Building A Child Care Center
What factors are essential for the inauguration of a successful child development center?
A) VISION & PASSION: to deliver a high quality program, committed to academic excellence for every child, while creating a place where teachers want to invest their careers.
B) The space to accommodate, according to required state specifications, the number of children who might eventually enroll in the program.
C) Families in the community who have children of the age levels to be served, who will enroll them in sufficient numbers in a high quality early learning center.
D) Financial Resources to cover the cost of the process, should it continue. Major costs include the following:
- Application for Enrollment.
- An initial market feasibility study.
- If required for new facilities, site purchase and/or development costs, as needed.
- The design, permitting, and construction/renovation of the facility.
- The fixtures, furnishings, and equipment.
- The startup costs for staffing and program, including sufficient funds to cover the maximum negative operating balance until the program is operating with a positive cash flow.
- A monthly Management Support agreement with Early Learning consultation Services, LLC, if proceeding with design, construction, and operation of a facility. The fee is negotiated in connection with the Management Support Agreement, depending upon the needs.
E) A governing board if running a church-run school. The primary purpose of the governing board is to assure that the Center and the Church are mutually supportive and united in a common mission. The governing board also functions as the primary liaison between the Center, Early Learning Consultation Services, LLC, and the Congregation once the program begins operation.
F) A Director is the single-most important person you will hire. This individual will possess the appropriate education and experience necessary to successfully manage a child development center.
G) Guidance, oversight, and resources for the entire process to assure that appropriate and timely decisions are made at every step, from initial assessment of the potential to the ongoing, daily operation of the Center.
Working With Early Learning Consultation Services, LLC:
The entire process of working with Early Learning Consultation Services to explore, plan, and inaugurate a program of early childhood education may be divided into three phases. They are presented in some detail below.
ELCS receives the Application for Enrollment and conducts a preliminary assessment of the potential for a successful child development center of 70 or more children at the preferred location. Information is gathered from state and local regulating authorities, from lists of existing childcare providers. Upon completion of the initial assessment, ELCS reports the findings to the Planning Committee. In the report, ELCS recommends whether or not to proceed, depending upon whether a center of 70 or more children can be self-supporting.
- ELCS works with the owners to complete a Business Plan to project the feasibility of the program more clearly.
- If the owners and ELCS reach agreement that the Business Plan is sufficiently encouraging, the Owner continues to explore the financing for the project and drafts an application for a loan from one or more sources for consideration.
- The Owner and ELCS also negotiate a proposed Management Support Agreement that would establish the terms of the relationship going forward. According to the terms, ELCS will continue to provide guidance and management support for planning, inaugurating, and operating an early learning center, as well as apply for a loan if needed to fund the project.
Phase III –
Design, Construction, and Operation of the Center
- Financing continues to be finalized as the planning, design, and construction of a facility begins to unfold.
- The Owner and ELCS collaborate on the selection of an architect or design firm, and on the actual design and construction of the facility, concluding with the dedication.
- Coordinates the construction, the loan withdrawals, payment of bills, etc., up to the granting of the Occupancy Permit.
- ELCS, works with the owners to develop a marketing strategy for the Center.
- ELCS provides support in the hiring of the Director and teaching staff.
- Once the Director is hired, ELCS will assist in the process of applying for licensing with the childcare agencies, participates in the ordering and setting up of the furniture, and works with the owner to eliminate any remaining deficiencies in the building design and construction.
- The Director, under the supervision of the ELCS consultant, uses resources provided by ELCS to develop the administrative forms and processes for the hiring of staff, the management of the Center, and the enrollment of children.
- ELCS will assign a Program Specialist to set up each classroom with the appropriate levels of equipment and materials.
- ELCS will provide teachers with the appropriate training they need to deliver a high quality program.
- Once the school conducts their grand opening, the Director, under the guidelines, practices, policies, and supervision of ELCS manages the program. ELCS collaborates closely with the owner, Governing Board (if applicable), and the Director to maintain all operations.
Transition to Management Support Agreement
Upon completion of the inauguration of the Child Development Center, it is highly recommended that the Owner transition to a Management Support Agreement. With a Management Support Agreement, ELCS is there to provide ongoing support so that Centers have the resources they need to handle any situation. ELCS will:
- Serve as the accountability partner with the Owner and/or Board as it relates to the mission, operations, and financial integrity of the school.
- Provide a consultant who will partner with the director on all areas of operations.
- Provide a specialist who will partner with the director to drive quality within the classroom by fostering an environment which promotes learning, by supporting the teacher through behavior management training, by providing curriculum implementation support, and by delivering social-emotional training between the teacher and students.
- Designated a consultant to perform quarterly on-site visits.
- Intervene through crisis management.
- Provide an annual audit specifically developed for the Child Care industry.
- Attend board meetings with Boards as needed.
- Supply customized consultation, as a variety of consultation packages can be tailored to your specific needs.