Have you ever done something for yourself, whether to make a little money or to invest in a personal hobby, and then a family member or friend questioned whether you could sell it? That is exactly what happened to Joy Maxwell when she started her own childcare service. Her mentor told her that not only was she doing a great job, she was doing so well that she should be teaching others how to start their own business just like hers. The correct way.
Maxwell was a college professor and holds master’s degrees in child psychology and Multicultural Education, so teaching is in her DNA. Here, Joy Maxwell, founder of Joy Maxwell & Co., a program that teaches others how to start and run a childcare business, discusses with us her top advice to run a new business smoothly. Her course aims to teach clients in an intimate setting, with action items that they can put into play immediately.
“Most positions, after college, you have to job hunt and send resumes and do so much before you can actually go to work,” Maxwell told us. “But opening a childcare center can be done almost immediately. I cut all the red tape for my students and put them at the front of the line. I help them get started today.”
If you are interested in starting your own childcare center but don’t know where to start, read on.
Help the Whole Child
Sure, childcare is a business, but what will set you ahead of your competition is caring for the whole child, not just their physical safety and wellbeing.
“How do you help children gain knowledge? How do you help the whole child? Emotions, physical, all of that is so important in childcare,” said Maxwell. “If you put more than the bare minimum into your childcare work, you will get so much back, but more importantly, the children and their parents will, too.”
Most people start their business for the income, but Maxwell started hers for the impact. She has a passion for teaching others, and that includes the children whose parents trust her.
Get Funded Creatively
You don’t need a degree to be a childcare business owner, and there are creative ways to get funding for a childcare business. You can use business credit cards, and minority- and women-based businesses are able to get grants from the government. You can also be an outrightly government-funded business.
There are ways to start building business credit and open up accounts to put you in a good position. If you currently have a job you may be able to pull 401K , you can start a summer camp or afterschool program to raise money and you don’t have to be licensed,
Use Your Inner Guide
Maxwell stresses that our core values are of the utmost importance when running a childcare business. The lives of little people are in our hands, after all! If you get a group of people together but don’t have a clear vision of who you are and what you do, your whole team is going to be discombobulated.
“Be clear about your vision,” said Maxwell. “Always remember your ‘why’ when making any decisions about how to run your business. What’s pulling on your heart? What’s tugging on your heartstrings to create this mini empire?”
Further, she stated that goal setting is something we should do periodically, not just at the beginning. If you are reading this from the perspective of owning a childcare, or any, business for many years, Maxwell feels that goal setting is important at every stage.
“Emotionally, spiritually, financially, you have to be clear with yourself and anyone you work with at work or in your personal life,” said Maxwell. “What is your special sauce? Do you serve low-income communities or special needs children, or something else? How many children can you safely care for at a time? These seem like small details, but they can change over time, and it is important to remember that it is normal and expected.”
Running a business as important as child care requires you to be on top of your mental game. By helping the whole child, using creativity to get funded or bolster your funds, and using your inner guide, you will be able to run a business as successful as Maxwell’s.
About Joy Maxwell
Joy Maxwell is an inspirational childcare consultant and former professor with over 20 years of experience in the education field and dual master’s degrees in Child Psychology and Multicultural Education. She founded Joy Maxwell & Co. as well as numerous childcare coaching courses dedicated to serving childcare professionals and helping them achieve their dreams. Find out more on her website: https://www.joymaxwellandco.com/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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