Suggested Start-Up Timeline

(for a September start-up)

January- April:

  • Fill out your Joy School Company start-up forms and send them in with your check for your start-up fee so you can receive your Start-Up Kit.
  • Determine how many children you’ll be enrolling (check any city or state requirements that may limit your numbers).
  • Research whether you need a day care/preschool license to run your preschool. If your state requires that you get a daycare license even though you’re running a part-time educational program rather than a daycare, start the process of getting that license. It’s usually quite an easy process, but you should be aware of various dates for required meetings and deadlines for different parts of your application.
  • Start spreading the word to friends and relatives that you’ll be starting your Joy School in the fall. Let them know a little about the curriculum and tell them what a great program it will be. Invite them to pass the word along to anyone who’s looking for a preschool program for their child. Pass out or email the Joy School Information Form (provided in the Start-Up Kit) to anyone who might be interested.
  • Start saving $20-$30 a month to go towards your Joy School Company fees and the supplies you’ll need to start your preschool.
  • Think about the space in your home that you’ll use for your preschool and consider how to rearrange things. Think about what pieces of furniture or supplies you might like to have (look at the list of suggested supplies on in the start-up kit for ideas). Keep your eye out for good deals at stores, garage sales, etc. on items you’d like to have.


  • Decide on your tuition prices, determine criteria for accepting students, etc.
  • Get going on advertising/recruiting using the materials and tips provided.
  • Keep working on gathering materials, furnishings and supplies.
  • Find out about getting your business license.
  • Adjust the registration forms provided in your Start-Up Kit to fit the specifics of your program and make copies so that you’ll have them ready to give interested parents.


  • Finalize what your tuition prices will be and whether you’ll offer a discount to parents who are willing to be regular aids in your program.
  • Do some hard-core advertising.
  • Many preschools offer an open house in May and start registration before families get busy with their summer activities. An open house can include an informal opportunity for parents to come in and meet you and see your facilities and/or it can include a brief meeting for parents at just about any location where you explain your program and answer any questions. Be sure to have lots of copies of the “Joy School Information Sheet” and/or your own advertising materials to hand out at any open house or meeting.
  • Find out if there are any community newspapers, other publications or Internet sites that list all the preschools for your area. Get your preschool on those lists.
  • Post more fliers in schools, grocery stores, libraries, etc. and talk with parents before school gets out for the summer about your program. Put a small add in local papers if you like (use sample adds and fliers in start-up kit).
  • You may choose to have an “early bird” registration deadline in May or early June, offering families a slight discount for registering early for your program. The sooner you have people registered, the more you can relax over the summer!

June – July:

  • Personalize the Joy School handbook so it’s ready to pass out to parents of registered students before school starts.
  • Continue to recruit students via word of mouth, fliers posted, ads in newspapers and magazines
  • Continue to work on gathering materials for your school and planning out the areas you’ll be using
  • Complete any final requirements involved in any licenses required for you to run your preschool. Get your business license.

August :

  • Do more recruiting if necessary. Hold an open house and/or parent meeting.
  • Finalize the set-up of the space you’ll be using for your school and complete your gathering of materials and decorating.
  • Make the Joy School House, Calendar, Weather Chart, circle mat and other basic materials you’ll be using throughout the year (using the templates and instructions provided in the Intro Unit of the Lesson Plans).
  • Gather in registration forms, registration fees and first month’s tuition from all students by about two weeks before school starts. Check over forms and get any missing information from parents.
  • Two weeks before you wish to receive your CDs and gain access to the semester’s lesson plans on line, send us your franchise fee, dues, CD fees and membership fees for your students. If you send us the number of students you’ll be enrolling, we will send you an invoice with your total – then you can send us your check.
  • About a week before your program starts, hold an introductory meeting for parents of registered students (using the meeting outline and parent handbook provided). You may also want to hold an open house for children so that they can come with their parents and become familiarized with the set-up in your home and get to know you and the other children a little bit in advance of the first day of school.

September (or late August):

  • Start Joy School!
  • Most programs start about a week after the public schools start so that parents can get their older children going and not have to start everything at once – but do whatever works for the parents in your group.

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