The following business resources offer useful information and tips about updating your business profile and starting and marketing a child care business.
Click on the title below for more information.
Are you thinking of starting a home or center-based child care program? Are you wondering if this is the right career for you or where to start? There are many questions when starting a child care business, so let us help you! If you are questioning if family child care is the right career path for you, click here to check out our helpful “Let’s Get Started” document. It is full of information about the field of family child care. It also contains a helpful self-evaluation checklist to help you figure out if this is a good option for you and your family.
Additional steps to complete prior to opening a new child care program include:
- Learning about the regulations required to run a licensed home or center-based child care program is key to determining if this is the right step for you. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) child care regulations will help you determine if the building/home you plan to use is compatible, what you need for staffing, what pre-service education requirements must be met, and other important programming information. Click here to view the regulation book for the type of child care program you are thinking of opening.
- The next step is to attend a child care licensing orientation meeting. This is not only a requirement, it is a very helpful step in answering all your licensing questions. Click here to find the child care licensing office and surveyor(s) for your area. They will help you enroll in a local orientation meeting.
- Before you apply for your license, you will also want to make sure you have completed all the required pre-service coursework. Depending on your location, your access to community-based classes will vary; however, there are online options for most of the required coursework. Click here to view the KDHE regulation books that lists the required classes by subject matter.
To break it down, this means you need:
• CPR and First Aid (often offered together)
• Foundations of Quality Child Care, Part 1 and Part 2 (All of the health and safety courses listed below are covered in Foundations of Quality Child Care, Parts 1 and 2.)
• Child Abuse and Neglect with Head Trauma
• Safe Slumber (Creating a Safe Sleep Environment)
• Foundations of Basic Child Development
• Prevention and Control of Childhood Infectious Diseases
• Medication Administration in Child Care
• Emergency Preparedness for Child Care Providers
• Keeping Children Safe: Environment and Transportation Safety
• Happy Meals: Safe Food Practices and Allergy Awareness
Click here to view upcoming classes being offered by Child Care Aware® of Eastern Kansas. To view the statewide training calendar that lists locations and online options for enrolling in this coursework, click here.
- Prior to your licensing application, you will also need to schedule a visit from your local fire marshal. For more information about what this involves and the forms you need, click here.
- Once you have completed these steps, and have your home/center ready for the inspection, you will want to complete your online application. Click here to link to the online application.
- Once you have received your temporary license, you are allowed to begin enrolling children in your program. Be sure to contact us so we can help you set up your business profile and begin referring families to your program! You can also do this online by clicking here.
- Enroll in a Child and Adult Care Food Program to receive monthly monetary reimbursements for serving nutritious meals. Learn more about this program and how to enroll by clicking here.
- Enroll in the Kansas Department for Children and Families Subsidy Program. This program helps families pay for their child care costs. Click here to learn more about this program, download the provider handbook and/or apply.
Keeping your profile current with our agency helps families find the right type of care for their children and eliminates the frustration that happens when they receive outdated information.
You can also review how often your program has been referred out to families who have called us or completed an online child care referral search.
Are you curious about what is included in our referral services? Click here to view the "What You Should Know About Child Care Resource & Referral Services in Kansas" pamphlet. It offers contact information for your local agency, a list and description of resources and services offered, information surrounding referrals, and answers to some frequently asked questions.
Child Care Weather Watch
Click here to view the Child Care Weather Watch brochure that offers weather guidelines for children and other helpful weather-related information.
How You Can Help Your Crying Baby
Babies can cry a lot. Crying is the only way that they are able to tell you what they need. They are not crying to be disobedient. They are simply too young to understand your words. When babies cry, they are sending you a message that they are either hungry, sleepy, need a diaper change, or are just uncomfortable. Learn more about the reasons babies may cry, ways you can help, and how to cope by clicking here and visiting the Period of Purple Crying® website, click here.
Babies under the age of 1 are safest when they sleep alone, on their back, and in a crib (ABC.) Click here to view a list of safe sleep tips. You can also click here to watch a video and learn more about how to keep your infant safe while sleeping. Visit the Safe Sleep Kansas website for more great information at www.safesleepkansas.org.
Regional News & Notes
This publication contains news, updates, and other information specifically for child care programs within the counties of our service delivery area in eastern Kansas. A new edition is mailed and posted online each quarter. Click here to view the latest Regional News for helpful information for you and your child care program.
Child Care Aware® News
This newsletter is specifically for child care providers in Kansas. It contains current state-wide and agency news for child care providers, helpful articles, a calendar of classes throughout the state, and much more. Be sure to click here and select “Child Care Topics” to sign up for the newsletter.
You can build a professional business image by creating a logo, utilizing specific colors, and selecting a specific font that you put on all your business correspondence. These include business cards, letterhead, website, email signatures, etc.
In addition to using our child care resource and referral service, many families use word-of-mouth as a means of finding child care. To encourage people to promote your business, you can talk to your currently enrolled families and to people in the community about your program.
The absolute best way to promote your business is to provide high-quality care! Just like good word-of-mouth helps, bad word-of-mouth can cause damage. Choose families that fit well with your program. Do not make promises you cannot keep or incorporate program changes you suspect will not last just to attract new families. Consider enrolling in one of our quality improvement programs, where you can work with a coach to set goals and learn how to evaluate and enhance your program.
Here are some other quick tips:
- Make sure your voicemail is set up on your phone to receive messages, and that your message sounds professional and welcoming.
- Know ahead of time what you want to say and promote your program so when a family calls, you are ready.
- Have a professional contract and separate policy book ready to give to families when you interview them. Click here for an example of a contract. Click here for an example of a policy book.
- Have copies of your KDHE required forms ready to give to families so they can get them completed before their child needs care.
- Think of at least three questions to ask families when interviewing them to help you get to know them and figure out if your program is a good fit for their needs.
- Visit our resource lending library and check out a book or two on the topic of marketing your child care business. You cannot put into practice what you do not know!
- Visit Tom Copeland’s blog at http://tomcopelandblog.com/ for information on marketing, tax tips, record keeping and other child care business topics.