Onsite Childcare at the Workplace

Archived Q&A and Reviews


How to start an on-site daycare center

Feb 2003

I am a teacher at an independent high school in Marin, and several co- workers and I have recently entered the wonderful world of parenthood. We are looking into starting an on-site daycare center at or near our school and would love some advice/feedback from people who have successfully developed and operated their own center at their place of employment. What could we expect in terms of costs for providers and insurance? Phil

My situation is slightly different but relevant. I've co-owned my own child-related business for almost two years. I recommed a very extensive business plan with ample market research and number crunching (have someone who has opened a similar business and a business professional read it). Also, have a very clear partnership agreement in place for the owners (defined roles and ownership percentages) and most importantly, make sure the owners have a clear and similiar vision as to what success looks like. If you want to discuss further, I can be reached at 510.527.9037. Good Luck! Lori

I didn't answer your post at first because I didn't want to be discouraging but I looked into starting a childcare ''Coop'' at my work about 6 months ago and gave up on it due to State regulations. If you are going to watch each others kids and no money will change hands you don't need a State license but if you hire someone to watch your kids and run the coop you need to license it. The State licensing procedure is lengthy and requires a large capital outlay. (Bananas in Oakland has a handout that describes the licensing process.) I came to the conclusion that it wouldn't be practical to start a coop. Having said this let the list know if you find a way to start a workable coop. There is still a need at my work and I would do it if it were possible. Kristin