Child care is anything but a small business.
Research shows that a child’s experiences from birth to age 5 have a profound effect on their success later in life, from social and emotional intelligence to health to employment. In fact, 85% of a child’s capacity to learn is developed by the age of 5.
In Indiana, there are over 500,000 children age 0-5, and two-thirds of them need early care and learning so that parents can work. Yet, many children do not have access to the high-quality early care and learning they need as a result of systemic barriers related to access, affordability and quality. Only 32% of Indiana’s child care programs rank as high quality, and four out of 10 Hoosier children live in a child care desert where there is only one seat for every three children.
As a potential child care provider, you have the opportunity to own and operate your own business while engaging in incredibly rewarding work that not only directly affects the development of Indiana’s children, but also ensures the continued success of Hoosier families.
What is a child care program?
Child care programs provide safe, supervised environments for children in the absence of their parents or guardians. Daily care includes activities, learning opportunities and child/staff interactions, all in a safe, educational environment. Programs may operate as full-day care or as afterschool or summer supports for school age children. A program can be run as a standalone business, as part of a ministry, out of the home or a public or private school. While child care programs vary in type, one thing remains the same for all: high-quality, safe care for children is the top priority for every child care program, no matter how big or small.
What benefits are there to this career path?
Early care and education programs play a critical role for families and communities. By offering quality care and education, you create a two-generational economic impact, helping parents go to work and support their families, while nurturing the next generation of leaders and thinkers from birth through their early school years. Meanwhile, you have leadership and decision-making opportunities about how you run your program.
- You get to work with children. Young children need a lot from their caregivers, but they also give back laughter, smiles and hugs.
- You are your own boss. The size and scope of your child care program is up to you.
- You utilize your creativity. Keeping children engaged in meaningful activities and learning experiences utilizes your creativity every single day.
- Your days are never the same. Just as each child is different, each day at a child care program is also different. The exciting work of new challenges and joys will keep you on your toes.
- You are always in demand. Families will always need a trusted child care program as they work to support their household.
- Your work is meaningful. While a child care program may look like coloring, picture books and toys on the surface, this play-based learning is where children develop creativity, problem-solving and resilience - setting them up for success later in life.
- You are providing an essential service that helps your neighbors provide for their families.
- You play a role in educating the youngest members of your community.
- You may become a source of employment for teachers and have an economic impact on your community.