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Child Care Centers: Developing and Financing Facilities

When beginning to plan a facilities development project, whatever the type, it is very important to think through the entire process by breaking all of the activities down into four stages: planning, predevelopment, development, and start-up. Each of these stages includes specific steps that you should consider during the process. Please note though, that while these steps are laid out sequentially some may occur simultaneously and others might not be necessary depending on the type and scale of your project.

To learn more details about the steps included in the stages please see the checklists under each stage description. Additionally, you can access a variety of publications that are divided by the stage to which they apply, and you can find information about the community resources available in your county that can provide in-depth assistance to you during each stage. For information about financial resources available to child care centers you can visit the financial resources section.


  1. Planning

    This is the first stage in the facilities development process. It involves assessing and documenting the market demand for the services you want to offer, in addition to determining the financial feasibility of the project and the organization or individual's capacity to take on the intended project. Beginning to draft a business plan during this stage is a very good way to address these steps.


  2. Predevelopment

    This is the second stage in the facilities development process. It involves searching for and selecting an appropriate site, obtaining site control and approval, planning the physical design of the project, securing a contractor, and obtaining the financing needed for the development process. It is very important to complete your business plan during this stage in order to compile and document all the information you need before applying for funding to finance the development of the project.


  3. Development

    This is the third stage in the facilities development process. It involves overseeing all site and design developments during the construction or renovation process, completing construction or renovation and obtaining building sign off, equipping the interior of the facility with appropriate furniture and classroom materials, obtaining license approval for the facility, recruiting staff and marketing the program to the community in order to build enrollment in your program.


  4. Start-Up

    This is the final stage in the facilities development process. It involves the act of launching and starting to run the program after the development process is complete. One of the most important things to remember about this stage is that if you are opening a new facility you will need to build up to full capacity. In other words, you probably won't start with full staff or full enrollment from the first day. Consequently, you will need to continue to market the program in the community to attract additional children and staff as needed.


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