Childcare Deserts = Opportunity: How to Start a Daycare Center

Daycare startup is a promising venture in the United States due to the prevalence of childcare deserts. These are areas where there is a severe shortage of licensed childcare providers, resulting in long waiting lists for parents seeking care for their children. In fact, over half of the US population resides in such areas. As a result, there is a significant opportunity for investors to enter the daycare industry and make a positive impact on their communities by providing quality childcare services to families in need.

Who are these investors?

The childcare industry has attracted a diverse group of investors in recent years. Unlike the traditional image of childcare center owners, investors today fall into six distinct categories:


  1. Entrepreneurs seeking new investment opportunities

  2. Existing childcare owners looking to expand their operations or open new locations

  3. Childcare employees who are ready to start their own center

  4. Families who are unhappy with the current services or unable to access childcare

  5. Corporations that offer in-house childcare as an employee benefit to attract and retain staff

  6. School districts expanding into early education to meet the needs of their communities and staff.


Going for a franchise offers you an immediate game plan to get your center up and running, and you gain instant credibility from the franchise’s name. However, it limits your creative freedom to build something unique and impactful. Moreover, the franchise requirements can hold you hostage, and the fees can become a recurring expense for the life of your centers.

Existing Brand

Acquiring an existing center comes with the brand recognition, but it also inherits all the issues that come with it. While you avoid a lot of upfront work, you take on a lot of “clean-up” work. The advantage of investing in an established center is that it comes with staff and children. However, based on experience, the shortcuts taken in such purchases raise the question if they are worth it in the end.

Start Your Own Brand

Starting your own childcare center from scratch can be a daunting task, especially considering the complex nature of the industry and the significant amount of time and effort required. However, it is possible to succeed with the help of a knowledgeable Child Care Consultant who can guide you through the process and help you create a unique and impactful brand. By building your own brand, you have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in your community and pursue a personal mission that aligns with your values. Moreover, as your brand grows and evolves, it can become a valuable asset for your family and even serve as a source of income in retirement or for your next adventure.


Partnering with a child care consultant can be a smart choice for those who want to start a daycare center efficiently and without the hassle of doing everything alone. Child care consultants can bring many benefits to the table, from making important decisions to executing them, monitoring success, and adjusting strategies as needed. They can help you work through various stages of the project of opening a new childcare center, such as due diligence, executive strategy, brand, program development, marketing, site selection and design, and financial planning and management.


Another crucial factor to consider is the location of your daycare center. Using a childcare desert map can help you identify potential locations for your daycare center. Once you have identified a potential location, you need to research local regulations and requirements for starting a daycare center in that area.


In addition to complying with regulations, you also need to think about the logistics of running a daycare center, such as staffing, curriculum development, and financial management. These are all areas where a child care consultant can provide valuable support and guidance.


Childcare deserts create opportunities for a range of investors, including entrepreneurs, existing childcare owners, employees, families, corporations, and school districts, to enter the daycare industry .

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