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How To Start a Preschool

Business Ideas For WomenHow to start a preschool – it’s one of our top 10 business ideas for women.

How to start a preschool – or should you start a daycare … which of these business ideas for women will be best for you?


At we gotta admit we like the idea of starting a preschool. For women who would like to work from home, including stay-at-home moms, and especially those who are interested in education and like to spend time with children, opening a preschool offers many advantages over daycares.

If you start a daycare, you could be looking at 10-12 hours a day. If you start a preschool, you could operate two sessions a day of three hours each – that’s only six hours a day!

And you can usually make more money per hour if you know how to start a preschool and operate it successfully. Parents see preschools as providing a more educational experience for their children. That means they’re usually willing to spend more money than they would for a traditional daycare program.

How to start a preschool? Read our Open A Preschool Review …

We looked at many systems but couldn’t find anything better (or even close) to the Open A Preschool program by Jill Stevens.

Click here to go the Open A Preschool website. We think you’ll see why this is one of our favorite business ideas for women.

Jill Stevens is a mother of three who operates an in-home preschool. She created this course in close collaboration with a K-8 certified teacher who has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Studies and Elementary Education from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Preschools are in very high demand. You’ll even find that many preschools have waiting lists.

What can you charge if you learn how to start a preschool? How much money can you make? In order to set your fees, you’ll need to do some research to see what other preschools in your area are charging. Using your local newspaper or yellow pages, you can locate preschools, and make contact with them. This will give you a good idea of the market rate.

When comparing fees charged by other preschools, it’s important to take into consideration the quality of the services they are providing. Factors to consider include:

  • What is the student-teacher ratio?
  • What is the maximum class size?
  • What activities are offered?
  • How many hours is each class?

You may even want to visit other preschools to compare their facilities, etc before you take the steps to discover how to start a preschool of your own.

Jill’s advice is to start small, get a feel for the job, then work your way up. This could mean offering one class per day, two or three days per week.

In Open A Preschool, Jill provides all the information required to get started. After reading this comprehensive course, you will know just about everything there is know about how to start a preschool of your own.

In some cases, the initial outlay for preschool games and your preschool curriculum can be covered by a registration fee. Many preschools request a registration fee from parents. This can often be used to cover your start-up expenses.

How much can you earn if you know how to start a preschool?

If you held two classes a week of three hours duration each, charged $180/month each child, and accepted 8 children per class, this would equate to an income of $1440/month. Four classes a week and you could make $2880 per month. Eight classes a week and you could be making $5760 per month. Of course, you will have some expenses to be deducted from this – which might include your preschool curriculum materials (such as educational learning books, etc) and preschool games (toys, paints, paper, etc), snacks, etc.

Preschool curriculum is an important aspect when it comes to knowing how to start a preschool.

The OpenAPreschool system provides 9 months of curriculum to get your started – we think this is a great bonus and will certainly save you a great deal of time and research when it comes to learning how to start a preschool.

In many instances, the curriculum guidelines for starting a preschool are less regulated than kindergarten and primary schools. This gives you much greater flexibility in what preschool games and activities you offer.

While this can be a great benefit, it can also be overwhelming if you are new to and just learning how to start a preschool.

It’s important to remember that preschool games and activities, while intended to have educational benefits, also provide socializing, playing and just having fun.

Depending on what structure you decide to initiate when you start a preschool, you may have children of different ages in the same class, or you may have separate classes for different ages.

There are several different educational philosophies you can incorporate into your preschool. Understanding the basic concepts is an important step in learning how to start a preschool. This is intended only as a brief introduction – you can download Jill’s free report here and discover much more.


Though it has been around since the early 1900s, the Monetessori program has recently gained greater recognition.

The Montessori program is designed to help children find their place in the world. Preschoolers will learn about others, their environments and the world in general. Your purpose is to guide the children as they make their way, develop skills and experience life.

Instead of the teacher leading and directing all the activities, children learn and explore at their own pace.


The High/Scope program has many similarities to the Montessori method.

Again, children are given freedom to explore and choose their own path. There are 10 elements in the High/Scope program:

  1. Creative representation
  2. Language and literacy
  3. Initiative and social relations
  4. Movement
  5. Music
  6. Classification
  7. Seriation
  8. Number
  9. Space
  10. Time

The Waldorf approach is intended to encourage development of the child’s spirit, soul and body.

It encourages creativity and the use of all senses to experience learning about life. In a Waldorf classroom, you will find lots of arts, crafts, painting, drawing, making and building things. The Waldorf system offers  more structure than some other programs.

Bank Street

This is a child-centred approach, focussing on the premise that all children are different.
Children often work together in groups, more so than with some other systems (excluding Waldorf).

The Bank Street program also encourages imaginative play. Children are given the freedom to choose what they want to do. Some will want to work independently, others will want to work in pair or in groups.
This is a good system for those who don’t like rigid schedules.

In the OpenAPreschool program, Jill Stevens discusses these programs in much greater detail and considers the benefits of each system to different students, and why combining these curriculums can be the best case scenario. She saves you a lot of hard work trying to work it all out yourself.

Classroom Management is another vital factor to consider if you want to learn how to start a preschool. No matter how much (or how little) experience you may have had as a mum, it is something else entirely to be responsible for a room full of other parent’s children.

They all come from different backgrounds and they all have different personalities. This can be an exciting aspect of the job – and it can present challenges.

Says Jill: “A huge part of classroom management is organization. If your classroom is not well-organized and well-run, it will show in the behavior of the students.”

So, planning and organization is the key in knowing how to start a day care successfully.
Children thrive when they have a routine and know what is likely to be happening when they come to preschool.

Some aspects you will need to consider will include:

  • Signals or signs you will use to get your student’s attention
  • How will you keep all the students occupied until everyone arrives?
  • Will you have a snack break – if so, what?
  • How will you have everyone help put away toys and books at the end of the day?
  • What activities will you offer? Are you prepared for messy activities with paints, etc?

how to start a preschool




10 signs of a great preschool from The National Association for the Education of Young Children

  1. Children spend most of their time playing and working with materials or other children. They do not wander aimlessly, and they are not expected to sit quietly for long periods of time.
  2. Children have access to various activities throughout the day. Look for assorted building blocks and other construction materials, props for pretend play, picture books, paints and other art materials, and table toys such as matching games, pegboards, and puzzles. Children should not all be doing the same thing at the same.
  3. Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at different times during the day. They do not spend all their time with the whole group.
  4. The classroom is decorated with children’s original artwork, their own writing with invented spelling, and stories dictated by children to teachers.
  5. Children learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their everyday experiences. The natural world of plants and animals and meaningful activities like cooking, taking attendance, or serving snacks provide the basis for learning activities.
  6. Children work on projects and have long periods of time (at least one hour) to play and explore. Worksheets are used little if at all.
  7. Children have an opportunity to play outside everyday. Outdoor play is never sacrificed for more instructional time.
  8. Teachers read book to children individually or in small groups throughout the day, not just at group story time.
  9. Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as for those who need additional help. Teachers recognize that children’s different backgrounds and experiences mean that they do not learn the same things at the same time in the same way.
  10. Children and their parents look forward to school. Parents feel secure about sending their children to the program. Children are happy to attend; they do not cry regularly or complain of feeling unwell.

OK, so by now you should have a pretty good feel for whether you want to discover how to start a preschool.

We really like the Open A Preschool program because, along with the preschool curriculum, we think this offers you the best chance of success in learning how to start a preschool and operating it in such a way for it to be not only successful and profitable, but fun!

Our only criticism of the program: In the free report, which you can download here (and it is well worth reading for a basic introduction to the concepts of how to start a preschool), we couldn’t quite figure out Jill’s maths. We emailed to ask her about it, but haven’t as yet received a reply. … Updated Below …



This is what we can’t figure out. In the report, Jill says:
“You might feel it’s better for you to hold two classes a week, for 2.5 hours a day, with only 8 students and still charge $180 per month.
“You earn an impressive $1440 a month for 5 hours of work. You’d be making $288 an hour (That’s pretty amazing, right?)”

Well, it would be pretty amazing – if you were working 5 hours a month. But, by our calculation, you would be working 5 hours a week – 20 hours a month. So that’s nowhere near $288 hour. It’s $72/hour – which we still consider to be an excellent income – especially considering you are able to work from home!
Maybe we’ve got things muddled here – and we’re happy to be corrected! … Updated Below …

However, don’t let this minor glitch prevent you from checking out this program – it’s well worth your time if you’re serious to know how to start a preschool.

Update: Just after publishing this post, we received a reply from Jill: “Yes, you’re right!”


UPDATE – JUNE 21, 2013

We took a quick look at Jill Stevens’ website, to see if there had been any updates, etc.

This is what we found:

how to start a preschool jill stevens























More than 12 months after we made Jill Stevens aware of her mathematical error in hourly income predictions, she continues to use the exact same INCORRECT figures to advertise her program.

Not on, Jill. No matter how good your program might be, this is deliberately false and misleading. The projected income is NOT $288/hour.

Game over – you have lost the SmallBusinessIdeas4u Seal of Approval.


So, you can see that here at, we really do the research for you. All the programs we recommend are thoroughly scrutinized, tried and tested – and we report all our findings here for you on this website. 

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