Growing up as a Nigerian child with working-class parents I could almost say I had no inkling of what a day care center was.
Mama did not want me drugged, as believed to be the operation in all day-care centers then.
The mode of caring for a baby, in ancient times, was a size fits all. There was no negotiation when it came to child care.
Yes, either in the day or at night as seen today, the sharing is between day care centers and mothers.
The men go out to get food for the family so women do not need to bother their pretty heads; even young females were given little responsibilities, training them for what they were born to do.
With modernisation came evolvement, although men still go out to work, following the fight against male chauvinism and the adaptation to feminism.
Women no longer have to wait at home all day doing what our mothers did. Oops! I actually shook this table.
Despite the fact that not one day care center has experienced that wrenching pain in a labor room, they have shared in the joy or jubilation of the arrival of a newborn.
A daycare center is another BRT bus to the long queue of infants, in addition to the existing number of daycare centers in Nigeria.
With the number of BRT terminals in Lagos state, just as daycare center is on the lips of many career mothers, if not all, some novices will still prefer the yellow bus transportation.
No wonder the blind arguments on daycare center in Nigeria is still up. How about getting guidance?
What Is Day Care?
Day care is the expertness of having concern, regard, affection for individuals either infants, teens, elderly, etc. who cannot fully care for themselves.
It is a craft of being mindful of an infant’s needs for a stipulated time. It is the gesture of providing for or looking after dependent individuals for duration of time, especially in the day.
While a daycare center is a fixed place of meeting for daycare. It is a place where daycare is breathed in and out.
Day care entails giving and receiving of care, the day care center is the place at which this activity is carried out.
What Is the Difference Between Creche And Daycare
The act of caring for a child especially, in the absence of the biological parents is referred to as day care in North America, United Kingdom, and Australia.
It is called crèche in places like New Zealand and Ireland. In Nigeria, it is sometimes used interchangeably… (we too sabi).
While crèche and day care center may have similar function and meaning except in the age range, there is a difference between crèche and day care.
Crèche is referring to location and child care skill while day care refers the skill only as explained earlier.
Types of Child Care You Should Know
When you mention child care or the popular day care, day care centres are leading with numerous votes.
Interestingly, when considering child care for your infants, there is a wide array of options to pick from.
Of course, how could you start a daycare center business without having an in-depth knowledge of the different forms of child care?
Let’s take it one after the other
Here are features of Relative Care below:
Location: Home of the infant.
Definition: In Nigeria, it is traditional procedure that grandmothers come over to look after newly-born. This act is a type of child care called relative care.
Unlike day care centre, the baby is been taken care of by family; relative care also includes aunts, nieces, and other family members that come over to care for the child for a period of time.
Child Care Swap
What is child care swap?
Definition: This type of child care is not often seen when dealing with babies below 3 years but upwards.
It involves parents, more like family friends, living in close proximity; taking turns to care for their children.
This type of child care is more suitable to self-employed women timetable.
Location: either of the infants home.
A baby sitter type of child care is kinda different.
Definition: Although full house wives are not so common these days, they are more of endangered species, not extinct.
There are times these mothers need a break to go out with their husbands or friends, with nobody around to help. Who do they call?
A baby sitter is employed to look after the baby till the parents are back that day.
Location: infants home.
Let me be honest here, I’m not sure I’ve heard of Au Pair, (but familiar with what it means), not until I was carrying out a research on daycare center business.
Definition: This is common among Nigerian mother even the ones that take their children to day care centers.
A female is employed from the village (we all know that is another state from the residence state), and accommodated in her employer’s house.
An au pair, similarly, is a foreigner that is accommodated in an employer’s house for the sole purpose of caring for the baby in the house.
At times, an au pair is educated.
Location: Infants home
Definition: For those that are so rich that security must be tight, so day care center is not an option…lol.
A nanny offers child care to the children in the comfort of their homes.
Nannies are more child care experts than au pairs plus they have some level of education… I’m not talking of aunty Ekaete, the house help.
Location: Children home.
Unlike the previous types of child care services that are relatively familiar and cheaper.
A daycare center offers a more regulated type of child care as described earlier.
At a day care center, a number of children within a specified age range are cared for in the absence of their parents.
Location: daycare center.
Importance of Day Care Center
With the ever-increasing Nigerian population and economic situation that has got all hands on deck, with no one lazing around, one cannot underestimate the importance of a daycare center.
Forget pains, birthing a child is easier than raising one especially when it comes to giving the needed time and attention, hence, the importance of a daycare center.
Here are some reasons why daycare centers will not be leaving anytime soon:
- No child asks to be placed in a day care center, away from the bosom of his/her mother, so interestingly, the first importance of a daycare center is to parents and employers.
A daycare center let parents eat their cakes and have it as they have time to focus on work during the day while their children get adequate child care.
- Children are imbibed with a sense of independence, self-pride, and worth at a daycare center.
- While a child will inevitably speak at the end of the day except tested otherwise, a daycare center offers a conducive environment where children play with each other.
This interaction with other children helps children especially in their social skills.
- The interaction with peers at the day care center helps build the child communication skills both orally and demonstrative.
- A daycare center offers room for more play and games that help improve the creativity of a child.
- These games go further in having a positive effect on children imagination.
- The importance of day-care centers cannot be ruled out from encouraging the curiosity of a child.
- Children are prepared for advanced learning settings as daycare centers often have experienced child educationists that take kids on early learning.
- Children get to explore their interests at a daycare center.
Steps On How To Start A Day Care Center For A Child
Starting a daycare center for a child is not only about gathering children in one place and cleaning them up from time to time; it takes more to start a day care center.
Steve Oke said ‘the first law of business investment is investigation’. Starting a daycare center is one of the top 100 lucrative business ideas in Nigeria
Step 1 – Investigation
Cambridge dictionary defined investigation as an inquiry into a subject with care and accuracy.
Carrying out investigation on daycare center business in Nigeria entails obtaining accurate information about the child care business.
Considering the population of the country (199.8 million!) and the rate at which multiplication occurs, daycare center business is a viable venture.
Leaping into a day care center business without taking the right steps will remodel that dream of a daycare center into an established orphanage.
- How did existing daycare centers start?
- What are the community needs?
- Are these needs been met? And other related questions.
- Getting accurate information also trains you on day care center business.
Not leaving any stone unturned, you will need to get more details about cost, location, equipment, licenses, registration, etc.
Step 2 – Budgeting
This part requires intense attention but it will not be hard as you already carried out some findings from neighboring daycare centers.
Lindsey says it is advisable to begin with enough money to cover your operational and start up costs for the first three months.
This is because your newly open day care center will kick off with full enrolment immediately.
Do not count your eggs before they hatched.
Step 3 – Brand Name
Branding is always important for any business. Get a suitable name for your daycare center.
Step 4 – Business Plan
A good business plan is always the foundation upon which successful businesses are built on, just as a good house can be traced to a good plan and foundation.
A good business plan assists in securing help for a business including day care center.
Here you ask questions like ‘what is my budget?’ ‘How many children will my day care center admit?’ Etc.
The business plan tackles areas of location, cost of licenses and equipment, tuition fees, opening and closing time, etc.
Step 5 – Tuition Fee Policy
Talking about tuition fees in a day care center, you need to set deadlines for payment and can give discount if siblings are in the same day care center.
This is a way of attracting more parents with more children. Outside the country, tuition can be as low as $25 per child per day.
Converting to the Nigerian denomination, it is kind of high for the masses that are still trying to make ends meet, so be discreet about it.
Ask how much other day care centers are charging and their mode of payment.
Step 6 – Location
This is an important area to be looked into with all scrutiny when starting a day care center business in Nigeria.
Whatever location to be chosen, ensure it is close to your target market.
Residential areas have more target customers considering the fact that it is closer to the children homes.
It must be tidy, spacious, properly ventilated, and appearance matters no matter what.
It is advisable to always have a plan B, an alternative location should be considered in case plan A does not pull through.
Step 7 – Capital
Now that you know what you getting into, how about we talk about the money you want to use to start the day care center business in Nigeria.
It is certain that from your business plan you already know the cost of the equipments, salaries to be paid, license fee and other things you are getting for the child care center business.
- So tell me, what is your estimated total cost?
- How can you raise this amount of money?
- Do you have up to that in your account or are you getting a loan?
- Or do you have someone that wants to sponsor your daycare center business?
Step 8 – Facilities In Day Care Center (Equipment)
For someone starting a day care center business, the following are important at the initial stage:
- Spacious rooms, at least a square footage per child both indoor and outdoor.
- Sleeping mats, beds, or cots.
- Educative games.
- Play toys (both indoor and outdoor).
- Television or cable (popular JimJat cartoon) although this is optional depending on your target market.
- Generator (can be optional).
- Pampers and other toiletries.
- Staff: It is an edge in the day care center business to have staffs with some level of education, patience, and some psychological understanding of a child.
Step 9 – Registration
Get registered under the necessary bodies and get the appropriate licence for your day care center.
Some licences are to be given based on the area the day care center is located and have requirements that should be met before it is approved.
Now your day care center business is ready, set, go.
How Much Does It Cost to Open a Day Care Center in Nigeria
After following the steps on how to start a day care center in Nigeria, you already know how much will be needed from your business plan or budget.
Now tell me, how much does it cost to open a day care center in Nigeria? Some say a minimum of #500, 000, what do you say?
When you put into consideration those items needed to startup, you’ll agree a lot will go into the facilities, even if you’re starting small.
Day Care Centre Near Me (Summary)
Starting any form of business requires a lot; research, business planning, budgeting, staffing, branding, marketing, etc.
Day care business is an emerging business in Nigeria and it requires a skilled entrepreneur to pull this off.
Which of the above child care options would you go for? Let’s have your opinion in the comment section below.
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