How to Start a Child Care Business
In order to start a business in the child care space you'll have to obtain the relevant licences and checks first. Read to find out more.
Starting a successful child care business can be very rewarding. However, it can be a very onerous task as it requires strict legal compliance with multiple regulations and government policies. This article will go through some of the essential steps to start one.
Choose your child care business structure
When starting a business, you will need to acquire an ABN and register your business and pay the relevant tax. There are different legal risks and liabilities associated with each business structure.
Before you choose your business structure it’s important to take in to account the following:
- Asset protection
- Retirement and exit strategies
- Corporate structure and associated risks
- Set up costs and ongoing regulatory costs
- Regulatory and reporting and liabilities requirements
Having a degree in child care is not a mandatory requirement. However, a Diploma qualification will help you understand the responsibilities you will need to cater to. Further, along with a qualification you should make sure to provide:
- Police/Criminal check
- A up to date First Aid Certificate
- Valid Working With Children’s Check
- Current Anaphylaxis training
Becoming a qualified owner is beneficial as you will be aware of what is required and meet the needs of the educators and families. Therefore, it is highly recommended to get a childcare degree to gain a competitive edge.
Some possible structures include:
- Long Day Care – LDC services provide quality all-day or part-time care for children of working families and the general community.
- Family Day Care – FDC services support and administer networks of FDC carers who provide flexible care and developmental activities in their own homes for other people’s children.
- Preschool – They provide services to children in the year prior to attending primary school and can involve structured, seasonal programs for two or three days a week.
- Occasional Care – OCC services provides care which is flexible catering to parents or carers.
- OOSH – Outside school hours care services provide care before and/or after school and/or care during school vacation time.
License and permits
The information you may be required to provide in applying for a license varies by state. Mosts services in Australia are regulated by the National Quality Framework. Further, it provides early childhood settings support in improving the quality of education and care. The National Regulations services must meet specific operational requirements including:
- Educational Programs & Practice
- Building Standards & Physical Environments
- Staffing Requirements
- Policies, Procedures & Records
You will need to obtain a provider approval before operating an early childhood service. Further, this approval recognised nationally. Ultimately, service approval is needed if you will be the operator of the service and will be responsible for the management of the service. If you are unsure about whether you need a service approval, it’s best to seek advice from a business lawyer.
Further, It’s important to be prepared by having insurance. Insurance can protect against accidents, personal injury, legal action and property damage. Thus, it all depends on the type of service you’re providing.
- Public Liability – not less than $10 million for each and every claim
- Workers Compensation – required by law
- Professional Indemnity – not less than $5 million per claim
Market your business
As you start, think about the type of customer you want to attract. Further, engage on social media by contribution to online conversations that reach parents or carers. Create your own blog which will give you the freedom that you may want. Thus, this creates a general brand awareness.
Further, consider what methods you want to use to advertise your store. These can be in the form of paid ads, email campaigns and content marketing.
Child care businesses are subject to specific licensing requirements and operating without a license can lead to significant penalties. However, with proper guidance, you will be able to set up your own childcare business.
Shrishti is in her third year of a Bachelor of Laws. She is a Legal Intern for Lawpath. She is interested in Intellectual Property Law, Environmental Law, and also Consumer and Competition Law.