How to Start a Child Daycare Business with No Money (or Limited Funds)

Child daycares are responsible for taking care of the people we tend to love the most in our lifetimes: our children. Whether they’re looking after our babies, infants, toddlers, or school-aged beacons of joy, we’re able to work and take care of our other obligations with more ease when we know that our kids are safe, secure, and well looked after while in their care.

If this is the type of business you’re looking to start, there are certain tasks you’ll need to do first to make your child daycare a success, which may leave you wondering how you’ll do it with little or no money. Before we answer that question, let’s take a quick look at where the industry is headed so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Child Daycare Business Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2016, there are more than 1.2 million childcare workers in the U.S. alone. This number is expected to increase by more than 82,000 by the year 2026, growing by as much as 7 percent, which is the national average for all related occupations combined.

Essentially, that means that this is a great time to get into the child daycare business because the industry is expected to grow. So, what do you need to acquire before you can even open your doors?

What You Need When You Start a Daycare Center

ChildcareCenter.us reports that there are currently 119,636 licensed childcare centers, with an additional 123,852 daycares being run out of homes. It depends on which type of daycare you wish to start when it comes to your actual startup needs.

If you want to open a home-based daycare, then you likely already have the space you need, but you may need to modify it to make it more business-friendly. This can include adding a separate outside door for parents to use when dropping off their children or putting up barriers to keep the kids away from certain parts of your home.

However, if you want to run your daycare out of a facility other than your home, then you may need to acquire that before you get started. This may require purchasing land and building a new facility, or it may involve renovating an existing building. Should you take the latter route, depending on what it was used for last, you may need to make some modifications to make it safer for a daycare type of environment.

Once you have the location set, some additional items you’ll need to acquire include:

  • Age-appropriate and safe toys
  • Mats, sleeping bags, or blankets for nap time
  • Small tables and chairs
  • Sanitizers and cleaning supplies
  • Diapers and other infant care items
  • Meals and snacks

Depending on the requirements in your area, you may also have licensing costs. To learn more about your state specifically, you can do an online search through the National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations. There may also be accreditation costs through agencies such as the National Association for Family Child Care and insurance costs to consider as well.

If you plan to take care of more kids than you can handle alone, you will also have costs associated with hiring and training staff. Because children tend to get injured from time to time, it also doesn’t hurt to partner with a local doctor’s office. That way, your parents will know that their little ones will be taken care of should they fall or bump into something and need immediate attention.

To get a clearer image of what you need to do before you can get started, it helps to create either a home daycare business plan or, if it isn’t home-based, a basic daycare business plan. This will tell you exactly what items you need to purchase, as well as roughly how much money you need to come up with to begin.

Of course, some of costs will be recurring, which means that you may need more capital as you expand and grow. What are your options?

How to Start a Daycare with No Money

If you have a deep desire to start a child daycare business or grow your existing childcare services, but you have no money in your own checking or savings account, one option is to ask your family and friends to invest in your idea by loaning you some cash. The main benefit of this option is that, if they’re able to help, you can pay little to no interest and there is technically no cap on the amount you can borrow, other than the amount of money they make available to you, of course. The downside of this option is, if there are any problems with paying the money back, your relationship could suffer.

A second alternative is to secure a small business loan through a local bank. After looking at your current financial standing, your past handling of money (your credit score helps them determine this), and the amount of risk they assess for your child daycare business, they will either approve or deny your loan. While the advantage of a traditional small business loan is that you may be able to get the money you need, many new business owners find that it’s difficult to be approved. Plus, the amount of paperwork required and the time lag between application and response tends to be fairly lengthy.

That’s why a number of business owners decide to use alternative lending sources like BFS Capital. With access to a variety of small business loans and merchant cash advances, choosing this option gives them the capital they need in as little as two business days, without having a ton of papers to fill out. There are even funding options for individuals with lower credit scores.

The best part is, regardless of the type of funding you secure, you can use the money for whatever you need. Whether it’s startup costs or a slow period, such as when parents have time off and don’t need your services, you can obtain funding to help you sustain and grow.

Are There Grants for Daycare Centers?

The best type of funding you can get is money that you don’t have to pay back, which is where grants come in. Some agencies and organizations do offer grants for daycare centers from time to time. To find them, you can search on Grants.gov or simply do a Google search for “daycare center grants” or “childcare center grants.”

You Take Care of Our Children, So Let BFS Take Care of You

Taking care of our children is one of the most precious services you can provide in our society today, so let BFS take care of you and get you the funding you need to start your own daycare business. Contact us today for your free price quote. It’s the first step to making your daycare center a reality.