How to Write a Business Plan for Daycare and Preschool

  • brightwheel
  • Running a business

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Writing a daycare or preschool business plan is a big task, but due diligence and hard work will help you understand what you’ll need to launch and run a daycare or preschool successfully.

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What do daycare investors want?

Your local government will have rules and regulations you’ll need to follow as a small business owner and childcare provider. Start by reviewing the childcare licensing guidelines for your state and city. Once you’re clear on licensing guidelines, you’re ready to start writing your childcare business plan.

The purpose of a business plan is to help secure funding. You’ll likely need financing to launch your preschool or daycare, especially if you want to avoid the monthly repayment of a loan. 

Investors provide businesses with money in exchange for partial ownership. As a result, they expect a larger return on their initial investment. Because many investors work in business, they prefer to invest in an established company.

Most investors look for:

Industry background and experience

Financial performance and promise.

Investors want to make money. Therefore, they are more inclined to work with experienced entrepreneurs and business owners to guarantee a return on their investment. 

This might sound discouraging for those with little experience or without a business management background, but the opportunity doesn’t end there. You could consider bringing on a partner with a business background. Additionally, many investors act as a source of business advice. 

You need to demonstrate that your business will make money. Investors will likely want to see signs of business growth before they give you money. 

Additionally, investors will want to know about your financial stability. Questions an investor might ask are:

  • What do you plan to do with the money?
  • Has your business been up or down in recent years?
  • Is your company losing money? Are there signs of growth for the future?
  • How do you plan to repay your investment?

Of course, every investor is different, so they’ll consider various factors. While experience and financial promise are at the top of the list for most investors, they might also look for uniqueness, business readiness, an effective business model, and more.

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Writing a daycare business plan

We’ve discussed licensing and investors. Now, you’re ready to begin the framework of your business plan for daycares and preschools. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Business description

Needs assessment, insurance policies, operating policies and procedures, marketing strategy.

Start with the basics: what does your daycare do? Detailing the service you’re offering will help you create a clear business plan. Next, you might want to write some goals or even a mission statement outlining your purpose and motivation.

Start by looking at general daycare or preschool industry trends, then narrow your scope to the preschools or daycares in your local area. Next, you’ll need to figure out who your target customers are and confirm that there is a need for a business like yours in your community. 

Are there a lot of young families in your neighborhood? Are you located somewhere convenient for commuting parents? Does your business offer a specific service that your competitors don’t, like early check-in or extended hours? 

Also, check out the competition. Research the existing daycare or preschool options in your community. Look at current preschool or daycare business plan samples. What makes your daycare or preschool unique? 

Developing detailed budgets will help you run your small business. You’ll need to compare your current cash flow and expenditures to determine whether you’ll make a profit.

Build a budget for unexpected costs. For example, how many children do you need to serve to be able to pay your bills and stay afloat? Child Care Aware of America offers some terrific budgeting resources for this process.

Depending on the type and size of your preschool, you’ll need insurance policies of several different types, including liability, property, workers’ compensation, and business insurance. Check the licensing requirements for guidance in building this part of your preschool business plan.

Create a comprehensive handbook for families and staff that includes you center's policies and procedures. For instance, you'll need to develop an emergency plan , daycare sick policy , and other safety protocols according to your local childcare licensing requirements. 

Your staff handbook will be a helpful resource your employees can reference and include all your employment policies including work and pay schedules, benefits, and information about professional growth and development. You can also include information on your center's philosophy and curriculum, classroom procedures, and expectations for working with children and families.

Your marketing strategy is the key to attracting customers. Decide what type of advertising you will use in front of potential customers. For example, list your school in local directories and participate in parenting and kid-friendly community events. Run a social media campaign focusing on your target population.

Another big part of childcare business marketing is differentiating yourself from other preschools. These days adopting daycare software is a surefire way to attract families with young children. A tool like brightwheel's center management feature will streamline your center's admission process, record keeping, and reporting, saving you up to 20 hours per month. 

You can also use brightwheel for recording and tracking daily events and activities, and sending real-time updates to families throughout the day. It also offers secure, digital check-in/check-out and a paperless billing system. This is a great way to keep your families looped in on daily activities and handle all of your administrative tasks in one place.

Your business is ready!

Writing a business plan can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you secure the proper licensing, use the information in this article to guide you through creating a solid daycare business plan that drives investors and financing to your business.

These are just the basics to get you started. For further information, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website has detailed instructions on creating each necessary part of a successful business plan. 

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How to Start a Day Care: A Step-by-Step Guide

Caroline Goldstein

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If you’re a teacher, former teacher, or simply have years of experience caring for children — and an entrepreneurial streak — you might have considered starting your own day care center, either from home or in a dedicated facility. And at an expected job growth of 7% over the next decade, working in child care is a stable career choice. So, if you’re seriously wondering how to start a day care center, you’ve come to the right place.

As is the case starting a business in any industry, however, your passion for your craft alone — or, in this case, your students — isn’t quite enough to ensure that your day care business is copacetic, either financially or legally. You’ll need to do a good amount of due diligence when looking into how to start a day care business, paying special attention to licensing requirements, and ensuring that your facility and program aligns with your state’s health and safety codes.

If you’re a pro at educating, training, supporting and generally corralling large groups of small children, you should be pretty unperturbed by the work it takes to start a day care business. Here’s what you need to know.

daycare business plans

How to start a day care business

Although every path toward starting a business looks different for every business owner, there are a few steps that every aspiring day care owner needs to think about when it comes to how to best start a day care.

1. Decide what kind of day care business you want to start

Before you can even get to writing a business plan for your day care business, you need to decide what kind you want to open. Look into whether you want to start a day care business at home, or whether you want a more commercial facility — there might be different permits required in your municipality depending on which you choose. You also need to decide what age groups you want to focus on.

Next up, you'll have to decide on a business entity, which will have huge effects on the way you're taxed and how you operate your day care business. Will you have partners or open your business on your own? Additionally, you'll want to consider whether you want a business entity that offers you some protection. Making your day care center a limited liability company might be a good move, since the business will take on liability should anything go wrong.

You might also decide to buy into a day care franchise opportunity. This option will significantly streamline the steps you need to take in opening your day care.

Once you narrow down these details about your business, you can move on to the next step in starting a day care business: writing a business plan.

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Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

2. Write a day care business plan

This is a step you have to take when starting any business and it can be quite a bit of work, especially for anyone looking to get moving quickly on their business. When you start writing a business plan, start with an outline of all the things you want to include.

Your plan should include a summary, an overview of the company, a market analysis that includes an assessment of the need for a business like yours, a marketing and sales plan, and a financial plan along with financial projections. Don't worry, though, you can always add to it as your business grows.

One thing you should include, though, is market research. The last thing you want to do is go through all of these "how to start a day care business" steps, only to find that there isn't a market for one or that there are already too many day cares in that area to make it a viable business.

Your business plan should also include a budget. The costs associated with opening and running your day care center can never be accurately totaled, but nailing down a budget will give you some parameters to work within (and some peace of mind).

In your budget plan, don’t forget to factor in:

Your startup costs, including day care equipment, food, toys and educational tools, wages, insurance and licensing.

How much tuition you’ll charge.

Your predicted revenue over the next two to three years.

When you’ll break even.

Also know that day care centers can claim certain tax deductions, which can ease your annual financial burden.

You'll also want to include a marketing plan. If you’re seriously researching how to start a day care business, it’s likely that you’ve already been caring for children in your area for some time and have built up a network of local parents. That’s one valuable method of attracting customers (aka word of mouth) covered. Still, implementing even a basic marketing plan can help define and legitimize your business — and if you need to implement a waitlist as a result, that’s great too!

Your marketing efforts can be relatively simple and low-cost. You can start by creating a Facebook page for your day care center and building a business website, making sure to include your contact information and a little bit about your business. If possible, plan to include pictures of your facilities and testimonials from happy customers.

If you’re a fan of social media, it also can’t hurt to create an Instagram, LinkedIn and/or Twitter account to keep both current and prospective customers updated on your business. Just be sure that once you do, you receive permission from parents or guardians before posting pictures of their children, of course.

Analog marketing techniques would work well here, too. If possible, consider distributing flyers or brochures to nearby libraries, schools, places of worship or any other local gathering spots.

3. Obtain the necessary certification and licenses

You may not need a master’s degree in education to become a day care teacher, but each state does require some combination of licensing and certification when it comes to how to start a day care. Visit your state’s Division of Child Care Services (or its equivalent) to find out the training, experience and credentials you need to legally operate a day care facility.

In New York State, for instance, the head of the day care facility must have one of the following:

An associate degree in early childhood education or an equivalent.

A CDA credential (child development associate) and at least two years of experience caring for children.

A high school diploma and at least three years’ experience caring for children.

You'll probably find that there are some other requirements that usually come up when you're looking up how to start a day care business at home or in another facility. Your state may require that you and any staff you hire are CPR-certified, for one. Another point of safety to remember is that you should be trained in at least basic first aid for children. You and your staff might also need to be fingerprinted and undergo background checks before being cleared for work.

Even if your state doesn’t require that you obtain a license, you should consider doing so, as your licensing course will go over all the boxes you need to check to operate your day care in your state — including health and safety regulations, proper food preparation and the required child-to-adult ratio.

4. Find a (safe) day care facility

In certain states, in order to obtain the proper licenses or registration to start your day care business, you’ll first need to show that your day care facility meets your state’s health and safety requirements.

So whether you choose to open your day care facility in your own home, or buy or lease a new property, you’ll need to make sure your facility meets zoning, fire, and health and safety laws. When it comes to how to start a day care at home, you may need to make alterations to your house to comply with day care requirements in your state, so be sure to factor them into your budget.

5. Get insured

Another requirement for obtaining your license? Getting insured. In certain states, you’ll need to be licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services to run your day care center, but to do so, you’ll first need liability insurance.

The exception is home-based day care centers, which don’t need insurance to be licensed by the DHHS. Still, those opening day care centers at home should seriously consider obtaining small business insurance. You always run the risk of a lawsuit when you’re running your own business, but that risk increases when caring for other people’s children — so protect yourself whenever possible.

There are several types of insurance that cover day care businesses — general liability insurance, workers’ compensation, property insurance, abuse and molestation insurance and others — so contact an insurance broker to help you decide which coverage is best for your business.

6. Get a business checking account and credit card

Get a business credit card and a business checking account early on to help you keep your business expenses separate from your personal expenses when first starting a day care.

It’s crucial to separate your personal and business expenses for many reasons, not the least of which is to reduce your (or your accountant’s) burden come tax season. It’s simply the most professional way to conduct your business, too. Set yourself up for success now by signing up for a business credit card and opening a business bank account, and be diligent about using both solely for your day care’s finances.

Having a business credit card can help you increase your business credit score, too. By paying the card off on time — or early if you can — you can boost your score, which will help you late on when you need a loan or other financing for your day care business.

7. Get financing

Most entrepreneurs bootstrap their businesses at the beginning, as it’s difficult for brand-new businesses with limited credit history to secure a business loan, either from a bank or from an alternative lender.

Your financing options aren’t limited to your own purse strings (or your friends’ and family’s). Here are a few other ways to get funding and loans for a child care business:

SBA microloan

Although most SBA loans are available only to businesses with a few years of experience under their belts, SBA microloans are actually designed to help startups get off the ground. They’re especially accessible to women, veterans, minorities and business owners in low-income areas. And unlike most other SBA loan programs, SBA microloans are disbursed by nonprofit lenders, rather than banks.

As the name suggests, SBA microloans tend to be on the smaller side, with amounts capped at $50,000, but they may be as low as $500. (For more context, the average microloan amount was $14,000 in 2017.) And because microloans are designed for new businesses, business owners with average or even challenged credit may still be accepted, as long as other aspects of their SBA loan applications are in good shape.

SBA community advantage

These loans from the SBA have all of the advantages that come with SBA microloans but the community advantage loans are specifically for businesses that are serving traditionally underserved communities. These loans are generally for a higher dollar amount than the microloans and can go a bit further for your business.

Government grants

You might be able to obtain financial assistance to start and run your day care through state or federal funding programs for early childhood education providers. For instance, you can contact your state’s Child Care and Development Fund Plan to look into startup funds, or your state’s school meal contacts to seek funding for your day care center’s meals.

Take a look at the Administration for Children and Families Office of Child Care’s list for a more comprehensive overview of federal and state financing programs for child care centers .

Business credit card

It’s important to use a business credit card to keep your day care’s expenses separate from your own. Of course, using a credit card is also the most convenient way to pay for your daily expenses. And since credit limits for business credit cards tend to exceed those of consumer cards, you can spend more liberally without worrying about maxing out your card.

Another bonus? Using your business card responsibly (by which we mostly mean paying off your balance in full and on time, every month) can help you build business credit. And with a healthy business credit score, you’re in a better position to secure business loans with great terms down the line.

If you opt for a card with a long 0% intro APR period, you can essentially use that introductory grace period as an interest-free loan. Look into the American Express Blue Business Plus card, which, at 12 months, carries one of the longest interest-free introductory periods in a business credit card right now.

After your 12 interest-free months are up, though, a variable APR kicks in at a rate depending on your creditworthiness and the market. Check the issuer's terms and conditions for the latest APR information.

8. Hire staff

You may be planning on running your day care facility solo, but depending on your state and the number of children you’re looking after, that might not be an option — every state sets a required ratio of staff to children to ensure that every child receives adequate care. They also dictate the maximum number of children permitted in a group.

Adult-to-child ratios and class sizes depend on the age of the children, but they might also depend on the size of the day care facility, or face further restrictions based on municipality. For a day care center in New York state, for example, the state requires one adult for six children under school age. However, in New York City, there must be two teachers or one teacher and one assistant to every six children aged 2 to 3, with a maximum of 12 students allowed in a single group. Your own children may or may not be included in that count, too.

So, while hiring really depends upon your state’s requirements, it makes sense to leave room for hiring staff in your business budget. That way, you’ll be prepared for growth, without worrying about your operation shutting down because you’re not properly prepared for it. (Just keep in mind that any staff you hire needs to be appropriately licensed or trained for it, and potentially undergo a background check.)

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9. Write your day care contract and policies

To further legally protect your business, it’s crucial that you draw up a contract, write out your day care policies, and require that potential clients (or, more likely, the parents of potential clients) review and sign both documents before accepting their patronage.

If you're just starting to read up on how to start a day care business, you might not be clear on the distinction between these two documents. To clarify, your contract is the document stating that you’ll provide child care, be compensated for providing care according to the payment terms you specify, and have the right to terminate providing care.

Your policies, on the other hand, provide parents with important logistical information regarding how you’ll run your day care center. There, you can outline protocol regarding vacation, illness, inclement weather, drop-off and pickup times, curriculum, field trips, and anything else you believe is important for your clients to understand and agree to about your day care center.

On a similar note...

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How to Write a Business Plan for a Daycare: Complete Guide

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  • January 30, 2023

daycare business plans

👇 Check all our resources on daycares 👇

Whether you’re looking to raise funding from private investors or to get a loan from a bank (like a SBA loan) for your daycare, you will need to prepare a solid business plan.

In this article we go through, step-by-step, all the different sections you need in your daycare business plan. Use this template to create a complete, clear and solid business plan that get you funded.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary of a business plan gives a sneak peek of the information about your business plan to lenders and/or investors.

If the information you provide here is not concise, informative, and scannable, potential lenders and investors will lose interest.

Though the executive summary is the first and the most important section, it should normally be the last section you write because it’s the summary of the different sections included in your business plan.

Why do you need a business plan for your daycare?

The purpose of a business plan is to secure funding through one of the following channels:

  • Obtain bank financing or secure a loan from other lenders (such as a SBA loan )
  • Obtain private investments from investment funds, angel investors, etc.
  • Obtain a public or private grant

How to write an executive summary for your daycare?

The executive summary of your daycare business plan should include the following important information:

Business Overview

Introduce your company (its name, its mission) and the history behind it: why did you decide to create a daycare in your area today? Why you? 

Also, that’s where you should expand on the business: where will the daycare facility be located? How old are the children you target? How many children will you be able to take care of? What are the amenities (classrooms, playground, cafeteria, etc.)? 

Market Overview

Provide here a deep market analysis that backs your decision to open a daycare business in your area today. Why would your business succeed given current market conditions? 

For example, the market analysis should include information like: what are your competitors in the area? What are their characteristics, strengths and weaknesses ? Who are your target audience (parents and children)? Is that in line with the demographics in your area?

Management & People

Who is the management team? What is your/their experience in the daycare industry?

Financial plan

What is your expected revenue and profitability for the next 5 years? When do you expect to break-even? Simply include here a chart of your key financials (e.g. Revenue, Gross Profit, Net profit )

Funding Ask

What loan/investment/grant are you seeking? How much do you need? How do you intend to spend the money?

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Daycare Financial Model

Download an expert-built 5-year Excel financial model for your business plan

2. Daycare Business Overview

The business overview section of the daycare business plan summarizes the basics of your facility, including the background information, business model, services, target audience, and legal structure. 

a) History of the Project

When you launch a daycare business, you want it to grow and even become the best in the region if possible. One small element that can catalyze your company’s growth is its history. You don’t have to exaggerate the information here, but try to include useful details that will make your daycare business stand out. 

For a business as sensitive as daycare, trust overrides anything else. So, make sure to include in your business plan your experience and passion for children to demonstrate to investors you are qualified and the right person to successfully run a new daycare facility.

Also, flesh out the history behind the project: why are you starting a daycare now? For example, you may have noticed a lack of child care services for toddlers and infants in the city.

b) Business Model

Next up is the business model. This is the revenue-generating plan that identifies how your business operates. A daycare business model should be succinct and address specific things about the business. 

For instance, is it a commercial daycare facility or a family daycare? Is it an independent facility or a partnership? And should you opt for a daycare franchise? 

Keep in mind that daycare facilities vary by the target age group. So, you can opt for a childcare center, a family daycare, a kindergarten/pre-school, or a nursery school.

daycare business plans

c) Daycare Services

It takes a lot to raise a child. So, be clear on the services you want to offer in your newly founded daycare facility. The quality of services will make your business more attractive. But an even bigger factor will be the type of services you provide at the facility.

Indeed, a lot happens inside a daycare facility, from hands-on learning (classrooms, private tuition) to field trips, games and community events. 

d) Pricing Strategy

Age is a key factor when setting the prices of your daycare services. On average, parents across the US pay about $9,400 per year on child care per child. Of course, the actual figure will vary based on a number of factors, but this is a great starting point when getting into the industry. 

An accurate pricing strategy can help you outshine your biggest competitors. However, don’t forget that setting cheaper prices isn’t necessarily the best strategy, just in the same way overpriced services may turn off potential clients. 

e) Target Audience

Daycare centers are so named because they are about a child’s well-being. However, the final decision rests with the parents, who must buy into your idea and long-term vision for the facility. 

For this type of business, you have a definite target market . And all you have to do is ensure your facility is closer to a busy neighborhood with many children. Find out if the families truly need child care services, why they need these services and the children’s average age. 

Finally, make sure your services are aligned with your target audience. For example, you wouldn’t necessarily succeed with a daycare operating 9am – 4pm in an area where parents typically work long hours in the city and need time to commute back to their neighborhood to pick up their kids.

Same goes for pricing: if you offer high-quality expensive daycare services, make sure your daycare is either located close to offices or in an area where affluent parents work or live.

daycare business plans

f) Legal Structure

Finally, your business overview section should specify what type of business structure you opt for. Is this a corporation or a partnership (LLC)? Who are the investors? How much equity percentage do they own? Is there a Board of Directors? If so, whom? Do they have experience in the industry?

3. Daycare Market Overview

In the market overview section of your business plan, you must cover 2 important areas:

  • Market trends : how big is the daycare industry in your area? How fast is the market growing? What are the trends fuelling this growth (or decline)?
  • Competition analysis : how many competitors are there? How do they compare vs. your business? How can you differentiate yourself from them?

a) Daycare Market Trends

How big is the daycare industry in the us.

It’s always helpful to base your business decisions on the latest trends in the US market. For instance, the US daycare market had a value of approximately $54.3 billion in 2019 . And it is projected to grow at an annual rate of 3.9% from 2020 through 2027. 

According to reports, the high number of parents occupying full-time and part-time jobs is a major driving force behind the increasing demand for daycare services. No matter how you look at it, these statistics make the daycare business even more lucrative, provided you get all the basics right through your business plan. 

daycare business plans

How big is the daycare industry in your region?

After the US, assess the size of the daycare market in your city or area. Focus on the zone where you plan to offer daycare services.

Naturally, you might not be able to get the data for your specific city or region. Instead, you can estimate the size of your market, for more information on how to do it, read our article on how to estimate TAM, SAM and SOM for your startup . To give you an example, let’s assume you plan to operate in an area where there are already 10 competitors:

As we know the US daycare industry is worth $54 billion today, and there are about 230,000 child care centers , therefore the average annual turnover per child care center is around $235,000.

Now, we can safely assume that the daycare industry is worth $23 million in your area (10 centers).

How fast is the daycare industry growing in your region?

Growth is an important metric for assessing the status of the daycare industry in your region. 

Here if you don’t find information online or via your research, you can calculate growth using the total number of competitors in your area. 

For example, assuming there were 8 daycare competitors in the region in 2018, and 10 in 2022, the annual growth rate is 6% per year.

daycare business plans

b) Daycare Competitor Analysis

At the very least, your competitor analysis should answer all the questions below:

  • How many daycare businesses are the area where you plan to open yours?
  • What type of daycare businesses are there: home-based vs. center-based home care, early care vs. early education & daycare, etc.
  • What age range do they specialise in?
  • What services do your competitors offer?
  • What amenities do your competitors have (playground, classrooms, etc.)
  • What’s their average price (daily rate / monthly rate)?
  • What is the child / staff ratio of your competitors?

4. Sales & Marketing Strategy

For some existing daycare facilities, marketing isn’t the most important aspect of running the business. But you’ll probably have to implement a few marketing strategies at the beginning to attract the first families , especially if you’re starting a new daycare facility.

a) Daycare Market Channels

A daycare business doesn’t have diverse marketing channels like retail stores or other businesses. So, this may limit your options when it comes to new marketing channels. 

Apart from word of mouth, other marketing channels include;

  • Social media
  • Online listing (Google business, Facebook business page)
  • Word-of-mouth

daycare business plans

b) What are Your Unique Selling Points (USPs)? 

Daycare facilities offer pretty much the same services, and it’s not easy to stand out from the competition. However, a few factors can be useful when evaluating your opportunities in a competitive market, including:

  • Target age group : You may cover a unique age group as opposed to your competitors
  • Opening hours : you may offer longer opening hours to accommodate for different parents’ jobs and availabilities
  • Price : Your services may be cheaper than your competitors
  • Quality & amenities : Quality services and extra amenities (outdoor playground, etc.) will make your daycare facility more attractive vs. competitors
  • Services : Your services may go beyond the standard hands-on learning and kid games 

5. Management & People

The 5th section of your daycare business plan should be about people. It should include 2 main elements:

  • The management team and their experience / track record
  • The organizational structure: what are the different teams and who reports to whom?

a) Management

Here you should list all the management roles in your company.

Of course, the amount of details you need to include here varies depending on the size of your company. For example, a small daycare business run by 1 or 2 persons doesn’t need the same level of detail vs. a large center with 50 children or more.

If you plan on running your business independently, you may write a short paragraph explaining who are the co-founders and/or senior managers (if there are any in addition to yourself). It’s important to highlight their experience in the industry and previous relevant professional experiences.

b) Organizational structure

No matter how many leadership roles there are, you should now explain how you intend to run the company from a management standpoint.

What are the different teams (management, childcare staff, cooking staff, human resources, finance, etc.)?

Note that you should include these details even if you haven’t hired anyone yet. It will show lenders and investors that you have a solid hiring and management plan to run the business successfully.

A great addition here is to add an organizational chart that list all the roles, from Directors to managers, key supervisory roles and employees. Make sure to highlight with reporting lines who manages/supervises whom.

daycare business plans

6. Financial Plan

The financial plan is perhaps, with the executive summary, the most important section of any business plan.

Indeed, a solid financial plan tells lenders that your business is viable and can repay the loan you need from them. If you’re looking to raise equity from private investors, a solid financial plan will prove them your daycare is an attractive investment.

There should be 3 sections to your financial plan section:

  • Your historical financials (only if you already operate the business and have financial accounts to show)
  • The startup costs of your project (if you plan to start a new daycare facility, or add capacity to an existing daycare center, renovate your facilities, etc.)
  • The 5-year financial projections

a) Historical Financials (optional)

In the scenario where you already have some historical financials (a few quarters or a few years), include them. A summary of your financial statements in the form of charts e.g. revenue, gross profit and net profit is enough, save the rest for the appendix.

If you don’t have any, don’t worry, most new businesses don’t have any historical financials and that’s ok. If so, jump to Startup Costs instead.

b) Startup Costs

Before we expand on 5-year financial projections in the following section, it’s always best practice to start with listing the startup costs of your project.

For a daycare, startup costs are all the expenses you incur before you open the space to your customers. These expenses typically include: renovation costs, equipment and furniture, etc.

The startup costs for opening a child care center depend on various factors such as the location and size of your daycare facilities, the capacity (the number of children you plan to have), the quality of the amenities, etc. 

We’ve identified that it costs anywhere between $130,000 to $490,000 to start a daycare business with 50 children . See below the cost estimates.

Note that these costs are for illustrative purposes and depend on several factors which might not fully apply to you. Let’s first start below with startup costs. 

c) Financial Projections

In addition to startup costs, you will now need to build a solid daycare financial model over 5 years.

Your financial projections should be built using a spreadsheet (e.g. Excel or Google Sheets) and presented in the form of tables and charts in your business plan.

As usual, keep it concise here and save details (for example detailed financial statements, financial metrics, key assumptions used for the projections) for the appendix instead.

Your financial projections should answer at least the following questions:

  • How much revenue do you expect to generate over the next 5 years?
  • When do you expect to break even?
  • How much cash will you burn until you get there?
  • What’s the impact of a change in pricing (say 10%) on your margins?
  • What is your average customer acquisition cost?

You should include here your 3 financial statements (income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement). This means you must forecast:

  • The number of children over time ;
  • Your expected revenue ;
  • Operating costs to run the business ;
  • Any other cash flow items (e.g. capex, debt repayment, etc.).

When projecting your revenue, make sure to sensitize pricing and the number of members as a small change in these assumptions will have a big impact on your revenues.

When it comes to the costs, consider both startup and operating costs. For more information, read our complete guide here .

daycare business plans

7. Funding Ask

This is the last section of the business plan of your daycare center. Now that we have explained what type of daycare services your company would offer, at what price, your marketing strategy , management and people, this section must now answer the following questions:

  • How much funding do you need?
  • What financial instrument(s) do you need: is this equity or debt, or even a free-money public grant?
  • How long will this funding last?
  • Where else does the money come from? If you apply for a SBA loan for example, where does the other part of the investment come from (your own capital, private investors?)

Use of Funds

Any business plan should include a clear use of funds section. This is where you explain how the money will be spent.

Will you spend most of the loan / investment to buy the real estate and do the renovations? Or will it cover the cost of the salaries of your childcare staff and other employees the first few months?

Those are very important questions you should be able to answer in the blink of an eye. Don’t worry, this should come straight from your financial projections. If you’ve built solid projections like in our daycare financial model template , you won’t have any issues answering these questions.

For the use of funds, we recommend using a pie chart like the one we have in our financial model template where we outline the main expenses categories as shown below.

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