The number of parents looking to wean their babies as early as possible is rising as the middle-income earners strive for better jobs and better salaries by working for extended hours. However, long gone are the days when hiring house-helps cheaply from the rural areas was the norm.
If you’ve been following local news lately, house-girls have become very expensive to maintain because of the additional burden of employees’ benefits recently enacted by law. It is also worth keeping in mind that cases of rogue house-helps abusing children or even kidnapping them are on the rise across the nation.
Due to these reasons, parents nowadays prefer taking their infants to baby day care centres – and herein lies a potential investment opportunity for you.
Baby Day Care Centre Business in Kenya
Unlike many other business investments that require a huge capital outlay and intensive investment in infrastructure, starting a day care can cost you next to nothing.
Basically, the two most important assets in starting are:
- Knowledge on early childhood development
- The love for children
The next most important asset is trust from parents so that they can entrust you with the noble task of taking care of their children.
- Getting Started
The first step is to find a good location for your business. Whether you choose to operate it from your home or in a commercially leased house, you will need to get a professional determination on whether or not the premises are suitable for a childcare facility.
A spacious house with several rooms in rural areas can go for as much as Ksh.5,000 and a similar one in urban centres for as much as Ksh.20,000 (low tier areas) and Ksh.50,000 and above for high tier estates.
- Get The Licenses
Once you’ve figured out the location of your business, you’ll need to think about getting licenses and insurance. So far, the most important licenses you will need are:
- The Single Business Permit
- Fire Safety
Both are issued by the county governments. The former goes for about Ksh.15,000 and the latter for Ksh.3,000 or thereabout. You may also need to purchase Liability Insurance cover to protect facilities, staff and children.
- Prepare The Premises, Buy Equipment
Call in a carpenter and a painter to do the job of converting your premises into a typical child-friendly environment. At the same time, you can request the carpenter to help you with making affordable equipment. Some basic equipment and appliances you may need include:
- Toys (dolls, water colours, finger paint, ribbons, markers, small people, plastic blocks, stuffed animals and puzzles)
- Basic educational materials (story books and charts)
- Furniture (small chairs, tables, nap mats, couches and stools)
- Appliances (Refrigerator, microwave, plates, small sufurias, buckets and cups)
- Playground equipment (Used car tyres, bouncing castles, trampolines etc.)
Alternatively, you can also buy these locally at very reasonable prices.
- Market it
The best way to market a baby day care business is through referrals. So even as you set up the facility remember to network with as many parents as possible – good reputation is key. Invest in a few business cards and flyers as well. You can introduce a bit of social media marketing later on.
- Hire Additional Staff
Before you hire any member of staff make sure they have a clean criminal background and knowledge of caring for children. Always request for a certificate of good conduct. Examples of team members you may need to hire include:
- Security personnel
- ECD tutors
The smaller the team the better.
- Invest In Documentation
Keep a list of documents for parents to sign, including an acknowledgement that the parents fully understand and accept the policies and procedures of your day care centre. These will help safeguard your business and reputation if things don’t go as planned.
Lastly, determine your pricing by considering the cost of renting the premises, hiring employees and buying supplies for your business. Compare your price to other day care businesses in your area.
How much to invest
Starting small is the way to build a successful day care business. For starters you can invest Ksh.100,000 this being enough to pay for the room (if leased), buy basic supplies and market the business.
How much to expect in return
Parents pay as much Ksh.30,000 per term (per child) in the middle-to-upmarket estates of Nairobi. Using this estimate, we can project revenue of Ksh.600,000 in 3 months for a small care centre of 20 children. That could translate to Ksh.100,000 net profit per month (after deducting all expenses).