Re: Starting a Special Needs Daycare

    On 6/07/10, Lyn Murray wrote:
    > Hi!! I am a Licensed Master Social Worker, who specializes
    > with Special Needs Children. I am also a previous Group
    > Home Daycare owner. I am very interested in opening a
    > daycare that speiclizes in special needs children. I am
    > looking to open a center, but have no idea where to start
    > my search. I have a business plan in my head but have
    > nothing documented yet. Where do I start?

    Hi Lyn,

    Opening a special needs daycare is a great idea. I know there
    is an incredible need for quality care for this population.
    The first place you need to start is to contact your state
    Department of Social Services who, as far as I know, monitors
    daycares in most states. They will give you their guidelines
    regarding licensing compliance including staff to student
    ratios, physical set up, staff qualifications, etc. Develop a
    website and what really helped the daycare that I direct - be
    willing to accept kids on a part time basis, for part time
    pay. Most daycares will let kids come 2 or 3 days a week but
    they expect parents to pay for the entire week. Some parents
    don't need that amount of time. Offering part time saved our
    daycare from an early demise within the first 3 months. And,
    most importantly, be patient... it takes time to get things
    going, to find the right staff, and to get the word out and
    build your program. Your best referrals will be from
    satisfied parents. We have been open since Sept. 2007 and are
    now serving 68 infants through elementary students. Our
    growth has been because of lots of prayers (we are church-
    based, and word of mouth referrals from parents - even after
    their kids move on to school! Good luck. Running a daycare
    has it's challenges but they are never more than the rewards!

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