Having a child care business and managing all its aspects is hard and challenging, especially if you have more than one centre and multiple care providers. The larger you become, the more risks and problems you will have and at times, it might all seem impossible.
As a business owner, you need to stay competitive, your staff needs to feel heard and valued and your clients have to be happy with the quality of the service you provide. It can be really hard to keep everything in perspective and stay on top of things, so here are a few areas you can focus on to run a successful business.
Invest in yourself
Starting your own child care business is a big venture and a huge investment. Whether you’re looking for a child care centre for sale or you’re planning to run it from your home, you will need a serious business plan to cover all areas and make it work.
However, once things get going, you need to invest in yourself as well because you are your own most valuable asset. Therefore, make plans for your skills development, professional training and personal growth. From the very start, it’s important to include this into both your schedule and your budget, no matter how tight it is.
This will open a sea of opportunities for you and eventually make you a better person, both in your company and your own family. Moreover, make an effort to join professional associations of child care providers and many other organisations that can help and support small business owners.
Develop a child-first philosophy
One of your first steps towards a successful child care business is developing a child-oriented philosophy. Integrate it into your mission statement and your core values, share it in your advertisements in printed materials and on social media and make it a part of your brand.
Another crucial factor is to have your staff exhibit this philosophy so you can build a relationship with the parents based on trust. Train and educate your staff so well that whatever they do and whenever they communicate with the parents, this philosophy is evident.
Concentrate on parents’ experience
As mentioned above, an essential part of your business is the relationship you create with the parents, so always consider various ways you can improve and create a better parent experience. This is a key element as the parents are the ones who need to feel comfortable enough to let you educate their child and trust you enough that you can do the job well.
In this digital age, you can offer the option of a user-friendly communication app so parents can connect with you throughout the day. This constant communication can go from sharing photographs of children’s activities, updates on their progress and overall well-being so the parents can be at ease knowing that all information is just a click away.
Value your staff
As a small business owner, you need to make sure you have a devoted team of teachers and a good relationship between them and your management team. Everyone involved must act and work in accordance with your business core values but they all need to feel heard and valued as well. Ensure they’re all provided with sufficient resources, materials and training and an occasional treat and fun activities.
It’s imperative all your employees are properly educated, trained, certified and licenced to provide care for a larger number of children, but do make sure every teacher gets only as much as they can handle. This is why it’s important you are an involved boss who notices the signs of exhaustion and burn-out. It might be necessary to employ another caregiver. If so, it’s a better option than running the risk of losing clients due to sub-par care.
Always, be professional
When you work with children in child care and spend a lot of time with them, it’s easy to get attached and develop strong feelings for them. You need to control this urge as it could compromise your business and be your downfall. Professional distance and boundaries are essential because, regardless of how much you love both the kids and the parents, they will continue to come and go and you need to maintain your business. You are there to support them and give them what they need, but you can’t let it crush you.
Take the bad with the good
Working with children is probably the most rewarding job you can have and watching them grow and develop in every aspect and knowing that you get to be the part of that makes everything worthwhile. In addition to long-term benefits, each and every day with the kids will give you momentary rewards and immense personal and professional satisfaction.
Certainly, running a child care centre isn’t all fun and games. It also entails long hours, lots of stress and hard work. Bad times will come but then, it’s important to take a step back and remind yourself of all the good things you have accomplished from the day you opened the doors of your business.