Child care services can be a big draw for multifamily properties -- especially during the pandemic. For remote workers, it offers some much-needed quiet time to be productive. For those still heading to the office? It means more convenience and a shorter commute (no dropping them off at some far-off day care across the city).
But on-site day care facilities aren’t without fault -- or costs. Are you thinking about adding one to your building or apartment complex? Here are the pros and cons you’ll want to think about.
Pros of on-site day care services
First off, there’s big demand for it -- especially during the pandemic. Many traditional day cares have closed, and some schools aren’t open either. Working parents need options, and the closer to home, the better.
Another big benefit is that it helps you appeal to families -- who might come with less risk (of nonpayment and property damage) than younger, single tenants. While advertising directly to families isn’t allowed due to Fair Housing Laws, offering family-style amenities is a great way to bring those renters into the fold.
Finally, it’s a great retention method. Renters are going to think twice about moving if it means they need to find new care for their child, rearrange their schedule, and plan a new drive to work.
Cons of on-site day care services
The big problem with an on-site care facility is the risk factor. There’s a lot of liability that comes with caring for minors, and it could mean big legal fees if something goes awry. You’ll also need a good amount of insurance to make sure you’re covered.
There are also local zoning and land-use regulations to consider. Depending on where your building is located, offering day care services may not even be allowed, legally speaking.
On-site day cares also come with a lot of upkeep. There are licensing requirements and regular health inspections to deal with, and you’ll also need to commit to comprehensive cleaning and sanitizing protocols, especially in light of COVID-19.
And last but not least, there are the costs to think about. You’ll need money to hire licensed providers, as well as funds for food, toys, cots, diapers, and other supplies. Unless you plan on partnering with an existing day care provider and moving them to your location, the start-up costs can be quite hefty.
Always consult an attorney
Operating a day care facility comes with a lot of risk, and your ability to do so will depend on the unique laws in your area. Because of this, it’s important to consult a local attorney before moving forward. They’ll advise you on the liability you’re taking on, any laws you’ll need to adhere to, and what sort of insurance coverage you should consider to safeguard your business.