For many child care providers, it doesn’t come naturally to think about the business side of things. We could spend a lot of time dissecting why that is, but that’s an article for another day. The point is that whether or not you like it, as a family child care owner, you run a business. As such, it’s important to consider what makes a healthy and sustainable child care business.
Consider your customers
Any business needs to think about who their customers are and what their customers need. In child care, your customers are your parents. Your parents are the ones paying you every week or month for your services. The best thing you can do for your business is to make sure you are meeting the needs of your parents. High quality early care and education is good business.
Consider your business
Customers of any business sometimes have surprising requests. Knowing that your parents are your customers does not mean you need to meet their every wish. It’s ok to say no to things. You are running a business and you should assume that any special accommodations you make for one family could be requested by all of your other families. Think about your business more broadly when considering one-off requests.
On the other hand, you are the business owner and can decide to accommodate special requests if or when they are made. You can also let parents know that something you initially said yes to is no longer working. Being the business owner means you get to decide what works and what doesn’t work at your program.
Get help from your peers
Sometimes we just need someone we trust to lend advice or validation. Wonderschool has built a community of over 1,000 family child care providers for this exact purpose. You sometimes have to make tough business decisions– made all the more tough because you care about your families and your business– and it can mean the world to have someone else validate your decision.
Be a professional
Child care is one of the most personal businesses out there– you are caring for a person’s most prized beings, all in the walls of your own home. It can be easy for everyone to forget that you are still running a business. Whether that means responding to feedback from a parent at 7:30 in the morning in your kitchen or enforcing your late pickup policy, take a deep breath and remember that you are the professional and business owner. Embody that and feel proud.
Wonderschool supports child care professionals to run quality and sustainable businesses. Learn more today!