Life, today, is characterized by independent family system, need for improved living standards, quality education for children, etc., resulting in increased pressure on working women to efficiently manage both their professional and domestic responsibilities. The demand for day care centers is on the rise in Pakistan, specifically by working mothers (doctors, business women, government servants, corporate employees, teachers, etc), and the service is deemed as a profitable business opportunity. Day care center can be started in major cities such as Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Multan, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Quetta etc.
This article provides basic information for setting-up a day care center with modern learning techniques and extracurricular activities in major cities of Pakistan. The proposed center will offer a hygienic and efficiently managed care facility for children aged 6 months to 5 years. The center would have the maximum capacity of providing service to 40 children; however, it assumed that 24 enrollments would be made during first year of its operation.
The proposed day care center is recommended to be established in a rented building, preferably lower portion of one kanal house (4,500 sq.ft. area) with a reasonable front / back yard.
How to Operate a Successful Day Care Center in Pakistan
Following factors are critical to the success of a day care center in Pakistan;
- Secured, hazard free, and kids friendly environment is provided at center.
- Interior of Center should be designed to attract kids attention and promote learning. Like colorful walls with educational material, pasting theme oriented chart papers, and any other cost effective mode deem appropriate.
- Developing plan of daily activities of enrolled kids.
- Extra care should be given to keep the place hygienic, and clean.
- Location of the center in a commercial area.
- Opening of center with proper launch and promotional material.
- Hiring of a well-trained / experienced care provider for kids.
- Establishment of the Center in a rented building to reduce the project cost.
- Parents are informed immediately in case of strike, kid is unwell (fever, flue, diarrhea, etc.), diaper rash and any other observation important for child development.
Day Care Center Equipment
The basic requirements for a day care center include activity based equipment for outdoor/play area activities (slides, merry-go-round and swings etc.), equipment for indoor activities (soft boards, white boards, books, paints, char papers, colors, blocks, educational toys, etc.), kitchen equipment (microwave, refrigerator, utensils, etc.), entertainment equipment (T.V., DVD player) and sleeping cots / beds, all of which are readily available in the local market.
Day Care Center Support Staff
It is highly recommended that nannies should be qualified females so that parents can be assured of about their child’s proper care and safety. The nannies should be at least intermediate pass with good communication skills and empathy for children, and preferably trained for child care. Moreover, the owner/manager should develop a daily plan for kids’ activities including:
- One hour circle time daily full of action, music and fun for kids (covering nursery rhymes, alphabets/colors/number recognition songs and physical moves acted together kids and caregivers)
- Coloring, pasting, and painting activities
- Share with kids concept of different festivals of Pakistan (Pakistan day, Eid, Iqbal Day, Quaid-e-Azam Day, etc)
- Also give them other basic ideas regarding family, places, senses, body parts, manners, greetings, sharing, seasons, days, transport, animals, etc.
- Play time (indoor & outdoor)
- Nap time
- Dinning (Breakfast, lunch, tea time, and for infants feed every 2 hours)
- Diaper change every 3-4 hours or as desired.
Each child Parent be asked to send a daily diary to record daily report of their child. This will include recording child meal times and quantity eaten, milk/ water intake time and ounces consumed, theme of the week, diaper changes, any unusual occurrence (fever, vomit, fight, etc).
Day Care Center License Requirements in Pakistan
Government of Pakistan has set some standards & guidelines to operate a day care center. The purpose of these guidelines and minimum standards for day care centers is:
- To facilitate safe and healthful care of a child in a day care center established/expanded through grants by Government of the Pakistan
- To support families by providing care that promotes emotional, cognitive, communicative, perceptual-motor, physical and social development of children
- To promote the welfare, development and learning of children through day-care facilities
- To provide standards to aid in protecting the health, safety and rights of children and to reduce risks to children in child day care centers
- To identify the minimum level of compliance necessary to obtain grants through PDCF Society.
These guidelines cover:
- Building and space requirements for day care
- Staff for day care center
- Health and safety of children
- Child records
- Adults Record
- Nutrition of children
- Reporting of overall process & progress
Investment Required for Day Care Center in Pakistan
The total project cost for setting up a day care center in Pakistan is estimated at Rs. 1.98 million, out of which, the capital cost is estimated at Rs. 1.07 million and working capital of Rs. 0.91 million. The project is financed through 90% debt and 10% equity. The project NPV is around Rs. 3.78 million with an IRR of 38% and payback period of 3.85 years.
A detailed financial model has been developed to analyze the commercial viability of this business project. Various cost and
revenue related assumptions along with results of the analysis are outlined in the pre-feasibility study of day care center in Pakistan by SMEDA.