So you are considering buying a daycare and you want to make sure you do your homework first, so just what should you be looking at when you locate a facility that you are interested in buying?
First you should consider the market that the center is serving. Some considerations are: What is the market area from which the center draws its enrollment and what age groups does it serve, how do you think the demographics of the market is expected to change over the next 5 or 10 years, how many daycares (don't forget home based daycares) are within the target area serving the same age group and is the demand in the market for child care growing or shrinking.
Next take a look at the center itself. Some considerations are: How long has the center been in existence and why is it being sold, does the center have any complaints that have been substantiated, what is their reputation in the community and do the teachers tend to stay for a long time or is there a lot of turnover.
As far as the facility goes: Does the facility have the proper zoning for use as a day care or are any special use permits transferable to a new owner, what is the condition of the facility and the site and what is the cost of any upgrades and what is the traffic count of the location and ease for ingress/egress.
Lastly, what is the condition of the center's recordkeeping, does the financial information provided to you agree with the tax returns, has the enrollment been increasing or decreasing, how many more students can be enrolled and what is the cost of hiring additional teachers for that enrollment to keep the ratios in line with the requirements and are the parents payments current.