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How to Start a Preschool

In 10 Steps

  1. Licensing
  2. Site Selection
  3. Finances
  4. Branding & Marketing
  5. Training 
6.  Recruitment
7.  Equipment & Furnishing​
8.  Policies & Procedures
​9.  Soft Launch
10.  Launch

Starting a Preschool in 10 Steps

 

1.  Licensing - Inquire from your local licensing authority or education department to determine minimum licensing requirements.  Some countries do not have any educational requirements, but may have safety requirements such as fire prevention.  If limited requirements exist, consider ensuring that you meet international best practices to show parents and your community that your school meets internationally accepted standards.

 

How IPC can help:

 

As a global organization with more than 200 schools, IPC can provide your licensing authority with curriculum samples for approval and a letter of support indicating that your school will comply with international best practice standards and the IPC minimum requirements for authorization. 

 

2.  Site Selection – Once you are familiar with minimum licensing requirements, look at various buildings that are suitable for your new school.  Most facilities will require some sort of conversion such as a reception area, age appropriate bathrooms, adequate play spaces, and designated classrooms. 

 

How the IPC can help:

 

IPC has several layout suggestions and can even offer 3D renderings to show you how to best convert the space you have.  Consultants can provide feedback on your various site options you may have to assist in making a decision that best suits your needs.

 

3.  Finances – Now that you are aware of the building costs and licensing requirements, you are able to develop a detailed business plan.  The licensing criteria and facility size will determine your maximum enrollment number.  This is important in determining how big your school can grow before reaching full enrollment and what costs may be incurred throughout the process.  A detailed business plan is usually required when raising finance and shows investors or lenders the likelihood of success.

 

How the IPC can help:

 

The IPC provides a business plan template for you to follow.  The business plan provided by IPC showcases the common costs and risks associated with the preschool business.  Since school related businesses are very different from any other business, it is important that you familiarize yourself with these in order to gain a realistic view of what income and costs you can expect at any stage of the business cycle.   The IPC can also provide a tailored business plan unique to your circumstances for an additional fee of $1,400.

 

4.  Branding & Marketing – Now that you have your finances and building secured, it is important to develop your brand and prepare a marketing strategy.  Your marketing plan may have already been developed at the business plan stage, but you are now at the stage of final preparation and implementation.  You will want to conduct a trademark search and make sure that your school name is available and consider hiring a professional designer to develop an eye catching logo and brand identity that is memorable and recognizable.

 

How the IPC can help:

 

The IPC has a team of professional designers and marketing personnel who with your input will develop a marketing plan and strategy, a professionally designed brand, website and stationery kit which includes brochures, business cards, and letterheads.  All IPC schools have the option to be co-branded which means that you can still have your own brand alongside that of IPC.   The IPC’s design team will provide you with unlimited marketing materials such as flyers, posters, billboards or advertisements.  These are all included in your IPC package, provided they include the IPC insignia somewhere on the item.   Examples of some of our recent designs are shown below.

 

5.  Owner or Administrator Training – If operating a school is new to you, then leadership and ownership training is highly recommended.  As mentioned above, owning a school is very different than any other type of business ownership.  There are common expectations from parents as well as issues that occur in most school environments.  You will want to familiarize yourself with education related leadership styles, staffing concerns, and other issues to ensure that you have the insight and knowledge to adequately handle difficult situations and preempt major disruptions from occurring.

 

How the IPC can help:

 

The IPC offers a leadership training program, multiple practical guides, and a series of expert consultancy documents that help you familiarize yourself with common issues and equip you for how to best handle them.  Our team of consultants are available for email or voice calls 5 days a week.  Onsite training and consultancy can also be offered for an additional fee.

 

6.  Recruitment – Recruitment in the education business is arguably more important than virtually any other type of business.  Parents are entrusting your school with their children and often, children and parents will grow a fondness with your staff.  Replacing a staff member suddenly is therefore more difficult in a school than most other business scenarios.  There are other reasons that recruiting the right staff is imperative in ensuring safety and harmony among all stakeholders.  Stakeholders include staff, parents and senior management and often personalities will clash and rarely spill over to become wider issues within the school community. 

 

How the IPC can help:

 

The IPC offers a recruitment checklist as well as training that focusses on staff retention and motivation.  The IPC also offers a free recruitment service that will advertise as well as shortlist applicants from around the world on your behalf.

 

7.  Equipment & Furnishing  - Now that you have your facility converted, your finances and brand in place, and you have started recruitment, it is now time to equip and furnish your facility.  There are several options available that will vary by age group, curriculum, and your personal preferences.

 

 

How the IPC can help:

 

The IPC provides a checklist of equipment and furniture by age group.  The IPC also provides more than 7,000 classroom aides such as posters, flashcards, wall cards and other curriculum support items.  Optional educational toy kits are available for purchase.


8.  Policies & Procedures – You are now ready to determine what sort of school culture you want for your school.  A detailed set of policies needs to be drafted for teachers and families so that all stakeholders know what you expect of them and vice-versa.  Many of these policies may be stipulated on enrollment agreements and other documents provided as part of the admission process.

 

 

How the IPC can help:

 

The IPC has a number of training courses, admission document templates and consultancy support to help you customize it for your own purposes.  Our design team will also incorporate your branding on all documents.