State licensing, HOA approval, Planning & Zoning Department (P&Z) regulations—starting a preschool does take some work! Every city has requirements, so discover how to start a preschool with your city’s planning and zoning department.
Steps To Take Before Calling The Planning And Zoning Department About Your Home Preschool
Starting a preschool in your home sounds like a lot of fun and it can be a great way to make money from home, but it does require some work to get started. You will need to get the approval of your HOA if you live in a subdivision that has one, and you will need to get your preschool licensed by the state.
Then you will still have to get any permits required by the Planning and Zoning Department of your city. Just as not everyone will have to go through the first two steps, you may not have to go through this one, but it is always better to find out if you do or not.
Calling The Planning And Zoning Department
To find the number you need to call, Google “planning and zoning [the name of your city].” The first person you speak with will probably be the person who fields the calls and routes them to the correct department. You will need to explain to this person that you are going to be starting a preschool in your home. Tell them it is kind of like a home day care, but it’s not a daycare; because it is a preschool it’s a little bit different. Then ask if you could speak with someone about the requirements for your area.
The reason for this explanation is because most P&Z departments are only used to handling requests for day care zoning, but your request is slightly different. You will, however, most likely be directed to someone who handles day care zoning.
What Do You Say To The Next Person On The Phone?
Thank them for taking your call, then explain again that you will be opening a preschool not a day care. You will be teaching children between the ages of 3-5 for a few hours a day in your residence in the [name of your subdivision] and that you need to know about zoning requirements for your area. Ask them “Are any impacts I need to chat with you about or do I just need to get a business license? What is the process?”
What Will Most Likely Happen
Most likely the person on the phone will decide that you are mostly like a daycare and you will need a special use permit that states that the city is okay with you using your home as a “daycare.” They will direct you to the website where you will fill out a form and pay the fee.
Then you will attend a city board meeting to petition the city why you should have a special use permit to use your home for your preschool. Be sure to present yourself as a professional for this meeting. They will want to know:
- The name of your subdivision
- If you have HOA approval, if necessary
- If you have state licensing
- Your class times
- Parking for pickup and drop off plans
- The curriculum you will be using
- How this business will benefit the community
There are many home daycare (and possibly preschool businesses) in your area who have gone through this process. Starting a preschool with the planning and zoning department may seem intimidating, but you can do it!