Childcare centre can be a very lucrative business but it shouldn’t be the only reason you are buying one. They are a highly rewarding and profitable business but they require dedication and strong leadership.
You will be responsible not only for the physical and emotional welfare of the children attending your centre but also the business as a whole. The job may be filled with fun, games and play but it’s important to keep it professional. The standards are high in this sector.
You need to set an example to your staff. You will need to be punctual, enthusiastic, polite, and rigorous about following the directives set by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority. It’s also important to observe discretion and forethoughtness when dealing with parents. Keep a detailed and systematic records of the children’s developments and special requirements.
Do you have respect for authority?
Buying a childcare centre comes with a great deal of responsibility because the business is nationally regulated. ACECQA regulates and inspects daycares or childcare centres.
Visit https://www.acecqa.gov.au/resources/opening-a-new-service and learn what you need to know to open an educaation and care service in Australia.
ACECQA will be looking at the proficiency of the staff/child ratio, health and safety, space, resources, suitable activities for emotional, physical and social development, special needs, child protection procedures, and record keeping.
Maintaining a positive relationship with your ACECQA inspectors and developing transparency in your dealings with them, will ensure a highly recommended reputation of your business.
Are you sensitive?
Most parents are apprehensive about leaving their children at a DayCare for the first time (usually they are more anxious than their kids after drop-off). It is important that you are amicable and understanding about any worries or special requests.
You will have to listen carefully to how Anna is sensitive to loud noises, that Chris won’t eat cucumbers, and Lenny has to have his Mr. Fluffy all the time.
You also have to remain sensitive at all times to any unusual behaviour. Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are rarely diagnosed before the age of seven and such behaviours may be an early indicator.
Observe and get to know their characters and quirks for you to be able to approach each child accordingly and this will help you run your childcare centre smoothly. This would also reassure parents that their children are safe and in the right place.
Do you know your local area?
Do your research and make sure there aren’t too many other thriving childcare centres in the area. Many may have opened after the centre you are buying was established and the level of competition might be the reason for the sale of the business.
Check also the local demographics. It is vital that a lot of young families are living within a five mile radius – that is where the 80% of clients of the childcare centre come from. It would also be advantageous to be placed near a good transport links so parents can drop and pick-up their kids on their daily commute.
Are you creative?
There are numerous ways to incorporate learning and development to creative play and activities. Encourage your staff to come up with educational yet fun projects to encourage children to participate. Then decorate the room with the children’s masterpieces. Parents and children likewise respond well to a bright, colourful environment. Just change the activities as well as some materials periodically so children won’t get bored of it.
Do you have strong principles?
The Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace produced the Educators’ Guide To The Early Years Learning Framework For Australia.
“The aim of the EYLF is to extend and enrich children’s learning from birth to five years and through the transition to school. It assists educators to provide young children with opportunities to maximise their learning potential and to establish the fundamental basis for future success in learning.”
The EYLF sets children’s learning at the heart and comprises three interconnected elements: principles, practice and learning outcomes. All three elements are essential to early childhood education and program decision-making.
- Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
- High expectations and equity
- Respect for diversity
- Ongoing learning and reflective practice
- Holistic approaches
- Responsiveness to children
- Learning through play
- Intentional teaching
- Learning environments
- Cultural competence
- Continuity of learning and transitions
- Assessment for learning
Learning outcomes on children
- have a strong sense of identity
- connected with and contribute to their world
- have a strong sense of well being
- confident and involved learners
- effective communicators
Physical, cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional development are all given equal terms in this directive. As a childcare centre owner, it is important that you have a solid understanding of how you intend to deliver these core elements of learning.
Can you ‘be present’?
Ensure leadership to your families and staff by being available to them. Build relationships with local businesses whose employees may need your services.
Nurture positive relationships with your community by having open days and organise events, shows, or trips to local museums and parks. You will realise that adding a personal flair will be the key to your childcare centre’s success.