Starting a preschool in a commercial building is not as simple as driving through town looking for For Lease signs. If you just wanted to start a boutique or a clothing store it would be about that simple, but if you just start looking for available buildings, you may waste a lot of time and probably experience quite a bit of disappointment.
Why Can’t You Start A Preschool In Just Any Commercial Building?
When you are starting a business that will be serving children there are quite a few requirements of where that business can be located. For example, a business that serves children cannot be located X amount of feet away from a business that sells alcohol. This is just one example of the numerous regulations governing these kinds of businesses.
But there is one magical place that knows all the rules. And they know the city, and where certain businesses are located, and how close certain businesses are to other commercial locations. They are the FIRST place to go when you want to start a preschool in a commercial space. This amazing place is the Planning and Zoning department for your city.
What To Say To The Planning and Zoning Department
When you visit the planning and zoning department, be happy and friendly, knowing that they are the ones who say yes or no to the various locations that are available. Know what you need to say to them and keep a positive attitude while working with them.
Here is an example of what to say, “Hey! I’m [insert your name] and I’m starting a preschool and I need a location to put it in.” Explain to them that you are not a daycare, that you don’t take care of babies, the children won’t be taking naps while at your school, and you will only have them for a 2 ½ hour class, then they will go home. Let them know your preschool classes are only for children between the ages of 3-5. Then say, “So, it is not a daycare, but I am looking for a location in [name of city] that I can put my preschool in, Do you know of a place that would be a good location for that?”
The Perfect Place For Your Preschool Is Probably This Space…
Most likely the spot(s) they suggest for you will be buildings that used to house daycare centers. This is a good thing because these locations have already been approved by the planning and zoning committee in the past which means that they already meet the requirements you will be looking for.
Another plus about these locations is they will also already have been approved by the city for use as a daycare center. This means that you will not have to take the time to apply for a special use permit and wait for the city council to vote on it at their next meeting. So, if the planning and zoning committee is able to locate one of these commercial buildings, it would not take long before you could sign the lease and start moving into your new home.
Starting a preschool in a commercial building is doable, just save yourself a lot of time and effort and start your search in the right place.