Comments 17

  1. Michael Huggins

    Dear Joy,

    I’ve been a Kindergarten Administrator for more than 13 years at Saint Annie’s International Kindergarten, and I’d like to say that this article is right on the money! …So true, in every aspect, when dealing with parents, (and Monster Parents…). Keep up the good work, and congratulations on opening the new location.


  2. Lauren Taylor

    GREAT advice Joy!!! I’ve always struggled with getting people to commit to a time to come see my preschool. I end up playing phone tag with them for days and never knowing if they were really interested or if I’m just hoping they are. Tips?

  3. Carrie Powell

    Joy, I just want to tell you thanks for all the advice! I am getting my city license this week, and also my state license and home insurance for the business. I am committed to this preschool because I also just renovated 1/2 my garage into a really cute preschool room. Now I am really needing to know about how to get kids!! Thanks so much for sharing all your expertise!!

  4. Yvette rodriguez

    I live in Long Beach California and I also would like to start a preschool but I’m not sure if that’s what people need in long beach. I feel that people need longer care. What do you think or do you know of someone in my area that would be able to help me. Thank you for all your help.

  5. Joan Martin

    5 questions regarding payments, in case they ask (and so I am prepared) —
    1. Do you always write up a receipt for every monthly payment a parent makes?
    2. Will they expect a tax document from me in late January that states what they have paid in preschool tuition for the previous year? If so, how to I get or make such a form?
    3. How do you charge monthly for those months like December that may only have 2 or 3 weeks of classes — do you just keep the same monthly rate no matter how many class days are in that month?
    4. How do you handle payment regarding unexpected needed personal days or sick days when you have to cancel classes — do you maybe include 3 personal days a year in the payment plan, or do you ever refund them?
    5. When/how do they pay you — through regular mail, or hand it to you, or put it in a tray in your room, or leave a check in a file folder you have in your room — what is safest and best?

  6. Daniela Alcerro

    Wow Joan! Good questions!
    Another one that I have is, How to educate parents to pick up their children on time? Since we’re not offering Day Care services, and we just have about 30 min before our next group comes, and sometimes, it happens that a parent doesn’t come on time, the classes for the next group start, and the kid is still there! Need help with this please!!!

  7. Tieraney G. Rice

    Hi Joy,
    This advice is very helpful & could not have come at a better time! I’m opening my preschool in the fall & am in the process of getting my website completed & fliers made to start registration. Here’s my worry: I’m brand new & want to fill my spots… do I not sound desperate when talking to parents? Thanks again!

  8. Kristen


    1. – I don’t write receipts unless a parent pays cash and wants one, so basically never. I tell them at the Meet n Greet at the beginning of the year that their duplicate or cancelled check is their receipt.

    2. – Their education is not tax deductible, unless you are providing care for two working parents or a single parent who works. If they are a stay at home mom who wants school, it’s not a deductible expense.

    3. – I state at the beginning that I charge an annual tuition, broken into 9 monthly payments. They pay the same rate each month, even December.

    4. – I include a few personal/sick days each year. I am also lucky enough to have an assistant who can teach for me if I am sick. I’ve only closed 1 day in the last 2 years for illness.

    5. – The parents either hand me a check or I have an envelope taped to the side of the cubbies for parents to place a check. Both ways work out great.

    Good luck! I’m very pleased with Joy’s program. It’s been truly helpful.

  9. Kristen


    I did a search for preschools in Long Beach and could only find day cares that offer a preschool education. Some have half day programs. Do you know stay-at-home moms, or women who work part time and could use a short day program? Does your library offer a storytelling program. If so visit it and see if moms are bringing their young children or if day cares bring students. If there are several moms with children at the storytelling class, you know they are looking for something for their child to do during the day. From my very brief search it doesn’t look like you would have much competition, but there are A LOT of childcare centers so you will want to focus on getting your website up and going, and on as many childcare, preschool, education sites as possible or you may find your website will be lost among the others.

  10. Emmy

    Thanks joy. You are really empowering people like me with all this information. Thanks for your action plans! I’ve become a DIY carpenter and am building walls in our unfinished basement and hope to have it all ready by summertime so interested people can take a tour. I am nervous and full of unspoken fears but hopeful and faithful 🙂 i want to run a pre school that is not traditional, and do things like make music yoga and gardening as well as free play with open ended props. I am drawing up my website by hand, scanning it, and then coding links into it using HTML. I am running the risk of giving too much information but I want all the right people because it’s an unconventional pre school. I want to give my bio and give a complete representation of what this is about for me and what I hope it will bring for the kids. All this in the name of authenticity, do you think I could go too far?

  11. Becky Kaisler

    Thank you Joy. I appreciate your marketing information. Do you think it is best to give parents all info over the phone when they call or direct them to your website that has all information and registration form? Thank you again!

  12. Corinne Giocondo

    Wow..great wealth of information. You are an inspiration Joy, and sounds like you’re doing a fabulous job with your business! Congrats! I too have become a single mom of 3 kids recently, and thinking of opening a home based preschool, but I am terrified of the change and if I’d be any good at it! You’ve given me the confidence to take the steps to move my plan into action. Thank you!!

    I would love to hear your responses on Joan’s questions, when you have the time!


  13. Lenore Anaele

    Hi Joy, i have a quick question I’m currently a home day care provider and i would like to convert to a preschool by next year. What are the fisrt steps I should make with the transition with the parents I have that are working full time schedules.

  14. Sashila

    Hey Joy. Your articles and other resources are being very very helpful. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to share these! I am looking forward to start my preschool next year and was curious how many children I could possibly fit in a classroom?! It’s 12 ft by 10ft room.please advice! 🙂 thanks again

  15. Lisa Renrick

    Wow! All I can say is if you haven’t already, buy the Preschool in a Box immediately! The answers to all of these questions are in it, plus a whole lot more! If you’re trying to start, run, transition, or improve your preschool, it is the investment that you will never regret. I’m sure I sound like a commercial for Joy, but in all honesty, I could and would do a commercial just to let people know how valuable this product is. Yes! Joy is a real person willing, and yearning to help all of us who need it. Sacrifice whatever you can to afford this goldmine. I personally, wrote up a business proposal to convince someone to loan me the money to afford the package, and I am so glad I did. I knew it would help me, but I could never have imagined how much, not in a million years.
    Joy pours her soul into this and doesn’t leave a stone unturned. All of your questions will be answered. She goes beyond, beyond. Of course, if you can’t afford it right now, just keep gleaning and don’t give up. I followed Joy for almost 2 years before I was able to buy the Preschool in a Box, and she helped me keep my dream alive during that time with tidbits just like this one. I wish you all the best!

    Thank you Joy!

    Lisa Renrick

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