Research Outline

Early childhood center


To have market and regulation information about operating an early childhood center in Miami and San Francisco.

Early Findings

Regulations - Miami

  • The regulations for early childhood centers in Miami are created at a state level, and apply generally to child care centers.
  • Providers must be at least 21 years old and care givers must be at least 18 and have completed the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services approved introductory training course.
  • In a center, the ratio of caregivers to children varies according to their ages. For example, there should be one caregiver for every infant under 1, and at least 1 caregive for every 11 two-year-olds.
  • Florida regulations outline strict rules regarding supervision in different areas - including outside, during nap time, meal time, and for water activities.
  • In terms of health and safety, indoor and outdoor play areas must be inspected daily. Fire hazards must be prevented, including lint and grease buildups. Animals must be vaccinated and there should be no strings or cords that are long enough to go around a child's neck.
  • An inside temperature of 65 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit must be maintained at all times.
  • The licensing capacity (ie number of children) is determined by the sizes of the indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as the number of toilets and the sewer capacity.

Operating a childcare center - costs

  • In the US, childcare workers make just over $22,000.
  • The national average total costs for a start-up childcare center were estimated to be $95,485. That includes $60 in supplies per child, as well as initial renovation costs.
  • While some states include programs that supply some food for childcare centers, centers often find that they still have to spend on food, as well as on toys, playpens, rockers, and other equipment, all of which need regular replacement due to wear and tear.

Market sizes

  • Our initial research suggests that city-scoped market sizes are difficult to find or calculate (as the industry is so fragmented, looking at top players, for example, wouldn't produce a market size). However, there seems to be some state-based market sizing info - either in dollars or in terms of numbers of providers and addressable market (number of children under 5).
  • There are 1,078,313 children in Florida under 5 and 28.3% of them are in childcare.
  • The average annual cost of care for an infant is $8,376 in a child care center, in Florida.
  • In Florida, there are 34,128 child care establishments, and there is an annual revenue of $2.5 billion. However, this includes childcare for over-fives as well.