Tips on how to start a day care center in Nigeria

Day care business is on the rise as the number of full-time housewives in the cities of Nigeria is declining rapidly.

It is no doubt one of the most lucrative business ideas in Nigeria you can start right from your home.

In this article, we’ll share with you why you should consider starting a daycare service business and how to go about it.

Many Nigerian women are now working at paid jobs or running their own small businesses which require them to be out of their homes for a specific period of time unlike before.

Because of this, there is a growing opportunity for convenience services like day care Centre businesses or as otherwise known in the modern age Crèche and other convenience services like laundry services.

More middle class families can now afford these services and appreciate the value it brings to their children’s early mental, emotional development and their comfort.

These help to reduce the burden on the busy and complex lives of growing families in the cities.

Closely related to the Daycare business is the Tutorial center business idea, though for the grown ups.

The daycare service business is a venture that can be run from your home. It is an exciting and fulfilling prospect for anyone with a passion and natural energy for children.

You will get to know how profitable the service is and how to establish your own daycare Centre

What Is a Day Care Center?

This is a facility where care is given to babies, toddlers and young children.

What is a daycare center

Daycare center which can equally be called crèche or preschool is where care is given to a child.

The center is usually run during the day by a person who is not their parent.

You should know that babysitting is different from daycare services.

Babysitting is done in the child’s home while daycare services require the child to be taken to a different location outside their home for a specific period of time.

Unlike music studio setup which is usually located far away from populated areas, the daycare service is rendered in traffic generating areas, especially when the parents are at work or traveled.

Children between the ages of one and six are popular candidates for these services.

Daycare center services can range from simple babysitting to a more formal structure that includes preschool education, child development, discipline and excursions.

Why Consider Starting A Child Care Center

People living in cities and towns are more likely to need crèche and child daycare services.

As the size and number of Nigeria’s cities grow, convenience services like daycare services will continue to flourish.

More Nigerian Mothers Now Work Corporate Jobs

As mentioned earlie,r you must have noticed that more Nigerian mothers who would otherwise stay at home and look after their young preschool kids now work at a paid job or run their own small business.

You would be helping busy parents in need of child care services.

Interestingly, the current economic situation in many countries has made it more likely that most households are supported by two working parents.

This situation presents an interesting opportunity for entrepreneurs to provide essential daily care services to these mothers and households who can afford, and are willing to pay, for these services.

High Birth Rate

It is a profitable business due to the increase in demand because of increase in the rate of child birth.

Assuming their parents will be able to afford daycare services, this large population of Nigerian newborns creates an impressive demand for these services.

A Growing Appreciation of Preschool Education

There are many benefits and positive effects of quality daycare during the early years of a child’s development and many parents are aware of that.

In addition to physical and psychological development, the things learned in day care often help children to transit and adjust to the first years of formal education in a proper school.

More parents now prefer a formal daycare service over an unstructured and unplanned babysitting service, which could raise several issues including child safety and abuse. 

Little Capital Is Required

You don’t need to raise a big capital before you can set up your own Daycare Centre as you can easily start off from your home.

It is easy to set up. The items needed are common materials that are used in our everyday life as you will see as you read down this article

Now let me take you through the processes or steps in starting a daycare Centre.

Processes involved in starting a creche business

Processes Involved In Starting Daycare Center

If you are running your own daycare from home, then you may be operating a small scale day care service.

This comes with enjoying a good personal relationship with friends and family, and your neighbors will go a long way to help your business expand and boom rapidly and easily.

Once you have expanded your business, it is important to switch to a large scale daycare/crèche Centre.

However if you want to establish it on a larger scale you would need to get approval from the education board to operate a crèche/daycare center.

So, you will need to find out what the law says you should do to establish a daycare Centre and follow through.

Once you have been issued your license to operate, put the following requirements below in mind as you start registering kids in your crèche/daycare center.

Get a Good Location

It is important to start this business where there are busy and working parents, in an environment without distractions that will disturb the children.

A good location for a daycare Centre is safe, clean, accessible, and close to the homes or offices of parents who can afford your services and the parents must be very comfortable with your place.

Getting the right location for your crèche/daycare Centre can often mean the difference between success and failure in this business.

Although a day care operation can be home-based or in a dedicated facility around shopping malls, industrial and office areas, it’s important to ensure that all the potential dangers that could affect your business are kept to a minimum.

A Building

This could either be rented facility or one you own.

It should be spacious and you can decide to add as many rooms as you want, but you must be able to supervise the children properly.

The rooms must always be clean, neat, and well-arranged. The room(s) should be well ventilated and the floors should be suitable for the children.

You may need to hire the services of a laundry business owner to help you handle the laundry of the children. Of course, you’ll have to negotiate so that the expenses don’t chop too much into your profit margin.

Get Necessary Facilities

In addition to a good location, the building or space used for a crèche should have all the necessary facilities.

A few of these include: kitchen, toilets, washrooms, beds, blankets, toys and outdoor playgrounds.

Child care facilities

Children tend to become irritated and bored, even babies can be restless, and this is the reason why there must be a room for children to play.

The room should have toys, games, television screen and books.

Apart from staying indoors, you can provide facilities for outdoor activities for the children.

The children must always be supervised when playing to prevent them from harming themselves.

While designing or modeling your crèche, you must always keep in mind that you need to create an atmosphere that appeals to parents and makes children happy and comfortable.

If the parents or kids fall in love with your Centre and they like the feel of it, they’re going to use your services and recommend it to other people.

Note the following as you set up your Centre to make it fun filled and comfortable:

  • A safe play area.

Fill the main playroom with bright decorations.

Consider setting up a corner of the room for kids to quietly read or rest, and another area where kids can play games together.

Have tables where kids can make craft projects. Buy bed and beddings for nap time.

  • Toys, books, art supplies and other entertaining and educational items.

Make sure the supplies you provide are age appropriate and safe for children to use.

  • Healthy snacks, water, and juice.

You should also have plates, napkins, and cups, depending on the age of the children.

You must ensure that high standard of hygiene is maintained if you decide to serve meals.

The food has to be nourishing, tasty and contain a well-balanced diet that will support child growth.

If you won’t be providing snacks for the children, ask their parents to pack them and have a safe place to place them before the children eat them

  • Physical health of all the children.

Should a child contract a contagious illness like chicken pox, cough etc.; it’s important that you stop him/her from attending the crèche until he/she is fully recovered in order to protect others.

Have a registered hospital or clinic close by or a registered medical personnel at hand that can be quickly contacted in case there is an emergency.

Do not fail to promptly contact the concerned parent in such situation.

  • A bathroom or changing area designed for kids.

Buy age-appropriate bathroom equipment for the children to use.

Since babies will be included in the children you will be taking care of, have changing tables, diapers, and other necessary supplies.

Right Type of Staff

Apart from a great location and full facilities, the kind of people who run and operate the crèche is crucial to the success of this business.

Children need special attention and care; therefore you must employ trained and experienced personnel for the job.

It’s essential that your staff is empathetic, sensitive, patient, and have a natural energy and love for children.

Above all, your staff must have the success of your business in mind at all times, which means building and maintaining a good reputation.

Your reputation is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to advertise your services and get new customers.

Negligence and ignorance can often lead to avoidable accidents and mishaps at the Centre, something you wouldn’t want.

An experienced nanny, a middle-aged or retired nurse is some of the possible candidates who have what it takes to run a daycare Centre.

Valuable Curriculum and Routine

Parents always expect good value for the fees you charge for your daycare services.

You should offer highly qualitative curriculum and create a routine that will develop the children emotionally, physically, mentally and otherwise.

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 family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.

To help the kids develop mentally, work out a routine that engages their curiosity.

Teaching simple rhymes, songs, numbers and alphabets helps to develop the memory of children and aids their language learning ability.

Besides study materials, expose the children to the right kind of games and structures for development of the children.

Puzzles and games are very popular with young kids and helps them to learn shapes and colors.

Dancing is another great way to hold their attention while they learn.

It’s important that the kids under your care learn good manners and are able to interact well with their peers.

Keep Accurate and Complete Records

It’s very important that you keep very accurate and complete records of all your clients, transactions and events.

You should have a register that keeps track of all your clients and their children.

Vital information would include names, ages of children, parent’s contact details, medical history, allergies and diet preferences/restrictions.

Also, have an emergency plan drafted in case of any unplanned or unforeseen occurrence and share it with all parents.

You should make it a habit to make daily notes about the children’s behavior at your Centre.

Children’s eating habits, health and behavior problems should also be closely observed.

These records will help to detect problems early, serve as evidence in case of any dispute, and help you improve the quality and efficiency of your services.

Plan a Schedule

Divide the day into welcome time, reading time, play time, snack time nap time, outside time, and so on.

Do research on the age group you’ll be working with to design an appropriate schedule.

Market Your Day Care Center

Just like we’ve shared with you in our article on lucrative party rental businesses, marketing is important. It helps you get the word out.

You can make a website of your own, or use Facebook and other social media, such as Twitter and Instagram.

You can also make flyers and send them out in the newspaper or hang them up around town. You can also hand them out in mailboxes.

You can use word of mouth by telling friends and family and having them spread the word.

Have a day in the park advertising and talking to families. Don’t forget that once the business has started running, your good reputation is a powerful marketing tool.

Summary Notes On Starting a Day Care Center

Congratulations on making the decision to start your own child care business!

Whatever your reason, whether you’re a nanny with a vision or a parent who sees a need, opening a daycare or child care center isn’t easy.

Your success in opening a child care center will depend on careful management of the startup process from start to finish.

Day care centers are in higher demand than ever before, and if you love working with children, opening one can be a smart and enjoyable business choice.

As noted earlier, you can start small by running a neighborhood day care from your home or select a commercial space for a larger day care business.

Remember the following tips and reminders:

  1. Keep a first aid kit nearby.
  2. If the children are fighting, speak up!
  3. Have a conducive, standard  and safe Centre
  4. You may want to get a nursery pet like a rabbit or fish.
  5. Have emergency procedures like fire drills.
  6. Always keep an eye on all children.
  7. Always make sure staffs are fully qualified and trained.

Consider adding educational elements. You may want to offer basic reading and math instruction as part of your daycare service.

You have to take good care of the kids, offer educative recreational activities, and ensure their general wellbeing and improvement.

The fee for the services is yours to decide.

Operating a daycare service business is an inspiring business opportunity that may not provide huge profits in the beginning, but it offers a rare satisfaction and fulfillment that many other types of businesses cannot.

If you’re great with children and would love a decent business that can be run from your home, a daycare service may just be that opportunity you’ve been searching for.

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A freelance writer and researcher on various subjects aimed at human capital development. I'm also a project presentation speaker

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