How to open a preschool

Updated July 20, 2017

As today’s society makes working parents the norm, there is a growing demand for quality childcare. If you are a person who enjoys helping children learn and grow in a playful environment, then opening a preschool may be the right business for you. In order to get started you will need to become familiar with the laws in your state, have an idea of how you want to run your business and possess a small smart-up budget. If done correctly, opening a preschool cannot only be profitable, but will also provide a valuable service to the community.

Research the laws in your state by checking with your state's Department of Human Resources. It is important to know the rules and regulations relating to opening a preschool in your area. Some states require all potential preschool owners to acquire a license before opening for business, while others require no license at all, but all states will require you to be registered and place a limit on the number of children you can care for at one time.

Acquire the proper insurance coverage. It is essential that your preschool business be adequately insured in case a child or employee is injured while on school property. If you intend to run a preschool out of your home, check to see if it is possible to acquire a rider specifically for an in-home childcare business.

Take a first aid and CPR class. Check with your state Department of Human Resources to see if you are required to obtain a certificate in CPR and first aid before opening a preschool. Keep in mind that the majority of parents will feel more comfortable leaving their children in your care if they know you are prepared for any emergency.

Stock your preschool with the proper equipment. Age-appropriate toys and supplies are essential to running a profitable preschool. You will need to buy toys that promote fine and gross motor skills, child-size tables and chairs, puzzles, books, craft supplies, cots or mats and bedding for each child in your care, as well as "sippy" cups, plates and other eating utensils.

Advertise your preschool business. Getting your name known in the community is crucial, especially when you are trying to drum up business. Word of mouth is always the best form of advertisement, so inform everyone you know that you are open for business and have space available. Placing an ad in your community newspaper and make colourful yard signs and magnetic car signs.

Prepare a contract to present to new clients. Before you begin to interview potential clients you will need to create a contract stating the hours of operation, policies on whether you will accept sick children, how much you plan to charge for tuition and if there will be late fees for delayed payments. You will also need to include if you plan to use time out or redirection as discipline, and you will need to specify nap schedules and meal times. By having the rules and regulations written down in a contract that both parties agree on, you will ward off potential disagreements with parents down the road.

Set up an interview with potential clients. There are a number of reasons to sit down and have a serious conversation with parents before you decide to enrol their child in your preschool. You need to determine whether the parents agree with your choice of curriculum and if there will be a conflict in your schedules. Does the family agree with your discipline choices, and if not, can you reach an agreement that both sides will be comfortable with? Running a preschool means that you are responsible for the care and well-being of another person’s child, and you want the relationship between parent and caregiver to be as respectful and comfortable as possible.


Save money by purchasing your school supplies at garage sales and online auction sites.


Do not enrol a child in your preschool if the parent refuses to sign a contract.

Things You'll Need

  • Toys
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Puzzles
  • Books
  • Craft supplies
  • Cots or mats
  • Bedding
  • "Sippy" cups
  • Plates
  • Utensils
  • Yard signs
  • Flyers
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About the Author

Kim Waits is a writer and educator living in the scenic mountains of North Georgia. Waits has over 10 years experience writing, teaching and researching for a variety of mediums, including curriculum writing for grades Pre-K through 5th grade. Waits studied "Strategies for Promoting Language & Early Literacy Development" with Dr. Hanne Gettschalk. She specializes in writing about early childhood education.