Business At A Glance
Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? No
If you love kids, you’re a Big Wheels and Barney fan, and you’ve gotpatience to spare, then you can help parents in your area hit theworkplace with easy spirits with a child-care service. You’ll care forkids in your home, providing a safe and loving environment as well assnacks and meals. Some child-care services offer child developmentactivities; others provide extended or 24-hour service for parents whowork the late shift.
Still others combine senior care with the tot set,giving both generations the chance to enjoy and learn from each other.The advantages to this business are that you can work at home; yourstartup costs are low; if you have kids of your own, you can work andcare for them all in one; and you get the joy of watching little peoplegrow. You’ll need a genuine affection for the crayon set–if youhaven’t got it, you’ll burn out quickly–as well as patience and themind-set to enjoy being at home all day with only tots to talk to. Youshould also have a good working knowledge of child care, childdevelopment and psychology. (You needn’t be a trained pediatrician, butyou’ll have to know the basics, things like the difference betweenteething and an illness-induced fever and at what age children learn toshare.)
Your customers will be working parents and grandparents withpreschoolers to be cared for. Post fliers on church or temple bulletinboards and place ads in their newsletters. Network among friends andneighbors; have your spouse or significant other spread the word atwork and at professional and civic organizations. Place an ad in yourlocal newspaper. You can also target local businesses. Send lettersextolling the benefits of paying for employees’ child care withyou–you’re close at hand so employees won’t be late arriving or earlyleaving work, and with your exceptional care, there’s no lostproductivity worrying about Junior.
Depending on your locale, you may need licensing, certification,inspection or some combination thereof. Be sure to check beforeembarking on your business. Even if it’s not required, you should takecourses in CPR and pediatric first aid. You’ll need to install safetydevices in your home, including smoke detectors (if you don’t alreadyhave them); fire extinguishers; first-aid kits; gates around pools,spas or other hazards; stairway gates; outlet covers; and safetylatches on cabinets and cupboards containing any potentially dangeroussubstances or materials. Once safety’s accomplished, you’ll want tothink entertainment. Stock up on development-oriented toys, kid videos,tot-sized tables and chairs, and arrange adequate sleeping quarters foryour prospective charges.