How to Source Supplies for Your Childcare Business!

Whether you are starting a childcare business or own an established childcare business, there are numerous supplies required to efficiently and effectively run your business.

And, while there are numerous big box, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and online sources with supplies available, most childcare budgets require that you make careful, moderately-priced choices in a limited amount of time.

In the following paragraphs, we will discuss the newest trends in childcare supplies you may want to consider, along with the most affordable pricing and quality-driven supplies available for your childcare business. 

In order to advance with a new childcare business or one in growth mode, you’ll want to complete this childcare business plan, as it will inform the long-term growth of your childcare business. What makes the creation of a business plan so important?

First, it includes every priority component of your business via reports and analysis. Second, a business plan is the foundation for your mission and goals for the business. It includes the “why” behind starting your business. Third, your marketing strategies are included and can be measured by metrics to inform outcomes, all of which can be placed into the business plan for reference.

And, finally, your business plan contains the operations and financial picture of your business, and can be presented to lenders or investors for funding, if needed. This makes a total package of highly-useful reference material and a plan that you’ll return to again and again. 

After completing the business plan, let’s take a look at the newest trends and products in childcare supplies: 

Childcare Business Management Software

Not surprisingly, business management software is now available for childcare centers. Most software take on the time-consuming tasks of your day to streamline operations. Software include most or all of these features: 

  • Servicing of clients in invoicing, billing and payments
  • Family information and important contacts  
  • Staff information
  • Attendance records
  • A continuous tracker on each child during attendance 

Although software can be expensive to acquire, the tasks accomplished on your behalf make it far more valuable than the pricing. 

App-Controlled Air Purifiers

After the global pandemic, many families are seeking ways to ensure the air they breathe is safe and free from impurities. Smart-air purifiers offer convenience and consistency. 

Smart Sketching Platforms

A twist on the old-fashioned projectors, these new app-controlled sketching platforms project all sizes accurately and easily onto walls or screens. This is a perfect tool for childcare art projects. 

Sensory Play Kits 

With a fresh emphasis on how toddlers like to “feel” and “touch,” these kits employ all kinds of textures to entice toddlers to explore. Several kits and playsets are now available. 

Trends going forward emphasize app-controlled toothbrushes and heated towels, toy boxes and printers, moving consumers more than ever toward devices. 

Considering the best sources for purchasing supplies for your childcare business, let’s now take a look at various options.

Big box retailers and membership club stores

While these retail behemoths carry oversized boxes of diapers and other baby and toddler essentials at superior pricing levels, the stores fall short in several basic supply needs. You’ll want to consider the time it will take to shop and the space required to store the items. 

Wholesalers and distributors

You’ll find numerous supplies in useful quantities in offers to purchase from wholesalers and distributors. The downside is that ordering can be clumsy, deliveries are not free and wait times for goods can be quite extended, depending on supply chain matters. 

Retail brick-and-mortar stores

This type of shopping experience has almost been overthrown by all the other options; however, some retail stores prove to be both affordable and well-stocked with needs for children. Most stores do not carry children’s chairs, tables or other furnishings; however, toys, medical supplies, snack items, soap and paper products remain a great value. 

Online store sources

The online store format is both convenient and seamless, especially through Amazon; however, the downside is that only certain products and supplies are offered; typically, those that are germane to families rather than childcare centers. Products are offered at lower prices than retail; however, delivery charges are sometimes added.

Online services, such as Wayfair, offer children’s tables and other furnishings, but do not stock educational supplies or toddler items and toys. Again, the categories of products are somewhat fractured, but the ease and convenience of shopping adds value. 

From the newest trends and smart-connected devices to the best options for childcare business supplies, the bottom line for busy childcare business owners is to source supplies at the lowest costs with the least amount of effort.

Of special importance, childcare business owners will want to cement their business plan by completing all components within it. It is the map and guide for the future growth of your business. 

Article and permission to publish here provided by Kalin Robbins. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on April 19, 2023.

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