How to Write a Business Plan for Daycare and Preschool

  • brightwheel
  • Running a business

People sitting at a table reviewing business graphs

Writing a daycare or preschool business plan is a big task, but due diligence and hard work will help you understand what you’ll need to launch and run a daycare or preschool successfully.

people sitting around a table reviewing a business graph

What do daycare investors want?

Your local government will have rules and regulations you’ll need to follow as a small business owner and childcare provider. Start by reviewing the childcare licensing guidelines for your state and city. Once you’re clear on licensing guidelines, you’re ready to start writing your childcare business plan.

The purpose of a business plan is to help secure funding. You’ll likely need financing to launch your preschool or daycare, especially if you want to avoid the monthly repayment of a loan. 

Investors provide businesses with money in exchange for partial ownership. As a result, they expect a larger return on their initial investment. Because many investors work in business, they prefer to invest in an established company.

Most investors look for:

Industry background and experience

Financial performance and promise.

Investors want to make money. Therefore, they are more inclined to work with experienced entrepreneurs and business owners to guarantee a return on their investment. 

This might sound discouraging for those with little experience or without a business management background, but the opportunity doesn’t end there. You could consider bringing on a partner with a business background. Additionally, many investors act as a source of business advice. 

You need to demonstrate that your business will make money. Investors will likely want to see signs of business growth before they give you money. 

Additionally, investors will want to know about your financial stability. Questions an investor might ask are:

  • What do you plan to do with the money?
  • Has your business been up or down in recent years?
  • Is your company losing money? Are there signs of growth for the future?
  • How do you plan to repay your investment?

Of course, every investor is different, so they’ll consider various factors. While experience and financial promise are at the top of the list for most investors, they might also look for uniqueness, business readiness, an effective business model, and more.

A women using a calculating and holding cash

Writing a daycare business plan

We’ve discussed licensing and investors. Now, you’re ready to begin the framework of your business plan for daycares and preschools. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Business description

Needs assessment, insurance policies, operating policies and procedures, marketing strategy.

Start with the basics: what does your daycare do? Detailing the service you’re offering will help you create a clear business plan. Next, you might want to write some goals or even a mission statement outlining your purpose and motivation.

Start by looking at general daycare or preschool industry trends, then narrow your scope to the preschools or daycares in your local area. Next, you’ll need to figure out who your target customers are and confirm that there is a need for a business like yours in your community. 

Are there a lot of young families in your neighborhood? Are you located somewhere convenient for commuting parents? Does your business offer a specific service that your competitors don’t, like early check-in or extended hours? 

Also, check out the competition. Research the existing daycare or preschool options in your community. Look at current preschool or daycare business plan samples. What makes your daycare or preschool unique? 

Developing detailed budgets will help you run your small business. You’ll need to compare your current cash flow and expenditures to determine whether you’ll make a profit.

Build a budget for unexpected costs. For example, how many children do you need to serve to be able to pay your bills and stay afloat? Child Care Aware of America offers some terrific budgeting resources for this process.

Depending on the type and size of your preschool, you’ll need insurance policies of several different types, including liability, property, workers’ compensation, and business insurance. Check the licensing requirements for guidance in building this part of your preschool business plan.

Create a comprehensive handbook for families and staff that includes you center's policies and procedures. For instance, you'll need to develop an emergency plan , daycare sick policy , and other safety protocols according to your local childcare licensing requirements. 

Your staff handbook will be a helpful resource your employees can reference and include all your employment policies including work and pay schedules, benefits, and information about professional growth and development. You can also include information on your center's philosophy and curriculum, classroom procedures, and expectations for working with children and families.

Your marketing strategy is the key to attracting customers. Decide what type of advertising you will use in front of potential customers. For example, list your school in local directories and participate in parenting and kid-friendly community events. Run a social media campaign focusing on your target population.

Another big part of childcare business marketing is differentiating yourself from other preschools. These days adopting daycare software is a surefire way to attract families with young children. A tool like brightwheel's center management feature will streamline your center's admission process, record keeping, and reporting, saving you up to 20 hours per month. 

You can also use brightwheel for recording and tracking daily events and activities, and sending real-time updates to families throughout the day. It also offers secure, digital check-in/check-out and a paperless billing system. This is a great way to keep your families looped in on daily activities and handle all of your administrative tasks in one place.

Your business is ready!

Writing a business plan can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you secure the proper licensing, use the information in this article to guide you through creating a solid daycare business plan that drives investors and financing to your business.

These are just the basics to get you started. For further information, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website has detailed instructions on creating each necessary part of a successful business plan. 

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How to Start a Day Care: A Step-by-Step Guide

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If you’re a teacher, former teacher, or simply have years of experience caring for children — and an entrepreneurial streak — you might have considered starting your own day care center, either from home or in a dedicated facility. And at an expected job growth of 7% over the next decade, working in child care is a stable career choice. So, if you’re seriously wondering how to start a day care center, you’ve come to the right place.

As is the case starting a business in any industry, however, your passion for your craft alone — or, in this case, your students — isn’t quite enough to ensure that your day care business is copacetic, either financially or legally. You’ll need to do a good amount of due diligence when looking into how to start a day care business, paying special attention to licensing requirements, and ensuring that your facility and program aligns with your state’s health and safety codes.

If you’re a pro at educating, training, supporting and generally corralling large groups of small children, you should be pretty unperturbed by the work it takes to start a day care business. Here’s what you need to know.

child day care business plan

How to start a day care business

Although every path toward starting a business looks different for every business owner, there are a few steps that every aspiring day care owner needs to think about when it comes to how to best start a day care.

1. Decide what kind of day care business you want to start

Before you can even get to writing a business plan for your day care business, you need to decide what kind you want to open. Look into whether you want to start a day care business at home, or whether you want a more commercial facility — there might be different permits required in your municipality depending on which you choose. You also need to decide what age groups you want to focus on.

Next up, you'll have to decide on a business entity, which will have huge effects on the way you're taxed and how you operate your day care business. Will you have partners or open your business on your own? Additionally, you'll want to consider whether you want a business entity that offers you some protection. Making your day care center a limited liability company might be a good move, since the business will take on liability should anything go wrong.

You might also decide to buy into a day care franchise opportunity. This option will significantly streamline the steps you need to take in opening your day care.

Once you narrow down these details about your business, you can move on to the next step in starting a day care business: writing a business plan.

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Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

2. Write a day care business plan

This is a step you have to take when starting any business and it can be quite a bit of work, especially for anyone looking to get moving quickly on their business. When you start writing a business plan, start with an outline of all the things you want to include.

Your plan should include a summary, an overview of the company, a market analysis that includes an assessment of the need for a business like yours, a marketing and sales plan, and a financial plan along with financial projections. Don't worry, though, you can always add to it as your business grows.

One thing you should include, though, is market research. The last thing you want to do is go through all of these "how to start a day care business" steps, only to find that there isn't a market for one or that there are already too many day cares in that area to make it a viable business.

Your business plan should also include a budget. The costs associated with opening and running your day care center can never be accurately totaled, but nailing down a budget will give you some parameters to work within (and some peace of mind).

In your budget plan, don’t forget to factor in:

Your startup costs, including day care equipment, food, toys and educational tools, wages, insurance and licensing.

How much tuition you’ll charge.

Your predicted revenue over the next two to three years.

When you’ll break even.

Also know that day care centers can claim certain tax deductions, which can ease your annual financial burden.

You'll also want to include a marketing plan. If you’re seriously researching how to start a day care business, it’s likely that you’ve already been caring for children in your area for some time and have built up a network of local parents. That’s one valuable method of attracting customers (aka word of mouth) covered. Still, implementing even a basic marketing plan can help define and legitimize your business — and if you need to implement a waitlist as a result, that’s great too!

Your marketing efforts can be relatively simple and low-cost. You can start by creating a Facebook page for your day care center and building a business website, making sure to include your contact information and a little bit about your business. If possible, plan to include pictures of your facilities and testimonials from happy customers.

If you’re a fan of social media, it also can’t hurt to create an Instagram, LinkedIn and/or Twitter account to keep both current and prospective customers updated on your business. Just be sure that once you do, you receive permission from parents or guardians before posting pictures of their children, of course.

Analog marketing techniques would work well here, too. If possible, consider distributing flyers or brochures to nearby libraries, schools, places of worship or any other local gathering spots.

3. Obtain the necessary certification and licenses

You may not need a master’s degree in education to become a day care teacher, but each state does require some combination of licensing and certification when it comes to how to start a day care. Visit your state’s Division of Child Care Services (or its equivalent) to find out the training, experience and credentials you need to legally operate a day care facility.

In New York State, for instance, the head of the day care facility must have one of the following:

An associate degree in early childhood education or an equivalent.

A CDA credential (child development associate) and at least two years of experience caring for children.

A high school diploma and at least three years’ experience caring for children.

You'll probably find that there are some other requirements that usually come up when you're looking up how to start a day care business at home or in another facility. Your state may require that you and any staff you hire are CPR-certified, for one. Another point of safety to remember is that you should be trained in at least basic first aid for children. You and your staff might also need to be fingerprinted and undergo background checks before being cleared for work.

Even if your state doesn’t require that you obtain a license, you should consider doing so, as your licensing course will go over all the boxes you need to check to operate your day care in your state — including health and safety regulations, proper food preparation and the required child-to-adult ratio.

4. Find a (safe) day care facility

In certain states, in order to obtain the proper licenses or registration to start your day care business, you’ll first need to show that your day care facility meets your state’s health and safety requirements.

So whether you choose to open your day care facility in your own home, or buy or lease a new property, you’ll need to make sure your facility meets zoning, fire, and health and safety laws. When it comes to how to start a day care at home, you may need to make alterations to your house to comply with day care requirements in your state, so be sure to factor them into your budget.

5. Get insured

Another requirement for obtaining your license? Getting insured. In certain states, you’ll need to be licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services to run your day care center, but to do so, you’ll first need liability insurance.

The exception is home-based day care centers, which don’t need insurance to be licensed by the DHHS. Still, those opening day care centers at home should seriously consider obtaining small business insurance. You always run the risk of a lawsuit when you’re running your own business, but that risk increases when caring for other people’s children — so protect yourself whenever possible.

There are several types of insurance that cover day care businesses — general liability insurance, workers’ compensation, property insurance, abuse and molestation insurance and others — so contact an insurance broker to help you decide which coverage is best for your business.

6. Get a business checking account and credit card

Get a business credit card and a business checking account early on to help you keep your business expenses separate from your personal expenses when first starting a day care.

It’s crucial to separate your personal and business expenses for many reasons, not the least of which is to reduce your (or your accountant’s) burden come tax season. It’s simply the most professional way to conduct your business, too. Set yourself up for success now by signing up for a business credit card and opening a business bank account, and be diligent about using both solely for your day care’s finances.

Having a business credit card can help you increase your business credit score, too. By paying the card off on time — or early if you can — you can boost your score, which will help you late on when you need a loan or other financing for your day care business.

7. Get financing

Most entrepreneurs bootstrap their businesses at the beginning, as it’s difficult for brand-new businesses with limited credit history to secure a business loan, either from a bank or from an alternative lender.

Your financing options aren’t limited to your own purse strings (or your friends’ and family’s). Here are a few other ways to get funding and loans for a child care business:

SBA microloan

Although most SBA loans are available only to businesses with a few years of experience under their belts, SBA microloans are actually designed to help startups get off the ground. They’re especially accessible to women, veterans, minorities and business owners in low-income areas. And unlike most other SBA loan programs, SBA microloans are disbursed by nonprofit lenders, rather than banks.

As the name suggests, SBA microloans tend to be on the smaller side, with amounts capped at $50,000, but they may be as low as $500. (For more context, the average microloan amount was $14,000 in 2017.) And because microloans are designed for new businesses, business owners with average or even challenged credit may still be accepted, as long as other aspects of their SBA loan applications are in good shape.

SBA community advantage

These loans from the SBA have all of the advantages that come with SBA microloans but the community advantage loans are specifically for businesses that are serving traditionally underserved communities. These loans are generally for a higher dollar amount than the microloans and can go a bit further for your business.

Government grants

You might be able to obtain financial assistance to start and run your day care through state or federal funding programs for early childhood education providers. For instance, you can contact your state’s Child Care and Development Fund Plan to look into startup funds, or your state’s school meal contacts to seek funding for your day care center’s meals.

Take a look at the Administration for Children and Families Office of Child Care’s list for a more comprehensive overview of federal and state financing programs for child care centers .

Business credit card

It’s important to use a business credit card to keep your day care’s expenses separate from your own. Of course, using a credit card is also the most convenient way to pay for your daily expenses. And since credit limits for business credit cards tend to exceed those of consumer cards, you can spend more liberally without worrying about maxing out your card.

Another bonus? Using your business card responsibly (by which we mostly mean paying off your balance in full and on time, every month) can help you build business credit. And with a healthy business credit score, you’re in a better position to secure business loans with great terms down the line.

If you opt for a card with a long 0% intro APR period, you can essentially use that introductory grace period as an interest-free loan. Look into the American Express Blue Business Plus card, which, at 12 months, carries one of the longest interest-free introductory periods in a business credit card right now.

After your 12 interest-free months are up, though, a variable APR kicks in at a rate depending on your creditworthiness and the market. Check the issuer's terms and conditions for the latest APR information.

8. Hire staff

You may be planning on running your day care facility solo, but depending on your state and the number of children you’re looking after, that might not be an option — every state sets a required ratio of staff to children to ensure that every child receives adequate care. They also dictate the maximum number of children permitted in a group.

Adult-to-child ratios and class sizes depend on the age of the children, but they might also depend on the size of the day care facility, or face further restrictions based on municipality. For a day care center in New York state, for example, the state requires one adult for six children under school age. However, in New York City, there must be two teachers or one teacher and one assistant to every six children aged 2 to 3, with a maximum of 12 students allowed in a single group. Your own children may or may not be included in that count, too.

So, while hiring really depends upon your state’s requirements, it makes sense to leave room for hiring staff in your business budget. That way, you’ll be prepared for growth, without worrying about your operation shutting down because you’re not properly prepared for it. (Just keep in mind that any staff you hire needs to be appropriately licensed or trained for it, and potentially undergo a background check.)

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9. Write your day care contract and policies

To further legally protect your business, it’s crucial that you draw up a contract, write out your day care policies, and require that potential clients (or, more likely, the parents of potential clients) review and sign both documents before accepting their patronage.

If you're just starting to read up on how to start a day care business, you might not be clear on the distinction between these two documents. To clarify, your contract is the document stating that you’ll provide child care, be compensated for providing care according to the payment terms you specify, and have the right to terminate providing care.

Your policies, on the other hand, provide parents with important logistical information regarding how you’ll run your day care center. There, you can outline protocol regarding vacation, illness, inclement weather, drop-off and pickup times, curriculum, field trips, and anything else you believe is important for your clients to understand and agree to about your day care center.

On a similar note...

The Daycare Business Plan Blueprint (Examples + Template)

child day care business plan

April 14, 2022

Adam Hoeksema

Starting a daycare business can be a daunting task. There are so many things to think about and plan for. You need to find the perfect location, get the right licenses and permits, hire qualified staff, and, most importantly, create a daycare business plan. 

Creating a daycare business plan is one of the most important steps in starting your business. A well-thought-out business plan will help you get funding, attract investors, and operate your business effectively. 

The bad news is that there is a lot of advice out there on writing a business plan. With so much information and tons of daycare business plan examples to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. 

The good news is, we've got you covered. In this article, we'll give you a comprehensive guide on how to write a daycare business plan. We will also provide some examples and a free daycare business plan template to get you started. 

But First...Is a Daycare a Good Business to Start? 

Before we talk about how to create a daycare business plan, let's first answer the question: is starting a daycare a good business to get into? 

The answer is a resounding yes! The daycare industry is growing rapidly. It is one of the few businesses that are not only recession-proof but also thrives in uncertain economic times. 

According to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), the demand for child care services has increased by 26% over the last decade. This demand is only expected to grow in the coming years. 

When it comes to profitability, the daycare industry is very attractive. According to IBISWorld , the average profit margin for a daycare business is around 15%. That's higher than the average for most other industries! 

If you're thinking about starting a daycare business, know that you are getting into a very profitable and in-demand industry. Now let's talk about how to write a daycare business plan that will help you start and grow your business successfully.

How to Create a Daycare Business Plan 

A daycare business plan is as simple as a word document with the following sections:

  • Business Description
  • Market Analysis

Business Model

  • Location and Facility
  • Marketing Plan
  • Financial Plan

Executive Summary

This article will provide context of what to include in each section of your daycare business plan. As you work on writing your business plan, you will want to grab our daycare financial projection template as well in order to complete the financial plan section.

Your daycare business plan should be an elevator pitch in itself. It should be attractive to potential partners and investors. Basically, it should give them a clear idea of your business, where it is located, what services you offer, who your target market is, and how you plan to make money. 

Creating a daycare business plan doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, the cheapest and easiest approach is to simply start with a blank word document and work through each of the above sections, it can be pretty easy. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a daycare business plan: 

Create a Compelling Business Description

Your daycare business's unique selling point (USP) should be the first thing you include in your business plan. What is it that makes your daycare center different from all the others? 

This description should be the foundation of your marketing efforts as well.

There are a few questions you should answer in your company description. They include:

What's your Curriculum Based On?

Potential investors, partners, and even customers will be interested in knowing what your curriculum is based on. This will help them understand the environment children will be in a while under your care. 

When describing your curriculum, make sure to include:

  • What age ranges do you cater for?
  • The type of care you offer (full-time, part-time, drop-in) 
  • Your educational philosophy 
  • The activities and programs you offer 

For example, if your daycare is unique by offering a Montessori curriculum, you will want to highlight that.  In fact, you can learn more about how to start a Montessori program here . 

How Big is Your Facility? 

The size of your facility will say a lot about the type of operation you're running. Are you a small, home-based daycare or a large center with multiple classrooms? 

This section of your business plan may include: 

  • A floor plan of your facility 
  • The capacity of your facility 
  • The number of employees you have 
  • Type of equipment and furniture you have 

Who Is Your Target Market? 

You can't market to everyone, so you must identify your target market. This will help you focus your marketing efforts and ensure that you're reaching the right people. 

Below is a daycare business plan example that shows how your business description should be:

“ABC Daycare is a small, home-based daycare located in San Francisco, CA. We cater to children aged 0-12 years old and offer full-time, part-time, and drop-in care. 
Our curriculum is based on the Reggio Emilia approach, emphasizing hands-on learning and collaboration. Activities and programs include arts and crafts, music, and outdoor play. 
Our facility can accommodate up to 12 children at a time. We have a staff of four employees who are all CPR and First Aid certified. 
Our target market is working parents in the city who need quality child care but can't afford the rates of larger daycare centers.  We've created an affordable subscription-based pricing model for our target market to fulfill the demand. We generate revenue through monthly subscriptions and have low operating costs due to our small size. 
Our suppliers are local businesses that provide us with food, toys, and other supplies.” 

Do a Thorough Market Analysis

After writing a compelling description of your business, you need to do a thorough marketing analysis. This analysis will help you determine your target market, what type of advertising and promotion will work best, and how to price your services. 

You should also research the competition and see what they are doing right and wrong. This information will be invaluable as you create your daycare business plan.

Keep these things in mind when doing a market analysis:

The Size of Your Market

This is determined by the number of potential customers in your area who need or want your services. 

For example, if you live in a small town with only a few thousand people, there may not be enough demand to support a large daycare facility. 

On the other hand, if you live in a city with hundreds of thousands of people, there may be room for multiple daycare facilities. 

Your target market is the segment of the population that is most likely to use your services. This includes factors like age, income, education, and location. 

After you've identified your target market, you need to show how you plan on fulfilling the demand. This is where your business model comes in. 

Your business model is a detailed description of how your daycare will operate daily. It should include: 

  • How do you plan on acquiring customers? 
  • What are your pricing strategies? 
  • How will you generate revenue? 
  • What are your operating costs? 
  • Who are your suppliers? 

Your business model should be detailed and easy to understand. It should also be realistic and achievable. 

Here is a daycare business plan example of a business model for a small daycare center: 

“The daycare will be open Monday through Friday from six in the morning to six at night. We will offer care for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. 
Our rates will be $50 per week for one child and $40 per week for each additional child from the same family. We will offer a discount of $20 per week for families who enroll their children for an entire year. 
We will generate revenue by charging weekly rates for our services. Our operating costs will include rent, utilities, supplies, and salaries for our employees. Also, we will acquire customers through online advertising and word-of-mouth.” 

As you can see, a business model is a detailed description of how your business will operate. It's essential to have one in place before promoting and selling your services. 

One thing you should not forget to include in your daycare business plan is the location of your business and your rental agreement. If you are renting a space, including the terms of your agreement and how long you have the space. If you are purchasing a property, include information on the property, such as square footage and any special features that will help your business stand out. 

This daycare business plan example shows you how to include this vital information: 

“The daycare will be located at 123 Main Street in a commercial space currently leased by the owner. The lease agreement is for three years with an option to renew for an additional three years. The monthly rent is $2000, and the security deposit is $3000. 
The daycare will have exclusive use of the main floor, including a large open play area, a small kitchen, two bathrooms, and four classrooms. The daycare will also have access to the outdoor playground.
80% of our space will be used for childcare, with the other 20% used for our administrative offices and staff lounge. 
We have chosen this location because it is close to several residential neighborhoods and has easy access to public transportation. The space is also large enough to accommodate our future growth.” 

There are many daycare business plan templates you can use to help you get started. This is a basic outline of what should be included.

Daycare Marketing Plan

Most daycare business plan templates will include a section for your marketing plan. Most people overlook the marketing aspect of their business, but it is one of the most important pieces of your puzzle. 

In your business plan, you need to outline your target market, your marketing strategies, and how you plan on executing those strategies. 

You also need to set aside a budget for your marketing efforts. Many people make the mistake of thinking that they don't need to spend money on marketing, but that couldn't be further from the truth. 

The following daycare business plan example shows you how you should describe your marketing efforts:

"Our target market is working for families with children between six weeks and five years old. We will reach our target market through online and offline marketing efforts. 
Some of the offline marketing strategies we will use include print advertising, flyers, and word-of-mouth referrals. We will use a mix of SEO, content marketing, and social media for online marketing. 
We have set aside a budget of $500 per month for our marketing efforts."

As you can see from the example above, your marketing plan should be clear, concise, and to the point. Don't forget to include a budget!

Daycare Financial Plan

Your business plan should include a financial plan section. This is where you'll lay out how much money you need to start or grow your business. Be specific and include dollar amounts. If you're seeking a loan, including information on how much you're requesting and how you'll use the funds.

You should also include a detailed budget in your business plan. Your budget should include all of your projected income and expenses for at least the first year of operation. Creating a budget will help you get a clear picture of what it will cost to start and operate your business.

This section should include projected costs for:

  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Operating expenses such as utilities, supplies, and more. 

Startup costs are another vital item to include in your business plan. This is the money you need to purchase equipment, furniture, or any other items to get your business up and running.

If you plan to secure a loan, your lender will want to see a detailed business plan with information on how you plan to use the loan funds. Ensure you include this information in your business plan to increase your chances of securing funding.

If you're seeking funding from investors, you'll need to include information on how they will be compensated. This is typically done through equity, a percentage ownership stake in your business. 

For example, if you seek $100,000 in funding and offer a 20% equity stake, the investor will own 20% of your business. 

Make sure you use a daycare business plan template that includes a section on funding to ensure you include all the necessary information. If you’re planning to get a loan or seek investment, you’re going to need full financial projections. Our daycare financial model will provide up to 5 years of projected income statements, cash flow and balance sheet forecasts.

Next I want to answer some key financial questions for you as you consider how to forecast your daycare financials. I am going to hit on:

  • Daycare Startup Costs
  • Daycare Revenue 
  • Daycare Facility Operating Expenses
  • Daycare Profitability

Let’s dive into some key questions. 

How much does it cost to start a daycare? 

It costs between $10,000 and $50,000 to start an in-home daycare business according to Bizfluent . 

It costs between $59,000 and $3 million dollars to start a daycare facility according to Bizfluent . 

So obviously this is a huge range in startup costs.  The main thing that will determine your startup costs is your daycare facility.  Depending on how large your daycare is, whether you are buying, building, or leasing the space, and how much renovation needs to be done, your startup costs can vary drastically.  

Some tips to help you estimate a cost of a daycare facility:

  • A daycare facility should have 35 square feet of open floor space indoors per child. 
  • So if you wanted a facility that could care for 100 children you would need 3,500 square feet of indoor space for children, plus additional space for offices, kitchen, bathrooms, etc.  Let’s assume that you would need at least 5,000 square feet of space for a daycare facility that served 100 children.  
  • A daycare center would cost at least $295 per square foot to construct in the U.S. based on data from Levelset . 
  • Constructing a new 5,000 square foot daycare center would likely cost at least $1,475,000 based on $295 per square foot.  
  • Now you might not be constructing new, rather you might rent an existing facility which could require renovations.  You will need to get a specific quote for the specific renovations that you need for your space. 

How much revenue can a daycare business make?

A daycare facility can generate $17,680 in revenue per year per child according to Zippia .  

A daycare business with 100 children can generate over $1.75 million per year in annual revenue based on our average revenue per child of $17,680. 

How much does daycare cost?

The average cost of daycare is $17,680 per year, per child in the U.S. according to Zippia . 

This means that the average monthly cost of daycare in the U.S. is roughly $1,475.

What is the typical child to staff ratio for a daycare? 

The typical child to staff ratios for a daycare are:

  • 1 adult staff for every 4 infants (age 0 to 12 months)
  • 1 adult staff for every 6 toddlers (age 1 to 3 years)
  • 1 adult staff for every 10 pre schoolers (age 3 to 5 years)
  • 1 adult staff for every 12 school aged children (5+ years old)

Source - Childcare.gov

These ratios will help you estimate how many staff members you will need.  Our financial projection template makes this easy.  Just enter in your ratios and the number of children you expect to have in each age group and the model will automatically calculate the number of staff required to maintain your ratios.  See the input daycare staffing table below:

child day care business plan

What are the typical operating costs for a daycare? 

Your largest operating expense for a daycare facility is likely to be your rent. 

It should cost between $20 and $30 per square foot to rent a daycare center space based on available spaces on Loopnet . 

Other operating costs for a daycare center include:

You can see how you can enter in your operating costs into our financial model below:

child day care business plan

How much profit can a daycare make? 

The average daycare profit margin is 6.5% according to Daycare Business Boss . 

Once you complete your projections you will want to take a look at our At a Glance tab to make sure that your projected profit margins aren’t way out of line with the industry norms.  You can find projected profit margins for your daycare below:

child day care business plan

This is an important aspect that you may not find in most daycare business plan templates, but it's still essential. An appendix includes any additional information to help you understand your business plan. This might include things like your:

  • Business licenses 
  • Insurance policy 
  • Lease agreement 
  • Sample contracts 
  • Staff bios 

This section adds credibility to your daycare business plan and shows that you've done your homework. Including all of the necessary details in your appendix will give investors peace of mind and show that you're serious about starting a daycare center.

An executive summary is a brief overview of your business plan and is often considered the most important section. It should be two pages long, with a clear description of your business, your goals, and why you will achieve them.

There are several key elements to include in your executive summary:

  • Business Name: This is the name you have chosen for your business.
  • Location: Include the city, state, and country where your business will be located.
  • Business description: Describe what type of business you will be operating.
  • Target market : This is the group of people you will be targeting as customers.
  • Competition: Who are your competitors, and how will you compete with them?
  • Product or service : What product or service will you be offering?
  • Sales and marketing: How will you generate sales?
  • Financials: Include a five-year income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.
  • Management team: Introduce your management team and their experience.
  • Exit strategy : This is the plan for how you will eventually sell or otherwise exit the business in case you decide to retire or move on to other projects.

The executive summary is the most crucial section of your business plan because it gives investors and lenders a quick overview of your company and its prospects. Be sure to include all of the key elements listed above, and keep it under two pages in length.

What Are The Benefits of Creating a Daycare Business Plan?

Research shows that a business plan helps business owners make better decisions, turn abstract goals into tangible objectives, and track progress over time. But what does this mean for those who want to open a daycare? 

Creating a business plan forces you to think through every step of starting your company. It's a valuable exercise that can save you time and money in the long run. Even if you don't end up following your business plan to a tee, the process of writing it will help you better understand your business and what needs to be done to make it successful. 

There are many benefits to creating a daycare business plan, including: 

Gives You a Roadmap to Follow

As with any journey, it's always helpful to have a map. A business plan is that map for your daycare business. It will give you a clear idea of where you want to go and how you can get there. 

Helps You Secure Funding

A business plan is essential if you're looking for investors or loans. It will show potential lenders and investors that you've put thought into your business and have a solid strategy for making it successful. 

Ensures Your Daycare Business is Feasible

When you're starting a business, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement and overlook potential problems. A business plan forces you to take a step back and assess whether your business is truly viable. It also helps you identify any areas where additional research is needed. 

Final Thoughts

A daycare business plan is a valuable tool to help you make your business successful. 

It is worth noting that your business plan is not a one-time exercise but should be updated regularly as your business grows and changes. This document is meant to be a living document that evolves as your business does. 

If you're unsure where to start, there are plenty of resources available to help you, including daycare business plan examples online, books, and daycare business plan templates. 

You can also use our daycare projection template to get your financial plan ironed out and ready for your business plan.

The most important thing is just to get started. The sooner you create your business plan, the better prepared you will be for success.

You can get the Daycare Facility financial projection template here!

The template is simple to use and will save you loads of time while still producing professional looking daycare projections. ProjectionHub has helped more than 50,000 businesses create financial projections so you can be confident that you can do it too.

The daycare business projection template includes:

5 Year Daycare Facility Pro Forma Financial Statements

CPA Developed & Completely Customizable

Free Support & Projections Review

Compatible with Google Sheets

Free expert review of your completed projections

The template is easy to use and you do not need to be an excel wizard to fill it out. Editable cells are highlighted in blue, a video guide is included, and our team is available to answer any questions you have.

You can see the complete walkthrough and demonstration of the daycare business forecast template here:

Get the template today for just $79

child day care business plan

If you have any questions before purchasing, please feel free to begin a live chat or email us at [email protected]

100% money back guarantee in accordance with our terms and conditions

‍ Photo by Pixabay

About the Author

Adam is the Co-founder of ProjectionHub which helps entrepreneurs create financial projections for potential investors, lenders and internal business planning. Since 2012, over 40,000 entrepreneurs from around the world have used ProjectionHub to help create financial projections.

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SharpSheets

How to Write a Business Plan for a Daycare: Complete Guide

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  • January 30, 2023

child day care business plan

👇 Check all our resources on daycares 👇

Whether you’re looking to raise funding from private investors or to get a loan from a bank (like a SBA loan) for your daycare, you will need to prepare a solid business plan.

In this article we go through, step-by-step, all the different sections you need in your daycare business plan. Use this template to create a complete, clear and solid business plan that get you funded.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary of a business plan gives a sneak peek of the information about your business plan to lenders and/or investors.

If the information you provide here is not concise, informative, and scannable, potential lenders and investors will lose interest.

Though the executive summary is the first and the most important section, it should normally be the last section you write because it’s the summary of the different sections included in your business plan.

Why do you need a business plan for your daycare?

The purpose of a business plan is to secure funding through one of the following channels:

  • Obtain bank financing or secure a loan from other lenders (such as a SBA loan )
  • Obtain private investments from investment funds, angel investors, etc.
  • Obtain a public or private grant

How to write an executive summary for your daycare?

The executive summary of your daycare business plan should include the following important information:

Business Overview

Introduce your company (its name, its mission) and the history behind it: why did you decide to create a daycare in your area today? Why you? 

Also, that’s where you should expand on the business: where will the daycare facility be located? How old are the children you target? How many children will you be able to take care of? What are the amenities (classrooms, playground, cafeteria, etc.)? 

Market Overview

Provide here a deep market analysis that backs your decision to open a daycare business in your area today. Why would your business succeed given current market conditions? 

For example, the market analysis should include information like: what are your competitors in the area? What are their characteristics, strengths and weaknesses? Who are your target audience (parents and children)? Is that in line with the demographics in your area?

Management & People

Who is the management team? What is your/their experience in the daycare industry?

Financial plan

What is your expected revenue and profitability for the next 5 years? When do you expect to break-even? Simply include here a chart of your key financials (e.g. Revenue, Gross Profit, Net profit )

Funding Ask

What loan/investment/grant are you seeking? How much do you need? How do you intend to spend the money?

child day care business plan

Daycare Financial Model

Download an expert-built 5-year Excel financial model for your business plan

2. Daycare Business Overview

The business overview section of the daycare business plan summarizes the basics of your facility, including the background information, business model, services, target audience, and legal structure. 

a) History of the Project

When you launch a daycare business, you want it to grow and even become the best in the region if possible. One small element that can catalyze your company’s growth is its history. You don’t have to exaggerate the information here, but try to include useful details that will make your daycare business stand out. 

For a business as sensitive as daycare, trust overrides anything else. So, make sure to include in your business plan your experience and passion for children to demonstrate to investors you are qualified and the right person to successfully run a new daycare facility.

Also, flesh out the history behind the project: why are you starting a daycare now? For example, you may have noticed a lack of child care services for toddlers and infants in the city.

b) Business Model

Next up is the business model. This is the revenue-generating plan that identifies how your business operates. A daycare business model should be succinct and address specific things about the business. 

For instance, is it a commercial daycare facility or a family daycare? Is it an independent facility or a partnership? And should you opt for a daycare franchise? 

Keep in mind that daycare facilities vary by the target age group. So, you can opt for a childcare center, a family daycare, a kindergarten/pre-school, or a nursery school.

child day care business plan

c) Daycare Services

It takes a lot to raise a child. So, be clear on the services you want to offer in your newly founded daycare facility. The quality of services will make your business more attractive. But an even bigger factor will be the type of services you provide at the facility.

Indeed, a lot happens inside a daycare facility, from hands-on learning (classrooms, private tuition) to field trips, games and community events. 

d) Pricing Strategy

Age is a key factor when setting the prices of your daycare services. On average, parents across the US pay about $9,400 per year on child care per child. Of course, the actual figure will vary based on a number of factors, but this is a great starting point when getting into the industry. 

An accurate pricing strategy can help you outshine your biggest competitors. However, don’t forget that setting cheaper prices isn’t necessarily the best strategy, just in the same way overpriced services may turn off potential clients. 

e) Target Audience

Daycare centers are so named because they are about a child’s well-being. However, the final decision rests with the parents, who must buy into your idea and long-term vision for the facility. 

For this type of business, you have a definite target market. And all you have to do is ensure your facility is closer to a busy neighborhood with many children. Find out if the families truly need child care services, why they need these services and the children’s average age. 

Finally, make sure your services are aligned with your target audience. For example, you wouldn’t necessarily succeed with a daycare operating 9am – 4pm in an area where parents typically work long hours in the city and need time to commute back to their neighborhood to pick up their kids.

Same goes for pricing: if you offer high-quality expensive daycare services, make sure your daycare is either located close to offices or in an area where affluent parents work or live.

child day care business plan

f) Legal Structure

Finally, your business overview section should specify what type of business structure you opt for. Is this a corporation or a partnership (LLC)? Who are the investors? How much equity percentage do they own? Is there a Board of Directors? If so, whom? Do they have experience in the industry?

3. Daycare Market Overview

In the market overview section of your business plan, you must cover 2 important areas:

  • Market trends : how big is the daycare industry in your area? How fast is the market growing? What are the trends fuelling this growth (or decline)?
  • Competition analysis : how many competitors are there? How do they compare vs. your business? How can you differentiate yourself from them?

a) Daycare Market Trends

How big is the daycare industry in the us.

It’s always helpful to base your business decisions on the latest trends in the US market. For instance, the US daycare market had a value of approximately $54.3 billion in 2019 . And it is projected to grow at an annual rate of 3.9% from 2020 through 2027. 

According to reports, the high number of parents occupying full-time and part-time jobs is a major driving force behind the increasing demand for daycare services. No matter how you look at it, these statistics make the daycare business even more lucrative, provided you get all the basics right through your business plan. 

child day care business plan

How big is the daycare industry in your region?

After the US, assess the size of the daycare market in your city or area. Focus on the zone where you plan to offer daycare services.

Naturally, you might not be able to get the data for your specific city or region. Instead, you can estimate the size of your market, for more information on how to do it, read our article on how to estimate TAM, SAM and SOM for your startup . To give you an example, let’s assume you plan to operate in an area where there are already 10 competitors:

As we know the US daycare industry is worth $54 billion today, and there are about 230,000 child care centers , therefore the average annual turnover per child care center is around $235,000.

Now, we can safely assume that the daycare industry is worth $23 million in your area (10 centers).

How fast is the daycare industry growing in your region?

Growth is an important metric for assessing the status of the daycare industry in your region. 

Here if you don’t find information online or via your research, you can calculate growth using the total number of competitors in your area. 

For example, assuming there were 8 daycare competitors in the region in 2018, and 10 in 2022, the annual growth rate is 6% per year.

child day care business plan

b) Daycare Competitor Analysis

At the very least, your competitor analysis should answer all the questions below:

  • How many daycare businesses are the area where you plan to open yours?
  • What type of daycare businesses are there: home-based vs. center-based home care, early care vs. early education & daycare, etc.
  • What age range do they specialise in?
  • What services do your competitors offer?
  • What amenities do your competitors have (playground, classrooms, etc.)
  • What’s their average price (daily rate / monthly rate)?
  • What is the child / staff ratio of your competitors?

4. Sales & Marketing Strategy

For some existing daycare facilities, marketing isn’t the most important aspect of running the business. But you’ll probably have to implement a few marketing strategies at the beginning to attract the first families , especially if you’re starting a new daycare facility.

a) Daycare Market Channels

A daycare business doesn’t have diverse marketing channels like retail stores or other businesses. So, this may limit your options when it comes to new marketing channels. 

Apart from word of mouth, other marketing channels include;

  • Social media
  • Online listing (Google business, Facebook business page)
  • Word-of-mouth

child day care business plan

b) What are Your Unique Selling Points (USPs)? 

Daycare facilities offer pretty much the same services, and it’s not easy to stand out from the competition. However, a few factors can be useful when evaluating your opportunities in a competitive market, including:

  • Target age group : You may cover a unique age group as opposed to your competitors
  • Opening hours : you may offer longer opening hours to accommodate for different parents’ jobs and availabilities
  • Price : Your services may be cheaper than your competitors
  • Quality & amenities : Quality services and extra amenities (outdoor playground, etc.) will make your daycare facility more attractive vs. competitors
  • Services : Your services may go beyond the standard hands-on learning and kid games 

5. Management & People

The 5th section of your daycare business plan should be about people. It should include 2 main elements:

  • The management team and their experience / track record
  • The organizational structure: what are the different teams and who reports to whom?

a) Management

Here you should list all the management roles in your company.

Of course, the amount of details you need to include here varies depending on the size of your company. For example, a small daycare business run by 1 or 2 persons doesn’t need the same level of detail vs. a large center with 50 children or more.

If you plan on running your business independently, you may write a short paragraph explaining who are the co-founders and/or senior managers (if there are any in addition to yourself). It’s important to highlight their experience in the industry and previous relevant professional experiences.

b) Organizational structure

No matter how many leadership roles there are, you should now explain how you intend to run the company from a management standpoint.

What are the different teams (management, childcare staff, cooking staff, human resources, finance, etc.)?

Note that you should include these details even if you haven’t hired anyone yet. It will show lenders and investors that you have a solid hiring and management plan to run the business successfully.

A great addition here is to add an organizational chart that list all the roles, from Directors to managers, key supervisory roles and employees. Make sure to highlight with reporting lines who manages/supervises whom.

child day care business plan

6. Financial Plan

The financial plan is perhaps, with the executive summary, the most important section of any business plan.

Indeed, a solid financial plan tells lenders that your business is viable and can repay the loan you need from them. If you’re looking to raise equity from private investors, a solid financial plan will prove them your daycare is an attractive investment.

There should be 3 sections to your financial plan section:

  • Your historical financials (only if you already operate the business and have financial accounts to show)
  • The startup costs of your project (if you plan to start a new daycare facility, or add capacity to an existing daycare center, renovate your facilities, etc.)
  • The 5-year financial projections

a) Historical Financials (optional)

In the scenario where you already have some historical financials (a few quarters or a few years), include them. A summary of your financial statements in the form of charts e.g. revenue, gross profit and net profit is enough, save the rest for the appendix.

If you don’t have any, don’t worry, most new businesses don’t have any historical financials and that’s ok. If so, jump to Startup Costs instead.

b) Startup Costs

Before we expand on 5-year financial projections in the following section, it’s always best practice to start with listing the startup costs of your project.

For a daycare, startup costs are all the expenses you incur before you open the space to your customers. These expenses typically include: renovation costs, equipment and furniture, etc.

The startup costs for opening a child care center depend on various factors such as the location and size of your daycare facilities, the capacity (the number of children you plan to have), the quality of the amenities, etc. 

We’ve identified that it costs anywhere between $130,000 to $490,000 to start a daycare business with 50 children . See below the cost estimates.

Note that these costs are for illustrative purposes and depend on several factors which might not fully apply to you. Let’s first start below with startup costs. 

c) Financial Projections

In addition to startup costs, you will now need to build a solid daycare financial model over 5 years.

Your financial projections should be built using a spreadsheet (e.g. Excel or Google Sheets) and presented in the form of tables and charts in your business plan.

As usual, keep it concise here and save details (for example detailed financial statements, financial metrics, key assumptions used for the projections) for the appendix instead.

Your financial projections should answer at least the following questions:

  • How much revenue do you expect to generate over the next 5 years?
  • When do you expect to break even?
  • How much cash will you burn until you get there?
  • What’s the impact of a change in pricing (say 10%) on your margins?
  • What is your average customer acquisition cost?

You should include here your 3 financial statements (income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement). This means you must forecast:

  • The number of children over time ;
  • Your expected revenue ;
  • Operating costs to run the business ;
  • Any other cash flow items (e.g. capex, debt repayment, etc.).

When projecting your revenue, make sure to sensitize pricing and the number of members as a small change in these assumptions will have a big impact on your revenues.

When it comes to the costs, consider both startup and operating costs. For more information, read our complete guide here .

child day care business plan

7. Funding Ask

This is the last section of the business plan of your daycare center. Now that we have explained what type of daycare services your company would offer, at what price, your marketing strategy, management and people, this section must now answer the following questions:

  • How much funding do you need?
  • What financial instrument(s) do you need: is this equity or debt, or even a free-money public grant?
  • How long will this funding last?
  • Where else does the money come from? If you apply for a SBA loan for example, where does the other part of the investment come from (your own capital, private investors?)

Use of Funds

Any business plan should include a clear use of funds section. This is where you explain how the money will be spent.

Will you spend most of the loan / investment to buy the real estate and do the renovations? Or will it cover the cost of the salaries of your childcare staff and other employees the first few months?

Those are very important questions you should be able to answer in the blink of an eye. Don’t worry, this should come straight from your financial projections. If you’ve built solid projections like in our daycare financial model template , you won’t have any issues answering these questions.

For the use of funds, we recommend using a pie chart like the one we have in our financial model template where we outline the main expenses categories as shown below.

Privacy Overview

How to Start a Daycare Business Plan 

A Step-by-Step Guide for Childcare Planning with Tips to Help Entrepreneurs Start Their Daycare Business

daycare teacher with kids crop-1

Table of contents

What is daycare and why should i start one.

  • Types of Daycare Providers
  • Before Starting Your Daycare Business Essential Planning Steps
  • Decision Journey Map Definitions

Assess the Competition

How to start your daycare business.

  • The Importance of an Execution Plan
  • Execution Plan: Marketing and Sales
  • Form Your Daycare Business

Get Familiar with Daycare Licensing Requirements

  • Choose Your Insurance and Liability 
  • How to Gain Enrollment at Your Daycare  
  • Invest In Childcare Experience Software to Build Your Daycare with Less Work

How to Start a Daycare Business Plan

Build an Expert-Level Business Plan for Daycare

The childcare industry is full of passionate, hard-working individuals. Entrepreneurs just like you are starting a daycare from the ground up. In this guide, we'll give you guidance and provide templates to build a solid daycare business plan.

How to Start a Daycare Business Plan

According to Forbes , daycare businesses were projected to have some of the fastest employment growth of all industries through 2020. Starting a daycare is a great opportunity for aspiring business owners who have a passion for early childhood education and child development.   

‘Daycare’ is an umbrella term for various childcare options (such as Montessori, head start programs, preschool, and many more) where parents and guardians drop their children off and leave them in your care to...  

  • Socialize with other children in their age group  
  • Learn basic fundamentals for future academic success  
  • Reach important developmental milestones

Is Starting a Daycare Business Worth It?

Starting a childcare business or franchise is profitable, emotionally rewarding, and sustainable – the need for committed childcare entrepreneurs has never been greater.   

As of 2021, there were 856,238 childcare centers in the United States. The growing popularity of childcare centers comes from the demand. Parents will always need a form of care for their kids. Plus, there’s a necessity, especially beyond COVID-19, to socialize children in an environment that fosters development.  

How to Start a Daycare Business Plan

Types of Daycare Providers 

  • In-home daycare  
  • Relative care  
  • Preschool  
  • Independently-owned daycare
  • Daycare franchises  

The Difference Between Individual Centers and Franchises  

An independently-owned daycare often has an individual owner, a center director, and possibly a few other administrative staff members – along with teachers, cooks, bus drivers, etc. The owner is typically an individual who puts their own money and savings into opening the daycare, so all business rights (name, branding, etc.) belong to them.  

Alternatively, a daycare franchise falls under a corporate brand that has made an agreement with an individual to legally establish a business – using the company’s brand or trademark. In this scenario, the franchisee usually pays an initial fee, as well as ongoing royalties to the corporate franchisor. In return, the franchisee gains the use of a trademark, support from the franchisor, and the right to use the franchisor's system of doing business (including unique business policies and procedures, such as their method for advertising or enrollment). This model can be particularly beneficial for individuals who are passionate about early childhood education but don’t know how to get started on their own.  

For example, Kids R Kids and Kiddie Academy are both successful daycare business plans in the United States. Each center operates similarly, has the same name (aside from a unique location number or city/county name), and the same branding as all locations fall under the franchisee umbrella.  

Daycare Franchise Terms

  • A franchisor is a daycare company that provides its services, brand, and business operations to the individual. This may also be known as a ‘ franchise system ’.  
  • A franchisee is an individual owner that is being supported by the company (franchisor). Buying into a daycare franchise makes you the franchisee.  
  • The franchise refers to the legal agreement between the company and the franchisee.  
  • The franchise disclosure document is the legally binding contract between the company and the individual.  

Essential Planning Steps Before Starting Your Daycare Business

1) conduct market research.

When it comes to starting your childcare center, relying on assumptions about your customers and competitors leads to wasted time, money, and effort. In contrast, businesses that conduct regular market research improve customer retention and are 76% more likely to see an increase in revenue.  

Market research is a data collection process that evaluates both consumer behavior, competitor habits, and industry trends to determine the viability of your center and build a foundation for future business operations.  

Prepare for success upfront by conducting thorough market research to understand your competition, improve communication with your target audience, and identify new market opportunities. This research should result in actual data that you can use to drive your business and marketing strategies as you launch your center.  

There are a variety of tools available to help you conduct market research - all from the comfort of your own office. Gone are the days of hiring team members with clipboards to approach consumers face-to-face. Survey Monkey, Attest, and Sprinklr all offer digital market research tools to help guide you through the process of understanding your audience, your competitors, and your industry.  

how to start a daycare business plan

2) Determine Your Target Market

A market segment is a group of consumers that could potentially enroll at your childcare center. First, identify your daycare target market segments and determine how big each segment is.  

Be careful not to fall into the trap of defining your market as “everyone in your community.” This often leads to a ‘spray and pray’ approach to your marketing and as we know, a message for everyone really speaks to no one. When you generalize your advertising in favor of not isolating a potential consumer, you aren’t able to effectively communicate with your ideal customers – forgetting to recognize how your childcare center can appeal to them and their needs.  

A classic example is a shoe manufacturer. While it would be tempting for a shoe company to say that their target market is anyone who has feet, realistically they need to target a specific segment of the market in order to be successful. If they sell adult athletic shoes, they should be building their message to target athletes or individuals who enjoy staying active and exercising. Likewise, if you offer programs for children aged 6 months to 4 years old, you should prioritize advertising toward young adults in their 20s and 30s.  

A common strategy when identifying target markets is to use the TAM, SAM, and SOM approaches to look at market sizes from a top-down approach as well as a bottom-up approach.

Target Market Terms

This should include everyone you wish to reach.  

Example: Your entire local community.  

SAM: Your Segmented Addressable Market or Served Available Market 

This is a portion of the TAM you will specifically target because they align with your offerings.  

Example: Families with young children.  

SOM: Your Share of the Market 

This is the group of your SAM that you will realistically reach—particularly in the first few years of your center’s opening, as you may expand and grow your service over time.  

Example: Families with young children who make at least $65,000 each year in household income.  

For childcare organizations with multiple brands, schools, or programs - increasing revenue and keeping families happy is vital for growth. Your Millennial parents need a uniform, high-quality experience, regardless of location.

Standardizing business processes has a significant impact on time savings, costs, and most notably quality. In fact, standardization improves quality by   61.9% ,  on average. Create consistent  enrollment processes across all your franchise locations to ensure every family has a great experience and a positive association with your brand – leading to higher conversion success and profitability.   

To achieve consistency, your franchisees’ marketing approach and advertising material must follow all your corporate brand guidelines. Your organization should have a lead management system that supports your childcare franchise staff as they  guide families through   the decision-making journey  while also ensuring each location is delivering a consistent parent experience.  

how to start a daycare business plan

3) Develop Your Buyer Personas

Before you begin writing your daycare marketing plan, make sure you’ve defined your market and buyer personas. Without a deep understanding of whom you’re speaking to, a daycare marketing plan will have little value.    

Audience personas allow you to dive even deeper into your target market and help you understand more than just who your customer is. These identities inform you how to communicate with your customers in a way that relates to their pain points and needs.  

Building a daycare business plan is no joke! Check out childcare business tips at a glance . 

When you understand your customer’s motivations, you can uniquely address their concerns and questions in your marketing materials - leading to increased tours, enrollments, and revenue.   

Start by listing out the various kinds of programs and classes you’d like to offer at your center.  

Then, determine who the primary decision-maker is and who the primary influencers might be in each scenario.   

Primary decision-maker : typically the individual(s) taking financial responsibility and remitting payment at your center.   

Primary influencers : are  also crucial in the purchasing process as they often have the ability to sway decision-makers.  

For example, imagine you’re promoting availability for Summer camp programs at your center. In this instance, the primary decision-maker might be the parent(s) or guardian(s) whereas the primary influencer would likely be the child who’s deciding what kind of activities they want to do this Summer.  

how to start a daycare business plan

Audience Overview

List the audiences, personas, or segments that you want your center’s marketing and messaging efforts to reach.  

child day care business plan

Select one audience from above and describe it to the best of your knowledge. Go beyond the traditional persona to consider motivations & behavior.  

child day care business plan

Identify the key stages in your audience’s enrollment journey from beginning to end, knowing there may be multi-dimensional steps within a stage. Complete the table for each journey at the individual stages from the specific audience’s point of view.  

child day care business plan

Decision Journey Map Terms & Definitions 

Stage : This refers to each stage of the enrollment journey - awareness, consideration, action, and advocacy.  

Awareness : This is when a family is first learning of your center and your brand. They are researching multiple daycare centers and eventually send an inquiry to tour your facility or learn more.   

Consideration : During this stage, a family is touring your center and may be deciding between you and 1-2 other providers. Tip: Proactively equip your staff with key talking points so they can highlight your unique center features.  

Action : This is when a parent decides to register their child for care, pay fees, and is either placed on your waitlist or enrolls.  

Advocacy : After a successful, happy experience, this parent or guardian has become an advocate for your business. They’re telling friends and family about your center. This is vital for your word-of-mouth marketing strategy.  

Emotion : Identify what the persona is feeling at each stage of the customer’s journey. They may be anxious, curious, excited, or satisfied at various points. Put yourself in their shoes.  

Key Actions : What actions would a consumer take at each stage? For example, during the awareness stage, they may see your ad on Facebook, look you up on Google, or visit your website. In the consideration stage, they may call your center to get more information, look at your services online, or read reviews.  

Questions : What questions is the consumer asking in each stage? These are the questions you need to be answering for them in your advertising and marketing efforts.  

how to start a daycare business plan

Competitive research helps you understand why customers choose your center over other alternative care options. This information provides you with insight into how your competition is marketing their services and over time, this can help you improve your own marketing campaigns and business offerings.  

Look up similar daycare centers in your area, and see what programs they offer, the type of facilities, their capacity, and their curriculum. Then, highlight the features that make your center stand out. Showcase your selling points in all marketing and advertising efforts.  Get started with these key questions...

  • Who are my direct competitors and what do they offer?
  • Who are my indirect competitors
  • What does my competition's pricing look like?
  • Do they offer promotional pricing or payment plans?
  • What do they do best?
  • What do they do poorly?

Download the guide to stay up to date on the latest industry news, trends and best practices for growing and managing your childcare business.

Download the Guide

how to start a daycare business plan

Build a Daycare Business Plan

A good business plan will guide you through each stage of starting and managing your childcare organization- including how to structure, run, and grow your new business.  

There’s no correct or incorrect way to write your business plan. What’s most important is that you identify your business objectives and use this document as a roadmap for how to achieve these goals.  

A strong business plan can help you recruit business investors, gain funding, or find new partners. Prospective investors want to feel confident they’ll see a return on their investment and your center’s business plan is the perfect tool to assure potentials that working with you — or investing in your business— is a smart and profitable decision.  

Write a Day Care Executive Summary (Daycare Business Plan Outline)

Although this section is the first thing people will read, it’s advised that you write it last, once you know the details of your business inside and out. At this stage, you will be able to articulate your business more clearly and summarize all the information in a succinct, concise manner.  

Ideally, your executive summary will be able to act as a stand-alone document that covers the key highlights of your detailed business plan. In fact, it’s common for investors or loan providers to ask for just the executive summary when they start evaluating your business. If they like what they see in the executive summary, they’ll often follow up with a request for a complete plan, a pitch presentation, and more in-depth daycare business plan financials.  

As your executive summary is such a critical component of your business plan, you’ll want to make sure that it’s as clear and concise as possible. Cover only the essential components of your daycare, ensuring your executive summary is one to two pages maximum. This section is intended to be a quick read that hooks your potential investors’ interest and excites them to learn more.  

The executive summary is a tell-all first paragraph that details...  

  • The city and state of your center (you can decide on the exact location later)  
  • A potential open date  
  • A projected enrollment count (number of full-time enrollments)  
  • Programs you plan to offer  
  • Ages you hope to serve  
  • A quick financial summary (based on grants, funding, and potential revenue from projected enrollments)

This may seem like a lot of information upfront, but it’s simply a high-level overview of your plan.   

how to start a daycare business plan

Conduct an Opportunity Analysis 

The opportunity section of your business plan includes information about:  

  • The problem that you’re solving within your community
  • P rograms and classrooms   do you plan to market your center(s) to
  • How your daycare facility fits into the existing competitive landscape  

Opportunity Analysis: An Example 

The opportunity analysis portion of your business plan is important for outlining what distinguishes your daycare from your direct and indirect competitors. It details how you can continue to expand and grow your center in the future.  

Use your previous competitive research to determine your daycare business’s competitive advantage and position. Analyze potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

how to start a daycare business plan

Problem and Solution

Describe the problem that you are solving for your customers. Childcare centers are need-oriented, meaning your consumers have tangible pain points that you must resolve to be successful.   

So, what is the primary pain point for them? Maybe it’s that busy, working parents need a caring, safe place for their child during the day, or perhaps families are seeking after-school care options for their elementary-aged children, or maybe parents need 24-hour childcare options when they’re traveling or working odd hours.   

Now, assess how they are solving their problems currently and where there’s room for improvement. If there's only one childcare center in your community and it has no open seats, you could be the solution. Or maybe there are lots of existing care providers in your city but they’re expensive or have rigid pickup and drop-off times that working parents have trouble meeting. Or perhaps there aren’t any existing childcare businesses within a reasonable driving distance of where you’d like to place yours.  

Defining the problem you are solving for your customers is by far the most critical element of your business plan and is crucial for your daycare business’ success. If you can’t pinpoint a problem that your potential customers have, then you might not have a viable business concept.  

To ensure that you are solving a real problem, try conducting your own survey with potential customers to get a better understanding of their needs and validate that they have the problem you assume they have. Then, take the next step and pitch your potential solution to their problem.

Do they agree that it’s a good fit or does it seem to fall flat?  See how to come up with a strategic plan for your business.

how to start a daycare business plan

The Importance of Creating an Execution Plan

The execution chapter outlines how you’re actually going to make your childcare center work . You’l l address your marketing and enrollment plans, operations, success metrics, and any key milestones that you expect to achieve.  

Execution Plan: Marketing and Sales  

The marketing and sales plan section of your business plan details how you propose to reach your target market segments, how you plan on converting those target markets, what your pricing model looks like, and what partnerships you may need to make your center a success.   

Your Positioning Statement

Once you understand your audience, the first part of your marketing and sales plan is your positioning statement. Refer back to your value proposition to create a simple, straightforward sentiment, explaining where your company sits within the competitive landscape and what differentiates your venue from the alternatives that a customer might consider. This statement should be written for an investor or loan provider, rather than for your customer.  

One daycare business plan example - a positioning statement for a 24-hour childcare center in Austin, Texas may look like this:

“For the Austin-based family who is seeking childcare around the clock, Jenny’s 24-Hour Daycare is a safe option for young children with nutritional meals, best-in-industry sleeping arrangements, a clean outdoor play area, and highly trained care professionals. Jenny’s 24-Hour Daycare is the first center of its kind within 30 miles of the Austin metroplex and offers competitive pricing and tuition payment plans.”  

how to start a daycare business plan

Use this formula to develop a positioning statement for your center: 

Your Mission Statement

Your mission statement is a scaled-down version of your positioning statement. This should be just one or two sentences that are geared toward your target consumer and describe what your business plans to accomplish. This statement usually includes company core values that explain your daycare’s purpose and how you serve your audience.  

For example, Cadence Education is a leading early childhood education provider with the mission of “providing parents with peace of mind by giving children an exceptional education every fun-filled day in a place as nurturing as a home .”  

child day care business plan

Pricing 

Your positioning strategy will typically determine how you price your memberships and packages. There are some basic rules that you should follow when deciding on your price point:  

  • Cost-plus pricing : For the most part, you should be charging your customers more than it costs you to host them at your center to ensure your venue is profitable and appealing to investors.  
  • Market-based pricing : Look at what your competitors are charging and then price based on what your audience is expecting.  

how to start a daycare business plan

Strategic Alliances

As part of your marketing plan, you may wish to collaborate with other organizations such as local camps, after-school programs, pediatricians, or even other childcare centers that don’t offer the same activities that you do.   

This partnership should benefit both of you – it may help provide access to a target market segment for your venue while allowing your partner to offer a helpful recommendation to their customers. If you’ve already established an alliance, it’s important to detail that in your business plan.  

The operations section is all about how your business works. This portion details the essential logistics such as staffing and sourcing and fulfillment. But remember, your goal is to keep your business plan as short as possible, so too much detail here could easily make your plan much too long.  

Milestones and Metrics

It’s critical that you take the time to look forward and schedule the next critical steps for your business. Investors will want to see that you understand what needs to happen to make your plans a reality and that you are working on a realistic schedule.

Then, determine how you will measure the success of each milestone by listing out the key performance indicators and metrics needed to see progress. These will be the numbers you monitor on a regular basis to evaluate the trajectory of your business. For example, you may look at how many families tour your center each week, how many children you enroll each month, or the amount of revenue you bring in per quarter.  

Company and Management Summary

The structure of your staff and teams sets your daycare up for success. In a new daycare center, there’s typically an owner (or franchisee), a center director, staff members, an enrollment or marketing team, accounting/administration, teachers, assistants, cooks, bus drivers, and janitorial staff. For example, the average small daycare business plan includes 8-10 fully licensed and/or certified early education teachers.

how to start a daycare business plan

Financial Forecasts  

A typical financial plan will have monthly sales and revenue forecasts for the first 12 months, and then annual projections for the remaining three to five years. Break your sales forecast down into several rows, focusing on just high-level buckets at this point.   

Knowing how much your daycare will cost to open ahead of time can save you money, stress, and time. Daycare business plan start-up expenses vary by size, enrollment capacity, and miscellaneous needs.

Keep in mind that you can save on staffing costs and cut down on overhead with technology that helps to streamline your center’s operations. After all, 40% of Millennials prefer self-service over human contact when interacting with businesses.   

It’s essential that you find ways to enable families to book tours and enroll online without ever having to make a phone call to the center- reducing time spent on necessary-but-manual tasks for both your staff and inquiring families.  

Finally, articulate your profits and losses based on the data from your sales forecast and your personnel plan plus a list of all your other ongoing expenses associated with running your childcare center.  

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See this Formula for Financial Forecasts

Step 1 : Average cost of tuition per child x your expected enrollments x 12 (annual revenue – assuming each family enrolls their child in one of your summer programs).  

Step 2 : Daycare businesses make around 16% profit from their overall revenue, after daycare expenses. Multiply your number from step 1 by .16 to get your predicted profit.   

Example : Let’s say you plan to charge families an average of $315 per week for childcare. With that, your goal is to enroll 60 students by the time your daycare center opens. Multiply $315 x 60 x 12 (annual revenue). This should come out to $226,800. Lastly, multiply your revenue of $226,800 by .16, which equals a net profit of $36,288 per year.  

Consider Various Funding Sources

Depending on your situation, there’s both loan and grant funding in childcare. Between state tax credits, loans, and grants – there are financing options for a variety of situations.  

Review Your Tax Deduction Options

Collecting tax credits is one way to receive an annual deduction on daycare costs. Based on your state, you can claim tax credits for...  

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Collect Daycare Grants for Your Business

Often, startup costs for opening a daycare are high. Certain states and counties offer grants for new daycare businesses. There are several grant options, depending on your child and family details.   

For example, there’s a Preschool Development Grant Program and a Head Start/Early Head Start grant to provide funding that expands early childhood centers and developmental programs.   

child day care business plan

Know Which Loans Are Available to Daycare Business Owners

While grants are a wonderful option for freshly opened daycare businesses, loans are occasionally easier to come by. They’re offered widely and often have fewer requirements to qualify. Check out a few loan examples for your daycare center.   

  • SBA Loans , otherwise known as Small Business Administration loans, have exceptional rates, low interest, and flexible repayment options.  
  • SBA 7(a) Loans are beneficial for covering pricier equipment funds and real estate. Loans of up to $5 million are available to daycares.  
  • SBA 504 Loans – these are wonderful for business expansions and involve a loan for 50% of the project cost.  

how to start a daycare business plan

Take Actionable Steps to Bring Your Daycare Business to Life

Both Limited Liability Companies and Incorporations offer the significant legal advantage of helping to protect assets from creditors and provide an extra layer of protection against legal liability.  

The main difference between an LLC and a corporation is that an LLC is owned by one or more individuals, and a corporation is owned by its shareholders. In general, the creation and management of an LLC are considered simpler and more flexible than that of a corporation.  

Find the Right Vendors

Choosing the right suppliers for your business is essential. If your vendors aren’t reliable or don’t deliver quality products, your new center will struggle to attract families. As a childcare provider, you will likely need the following vendors at one point or another:  

  • Electrician 
  • Plumber  
  • Food and Beverage Supplier 
  • Educational Materials Supplier  
  • Substitute Staffing Provider 
  • Accountant  
  • Childcare Licensing Consultant 
  • Cleaning & Maintenance  
  • Childcare Management System (CMS) 
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software  
  • Digital Payments Provider 
  • Online Forms Software  
  • Childcare Experience Software  

All states have different daycare licensing requirements. Generally, you'll follow the steps below.

1) Take a Course

Attend and complete a pre-application course (you’ll receive a certificate at the end – remember to save it).  

2) Submit Your Application

Submit your online licensing application. It'll ask for details about your business that were outlined in the executive summary.

3) Pay Fees

Pay your application fees. The fee depends on your center's capacity or the number of children you plan to enroll.

4) Complete Inspections

An inspection of your business property must be conducted.

5) Submit Your Service Payment

Register and pay for the inspection.

6) Conduct Background Checks

Submit background checks (this may also be an additional charge).

how to start a daycare business plan

For More Information on How to Operate In Licensing Excellence, Listen to the Podcast Below

how to start a daycare business plan

Choose Your Insurance and Liability

  • Provide general liability – stay covered if your center has any property damage or injuries to third parties (children).  
  • Abuse coverage protects your childcare business or franchise. If employees turn out to be abusive towards children, this policy covers defense costs and defends you against financial losses.  
  • Professional liability insurance provides coverage for your business and workers if there is a neglect claim.  
  • Hired and non-owned auto liability ensures everyone is covered if there is a pick-up/drop-off vehicle accident.  

*Liability requirements may vary by state.

How to Gain Enrollment at Your Daycare

From a business owner's perspective, the next step after successfully starting your daycare is to grow your center and gain enrollments.   

Begin by building a strong company culture, actively marketing your daycare center, and finding the right childcare technology to optimize your enrollment process and save time.  

See how to elevate your business plan for daycare with better waitlist management.

Create a Culture Where Staff Want to Work

A daycare center that stands out from the rest has happy staff members that want to work hard. Create a diverse employee culture that feels comfortable openly talking about situations. Provide support, patience, and room for growth. See more tips for creating a healthy and positive culture for your daycare staff .  

how to start a daycare business plan

Market Your Center

A daycare marketing strategy starts with an achievable goal. Do you want to fill your enrollment spots? Do you want to build a waitlist? Should you focus on scheduling more tours or gaining new leads ?   

Choose a goal with measurable results. That way, you can track and analyze your marketing performance. When it comes to how to promote daycare business, marketing helps families realize you're the best childcare center on the block. Promote your centers through...

  • Social media (especially Facebook – 83% of Millennials have a Facebook account).  
  • Landing pages and contact forms on your website  
  • Listing directories  
  • Email and text marketing campaigns  
  • Referrals  
  • Digital advertisements  
  • Flyers  
  • Word-of-mouth marketing  

Tip: childcare experience software that automates the reports you need helps you to save time and improve your return on investment (ROI).  For example, a  Source of Families report shows you where your leads are coming from to optimize your efforts.

Invest In Childcare Experience Software to Build Your Daycare with Less Work  

LineLeader is revolutionary childcare software that automates lead capture, follow-up, scheduling tours, and reports. Craft  beautiful, personalized marketing campaigns to continually grow your business.  Plus, easily manage your curriculum, attendance, and billing with automated center management

Get more from your marketing while saving franchisees 10 hours every week with LineLeader. Automate everything from lead capture and reporting to center management—all from one place.

LineLeader Reports New

Download Your Guide

Resources to help you run your childcare business.

ECE, Early Childhood Education, Centralized Enrollment, Childcare Software, Childcare Industry

Improving Enrollment Management at Dancing Moose Montessori School With...

Scale for the sale: standardizing processes with a centralized enrollment....

Customer Service, ECE, Family Retention, Family Engagement, Education, Childcare, Childcare Industry, ECE Indsutry

Using Customer Service as a Differentiator to Increase Family Retention

Additional resources.

For more information on specific childcare resources regarding marketing tools, campaigns, tips, and best practices - see below.

1. Learn hidden secrets no one tells you about starting a childcare business .

2. See how to operate in childcare licensing excellence to boost enrollment.

3. Beth Fiori of Tiny Treasures provides expert tips. check out ways to improve your business plan for daycare with enhanced waitlist management.

4. Discover tips to maintain the best childcare center on the block.

5. Gain advice for strengthening your daycare staff culture. 

6. Learn the benefits of building a daycare business plan , at a glance. 

LineLeader Video Resources

child day care business plan

PlanBuildr Logo

Daycare Business Plan Template

Business Plan Outline

  • Daycare Business Plan Home
  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Company Overview
  • 3. Industry Analysis
  • 4. Customer Analysis
  • 5. Competitive Analysis
  • 6. Marketing Plan
  • 7. Operations Plan
  • 8. Management Team
  • 9. Financial Plan

Daycare Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to easily complete your daycare business plan.

We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their daycares.

How To Write a Daycare Business Plan & Example

Below are links to each section of your daycare business plan template:

  • Executive Summary – This is a brief overview of your daycare business plan. The executive summary should be no more than 2 pages long, with brief summaries of other sections of the plan.
  • Company Overview – This is where you provide a business description, including your company history, business structure, and any pertinent information about the daycare center.
  • Industry Analysis – The industry analysis describes the daycare industry, including market size and trends.
  • Customer Analysis – This section of your daycare business plan describes your target market and potential customers. You will detail the demographics, needs, and wants of your target audience and how you plan to meet those needs.
  • Competitive Analysis – The competition in your local area will be described here, along with how your daycare business will compete in the market.
  • Marketing Plan – Your marketing plan will describe your daycare’s marketing strategy, including your advertising and promotion plans.
  • Operations Plan – This section of your business plan describes how your daycare will be operated on a day-to-day basis. It may also include your long-term plans for expansion and the milestones you want to achieve to get there.
  • Management Team – The management team section of your business plan should describe the experience and qualifications of your management team including the director, teachers, and support staff.
  • Financial Plan – The financial plan section of your daycare business plan should include your financial statements, such as your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.

Next Section: Executive Summary >

Daycare Business Plan FAQs

What is a daycare business plan.

A daycare business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your daycare business. Among other things, a good daycare business plan will outline your business concept, identify your target customers, present research about the child care industry, detail your marketing plan, and provide your financial plan.

You can  easily complete your daycare business plan using our Daycare Business Plan Template here .

What Are the Main Types of Daycare Businesses?

There are different types of daycare businesses that parents can choose from for their child's needs. A traditional daycare center is most sought after by working parents since it provides child care during regular work hours. There are also in-home daycare centers that are licensed to provide child care in a home setting with fewer children. Other child care centers provide hourly care services by trusted babysitters or nannies and are operating on an as-needed basis.

What Are the Main Sources of Revenues and Expenses for a Daycare Business?

The primary source of revenue for a daycare business is its child care services.

Some key expenses for a daycare business is rent, salaries for staff, utilities and snacks expenses for the children.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Day Care Business Plan?

A daycare or child care center is typically funded through small business loans, personal savings, credit card financing and/or angel investors. This is true for a business plan for daycare or a childcare business plan.

What are the Steps To Start a Daycare Business?

Starting a daycare can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop A Day Care Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed child care business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include market research on the childcare industry and potential target market size, information on the services you will offer, marketing strategy, pricing strategies and detailed financial projections.

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your daycare business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your daycare business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Daycare Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your daycare business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your daycare business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 

7. Acquire Necessary Daycare Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your chlidcare business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your childcare   business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising to reach your target audience.

Learn more about how to start a successful daycare business:

  • How to Start a Daycare Business

Where Can I Get a Daycare Business Plan Example PDF?

You can download our daycare business plan PDF template here. This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Capabilities

How to prepare a daycare business plan.

Procare

So you have this idea to start a daycare business . You love working with kids and are good at it. Plus, what could be more fulfilling than raising up the next generation of world changers? It sounds like a dream job!

But building a successful daycare business takes more than passion. You’ll also need a business plan. 

Let’s take a look at five steps you can take to create a daycare business plan. 

Why You Need a Daycare Business Plan

Nobody is going to force you to create a daycare business plan. Yet we highly recommend creating one. 

There are two main reasons::

  • It helps you stay organized: There are a lot of things you could do to start a child care business. Your business plan will help you concentrate on what you should do to launch it effectively. It’s an organizational tool that will keep you focused on what’s most important.
  • It aids in getting funding: A child care business plan also can help secure financial backing . Potential lenders will want to know about your business and, more importantly, how you’ll pay them back. A business plan will give them this information.

Write Your Daycare Business Plan in 5 Steps

The phrase “business plan” can be kind of intimidating. But crafting one for your child care center doesn’t have to be scary. Just follow the five steps below:

1. Executive Summary

Daycare business plans contain a lot of information. To make things easier on your business partners, future employees and potential lenders, start your plan with an executive summary.

The executive summary section of your business plan is exactly what it sounds like: a quick summation of all the information to follow. For example, your summary should include basic things such as your business name and contact details. It should also include a glimpse into your vision, such as how you’ll run your business and who your target customers are.

Basically, if it’s important, you should quickly mention it in your executive summary.

Write your executive summary after you’ve written the rest of your daycare business plan. This will make the process much easier. Just remember to put your summary at the beginning once it’s done.

2. Business Information

The next section of your daycare business plan should cover business information.

Why are you starting a daycare business and what’s your mission statement? Do you have specific goals you hope to achieve? Will your company be structured as a corporation, LLC, partnership or sole proprietorship? And what child care services will you provide? 

You also should share your child care center’s physical location. Are you planning to start an in-home business or will you rent a commercial space? In-home operations often are cheaper to establish and maintain, but don’t have the same income potential as full centers.

Additionally, list information regarding your competitors. How many other daycares are there in your area? Do any of them provide similar services? If so, are there enough families to support all of you? Include any information you can glean about their operations.

3. Operational Plan

How do you plan to run your child care business? Will you hire employees ? If so, what will their responsibilities be? This is all important information to include in your daycare business plan.

Don’t get overwhelmed, though. If you’re still in the early planning stages, you don’t have to have every detail ironed out yet. You can always update your business plan in the future. In fact, your plan should be a living document that grows with your business.

For now, just include as many operational details as you can. For example, if you’ve created policies and procedures for specific scenarios, or a handbook detailing your daycare’s approach to child care, add them to this section of your business plan.

4. Financial Details

child day care business plan

Your daycare business plan definitely should include financial details, especially if you plan to approach lenders for a loan. They will absolutely require these details.

You’ll need to include information regarding start-up expenses , such as the cost to renovate your building and purchase equipment/necessities like toys, cribs and curriculum. You’ll also need to estimate ongoing expenses like the cost of utilities, food and your marketing efforts.

Next, estimate the money your business will bring in. What will you charge for your child care services? How many kids can you watch at one time? How much will you pay your employees? Use this information to develop an approximate monthly income.

Finally, include information regarding your current financial situation and any grants and donations you’ve received. 

If it has to do with money, put it in this section.

5. Marketing Strategies

Lastly, your daycare business plan should include your marketing strategy. How will you attract parents to your company and entice them to pay for your services? 

Start this section by outlining your target audience. Include demographic information like their approximate age, where they live and their household income level. If you plan to target a specific niche — kids with special needs, for example — add this information as well.

Once your ideal customer is defined, explain how you plan to reach them. We suggest a mix of online and offline marketing strategies. For instance, you could pass out flyers at local events and set up sandwich boards around your location. You could also invest in social media marketing and SEO campaigns to drive online traffic to your website .

There are plenty of ways to market your new business. Over time you’ll discover which are most effective. But for now, include every strategy you want to try.

Your Turn: Prep Your Daycare Business Plan

child day care business plan

As long as your business plan has the information outlined in this article and is structured in an easy-to-understand way, your plan will do what it’s supposed to: keep you organized and help you secure funding.

So don’t be intimidated. Dive in and create a business plan that you can be proud of. Your child care business will be stronger because of it.

Once your daycare is up and running, Procare Solutions can help you fulfill the goals laid out in your plan.

Procare’s software helps you manage every part of your child care business, from tracking attendance to accepting payments to engaging with parents. All of our tools are designed to streamline tedious tasks so you can focus on what you do best: caring for kids.

Request a Demo

Request a demo and talk with one of our friendly Procare experts to get a tailored child care solution for the unique needs of your business.

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Related Resources

Full guide to starting your own in-home daycare.

If you’re interested in starting your own in-home daycare business, this is the guide for you. We’ve created a step-by-step roadmap to help you.

Child Care Marketing: Our Approach

One of the best ways to help more children and grow your center is through a strong marketing effort. Come learn about our approach and use it to grow your business.

How to Start a Daycare in 2021

Times are changing, but child care remains a priority need in 2021. Come learn how to fill this need and answer the question, “How do I start a daycare center?”

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How to create a childcare business plan

Childcare provider smiling with children playing in the background

Keeping a group of toddlers occupied and writing a strong business plan may be very different tasks, but both take patience, time, and coordinating a few moving pieces. You bring the child care skills, this guide will help out with the other one, outlining the five key areas to include in an effective child care business plan. From financial projections to local business marketing strategies , here are the most important sections of a successful daycare business plan.

1. Executive summary

Your childcare business plan will be as functional to your business as a shelf stocked with Curious George. Not only is it an essential document if you’re raising funds for your business, but it’s also a helpful way to organize your thoughts and plans for yourself and to share them with employees.

Start every business plan with a summary to hook whoever’s reading it to learn more about your company and your proposal. Think of it a little like a sales pitch for your business and a preview of everything you lay out inside. Be sure to include:

  • Contact information – Include your name, number, address, email, and any other relevant contact information so potential partners know how to get in touch.
  • Business concept – Whether a one-person babysitting service or a 24/7 child care facility, include key details of your business, including staff size, services, a summary of general operations, and the required operating licenses you have or plan to get.
  • Business structure – List owners, partners, managers, and employees, and explain the structure of your business and how it will run. This should also include your target demographic and basic marketing plans.
  • Mission – Share your reason for starting a childcare business. For Matt and Anne Evers , owners of the Primrose School of Atascocita in Kingwood, TX, their business is personal: “Since both of our children attend the school it is very easy for us to ask ourselves when making daily decisions, ‘What’s the best choice for the child? What will result in the best outcome for [them]?’”

Keep the executive summary to one or two pages. You’ll have the space to dive deeper into the details of your childcare business in the following sections.

2. Location details

Child care is a local business, which means location, community needs, and demographics are all key in planning your grand opening.

Your business location will likely fall into one of two categories of childcare businesses:

  • Inside your home – Operating within your home can mean less overhead costs, fewer rental expenses, and more flexibility. To comply with local and state safety regulations, you may be required to renovate or change portions of your home. 
  • Outside your home – Factor in rent, utilities, and any necessary repairs to the property. Whether renting in a residential neighborhood or purchasing a commercial property, summarize your general knowledge of the building and neighborhood, plus why you plan to operate there in this section.

Since your location is important to your childcare business, include insurance costs, relevant zoning laws, neighborhood information, and applicable details on kitchen and bathroom facilities.

3. Financial layout

An effective business plan will share both a compelling narrative for your idea and the steps you’ll take to make it a success. Your financial planning section should be well-researched with estimates for costs, the funding you’re seeking, and projected growth over the next three or more years. While this section is necessary for investors and partners, it will also give you a working plan to help your childcare business run smoothly and make a profit.

When fleshing out the financial section of your business plan, include details like:

  • Tax plan – Share your business’s legal structure — commonly C or S corporation, general or limited partnership, sole proprietor, or limited liability company — to plan for taxes.
  • Insurance – Assess risk, liability, protection, and coverage options to ensure you’ve covered all the necessary bases. 
  • Budget – Include both costs and projected profit for your child care business accounting for personnel, equipment, supplies, professional fees, and other expenses. Include monthly and annual budgets, as well as a cash-flow forecast.

Detail your plans for fluctuations, which is common for childcare businesses. Take it from Danielle Burns, director of Lil’ Red Barn Academy in Washington whose business experienced an influx of children in the summer of 2021, despite the summer typically being a slower time.

If you run into questions with the financial section of your business plan, consider tapping an accountant for help, especially if they have advised other local businesses in your area.

4. Marketing plan

It’s almost time to spread the word about your services. Building a marketing plan as a neighborhood business is more than catchy slogans and photos of cute kids. In this section, show your understanding of your local market and how your business will support it.

When developing your marketing plan, include:

  • Market analysis – Summarize the state of childcare in your area: Will you be one of five daycares on the block, or are you opening up within a community that’s lacking in childcare options? Consider neighborhood trends, your competition, and the average cost of child care in your neighborhood. Include information on your target clientele and how you’ll meet their needs to show your business’s potential.
  • Business niche – Whether you’re focused on a specific age group or specializing in evening care, explain where you fit into the overall childcare industry and how any unique services will distinguish you from the competition.
  • The 5 P’s: Price, product, promotion, place, and people – You’ll want to make sure you’re offering the right prices and products to the right people in the most effective way possible. Analyze market and demographic data for marketing or advertising plans for your childcare business to reach the right clients for your business.

Start with a free business page on Nextdoor . Set one up for your local business in minutes to instantly unlock a following of your most valuable customers: neighbors. Show up in local searches when neighbors look for childcare options near them, share updates as you open and grow, and build trust in your business with recommendations.  

5. Daily operations

The details of your day-to-day operations are just as important as the big picture ideas and long-term goals you’re setting. Use this section for the details of your services, including information on:

  • Personnel – List your team along with the goals and responsibilities of each of their roles. Share details of your hiring practices and staff policies, from sick leave to the termination process. 
  • Structure – Include a schedule for what a typical day at your daycare looks like highlighting what makes your business unique: lunch or nutrition plans, classes and other organized activities, playtime, exercise, and storytime.
  • Parental policies – The two most important details with parents are how you plan to keep them informed, and what your policies are. Pick-up and drop-off requirements, what happens if they’re late for pick-up, behavioral issues — build an action plan to set expectations when they first enroll their children.
  • Emergency plans – Include fire escape plans, medical protocol, and other possible contingency plans as part of your daily operational details.

Build a community with Nextdoor

The building blocks of a successful childcare service start with a comprehensive business plan. From there, your business will rely on your local community and how you’re able to meet the needs of the families in your neighborhood to thrive. 

With one in three U.S. households on Nextdoor , neighbors use the app every day to get things done, connect with everyone and everything nearby, and pass along local recommendations. With 50,000 shared each week, make the next recommendation for your child care services with a free business page and a plan to reach local families who need them.

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Don't bother with copy and paste.

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Child Day Care Services Business Plan

Start your own child day care services business plan

Kid's Community College

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

Kid’s Community College® aims to prepare its students to excel as young leaders of tomorrow by combining an exclusive collegiate-based curriculum tailored specifically for children with enhanced, first class child care services. Unlike our competitors, we offer advanced technology programs, after-school tutoring, and activities such as arts and crafts, dance, theatre and gymnastics, all in one location.

Kid’s Community College is a privately held corporation run by its owner, Timothy Bernard Kilpatrick, Sr. Mr. Kilpatrick has 17 years of Executive Management (VP) and Budgeting experience, and extensive experience with budgeting methodologies and strategic planning, including the Balanced Scorecard approach. His advanced degree (and interest) in computer science is the driving force behind our technology component. He will be supported in daily operations by an industry consultant, a campus director, and a VP of educational operations, all with extensive experience in child care fields.

With inflation continuing to rise each year, the typical American family now requires dual or supplemental incomes. This trend has created a need for quality child care services. The population growth rate in the Riverview area of Hillsborough County is now over 14.6%, leading us to anticipate expanding market potential for this industry in our local area. Price, service, certification and reputation are critical success factors in the child care services industry. Kid’s Community College® will compete well in our market by offering competitive prices, high-quality child care services, and leading-edge educational programs with certified, college-educated instructors, and by maintaining an excellent reputation with parents and the community we serve.

This is a daycare business plan for Kid’s Community College®, which will focus on two subdivisions: ‘Lake St. Charles’ and ‘The Villages of Lake St. Charles,’ which are new upscale community developments within a 2 square mile radius, boasting over 900 new homes. Our target customers are dual-income, middle-class families who value the quality of education and child care we provide for their children, ages 4 months to 12 years.

We will open for business starting with an initial enrollment of 13 students. We project healthy revenues by the end of the first year, and expect to nearly triple that by the end of Year 3. Our biggest operating expenses will be compensation at industry standard rates for our highly-qualified personnel, and rent on our facilities, improved for our purposes during the start-up period. We would like to grow into four campuses, eventually, but growth is planned conservatively, to be financed from existing cash flow as we go. We anticipate a net profit beginning in our second year.

To these ends, we are putting significant investment in the business, and are seeking a matching amount in the form of an SBA loan.

Child day care services business plan, executive summary chart image

“Some of the best years in life are the time spent as a child and later our collegiate years…” As working adults in a fast paced society, we sometimes forget just how precious and  fleeting those years are.

With that in mind, imagine an alternative to traditional infant, day and after school care that not only met your child care needs, but also provided an activity based learning environment that mirrors those used at colleges, universities and vocational centers around the nation.  A college community of professional care givers with the credentials to not only enhance your child’s early social and motor skills, but to also teach them advanced studies in the arts and sciences found at institutions of higher learning.  A collegiate-based curriculum tailored specifically for children, taught in a fun, nurturing care giving environment.

Now imagine this at a cost less than that of the combination of conventional day care and specific interest based children programs.

Kid’s Community College® is a start-up comprehensive community college exclusively for kids ages 4 months to 5 years and 1st through 5th grades.  The College dedicates its efforts and resources toward ensuring top-rated care giving services coupled with a high-quality activity based learning environment tailored for children in these age groups.  The College will respond to the needs of its parents and students with excellent care-giving and instruction, an advanced curriculum, flexible programs, local community involvement and business partnerships.

The College has a strong commitment to accessibility and diversity.  Its open door policy embraces all who desire to provide a better quality of care, preparedness and education for their children.  The College works to provide affordable, first-class care giving and education by providing a broad range of integrated programs and services and innovative learning approaches.

The College is committed to taking a leadership role in child care services, higher learning, community services and promoting cultural diversity.  Kid’s Community College® directs its activities towards student success.

  • Sales increasing to almost double first year sales by the end of Year 2.
  • Maintain a high raw gross margin by the end of Year 1.
  • Open second campus by the end of Year 1.
  • Begin franchise effort by end of Year 3.

Keys to Success

The keys to success for KCC are:

  • Marketing: differentiating KCC’s care giving and educational services from traditional daycare offerings and interest activity programs.
  • Service quality: care giving and educational programs provided by degreed and certified educators, child care workers, tutors and subject matter industry professionals in a technologically advanced first-class collegiate environment.
  • Reputation: maintaining a highly regarded reputation for excellence in care giving, education and community involvement and being the employer of choice in our market for child care and educational talent.
  • Profitability: controlling costs and managing budgets in accordance with company goals, adhering to strategic business plans for growth and expansion and reinvesting in the business and its employees.

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13+ SAMPLE Child Care Business Plan in PDF

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1. analyze the target market and start with the basics., 2. assess the needs of your business., 3. write down the parts of the plan and advertise it., 4. proofread and polish the business plan., share this post on your network, you may also like these articles, 27+ sample individual learning plan in pdf | ms word | google docs | apple pages.

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    brightwheel Blog Running a business How to Write a Business Plan for Daycare and Preschool Start running a successful daycare or preschool by writing an effective business plan using the tips in this article.

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    April 14, 2022 Adam Hoeksema Starting a daycare business can be a daunting task. There are so many things to think about and plan for. You need to find the perfect location, get the right licenses and permits, hire qualified staff, and, most importantly, create a daycare business plan.

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  6. Daycare Business Plan Template (2024)

    What Is a Daycare Business Plan? What Are the Main Types of Daycare Businesses? What Are the Main Sources of Revenues and Expenses for a Daycare Business? How Do You Get Funding for Your Day Care Business Plan? What are the Steps To Start a Daycare Business? Where Can I Get a Daycare Business Plan Example PDF?

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    Your child care center business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes. Source of Funding for Child Care Businesses With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a child care business are bank loans and angel investors.

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    What should be included in a childcare business plan? The components of a business plan outline all the details of your business, from who it'll employ to how you'll make money. Start out with an Executive Summary The business plan itself can be a lengthy document.

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    A daycare business plan provides a snapshot of your daycare business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans. Why You Need a Business Plan

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    Step 1: Learn about licensing. The first step to starting a daycare is to contact your state Daycare Licensing Agency. "You have to call your state and see what is required of you," says Lindsey Roemen. "Every state is different and has different guidelines.

  11. How to Prepare a Daycare Business Plan

    1. Executive Summary Daycare business plans contain a lot of information. To make things easier on your business partners, future employees and potential lenders, start your plan with an executive summary. The executive summary section of your business plan is exactly what it sounds like: a quick summation of all the information to follow.

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    Build your child care business right in your local community with Nextdoor's step-by-step guide featuring five sections every child care business plan needs.

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