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Follow the steps below to get your child care business up and running:


1. Assess the Need

Before you invest money in a child care business, you need to spend time to find out if your community needs another child care center or family child care home. The needs assessment is a list of questions for you to consider:

Needs Assessment

Estimate the number of families demanding services in your area at the rate to be charged.

Development Checklist

It will be helpful to survey potential client families regarding their needs relative to child care facilities in the area.

2. Find a Location

There are many factors to consider before you decide on a location for your child care business. Before you decide to use your home for a family child care business or commit to a building for a child care center, you will need to look at indoor and outdoor space for health and safety issues. You will also need to check zoning and homeowner association covenants. The cost of the center itself, especially for a location outside your home, will be one of your major start-up expenses. Many child care providers operate from their homes, but you may want to build, buy, or rent space for your center. Visit the Laws, Policies, Rules, and Regulations page within this website to be sure the space you select meets all of the regulatory requirements for the type of business you plan to operate.

3. Get a Child Care License (If Necessary)

A license from the Mississippi State Department of Health is required if you care for six or more children who are younger than 13 years old, for any part of the 24-hour day, and who are not related (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brothers/sisters, nieces/nephews) to you. This rule applies to day care centers, day nurseries, and any other facilities that fall within the scope of the above description. The purpose of these regulations is to protect and promote the health and safety of children in the state by ensuring that certain minimum standards are maintained in facilities. Licensing may take 90 days or longer to complete. You may not begin operation before you receive a temporary license.

How to Get a Child Care License in Mississippi

4. Secure Funding

Before starting your child care center, know the many regulatory systems that will affect your program.

Preparing a Budget

The need for capital is common to all businesses, both large and small. However, small businesses often have a more difficult time attracting investment capital. A major cause of business failure is inadequate financing. It is important that the business owner look carefully at the needs of his/her business and develop documents to convey these needs to investors or a commercial lender.

How Will You Finance Your Business?


Additional Resources:

How to Start a Legal, Successful Child Care Business

Planning Guide for Starting a Child Care Center

Child Care Licensing

The Minority Business Enterprise Loan Program

Mississippi Small Business Development Center