The number of full-time housewives in Africa’s urban areas is on a rapid decline. More and more mothers are joining the working class and there comes a need, how would the little kids fair? Who would take good care of them? Getting a nanny may not be a good choice due to lots of horrible stories that have been told of them. Not only do kids needs someone to care for them, they also need to develop intellectually, emotional, spiritually and otherwise because that’s the stage when the brain neuron pathways is most active.
If you’ve handled children in Sunday school or have taught in a nursery school or have looked after children before then you can give it a trial.
Starting a day care center is a good and profitable business to do.
STARTING A DAY CARE SERVICE
How do you go about the business in Nigeria? It is simple, we have compiled some practical steps and tips for you to follow. Here are they:
1. RUN A GOOD FEASIBILITY STUDY
A prerequisite for business success is planning and as thus, shouldn’t be overlooked. Make sure you plan every single process before venturing into a day care service business. You have to find out how many working class mothers and how many babies are around your environs, get an estimate that will help you know how big your target market is. A good feasibility study will help you to;
a) Determine your target market.
b) Know the total cost and equipment required to start the business
c) know how profitable the business is etc.
2. LAW REQUIREMENTS
In Nigeria, Day-care service business is usually monitored and regulated by the government against any form Child Abuse or trafficking. Your day care service business need to b registered and approved by the Ministry of Women Affairs. The ministry will from time to time, come to supervise your business to make sure you’re doing a great job. If contrary is the case, your business will be shut down immediately.
Please, visit any secretariat in your state to get a business license. Likely, you’ll pay a fee which is usually renewed every year (12months) if you wish to continue with this business. More protocols might be required of you before you can fully be approved. That’s why you need to pay the Ministry a visit or better yet, get a day-care consultant to guide you.
3. GET A GOOD LOCATION WITH CHILDCARE SAFETY IN MIND
A major factor that determine the success or failure of any business is the choice of location of the business. You should try to locate your day care service business where there are a lot of working class mothers. It is important to choose a place in a quite environment with less distraction. Your choice of location should also be accessible and close to the homes or offices of the parents.
The location chosen must be safe and secured and if needed security personnel should be employed. This will make the children and parent feel comfortable with your place.
4. RENT OR BUILD A BUILDING
This will depend on the number of children you intend to accept and take care of. An important point you should note is that space is very critical when doing this business. Obviously the more space you have the more children you can accommodate and the more money you will make.
There are rules concerning spacing among children which should be adhered to as children need a lot space when they are doing their activities.
When spacing, you will have to decide on the number of rooms you need. There are some that believe in having one central location so that they can watch over the children easily. This is not bad, but what happens when more children join? You will need more rooms and space. The rooms should be very clean and neat, the floors should be soft and the rooms well ventilated.
In addition, the building or space should have all the necessary facilities. A few of these include: kitchen, toilets, bathrooms, beds, blankets, toys and outdoor playgrounds.
While designing or modelling your day care center, you must always keep in mind that you need to create an atmosphere that appeals to parents and makes children comfortable and happy. If parents do not like the feel of your center they may not use or recommend it to others.
5. CHOOSE A CHILD FRIENDLY NAME FOR YOUR DAYCARE SERVICE CENTER
When choosing a day-care business name, you must choose a name that is brand-able, short, creative and child friendly. Example of day-care business names ideas are:
“Your Name” Childcare center.
Special Kids Day-care Center.
6. EQUIP YOUR DAYCARE CENTRE
You must provide a good variety of things that make children happy. Things like children games, puzzles, books, blocks, cots air conditions, fridges, water dispensers, microwave ovens, gas cookers, fans, TVs, DVD players, arts and crafts supplies, and toys. This will enable the children enjoy their stay at your day-care center.
You need to be very careful when dealing with children as they are very delicate. Children when playing can get injured and could require medical attention or at least first aid.
Also we can have children who fall sick and this is why a sick bay will be needed for children to have treatment, be given medicine and have a good rest.
8. EMPLOY THE RIGHT STAFF FOR YOUR DAYCARE CENTRE.
When looking for staff, go for individuals who are very patient and emphatic; individuals who have a natural energy for children. This will help for the smooth running of the business. I usually recommend employing an experienced nanny or nurse cause they are the perfect candidate for this job. Your staffs must also have the growth and reputation of the business in mind [Your reputation is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to advertise your services and get new customers].
Training them further in the use of first aid might also be a useful skill in case of an accident. Negligence and ignorance can often lead to avoidable accidents and mishaps at the Center (which you don’t want).
He or she must have a good personality and appearance. Remember, your first impression to your clients matters
He or she must have a crime free background. However, you must not trust your employees. It is also important that you keep your eyes open to guard against sexual abuse and child molestation.
9. DEVELOP A VALUABLE CURRICULUM AND ROUTINE.
A day-care is not all about playing, patting a baby or putting them to sleep. This is the place where the primary foundation is laid; where you help sensitize their mind to learning. At a young age, children are very sharp when it comes to learning because the neuron pathways in their brain is very much active. Develop an educational curriculum that will help the kids intellectually.
Parents always expect good value for the fees you charge for your service. If parents can see an improvement in the mental, emotional and physical development of their kids, they will continue to hire your services and gladly recommend you to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues.
To help the kids develop mentally, work out a routine that encourages and engages their curiosity. Teaching simple rhymes, songs, numbers and alphabets helps to develop the memory of children and aids their language learning ability. Puzzles and games are very popular with young kids and helps them to learn shapes and colours. Dancing is another great way to hold their attention while they learn. An interesting day care experience allows kids to bond, make friends and look forward to coming back the next day. You’re very likely to retain the parent’s interest if their children are interested.
10. ADVERTISE YOUR DAYCARE CENTRE.
After taking the pain to setup your business, you must tell your friends about your day-care service and if you are lucky enough, they may be your first customers and also help you spread your servicer to others. You should also place notices on bulletin boards in locations where families congregate like at the church, mosque, schools, community halls, etc. Don’t forget to give out your business card at any instance.
HOW PROFITABLE IS DAYCARE SERVICE BUSINESS IN NIGERIA??
Considering that parents pay between N30, 000 –N50,000 per term for nursery schooling you could charge each parent say N6, 000 per month. Let’s assume you have 12 enrolments multiplied by 6 that’s N72, 000 for the first month.
50 enrolments X N6,000 = 300,000
If you keep up with that, you’ll be making over N300,000 a month. Tell me which white collar job that will earn you such?
This is a business you can start from your home informally approaching nursing or working mothers in your neighbourhood, at church, mosque, community hall or any other gathering letting them know what you do.
A day-care business in Nigeria is a lucrative venture and evidently untapped. If you’re a lover of kids and love spending time with them, why not start this business and also get a reward in return.
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