In Nigeria, the era of staying at home to care for the kids is fast approaching its end, owing to more feminism movements and rural-urban migration to big cities.
This has led working Nigerian parents to be on the continuous lookout for legal and safe places, known as crèches, where their babies and young children can stay during their working hours, or when they just want to have fun.
As such, the demand for crèches continuously outweighs the supply of them thereof. This makes the crèche niche a very attractive market for smart entrepreneurs like you to explore.
Read Also: How to Start a Crèche in Nigeria
What’s even amazing is that this the crèche market remains largely unexplored, with only few entrepreneurs taking advantage of the demand-supply gap.
The cost of starting a crèche in Nigeria is also fairly on the low side. You don’t need a formal training to start a crèche, nor do you need to hire expensive professionals to take care of the kids.
All you need is unending love and affinity for children. In this article, I will show you how to start a crèche in Nigeria.
First, what is a crèche?
A crèche is defined as a nursery where kids, including babies and young ones between the ages of 1 to 6, are cared for during their custodians’ working hours. That’s why a crèche is sometimes referred to as a daycare centre.
In Nigeria, starting a crèche requires you to take several meaningful steps.
Read Also: How to Start a School in Nigeria
Find yourself a good location
You already know your target market and where you can find them. Location is one of the key factors to consider when starting your crèche. Situating your crèche startup near industrial areas would help you garner more customers faster than you can blink your eyes.
Focus on prime locations in metropolitan cities like Lagos, Ogun State and Abuja. In Lagos, places like Gbagada, Ikeja and Maryland are filled with working mothers who love to be within walking distance of their kids, giving them a reason to patronize your crèche startup.
The following criteria must be met for the perfect location of your creche.
a. Is it big enough to accommodate at least 30 children?
b. Is it a safe neighborhood?
c. Is it easily accessible?
d. Is it affordable?
e. Would you want to leave your kid in such a place?
Not surprisingly, in Nigeria, prime locations are as expensive as they come.
1. Find out the costs involved.
While a crèche/daycare doesn’t cost all that much to start, research on the total costs you need to get your crèche up and running. You have to look at:
a. Building costs (this will most probably take a huge chunk out of your capital).
b. Equipment acquisition and maintenance costs.
c. Nursery construction costs.
d. Cost of daily supplies like food, toiletries, bedding, etc.
e. Electricity costs.
f. Cost of educational materials e.g. children toys.
g. Labour costs, i.e. employees or part timers who do the laundry, clean the children’s toilets, or dieticians.
Knowing these costs would help define the amount of your funding your crèche business would require. Preparing these costs ahead would let you know how you can price them into the total charges per creche.
2. Craft out a curriculum
Parents won’t just pay your crèche business a fat cheque just so their children could sleep all day long. They want to know how their kids’ day would be planned out; what activities would help shape their lives for the better?
To that end, prepare a curriculum that would be easy for the parents to read. Segment it into different processes. Whatever you do, make sure your curriculum is educative, exciting and informative.
Fill it with stuff that any parents and their kids can relate to. Don’t forget that children love to learn through fun guides.
3. Research on your competition
Within your crèche prospective locality in Nigeria, find out everything you can about the currently existing crèches. Their mode of operations, the number of children they take in, the nutritional diet for their kids, anything else you can lay your hands on.
What is their pricing model? How much do they charge per child? If information about their incurred costs is available, use it to your crèche’s advantage.
Just how high is their running cost? Do parents feel they are not getting enough value for their money? What lapses do they have that your creche start-up can fill?
Make your business as visible as possible. Be creative with it. Owing to the lack of trust system in Nigeria, parents are wary of who to trust. Parents would rather patronise crèches based on referrals and popilarity.
Leverage on your inner circle. Paste adverts on blogs and in strategic points. Visit companies you know would have lots of working mothers.
Hand out your professional business cards in such companies. Let them know your crèche’s selling point and how your crèche fills their needs and dissipates their fears. In other words, sell yourself and your competitive advantage over other crèches.
If you can afford to buy insurance for your crèche start-up, by all means, do so. Insurance would help cover for damages you didn’t anticipate.
However, if you feel insurance would eat a large chunk of your capital, you can do it later when your business is making a fair income. Start small, dream big.
6. Draw a Business Plan
Your crèche’s business plan should show, in detail, what your business is all about and how you intend on making it not quite profitable in the long run.
Taking the time to draw a business plan shows prospective investors like the Tony Elumelu Foundation that you are serious and ready to start a crèche in Nigeria.
7. Register your Creche
The last step to take is to register your crèche with the recognized regulatory body in Nigeria. That would be the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Registration usually starts from #30,000. Due to the sensitive nature of the crèche business, you must also register with your state’s Ministry of Women Affairs.
If you made it to this point, congratulations, you have joined the special league of crèche entrepreneurs. You now have what it takes to start a creche business in Nigeria.
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