Childcare is a very rewarding, yet very challenging profession. If you are considering setting up a childcare facility of any kind you need to think carefully about your reasons and about how suited you are to provide this very unique service. Dealing with children during the most formative years of their lives, requires knowledge and understanding of a child’s individual holistic development. There is a high level of responsibility involved in running a childcare facility, including child protection and welfare issues, legislative responsibility in relation to employment law, company law, building regulations, health and safety as well as childcare regulations and many others. There are also financial and administrative elements to be considered and it is vital to note that managing staff and working with parents as well as dealing with children are all core elements of running a childcare service. Your decision should not be a purely commercial one. Of course, the enterprise needs to be sustainable, but because this enterprise involves individuals with very particular needs, the service aspect of the operation needs to come first.
Making the Decision
You may already have made your decision to start a childcare business. However, before you decide to go into business for yourself, you should make a careful and honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as a potential childcare business owner. Starting a childcare business is hard work and a lot of responsibility.
Before you make your final decision, consider the headings below and ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you a self-motivated and a self-starter?
- How is your attitude?
- Do you follow rules and regulations very well?
- How good are you at making decisions?
- How well do you plan and organise?
- Are you resourceful and creative?
- Do you love caring for others?
- How well do you get along with children and parents with different personalities and from different backgrounds?
- Do you have your family’s support to start your business?
- How much risk are you willing to take and what would a loss or failure mean to you and your family?
Health and Wellbeing
- Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a child care business?
- Is your drive strong enough to maintain your motivation over the long haul?
- Do you have a positive attitude even when things don’t go as planned?
Knowledge and Skills
- Do you have the knowledge and experience to run a child care business?
- Are you willing to get additional childcare and business related training and education?
- Do you know where to get any additional training you need?
- Can you work comfortably with government regulations and childcare funding scheme requirements?
- Do you supervise others well?
- Have you developed your leadership skills?
- Do you have any money to start your business?
- Do you know how to effectively manage money?
- Are you comfortable with financial risk until your business gets established?
We recommend that you take a few days to reflect on the questions, above and write down your answers to help you evaluate if a childcare business is the right business for you.
Don’t be too discouraged if you weren’t able to answer all the questions the way you thought you should. You now have a better idea of your business skills and knowledge and can find out ways to improve them.