8 Easy Steps to Start a Day Care Center
8 Easy Steps to Start a Day Care Center article contained –
- Start with Government Grant or Citizen Committee
- What you need to have to start a Day Care Program
- Committee Organization and Operation
- Finances, Policies, Staffing,etc.
- Admission Policies
- Personnel Policies and Salary Scales
- Public Relations
Step 1 –
Start with Government Grant or Citizen Committee
Any group of citizens who are concerned about the health and welfare of the children in their community can form a committee to start a day care center.
Sometimes such a committee can bring to the attention of the government the need for this service, and it may be that the government will start such a program under the auspices of one of the appropriate ministries,- educations health, or welfare.
If the government is not able to do this, a citizens committee,which is willing to take responsibility for financing and operating a day care center, can start one.
In most countries a citizen’s committee has to be registered with the government, and it is best to find out first what the government regulations for committees are.
The government will want to know the committee’s purpose; what kind of service it wants to offer and why; whether this service is to be a charitable undertaking,
or whether the committee expects to make money from it; whether the committee is a responsible group of people who can be counted on to operate a good program which will really help the community.
The government will want to know who the committee members are , Providing a service for young children is a serious responsibility.
If the program is not a good one, or if the building is not safe, or if the personnel are irresponsible, the children can be harmed rather than helped by going to the day care center. A day care center, to be of help to the children, has to be more then just a place to keep children off the streets.
It has to have a program which gives the children those things they need for healthy growth.
If you are thinking of forming a committee to start a day care center, you will first need to know what is required to establish and to operate such a program.
The advice of an expert on day care programs is needed for this; a list of possible agencies and organizations to which you milt look for such expert help is included in the appendix.
This article has been prepared to give you some idea of tie things you will need to think about before starting a day care center.
If you already have a center in operation, this can serve as a guide to help you ace how well your program is meeting the children’s needs. It cannot be a substitute for an expert’s assistance.
Step 2 –
What you need to have to start a Day Care Program
of responsible citizens who will give time and interest and who will give or find money for the operation of the service.
which includes all expenses for operation of the program, as well as a realistic estimate of income.
for admission of children, for employment of staff.
which is safe, has space for classrooms, kitchen and food preparation rooms, food storage, toilet and hand-washing facilities, offices, storeroom, and a garden or outdoor play space.
suitable for the purpose, such as small tables and chairs, kitchen and clinic equipment, beds or mats for resting, toys and outdoor playground equipment.
which includes education, food, and medical and health care.
of teachers, nurse, doctor, and a director who are especially trained to plan and carry out this program.
Step 3 –
Committee Organization and Operation
One way to find out how to organize a committee or how a committee works is to talk to other community people who serve on committees, and to visit committees in operation and observe their work. Your government may be able to help you, also.
A committee needs to have rules for its operation covering election of officers,responsibilities of members, meeting days, etc.
Every committee needs a president or chairman. An efficient method of working is to assign to one member or to small groups of committee members the responsibility for certain phases of the work (budget, clothing, personnel). These people always report back to the entire group of members for approval and for new decisions regarding thoir work.
Step 4 –
Finances, Policies, Staffing,etc.
When a committee undertakes to operate a day care center it must have a responsible plan for financing the program. A budget must be worked out to include all aspects of operation, such as building, equipment, supplies, salaries. A realistic on-going plan for fundraising must be established to cover not only the initial but the operating expenses as well.
The committee must administer the funds and keep careful records of income and expenditures to insure wise spending of money and to make plans for the future.
Step 5 –
Policies for admission of children have to be established by the committee.If the day care center will not be large enough to accept all of the children whose parent want this service, the committee will have to decide which children they want to serve and then establish some categories of priority so that admissions can be made on an objective basis. For example, the committee may decide on priorities as follows:
- Children of homes with lowest incomes.
- Children with only one parent.
- Children of working mothers, etc.
These might be put in a different order of priority according to needs of the community.
In communities where there is a qualified social worker, her services may be used for screening the applicants for admission on the basis of the policies established by the committee.
Where a social worker is not available, the committee usually takes over this task of interviewing for admission of children. In some situations when the center is well established, or if the center is able to accommodate all children applying, the committee may delegate this responsibility to the director, but whenever there is need to discriminate among applicants, the committee must take final responsibility for the choice.
The committee must also work out a plan, in cooperation with their center director, for the actual arrival of the children at the center.
It is the responsibility of the committee to decide if fees will be charged for care and, if so, tho committee will have to establish the basis for foes and the method of collection. The director or her assistant or a committee member may collect the foes, but decision as to how much each family should pay must be made by the committee.
Step 6 –
Personnel Policies and Salary Scales
It is the responsibility of the committee to establish a set of personnel practices and a salary scale in order:
– To provide a fair and objective way of handling staff problems and
relating to staff members.
– To provide staff members with a guide to the duties and the benefits
of their jobs.
– To insure the welfare of the staff so that they will be satisfied
with their jobs and content to stay in them.
Such policies should cover educational qualifications, job definitions, hours of work, duties, annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, holidays, leaves of absence, conditions for resignation or termination of service, health insurance, pension plan or social security, and a salary scale and plan for increments.
If the government has established regulations concerning labor practices, these must be adhered to, but they are usually minimal and general and not specific for a day care program.
Step 7 –
The committee must first hire a director for the center and initially they may also hire all other staff members.
After the director is engaged, the committee makes final decisions as to the hiring•or release of other staff members upon the recommendation and with the advice of the director of the center.
Step 8 –
Day care may be a new and unfamiliar concept in your community.
Because of its unfamiliarity, community members will be curious about what the Center is and the services it offers.
Day care committee members are fortunate in that they are operating a service which is highly visible and which appeals to the natural interest adults have in young children.
A center should always operate in such a way that a community can be proud of it.
The committee should take opportunities to show the center to other members of the community and to explain its function and its value.
Committee members will want to take visitors through the center and to invite guests to school celebrations.
This must, of course, be done with the knowledge and cooperation of the school director who will know how to arrange things in such a way that the children will not be exploited or disturbed.
Article source : JDC guide for day care centers a handbook to aid communities in developing day care center programs.