A special needs daycare is a facility designed for special needs children and even adults. The facility is usually in a secured and less noisy area. It is usually well-furnished with beddings, furniture, fittings, and other things that can add to the comfort and ambiance of the facility.

Statistics have it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 771,044 licensed and registered daycare facilities (special needs daycare facilities inclusive). These businesses are responsible for employing about 1.6m employees, and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $48 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at 1.3 percent. It is important to state that no establishment has the lion’s share of the available market in this industry.

Steps on How to Start a Special Needs Daycare in 2022

1. Conduct Market Research

The first step in the market research process for your special needs daycare is to develop a market-based research question in line with your business goal and objective. This can be a problem that needs to be solved or some piece of information that is missing about the existing special needs facilities in your city. Answering this question will be the focus of the research study.

a. Who is the Target Market for Special Needs Daycare Facility?

The target market for special needs daycare facilities is individuals with mental, emotional, or physical disabilities. People with special needs include:

  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Epilepsy
  • Reading and learning disabilities
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Demographics should be included
  • Pervasive developmental disorder
  • Speech and language impairments
  • Spina bifida
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairments
b. Is Special Needs Daycare a Profitable Business?

Yes, to some extent the special needs daycare business is a profitable business and the average profit realized from this industry is $59,100.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

It is safe to say that there are no niche ideas when it comes to the special needs daycare because special needs daycare is a niche idea in the Day Care industry. Players in this business may decide to specialize in accommodating only children with special needs or adults with special needs. Some may decide to go beyond providing child and grownup daycare for people with special needs to;

  • Providing preschool programs for people with special needs
  • Nursing and other supervision
  • Assistance in daily living for people with special needs
  • Home medication management for people with special needs
  • Personal assistance services to people with special needs.
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • BrightStar Care
  • NJ Parent Link
  • CareLuLu
  • Sacramento Autistic Spectrum and Special Needs Alliance
  • Milestones Child Development Centers, Inc.
  • Creative Hands Childcare.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Special Needs Daycare Business?

Yes, and zoning laws require home daycare (special needs daycare inclusive) operators to follow specific rules and regulations. These laws are designed to address the unique circumstances of a business operating in a residential area.

Many laws seek to minimize the negative impact on the community, which can be affected by increased vehicle traffic and neighborhood noise. Other laws regulate how properties are altered, including the addition of business signage and the construction of fencing and playground equipment.

Please note that in many communities, zoning laws require home daycare (special needs daycare inclusive) providers to apply for a permit from the city. This application process allows the city’s zoning department to determine whether the home daycare meets the zoning rules for the community. Permits also ensure that all home daycares are properly licensed with county or state agencies.

f. Is There a Franchise for Special Needs Daycare Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for special needs daycare business, and here are some of them;

  • Brain Balance Achievement Centers
  • Discovery Point Child Development Centers
  • Dyslexia Institutes Of America
  • LearningRx
  • Verbatoria
  • ABC Tutors Franchise
  • Got My Kids Franchise
g. What Do You Need to Start a Special Needs Daycare Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business Plan
  • Licenses and Permits
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Equipment and furniture
  • A Moderate building facility
  • Employees
  • Startup Capital
  1. Memorable Business Name ideas for Special Needs Daycare

  • Golden Castle© Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Learning Pros® Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Gifted Kids© Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Royal Courts® Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Green Tower™ Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Hero Now™ Special Needs Daycare, LLC.
  • Born Genius© Special Needs Daycare, LLC
  • The SAINTS® Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Chicago Stars© Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Jeff Johnson© Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Kent Krest® Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Edu Pro® Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Joseph School® Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Little Genius® Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • The Future® Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Houston Kids© Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Free Minds™ Special Needs Daycare, LLC
  • Nevada City® Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • San Diego Edu® Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  • Jeff Boaz™ Special Needs Daycare, Inc.
  1. Register your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Special Needs Daycare Business?

Although there are some options when it comes to the business structure for a special needs daycare, the one providers usually consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits.

Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has any employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below. Most new single-member LLCs classified as disregarded entities will need to obtain an EIN.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a name for your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Special Needs Daycare?
  • Diploma or GED
  • Family Child Care Home License (in-home daycare)
  • General Business License
  • Group Family Child Care License
  • Health and Safety Permit
  • Zonal Permits
  • Director’s License
  • State Facility Inspections
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Special Needs Daycare Business?
  • Special Needs and Inclusive Education Certificate
  • Food Handlers Certification
  • First Aid and CPR Certifications
  • Degree or Diploma in related courses such as Nursing, Public Health, Special Needs Education, and Home Health Caregivers

Please note that you cannot successfully run a special needs daycare in the United States without necessarily acquiring professional certifications and business licenses even if you have adequate experience cum background in babysitting people with special needs.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Special Needs Daycare Business

These are some of the basic legal documents you need to have in place if you want to legally run a special needs daycare business in the United States of America;

  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use (if you have a website)
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting a special needs daycare business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Special Needs Daycare Business?

You would need an estimate of $450,000 to successfully set up your special needs daycare business in the United States of America. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first month of operation.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Special Needs Daycare
  • The Total Fee for Registering the Business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,500.
  • Marketing and promotion expenses as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of – $3,580.
  • The cost for hiring a business consultant (including writing a business plan) – $3,500.
  • The cost for Computer Software (Accounting Software, Payroll Software, CRM Software, Microsoft Office, QuickBooks Pro, drug interaction software, Physician Desk Reference software) – $7,000
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property-casualty) coverage at a total premium – $3,400.
  • The cost for leasing a standard and secured facility for 3 years – $200,000
  • The cost for facility remodeling – $20,000.
  • Other start-up expenses ($500), phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $100,000
  • The cost for start-up inventory ( toiletries, foodstuff and drugs et al) – $50,000
  • Storage hardware (bins, rack, shelves,) – $3,720
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Beds, Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
  • The cost of launching a website – $700
  • Miscellaneous – $10,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Special Needs Daycare Business?
  • The Type of Special Needs Daycare Business
  • The Choice of Location
  • The Required Licenses and Permits
  • The Type of Facility
  • Additional Service Offerings
  • The Number of Residents (Students) They Wants to Admit
  • The Cost of Hiring and Paying a Business Consultant and Attorney
  • The Cost of Branding, Promotion, and Marketing of the Business
  • The Cost of Furnishing and Equipping the Daycare
  • The Cost of Insurance Policy Covers
  • The Cost of Registering the Business
  • Source of Your Supplies and Ongoing Expenses
  • Cost of Recruiting and Training Your Staff
  • The Cost of Purchasing and Customizing Uniforms for Your Employees
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will it Cost?

On average, it will cost you over $250,000 to construct a special needs daycare facility. As regards the facility, you have the options of renting, leasing or designing and constructing your facility from the scratch.

With renting and leasing a facility, you might just have to spend extra modify the facility to fit into what you have in mind, but there is a limit to how far you can go and it will be dependent on what the landlord of the facility wants.

If you want to construct your special needs daycare facility from the scratch, you will have to buy the land or property, bring up your design, then construct and equip the facility to fit into what you have in mind.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Special Needs Daycare?
  • Cost of toiletries
  • Cost of stationery and education supplies
  • Cost of food supplies and medications
  • Utility bills (internet, phone bills, signage and sewage et al)
  • Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Head of School (President) – $45,000 Per Annum
  • Facility Manager (Administrator) – $36,034 Per Annum
  • Nurse’s Aides – $29,660 Per Annum
  • Home Health Caregivers/Special Needs Educators – $32,878 Per Annum
  • Marketing Executive – $36,500 Per Annum and based on target
  • Account Officer – $35,000 Per Annum
  • Cleaners – $18,000 Per Annum
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Special Needs Daycare Business
  • Raise money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raise money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Apply for a loan from the bank or banks
  • Pitch your business idea and apply for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

The special needs daycare is a standard and licensed special needs daycare facility that will be located in the heart of the city in a neatly renovated and secured housing facility. It is a family-owned and managed business that believes in ensuring that people with special needs are well taken care of while under our care.

b. Products and Service
  • Providing child and grownup daycare for people with special needs
  • Providing preschool programs for people with special needs
  • Nursing and other supervision
  • Assistance in daily living for people with special needs
  • Home medication management for people with special needs
  • Personal assistance services to people with special needs.
c. Mission Statement and Vision Statement

Our mission is to establish a first-class special needs daycare service that will provide a home away from home for people with special needs. We want to become one of the leaders in the daycare services industry in the United States of America.

Our vision is to become the number one choice when it comes to special needs daycare service delivery in the whole of our state and also to be amongst the top 5 special needs daycare service providers in the United States of America within the next 15 years.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of our special needs daycare are to help special needs children to learn and acquire the necessary skills for independent living. We will help them acquire the necessary social skills, and emotional literacy to live and participate in school, home, and community life as properly as possible.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Head of School (President)
  • Facility Manager (School Administrator)
  • Nurse’s Aides
  • Special Health Caregivers/Special Needs Educators
  • Marketing Executive
  • Account Officer
  • Cleaners

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis

Strength:

The strength of the special needs daycare facility lies in the fact that they have a team of qualified professionals manning various job positions in the organization. They are some of the best hands in the state. So also, the location, the business model they will be operating on, and their excellent customer service culture will count as a strong strength for the special needs daycare.

Weakness:

The Special Needs Daycare is a new business that is owned by an individual (family), and they may not have the financial muscle to sustain the kind of publicity that will give the business robust visibility and also attract some of the highly experienced hands in the industry.

Opportunities:

The opportunities that are available to special needs daycare facilities are unlimited because we have loads of children with special needs in the United States.

Threat:

Just like any other business, some of the major threats you are likely going to face are economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing/spending power. Another threat that may likely confront a special needs daycare business is the arrival of a bigger special needs daycare facility in the same location.

b. How Do Special Special Need Daycare Make Money?

They make money by;

  • Providing child and grownup daycare for people with special needs
  • Providing preschool programs for people with special needs
  • Nursing and other supervision services for people with special needs
  • Assistance in daily living for people with special needs
  • Home medication management for people with special needs
  • Personal assistance services to people with special needs.
c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
  • Payment via bank draft
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your special needs daycare facility by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households and key stakeholders in and around the location where your special needs daycare facility is located
  • Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities, and train stations et al.
  • Making your first impression count positively to those making inquiries of your special needs daycare facility for the first time
  • Make use of attractive handbills to create awareness and also to give direction to your facility
  • Advertise your services in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Leverage the internet to promote your special needs daycare facility
  • Engage in direct marketing and sales
  • Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)
  • Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your special needs daycare facility; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
  • Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?

You can charge based on industry standards in the United States. The average annual fees for full-time center care for an infant ranges from $4,822 to $14,366, and the cost for a 4-year-old child ranges from $3,997 to $11,700, according to a report from the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). Please note that the variability is attributed to geographic location.

b. How Much Profit Do Special Needs Daycare Business Owners Make a Year?

Owners of special needs daycare centers profit an average of $37,000 per year. While some owners of special daycare centers report earning over $60,000 profit per year, the other side of the spectrum reported hauling in less than $20,000 profit.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the special needs daycare
  • The location the special needs daycare facility is covering
  • The management style of the special needs daycare facility
  • The business approach of the daycare facility
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the special needs daycare facility
  • The number of years the special needs daycare facility has been in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Special Needs Daycare Business?

The profit margin of a special needs daycare business services is not fixed; but to a large extent, it will depend on some factors that are unique to your location.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for a Special Needs Daycare business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

First Fiscal Year:

$100,000 (From Self – Pay Clients)

$150,000 (From Medicaid Covers)

Second Fiscal Year

$150,000 (From Self – Pay Clients)

$200,000 (From Medicaid Covers)

Third Year

$200,000 (From Self – Pay Clients)

$250,000 (From Medicaid Cover)

  1. Set Up your Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Special Needs Daycare Business
  • The demography of the location especially as it relates to children and adults with special needs
  • The demand for the services of special needs daycares in the location
  • The purchasing power of residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of special needs daycare facilities and other daycare related services businesses in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community and state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Special Needs Daycare?
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • San Diego, California
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Jersey City, New Jerse
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Columbia, South Carolina
  • Lakewood, New Jersey
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Special Needs Daycare Business?

You will not need any technical gadgets except office and nursing equipment, teaching aids, first aid kits, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, emergency preparedness kit, an emergency plan, among other things.

In setting up a small office, you will need a computer, printer, software apps, telephones, pager, photocopier, scanner, and fax machine. These machines, tools, and instruments can be purchased as fairly used especially if you are limited finance to meet your budget

  1. Hire Employees

As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. When it comes to starting a standard special needs daycare facility business on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals;

The Head of School (you can occupy this position), Human Resources and Admin Manager or Facility Manager, Nursing Aids, Home Health Caregivers/Special Needs Educators, Front Desk Officer, Security Guards, and Cleaners.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In recent times, no special needs daycare business opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can choose to go for a grand opening party.

The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the special needs daycare business, you will be able to officially inform people in your city that your special needs daycare is open for business.

a. What Makes a Special Needs Daycare Business Successful?
  • You have the required number of students (people with special needs) that you projected for or that your facility can accommodate
  • You are generating profits from the business
  • Your students (people with special needs) are improving on all the indices of rating (can comprehend better, carry out tasks on their own, they are social and can compete favorably with others)
  • Parents and guardians of your students are happy and satisfied with your services
  • Your employees are happy and satisfied with the organization
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Special Needs Daycare Business?
  • The special needs daycare is open for the day
  • The facility is cleaned and prepared to welcome students
  • Students are welcomed and prepped for the day
  • Students are provided with preschool programs including assistance with daily living.
  • The school is closed for the day and parents and guardians come to pick their wards
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Special Needs Daycare Business?
  • Good managerial and human development skills
  • Visionary Leadership
  • Team-building & Interpersonal Skills.
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Problem-solving ability.
  • Experience in special needs education
  • Experience in the daycare industry
  • Experience in daycare administration