others.
Do you want a firm that will make the process easy and seamless? ReDahlia is one of the trusted firms that offer such a service. ReDahlia is located at 43B, Emina Crescent Off Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos.
Step Three – Get The Relevant Licenses And Permits
Visit the nearest local government around your chosen business area to get the relevant licenses and permits needed to run a daycare center. In advanced countries, certain laws and regulations have been put in place to debar against child abuse.
Some of these regulations specify the space and staff requirement, toy types, the number of children to admit per time, etc. However, in Nigeria, such regulations are not enforced if it’s available.
As a matter of fact, you can start the business before worrying about the regulations. The Ministry of Women Affairs is responsible for certifying a creche. After a year of inspection by a representative of the women affairs commission, a certificate will be given to the creche owner.
Step Four – Get A Space For Your Daycare Center
The next step is to choose a suitable location for your business. If you are starting from home, ensure that your home is spacious enough to accommodate the kids you want to admit.
Also, it’s important that you have a playground where the children can catch their fun. In addition, ensure that your house is fenced so that the children don’t go out of the compound without your knowledge.
If you are getting a commercial space, make sure the space is big and the environment is safe, clean, and accessible. The space should be equipped with relevant facilities such as beds, toys, toilets, kitchen, bathrooms, blankets, and television set among others.
When setting up your space, put extra effort into your interior decorations. In a nutshell, create an atmosphere that will entice both parents and children. If a parent is satisfied with your space, they’ll recommend others.
Step Five – Employ Competent Staff
This is about one of the most important decisions you’ll take in your daycare center business. Actually, not everybody can work at a daycare. A staff that has natural love and passion for children will be a huge blessing to your business. A daycare employee must be accommodating, hospitable, empathetic, and patient.
More than that, you need to communicate the vision of the business to your staff and ensure they buy into it. That way, you will run the business with the same level of passion. Preferably, hire people with an educational or teaching background. Even with their degree, ensure you train them especially about the culture of your business.
Step Six – Develop A Curriculum
The goal of a daycare center is not only to babysit children while their parents are away. One of the duties of a daycare center is to instill good values into the children. These include emotional, moral, and educational values. Hence, valuable curriculum and guidelines are required.
If parents cannot see any development in the mental, emotional, and educational behavior of their children, they will assume they are wasting their money and withdraw their children from your daycare center. And of course, they will never recommend you to their friends, families or colleagues. To protect the reputation of your business, engage the children in activities that will make them better than they used to be.
Part of the ways to help kids develop mentally is to teach them new things and make them memorise it. Teach them rhymes, songs, alphabets, and numbers. Also, engage them in puzzles and different types of games.
More than that, make the daycare interesting such that the child is always happy to come every day. When a parent notices that their child finds joy attending your daycare center, you’ll most likely retain them for a long time until the child begins regular school.
Step Seven – Market Your Daycare Business
Every business needs strategic marketing to be successful. Therefore, this is the point where you introduce your business to your target audience. Your primary customers are parents living or working close to the location of your daycare center.
One of the ways to attract them is to print a big flex banner and hang it outside your center so that whoever passes by can see it. Also, print flyers and distribute them to homes, offices, restaurants, and hotels around your center. Other ways to advertise your daycare center include word of mouth, referral, and taking advantage of social media platforms.
Finally, daycare center business is both exciting and financially rewarding. With background knowledge of the business, startup capital and love for children, you are good to go. If after reading this article, you feel this is the best business idea for you, then the best time to start is now.
Do you have additional ideas that can help an aspiring daycare center owner become successful? Feel free to drop your insights in the comment section. Also, do not hesitate to share this content with your audience.
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