How to start a daycare business in Kenya

Many women are now pursuing career goals in the hope of providing a better future for their children. As a result, children are either left at home with house helps or are taken to a daycare center where there are left to be taken care of and  are picked at the end of the day.

In recent times, this institutions have come in handy because of the huge turnover of house helps who leave after a short while in search of greener pastures.

A major factor that a mother considers when deciding on a daycare ,is whether their little one will be taken good care of. They expect their children to be looked after, fed, entertained  and their diapers changed .

Another factor that parents consider is cost. Although mothers want a facility that offers quality care, affordability is also a critical factor in determining where to take their little one.

To start and run a successful daycare, below are the steps you ought to follow;

Register your business

To operate legally in Kenya, first begin by registering your company .To do this, log in the e-citizen portal, do a search for the proposed business name and then make a payment of Ksh 100 per suggested name. If the name is available, you will get a confirmation of the same and then you can go ahead and register it as a sole-proprietorship.

As your company grows, you can later on register it as a company or limited partnership.

Raise capital

Starting a daycare can be a high or low capital intensive venture .It all depends on whether you are starting a high end ,middle level or a low end institution.

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Below is a table that shows the average capital required for each type of daycare

Type of day careCapital Injection)Ksh)
Low end  50,000-100,000
Middle level  150,000-500,000
High end  Above 500,000

Please note that the above figures are not set on stone as there are various factors that will determine the amount of capital required to set up one.

Some of these factors are;

  • Rent of the premise-In High end neighborhoods, houses cost more.
  • The type services that you offer.
  • Marketing and advertising services.
  • The type of day care equipment’s that you want to purchase.

Analyze demand

Before establishing your facility, do a survey in your neighborhoods to find out if there is sufficient demand for the service. To guide you, seek to answer the following questions;

  • What is the lifestyle of the residents in the neighborhood you want to set up your business?
  • Do they need a daycare or do they prefer to employ house helps to take care of their kids?
  • Are the parents in that area willing to pay the amount you are hoping to charge for your services?
  • Is there a large number of parents willing to take their kids to a daycare?

Analyze competition

Competition in this business is increasing at a fast rate mainly because of its low bar of entry and the rise of demand of this type of services.

Before settling on a location, research if there are existing daycare centers around, what services they offer and how much they charge per day so that you derive ways to outwit them.

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If a place is overpopulated with many centers, there is a high chance you will have a hard time establishing it there because of high competition.You can only be successful if you differentiate yourself from the crowd either through branding or offering services that aren’t available in other facilities.

Identify a suitable location and premise

If you are starting with little capital, you can convert a spare room in your house to be a daycare. But if that’s not feasible, look for a location that is safe and has ample space preferably with an outdoor space where children can go out and play.

It is wise to analyze the demand and the level of competition of an area before deciding on a suitable location.


In an area where there is high competition, it is prudent you stand out from the crowd. Some of the ways you can differentiate yourself is by;

  • Having better facilities than the day cares around.
  • Have a variety of toys that are age appropriate.
  • Have uniformed staff instead of casually dressed staff.
  • Have a compound installed with swings, slides or bouncing castle where the children can play.
  • Have various activities such childhood games, face painting to keep the children entertained.
  • Have various educational materials such as story books that are grouped according to age to help children develop the intellectual skills.
  • Paint and decorate the rooms in bright colours and patterns that suit the ages of the young children.

Do housekeeping

Children’s safety should be your number one priority. To ensure your day care is safe for the kids;

  • Remove all sharp objects and put in some safety precautions such as installing baby proof doors and drawers.
  • If there are stairs block them with a baby gate.
  • Ensure there are no small objects around that toddlers can choke on.
  • Cut long grass that may be home to reptiles such as snakes.
  • Fumigate the premise to get rid of any rodents and insects.
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Acquire the necessary licenses

There are 4 types of licenses that you need  to get when registering a day care business;

  1. Single permit license

This is a trading license granted by the local authority in your county. Its costs vary from county to county and the type of business .However, from a survey carried out, we found out that its average cost is Ksh 10,000.

  1. Fire safety license

The local county government is in charge of inspecting all facilities in the county to ensure they meet the fire safety standards.

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