The childcare sector is a unique industry to buy into. Working with children takes a very specific personality and skill set to be successful for turning profit and building trust with parents and children you’re interacting with on a daily basis.
If you’ve decided you’re up for the responsibility of caring for little munchkins, here are some things to consider before buying your existing childcare centre.
Education and qualifications
Do you need a degree to own a childcare centre? Having a degree isn't essential, but we do recommend having experience working in different childhood settings. It would also be beneficial to have a diploma qualification to understand the responsibilities and skills needed to care for children of different ages.
A criminal check, first aid certificate, and a Working with Children Check (WWCC) are all essential.
Financial requirements will vary considerably depending on location and size of the childcare centre, and if you buy an existing facility or a franchise. There are pros and cons for each option, but regardless of your decision, the budget can range anywhere from $200,000 to upwards of $10 million.
To gain a better understanding of costs, you can discover childcare centres for sale in Australia on our site.
You can also read our helpful guide on loans to buy a business in Australia if you're looking for different funding options.
Franchise or independent business?
First, decide what type of childcare centre you’d like to purchase: an independent site or a franchise. Is your primary interest to create your own business, or would you prefer to buy a franchise with an established business model?
- Advantages of a pre-existing independent facility: Staff, children, and processes are already established. The majority of the hard work has been done, and you'll need to maintain the business's growth. You’re free to make any changes as you please.
- Advantages of a franchise: Although you’ll be required to give the franchise a percentage of your profits and adhere to their standards, you’ll receive a tremendous amount of support from them regarding documentation, policies, training, and procedures.
The ideal location
Ideally, your centre should be located in a family-orientated suburb, near a primary school, or near businesses with employees who might need childcare.
Take time to consider all your options, and be strategic when choosing your location. A thorough understanding of the surrounding community will help you develop an ongoing marketing plan that will help you achieve your enrolment goals.
Next, if you decide to purchase an existing establishment, you will need to conduct
Talk with the current owner to determine student enrolment, operational costs, and the expenses of maintaining or hiring additional staff.
Facilities, equipment, safety, and security
If you’re purchasing an existing business, hire an expert to inspect the building and any applicable equipment to ensure that everything meets safety standards.
Consider if security is adequate or if additional locks, surveillance, and protection are needed. Additionally, outside areas should be fully fenced to ensure children’s safety. Carefully evaluate the property, and then determine what additional costs you will incur when updating it.
Licensing and legislative regulations
Each state and territory may vary in their requirements for owning and operating a childcare centre, so do your research and make sure you’re able to obtain relevant licences. If you’re purchasing an existing establishment, find out if it’s compliant with current legislation.
Keep in mind, required licences cost around $500, and applications can take up to three months to be processed. Once granted, licences typically stay in effect for up to three years.
If your centre will be providing transportation and food, there will be other licensing requirements and guidelines that you will need to adhere to.
Another licence to consider applying for is the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Approval from the Department of Education. Parents are more likely to use a CCS-approved centre because they can claim the benefit
Type of childcare
Finally, you will need to decide what type of childcare services you will provide. Consider the following options and choose the best fit for your personality and lifestyle:
- A full daycare facility allows for working parents to drop their children off early in the morning until late in the evening.
- Preschool services are not necessarily full time but can include kindergarten services or programs designed for two or three days per week.
- Occasional care services allow parents greater flexibility and use for particular circumstances.
- After-school services give children who are attending a full day of school a safe place to stay during their after-school hours.
Now that you know the ABC's of buying a childcare centre, it's time to get started on this exciting new business venture! We have multiple childcare centres for sale in Australia, so take your time browsing through them.