How to Start a Daycare Business in Kenya | Types of Day Care, Pricing, Challenges, Costs, Licences and Marketing

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Why Day Care Business?

Daycare startups have more to give than just enticing profits. As a daycare owner or worker, you get to learn more both at a personal, emotional, and professional levels. Especially if you are also caring for your kids in the same setup.

But many as the benefits of starting up a daycare business may be, our focus on this guide will only be on starting up and profitability.

Especially considering that too many parents; daycare is a last resort to having a boarding nanny.

Which by the way should be a major drawback to this business, or is it?

How to sell the daycare business idea to parents and to have them commit their children under your care.

To stand out above other daycare services, preferred nannies and corporate child play areas; use these three basic ideas on your business. At least from start.

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  • Socialization – Ensure you have enough children at your daycare.

This way, you can convince new parents that their child will grow socially for seeing other children and develop new relationships as well over time. Serious parents will love that idea.

  • Education – There are a couple of educational programs offered in daycare homes.

Ensure that parents at your daycare understand the need for this and why it is important for children to get a head start on learning before they start school. If it sounds convincing, you may grow your business on referrals.

  • Experienced professionals – Ensure parents understand that their children will be raised by people who are more skilled and experienced at raising infants.

Types of Day Care.

Daycares are different and can be rated in terms of location, working hours, age groups of children, etc.

Group Day Care: – These are run in centers. Most of the time they are licensed and professional, with a school-like structure. It is more trusted but more expensive.

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Home Day Care: – Most people run this kind of daycare from their own homes. Owners raise the children alongside their very own. The structure is less rigid and most of them are unlicensed. Often, it is more affordable.

Day Cares According to Age-groups.

Free-age: – Free-age means that all children of all ages are welcome to the daycare group.

Restricted age-limits: – This limits certain ages. Most of the time, they set the bar for children younger than a certain age, as they may be a bit harder to take care of and are more delicate.

Sometimes, the limit is set for older children just to be able to provide needs specific to a certain age-group.

Day Care Licensing.

Like any other business, you’ll need a license to start daycare operations.

Examples of Licences Needed to Run a Daycare Business in Kenya.

County Authority License business permit: – All businesses in a county need a license from the county. The rate varies depending on the county of location, from 4,000 shillings to 15,000 shillings.

Public Health License: –  This costs about 3,000 shillings. The government needs to ensure that children are raised in a safe environment.

Health certificate: – It costs about 1500. This is for the government to ensure the caregiver does not risk spreading any illnesses to children.

Not all daycares get these licenses, especially home-based daycares.

Parents feel safer seeing these licenses but in cases where the society is closely-knit, they ignore these requirements. A number of parents are not even aware of these licenses.

Qualification and experience for running daycare business in Kenya.

Caregivers in daycare need to have experience at raising children, whether it’s other children or their own.

Raising children is a delicate process and needs to be given more thought than most people know.

Some caregivers, especially in group care undergo intensive training to be part of the program while some in-home daycare does not undergo any sort of formal training.

However, it is important for all involved, including the mothers, themselves to have a basic knowledge of CPR, First Aid, and signs of common childhood illnesses.

Setting up a daycare business in Kenya.

To set up a daycare, you need to start by considering the location.

The location also determines aspects like charges.

When considering the location, always look at the accessibility, demographics, economics of the area, rent, and competition in the area.

Most of the time, you’ll need large spaces that are child-proof.

Avoid rental places with sharp corners, high furniture, and access to shelves and dangerous areas like stoves.

Ensure you child-proof the area before you begin. Have serial mats, pillows, potties, and children seats in your daycare.

Part of the set-up is toys and educational material. You can go for any quality.

However, most of the time, it is advisable to simply pick the more popular options. For example, if legos are a trend, go with it.

Food is also an important consideration for a daycare.

You have the option of letting parents carry their children’s food or providing it. Whichever the case, you still need a stove and food storage equipment like a fridge.

Child Care Philosophy.

Different people have different beliefs on how children ought to be raised from elements like early education, discipline, feeding, etc.

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It is very important to make your philosophy clear to parents so they know what to expect and if any adjustments may be made for their child, that they are addressed.

Interestingly, as much as this is discussed, the styles of raising are different and there will always be that parent that complains even after you think that everything was ironed out before you began.

Also Read – 41 Small Business Ideas for Beginners in 2020.

When raising children, there are always all sorts of emergencies such as a child getting injured, children falling or even children simply crying all day for no reason.

It is important to have a good emergency-response system to accommodate all these sorts of emergencies.

The most important tools needed in daycare, in this case, are fire extinguishers, first aid kits,  and basic over the counter medication.

Also note that while some parents may appreciate being phoned to be consulted over issues such as their children being moody, others do not.

They prefer that you as the caregiver handle it.

It is important to understand and also know what counts as an emergency and what doesn’t

Pricing for Daycare Business in Kenya.

Pricing usually depends on the type of daycare; whether it’s high-end, mid-level on the lower end.

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High-end daycares are usually situated in high-income neighborhoods, charging about 500 to 2000 shillings daily/child.

Mid-level Daycares charge about 5,000 to 15,000 shillings per child per month while lower-end daycares charge between 20 to 200 shillings per child per day.

Always look at the economics of an area before deciding on a price.

Daycares have different ways of charging.

Some charge hourly, daily, weekly, or even monthly. Some people prefer hourly because they consider it more flexible.

Others prefer long-term plans such as monthly because usually, it involves a discount. Some daycares even charge differently for children of different ages, as younger children generally tend to require more labor and attention.

Challenges facing the daycare business in Kenya.

At a particular age, children are very prone to illnesses.

In a setting like a daycare, the illness may spread very quickly. Parents will always feel the daycare is responsible for these illnesses for not being more careful, yet these things are unavoidable.

The daycare also usually faces the problem of trying to manage illnesses and having to reject taking in ill children.

There is always a debate on philosophies on how to bring up children. People’s parenting styles are different and yet the same is expected from the daycare; that it somehow matches how a child would be raised at home.

The problem especially comes in when it comes to discipline. Disciplinary techniques will always vary and while some parents are more lenient, others are a bit tougher. Most often, the more lenient parents will be the ones complaining about how their children are being treated.

Other issues that parents usually have problems with is poor feeding, not changing babies when they are wet, bullying and mistreatment, loss of children’s items, hygiene, etc.

Once the word is out about issues like this in a daycare, it can lead to the death of the daycare.

It is therefore important to be very careful about childcare issues because parents as usually very apprehensive about having other people care for their children.

Why Daycare Businesses End up Closing.

Most of the time, daycares close because of losses.

There may not be adequate capital to cover these losses until the break-even point.

Some daycares also close to transform into kindergartens, especially group daycares. Also, daycares close due to understaffing. Where there are more kids, they need more people to achieve reasonable staff to caregiver ratio.

In some areas, the competition is too high due to the availability of several daycares in the area. Competition is usually based on elements such as trust, location, facilities, flexibility, charges, staff and working hours.

Marketing for Daycare businesses.

Marketing for daycares has become more aggressive over the years. You can market using the set-up that is the interior decoration of the daycare, door to door leaflets, price incentives, websites, Facebook pages, etc.

Trends for Daycare Business in Kenya.

Several daycares, especially high-end daycares have been adopting techniques to attract more children into daycares such as insurance, daycare curriculum, on-call vehicles for ill children, and a larger variety of toys.

Children pass on their satisfaction to their parents who feel the value of their money.

A daycare is a very lucrative business to start in Kenya especially since it is mostly labor-oriented.

The initial capital is not much. The work you have to put in physically, though is a lot. Sometimes, one person can run it. Other times, it is run by several people. It all depends on the population and what you want to achieve.

There is a mentality that daycare is simply babysitting a large number of kids.

Anyone who goes into the business with this notion is doomed. There is more you can do for the kids and their parents rather than just watch them. This is how you distinguish yourself from the competition.

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