The number of full-time housewives in Africa’s urban areas in on a rapid decline. Unlike anytime in its history, more African women are working at paid jobs or running their own small businesses. As a result of this trend, there is a growing opportunity for services like crèche and daycare Center businesses. More middle class families can now afford these services and appreciate the value it brings to their children’s early mental and emotional development.
The crèche and daycare center service business is a venture that can be run from your home. It is an exciting and fulfilling prospect for anyone with a passion and natural energy for children. This article explores everything you need to know to get your daycare center business in Nigeria off the ground.
For those who do not know, crèches (or nurseries) are facilities where care is given to babies, toddlers and young children. Daycare center (also referred to as ‘child care’ or ‘preschool’) is where care is given to a child. The center can be run during the day (or night) by a person who is not their parent. Babysitting is done in the child’s home. Daycare services require the child to be taken to a different location during specific periods. This service is render especially when the parents are at work or traveled.
Children between the ages of one and six are popular candidates for these services. Daycare center services can range from simple babysitting to a more formal structure that includes preschool education, child development, discipline and excursions.
The demand for crèche and daycare center is growing across Nigeria because people living in urban areas need the services. As the size and number of Africa’s cities grow, convenience services like daycare will continue to flourish. Over 500 million Africans now live in cities and 400 million more are expected over the next 20 years. Africa’s rapid urbanization is creating a lot of opportunities for convenience service providers (like daycare centers, laundry/dry cleaning services, etc) who help to reduce the burden on the busy and complex lives of growing families in the cities.
Providing day care for children is a big and serious responsibility. A crèche and daycare service provides entrepreneurs with an opportunity to pursue a socially conscious, challenging and fulfilling business. Follow these steps to get started.
In this section, we shall take a close look at all the things you’ll need to transform this idea into a real-life, profitable business.
Some African countries may have laws which regulate crèches and day care services. These laws may require day care operators to be licensed or certified by the authority or professional association. Most of these laws and regulations have become necessary to discourage and punish any form of child abuse. As a result, the strict guidelines may often increase the cost of running a daycare center business. Some of these regulations specify the minimum space and staffing requirements, the maximum number of children that can be admitted (depending on space), types of toys, mandatory documentation and many other things.
These strict regulations are responsible for the low profit margins experienced by daycare businesses in many countries. It’s very important that you check with the authority to understand what the law requires from day care operators in your area. Getting shut down by the authorities after you have opened for business may cost you a lot of money and your reputation.
In Nigeria however, much regulation is not required. You can get your daycare center started before seeking approval where necessary.
Getting the right location for your crèche/daycare center can often mean the difference between success and failure. The ideal location for a daycare center is safe, clean, accessible and close to the homes or offices of the parents. Although a day care operation can be home-based or in a dedicated facility around shopping malls, industrial and office areas, it’s important to ensure that all the potential dangers that could affect your business can be avoided.
In addition to a good location, the building or space used for a crèche should have all the necessary facilities. A few of these include: kitchen, toilets, bathrooms, beds, blankets, toys and outdoor playgrounds. While designing or modeling your crèche, you must always keep in mind that you need to create an atmosphere that appeals to parents and makes children happy and comfortable. If parents do not like the feel of your crèche, they may not use or recommend it to others.
Apart from good location and full facilities, the people who run the daycare center will be key to the success. It’s essential that your staff is empathetic, sensitive, patient, and have a natural energy and love for children. Above all, your staff must have the success of your business at heart all times. This means building and maintaining good reputation which is essential for daycare center business. Your reputation is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to advertise your services and get new customers.
Training in basic care giving and first aid is very important for your staff. Negligence and ignorance can often lead to avoidable accidents and mishaps at the Center (which you don’t want). If you have the passion and some of the qualities we talked about above, you could run the crèche yourself or hire someone to do it for you. An experienced nanny, a middle-aged or retired nanny
Parents always expect good value for the fees you charge for your day care services. If parents can see an improvement in the mental, emotional and physical development of their kids, they will continue to hire your services and gladly recommend you to family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.
To help the kids develop mentally, work out a routine that encourages and engages their curiosity. Teaching simple rhymes, songs, numbers and alphabets helps to develop the memory of children and aids their language learning ability. Puzzles and games are very popular with young kids and helps them to learn shapes and colors. Dancing is another great way to hold their attention while they learn. An interesting day care experience allows kids to bond, make friends and look forward to coming back the next day. You’re very likely to retain the parent’s interest if their children are interested.
Proper attention, affection, order and discipline are critical to the emotional development of children. It’s important that the kids under your care learn good manners and are able to interact well with their peers. Physical health is also as important in your crèche. You must ensure that high standard of hygiene is maintained if decide to serve meals. The food has to be nourishing, tasty and contain a well-balanced diet that will support child growth. And should a child contract a contagious illness (like chicken pox, cough etc.), it’s important that you stop them from attending the crèche until they are fully recovered.
I recommend that you go through these article if you’re really interested in pursuing this business idea. I would love to hear from you about your successes, challenges, advice and questions. Do not forget to leave a comment in the section below and share this opportunity with your friends! Also, make sure you follow Wealth Result on Twitter for more articles like this.