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How to Start A Christian Daycare

Rev. Ellsworth E. McIntyre

Founder of Grace Community Schools & Early Childhood Education Pioneer


Free Men Own Property; Slaves Do Not

What does it mean to be free? The author put this question to hundreds of students when he was a teacher. “What does freedom mean to you?” The responses ranged from a vague “Exercising choice,” or “Doing my own thing” to “Owning my own home.” Home ownership was as close as anyone came to ownership of private property or ownership of one’s own business as the key to freedom.

The truism that the control of a man’s paycheck equals control over his will seems unknown in America. Even as an adult Bible teacher, I have never had an adult define “freedom” in terms of owning one’s own business. I remember my surprise when my college economics professor posed the “freedom” question to my class and then, to our chagrin, lectured that if we were colonial Americans, instead of twentieth-century Ameri­cans, we would not have been so ignorant.

Private Property Produces Free Speech

Thomas Jefferson envisioned that the best of all societies for America would be a network of free and independent farmers. Jefferson shared the dream that men able to support themselves from their farms could stand up to potential tyrants. The colonials had been taught in Europe what economic slavery was all about. As a matter of fact, social class was tied to property. Just pick up any English novel of that period and note that marriage prospects were considered on the basis of their investment income. A gentleman had income from investments without laboring with his hands; the greater the income, the more eligible the man or woman.

In pre-World War I, the United States was a nation of small businesses and farmers, and the room for geographical expan­sion made for a relatively happy and prosperous time. Many Americans owned their own businesses, and workers knew their boss since most firms were local and simple.

When the American Dream Died

As a result of the 1932 depression, there was a dramatic rise in antibusiness sentiment. Many observers term this swing to the Left as an era of liberalism. During the late ’30s and after World War II, America became a nation of huge corporations and large chain operations. Government operations, union activity, and declining free enterprise meant that most citizens became wage earners dependent upon a faceless, distant and cold corporation. The idea of owning one’s own business and controlling one’s own destiny was in eclipse.

Freedom is Ownership, not Prestige

For the few who could remember or inherited family businesses, it has been absolutely true to the degree that one can provide for himself, he will enjoy more “choice,” more “homes,” more “free time,” and all of the other things which are the result of being free financially. A man on a paycheck, even if he is called “doctor,” is not as “free” as a “doctor” with an indepen­dent practice. A grocer working for a paycheck from a national firm can be fired tomorrow; a grocer who owns his own franchise or business is free. An executive working for a paycheck is not as free as an owner. Lee Iacocca found that out when Henry Ford fired him. In his book, he whined about Ford’s not really owning Ford Motor Company, since it was a public stock corporation; but the truth was that both Henry and Lee were employees of Ford Motor. Henry was more free in that he controlled more voting stock through his family. The man who owns and controls has greater freedom than an exalted execu­tive politician (President of the United States) or a professional on a payroll, such as a school teacher or a minister.

So, the best way for any individual to be truly free is to own his own successful business. Any salaried job or profession is an ephemeral sham, which holds one in bondage subject to the whims and desires of others. If the business one owns can be beneficial, moral and uplifting, so much the better.

If you are reading this, you probably already know the vagaries of salaried employment. When you work on salary for another person, corporation, church or whatever, you are not really free. There can be dignity in labor, as the Bible points out, but there is also a greater dignity, along with the peace of mind, when you own your own legitimate business, i.e., when you control your own destiny.

The Preschool—Window to Freedom

This book is an introduction to a new way of life for its readers. You are going to learn how to start your very own private daycare/preschool, something you will own, control, be able to will to your heirs, and something which can act as a powerful force for good in America.

I know, because I have done this. There are presently six Grace Community Schools (daycare centers) open in southwest Florida. Each of the schools generates to me an income beyond my fondest dreams.

When I started to develop the community daycare/school concept, I worked harder than at any other time of my life, because I wanted freedom, not the tiresome, humdrum, salaried or commissioned jobs I had held for years. It was not easy. My wife and I lived in a campground trailer for more than a year so that we could devote every last penny we had to start our first daycare. My children sacrificed with us. I must confess that, in the dark of the night, I often came close to despair. Doubts assailed me from every side, but we struggled on. When the risks seemed too high, one thing enabled me to persevere: I wanted freedom for the rest of my life, and the only way to achieve that was to create my own successful business.

The first daycare/school was a success and became profit­able sooner than I had imagined possible. We have opened five more since then. The daycare/school concept is a proven suc­cess, and it is a success in which you can participate, if you simply display the determination that is necessary.

You can open your own school by using this book and the operational manual as your guide. If you seize your future with both hands, you will better your own life and the moral and educational lives of future Americans.

An Inheritance for Your Children’s Children

I well recall the day our first school crossed into the black, just three months after we built it. I was sitting outside supervis­ing the playground activities of the children on a beautiful Florida spring morning. The morning sun warmed me as I watched the youngsters at play. I was comforted by the thought that no one could ever take my job away from me. No one could ever tell me what to teach. No one could take my old-age security from me; the business was my pension. No one could disinherit my children. My business would continue beyond my death, if my children choose to keep it going. The building was mine, the land was mine, and the clientele was mine. I was free—a true professional for the first time in my life. What a wonderful, thrilling joy! I want that for you. I want you to accumulate an inheritance for your children’s children.

Today I have a penthouse condominium, a boat, cars, a big salary—all the material things most people want... but none of this is most important. What is important is that I control my own financial destiny. There are few situations in the world to equal the freedom of financial independence. Financial indepen­dence and control are to be greatly sought by thoughtful men and women. But controlling one’s own financial destiny with all its attendant advantages is only half the real vision ... perhaps less than half.

Every reader who chooses to open and operate his own daycare/school will contribute in a genuine way to the greatly increased educational and moral values of future Americans. This is not a generality, because the American public educa­tional system is failing. This is not news, but rather a generally accepted fact. Each year our grade schools, high schools, and colleges produce students who score lower in standardized tests which have been used for years. When compared to their counterparts in Germany, Japan, England, and in fact any modem, industrialized society, American students do poorly. Their trend is downward.

A Cesspool of Immorality

Some observers blame the students for this poor showing. The older generation tends to say that the younger generation is not “up to snuff.” “Youngsters today don’t work or try as hard as we did.” Can anything be more ridiculous? It is not the students who are at fault. We are teaching today’s youth the wrong things in the wrong way. Even after four or five decades of degenerating scholastic achievement, no better system has appeared on the horizon.

Equally important to declining educational performance is the nearly total loss of moral, ethical, and religious instruction. To be blunt, our public school system is, at best, a failure in teaching how to live a disciplined life. At worst, the public school system is a cesspool of immorality, which dooms a large number of students to live lives of alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual depravity, lawlessness and near illiteracy.

Everyone seems aware of this, but nobody seems to know what to do about it. Of course, the federal government, the major player in creating the public school disaster, almost yearly develops “new” programs to improve our schools. Some “experts” say public school teachers should be paid more, that classes should be smaller, and that yearly operating budgets increased. The list of quick fixes is endless. Yet each year our schools turn out students of lower quality than the year before. The downward trend has been underway for a long time. Still the government, unions, publishers, and local bureaucrats seem dedicated to this deteriorating educational system, which has been proven second rate by years of declining scholarship.

Surprisingly, a small group of young people attend public schools and come away as bright students able to compete with the best in the world. The children of newly arrived Asiatic families are standout public school students by any standard. How can that be? The young Asians come to America with a strong allegiance to family and tradition. They attend public schools and excel, but are also taught discipline and respect for family authority. To the professional observer of our sad public school system, there is little doubt that by the time the second or third generation of Asiatics passes through our present public school system, Asiatics will emerge just as poorly educated as their Occidental neighbors.

It is the author’s opinion and experience that, sadly, no one in either governmental or educational life has the genius for turning around the public school system. It is too firmly in place. Many people simply do not know the depth of the situation. If they do know, they feel helpless to improve it. No one wants to pay more taxes to experiment further with an educational system that has already been experimented to near death.

The author believes that there is no way to reform the public school system. There is hope, however, in Christian education. For years, the author experimented with Christian training. In time, it became clear that one could open and operate a daycare/ school that was really that: a school. Young boys and girls from ages of two through entry into kindergarten could be shepherd­ed into a secure daycare environment, and could be educated painlessly, even pleasurably, by using the traditional teaching techniques that were abandoned in the 1930s. It can be done. It is being done right now in the author’s home state of Florida. Daycare/schools are open, operating at a large profit, and are turning out pre-kindergarten students who read at the second through fourth grade level as determined by nationally known and accepted testing methods.

Service to God, Family, and Country

When one opens a daycare/school, he not only renders an invaluable service to God and America, but he also can become really rich. As this book is written (1996), the author has six schools open. The six operating schools provide gross income in excess of $400,000 per year. If that isn’t rich to you, it is to the author. You can achieve this, too.

This book will take you step by step through the process of opening and operating a daycare/school, speedily and profit­ably. When you have one school open and running smoothly and profitably, you can open a second and then a third. Once your daycare/school is operating, you will be producing educated children, firmly established in the traditional teaching methods. Even more importantly, you will have the opportunity to teach young souls the Christian way of life. You can do it before the public school system gets its hands on the youngsters. Your daycare/school will teach phonic reading, traditional math­ematics, recreational and social functioning, music apprecia­tion, computer literacy, and understanding art, along with daily prayer and Bible study.

You can do it. The author did it, and he is dedicating his life to helping you do it. Journey with me through the following chapters and change your life for the better as well as the lives of countless young Americans.