Setting Up a Quality Childcare Service

Step 1: Introduction

Childcare Service Development

When thinking about setting up, expanding or improving a childcare service, it is essential to think through the entire process by breaking activities into four stages 

  1. Planning
  2. Pre-development
  3. Development
  4. Start-up

While the steps in the process are laid out sequentially, some may occur simultaneously, while others not at all, depending on the type and scale of the project.

In addition to each of the steps in the development process, human resources, and financial considerations will vary from project to project depending on:

  • Whether it is a construction or renovation project.
  • Whether the project is small-scale or large-scale.
  • The location and the quality of the site and its environment.
  • The type of programme the planned facility will cater for.
  • How the project will be financed.


The Planning Stage

The planning stage is perhaps the most essential stage in any childcare service development process, because the more time and attention that goes into planning the project the less likely it is that you will face costly mistakes in the later stages. Additionally, careful attention to the steps in the planning stage allows you to learn early on if you or your business is not ready to take on the financial risk of a childcare service  development project.

It is essential to consult the Universal Design Guidelines at this stage, see our Blogs on this subject:

  • Needs Analysis 
  • Organisational Capacity 
  • Financial Feasibility 

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The Pre-Development Stage

The pre-development stage will occur only if demand, feasibility, and capacity to deliver the service is clearly identified.

  • Site Selection 
  • Land Use, Zoning, Planning Permission 
  • Site Control 
  • Project Design 
  • Securing a Contractor 
  • Securing Finance 

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The Development Stage

The development phase is the time it takes to implement the work the development team has prepared for during the planning and pre-development phases.

  • Managing the Development Process / Construction or Renovation of the Site (step 5)
  • Preparing to Move In
  • Equip the Service 
  • Registration of the Facility 
  • Personnel  
  • Marketing the Service 
  • Co-ordinating the Steps

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The Start-up Stage

The start-up phase is the time to launch the new service or the expanded service once the facility project is complete.

  • Phase in Staffing and Children 
  • Project Sustainability 

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Copyright 2021 by Kildare County Childcare Committee