2019 Home business idea: Build a steel shipping container daycare | Conexwest
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2019 Home business idea:

Build a shipping container daycare.


Ever since the 2008 Recession, Americans have been seeking ways to make extra money. One solution is a home-based business. Especially if you’ve been unemployed for a while, it may make sense to start your own company.

One idea is to create a home daycare. If you love children and want to add value back to your community, you’re in luck: across the United States, the cost of daycare is rising. The reason for this economic trend is simple. Nationwide, there are not enough childcare facilities to support the need for affordable childcare.

interior container space

The market conditions, for this type of business, are right. Even more important, you’ll provide a service that creates value to your community. It’s a business you’ll enjoy running, and you can take steps towards starting your company now.

This article walks you through some ideas to get this type of business up and running, using steel shipping containers. Stop looking for a job, and follow this guide to launch the company of your dreams.


Why steel shipping containers?


Across the United States, home daycare businesses have been popular. The reason is that, compared to other businesses, child care businesses take minimal financial investment to get up and running.

Imagine turning part of your living room, backyard, or home into a center where you can care for children. To a new business owner, this investment may not seem too extreme: you love children, so why not invite them to your home?

The experience, as rewarding as it may be, could become stressful. Your home is your personal space. Any entrepreneur will tell you that it’s tough to mix business and personal living space.

But you likely don’t have the funds to invest in another property. Commercial space is often out-of-reach for most people in the United States. Especially if you’re starting your daycare in a metro area with a high cost of living. Your home may be your only choice.

Here’s an idea: if you have enough space on your property, consider creating your daycare out of a steel shipping container. This concept is very much similar to ‘tiny homes’ which are rising in popularity for home-builders. Here are some reasons why:


  • Steel shipping containers are modifiable to be safe spaces for humans
  • You have more control over aesthetics than you may with traditional building materials
  • You have flexibility over the dimensions of your structure
  • Steel shipping containers are available in a variety of styles for customizability to your taste
  • These units meet and often exceed the safety standards of city ordinances


A good first step to take is to explore some options. Take a look at this 20’ modified storage container by Conexwest as an example:

You can also browse the Conexwest gallery for custom ideas, here

After you’ve gathered some design inspiration, start looking into safety options. You may choose to work with a structural engineer, or your city may have resources that can help you make the right construction decisions.


Get your business off the ground.


There are certain steps that you need to take, to make your business a reality. First, take a look at the license requirements that you need to start a home daycare. You’ll need to understand federal laws, state laws, and local laws. It may be worth your time to work with an attorney.

Paying for an hour of time may help you prevent potential problems in terms of fines and liabilities. Otherwise, do some research on your state, county, and city websites.

Depending on where you live, you may need to obtain certifications. These involve trainings, which may be good experiences. Examples include first-aid and CPR training.

Here are some areas where you’ll want to pay particular attention:


  • Is it legal to run a home daycare in your city? To answer this question, read through your city’s municipal code, which is sometimes called a municipal ordinance. If you can’t find a clear answer, call or visit your City’s offices.
  • Is your property set-up to host a day care? Some cities have mandates for fencing, storage of equipment, access to fireplaces, etc. Having a safe space, like a shipping container, is only the first step to running your daycare.
  • Do you have the appropriate licenses? Depending on where you’re located, you may need to obtain certain certifications or licenses to run your business. Work with your city, county, and state to figure out the requirements.
  • Do you have a customer base? The best place to begin is with your own friends, family, and community. Home daycares are trust-based businesses.
  • Do you have a trusted accountant? Running a business with expenses, accounts payable and receivable will likely require one.


This list may not be comprehensive. To understand your own needs, it may make sense to work with a lawyer.

daycare walk


Final thoughts.


A steel shipping container is not only practical for a home daycare. It’s also a practical investment for creating a good experience for children. For example, you could have a finger-painting project on the walls. You can decorate the shipping container with their art. You can help these children feel proud of their work while running your new business from home.


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