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Children

Child Care Service

Love working with kids? Start a child care business.

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Business At A Glance

Child Care Service

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

If you love kids, you’re a Big Wheels and Barney fan, and you’ve gotpatience to spare, then you can help parents in your area hit theworkplace with easy spirits with a child-care service. You’ll care forkids in your home, providing a safe and loving environment as well assnacks and meals. Some child-care services offer child developmentactivities; others provide extended or 24-hour service for parents whowork the late shift.

Still others combine senior care with the tot set,giving both generations the chance to enjoy and learn from each other.The advantages to this business are that you can work at home; yourstartup costs are low; if you have kids of your own, you can work andcare for them all in one; and you get the joy of watching little peoplegrow. You’ll need a genuine affection for the crayon set–if youhaven’t got it, you’ll burn out quickly–as well as patience and themind-set to enjoy being at home all day with only tots to talk to. Youshould also have a good working knowledge of child care, childdevelopment and psychology. (You needn’t be a trained pediatrician, butyou’ll have to know the basics, things like the difference betweenteething and an illness-induced fever and at what age children learn toshare.)

The Market

Your customers will be working parents and grandparents withpreschoolers to be cared for. Post fliers on church or temple bulletinboards and place ads in their newsletters. Network among friends andneighbors; have your spouse or significant other spread the word atwork and at professional and civic organizations. Place an ad in yourlocal newspaper. You can also target local businesses. Send lettersextolling the benefits of paying for employees’ child care withyou–you’re close at hand so employees won’t be late arriving or earlyleaving work, and with your exceptional care, there’s no lostproductivity worrying about Junior.

Needed Equipment

Depending on your locale, you may need licensing, certification,inspection or some combination thereof. Be sure to check beforeembarking on your business. Even if it’s not required, you should takecourses in CPR and pediatric first aid. You’ll need to install safetydevices in your home, including smoke detectors (if you don’t alreadyhave them); fire extinguishers; first-aid kits; gates around pools,spas or other hazards; stairway gates; outlet covers; and safetylatches on cabinets and cupboards containing any potentially dangeroussubstances or materials. Once safety’s accomplished, you’ll want tothink entertainment. Stock up on development-oriented toys, kid videos,tot-sized tables and chairs, and arrange adequate sleeping quarters foryour prospective charges.

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Children

Doll Making

Hand-crafted dolls can bring joy to children and profits to your business.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Doll Making
Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

It may not seem like it, but doll making and repairs is a giant segment of the craft and toy industry. To reinforce this, simply visit an antique shop that specializes in antique dolls or a retailer of new custom “one of a kind” dolls, and you’ll soon see that the prices are out of this world. A doll-making business can be started from home on a part-time basis. You can sell the dolls you make through retail accounts, kiosks, mail order, craft shows and the internet.

This is an enterprise that requires very little in the way of startup investment, and the ongoing monthly overhead is also very small. Once you’ve sharpened your skills in doll making, you can proceed to antique doll repairs. Some of the antique dolls can sell for as much as $500 for the “real” thing and $300 for replicas. To get started, find out if doll-making classes are available in your local community.

If they’re not readily available and you master these skills, you could also begin holding your own how-to classes to earn additional income. Don’t forget that in the doll world, all of these creations need accessories, houses, cars, clothes and other doll friends, so your only limit is your imagination.

The Market

Doll and antique collectors

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Children

Shopping Mall Play Centers

Few kids love a long day of shopping. Give parents some much-needed relief with a play center.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Shopping Mall Play Centers

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Millions of parents go to shopping mallsevery day, usually with their children in tow. While shopping can be aterrific family outing, sometimes a break from the children whileshopping can also be a pleasant experience. Starting a shopping mallplay center business can fill a couple of demands. The first, ofcourse, gives parents a fantastic place to drop off their childrenwhile shopping, the second is that the business can be built into asuccessful and profitable venture, which is exactly what you want tohear if starting this type of business is a consideration for you.Establishing a children’s play center in a mall will take carefulplanning, especially for legal and liability issues. However, there isa real potential to generate a six-figure yearly income from a shoppingmall play center for the owner-operator of the business enterprise.

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Children

Educational Toys

Help kids learn with educational but fun toys.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Educational Toys
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Traditional educational toys and games for children will always be popular and in demand. You can design and develop the toys and games yourself or act as an agent for manufacturers. Both methods can be a very profitable way to earn an income. There are various approaches to marketing educational toys and games including the internet, mail order, home parties, flea markets, and sales to specialty retailers on a wholesale basis.

The Market

Your ultimate customers are parents, grandparents and anyone who is buying a toy for a child.

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