It’s exciting that you are planning to start a daycare. It’s an opportunity unlike any other, and it has a chance to be a fulfilling experience. It also involves penetrating a highly regulated industry. Before you can get to the fun parts, you’re going to face plenty of red tape. That doesn’t have to be discouraging, but it always helps to go into these kinds of things with the right mentality. Before you can even think of taking care of children, you’re going to have to do five things to get your daycare legal and prepared to operate.
In Connecticut, daycare licensing is run through the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. Licenses are classified according to the type of child care provided. A summer camp is licensed differently from a preschool, for instance. You can find and fill out all of the forms at the state website. Application and licensing fees are subject to change, and they can be found on the website as well. Without a license, the other steps cannot be completed. This is the clear starting point.
You cannot qualify for grants without a license, and other sources of money are going to prove scarce. But, once you are licensed to operate, you will need money to get the daycare off the ground. Facilities and staff are not free, and you need enough to handle your initial roster of kids.
As the business starts to become reality, you need to take on legal issues. One of those is insurance. Every business needs liability and workman’s comp coverage. They are not items that can be skipped.
A daycare will require an additional, specialized policy. Fortunately, there are insurers like us that offer optimized daycare coverage. You can check for bundles, but in any event, you need all three of these policies before you can let children cross the threshold.
You still aren’t done with regulations and red tape. Now that you’re licensed, funded and insured, you have more legal documentation to complete. Namely, you need contracts. You need contracts for your clientele, and it needs to be specific. It has to lay out responsibilities, conflict resolution, regular pricing and more. It’s best to work with an attorney on this part.
You also need contracts for employees. The contract will clearly spell out their duties and wages. It forms the basis of the employee-employer relationship, and without a solid contract, you are asking for trouble.
The previous four items on the checklist are required for you to be legal and functional. Once you’re through them, you can start preparing the daycare. This step represents the bulk of the work. This is where you outfit your location, actually hire staff and start pursuing clientele. This is the step where you start seriously running a business. Good luck!
The total process involves a lot of steps and paperwork. At least one of those steps can be easy. You can get daycare insurance by simply filling out a form. It will automate the process and tailor a policy to your specific business.