Running a childcare-related business is rewarding, but also more involved than it may seem
The responsibilities of a child care provider seem obvious; to create a safe and educational space for children to grow and learn. However, in reality, the responsibilities of a child care provider go far beyond a simple mission statement. From administrative tasks to continuing education, the work of a caregiver doesn’t start and stop with snacks and fun crafts. Learn more about the requirements and responsibilities of running a quality child care facility.
The work of a professional
Whether it’s home-based child care or a child care center, providing child care services is an attractive option to someone who would like to open a business and enjoys nurturing or teaching children. After all, there is a constant demand for services and a revolving supply of potential clients. However, many people go into the child care profession without a full understanding of the day-to-day tasks that are required to keep the business running successfully. Consider the following before committing to running a child care program.
Licensing and regulations
Due to the extreme importance of keeping one of the most at-risk groups safe, there are many regulations in place for child care providers, and they vary by state. Anyone interested in this field should research local laws, ordinances, and licensing regulations and understand the importance of staying current on these items.
Is the chosen space adequate for the number of children you’d like to accept? Do you have the appropriate adult to child ratio? Are you able to comply with all state and local ordinances?
Child care providers do a lot more paperwork than finger-painting. You’ll track and maintain a variety of information, including attendance records, income and expenses, health and contact information, and evaluations of the children in your care as well as the employees who help you.
It’s also essential to keep all information confidential. Information cannot be released to an unauthorized party without the express consent of a child’s parents.
You’re not only caring for children; you’re also caring for their families, and in a way, the community. The ability to connect and communicate with other adults is an important part of running any business. You may be faced with difficult conversations with a parent or have to deal with unpleasant people. It’s important to remain calm and compassionate in these situations for the sake of the children who may be affected.
Being a child care provider also means you’re an advocate for the children in your care, which includes identifying signs of abuse, neglect, and developmental delays and then taking the appropriate action to alert authorities or parents.
You must educate yourself and all employees regarding the signs and symptoms involved with potential issues and be willing to be the voice that child needs, regardless of how uncomfortable it is to be the bearer of bad news.
Being a child care provider is rewarding in many ways, but you have to be committed to not only the daily care and responsibility of helping to educate children but also the many tasks associated with running a business. Familiarize yourself with the many facets of providing quality child care for the best chance at success for yourself and the children in your care.
The Virginia Infant & Toddler Specialist Network helps improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers through extensive resources, services, and education for caregivers. Learn more about how we can help you improve the standard of care.