Working with children is easily one of the most rewarding careers that you could choose. From enjoying life’s simple pleasures to seeing the smiles on their faces at a birthday party, there are so many reasons to fall in love with this field of work! If you’re ready to start imagining all the ways to break into this industry, here are ten kid-focused businesses and child-focused startup ideas to explore.
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Year after year, the STEM tutoring industry enlarges its market share. Due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global market for tutoring saw a $123 billion valuation in 2020. With a CAGR of 14.7% and an endless customer pool, STEM tutoring is a hot market segment to consider if you have a passion for education and a love for helping children.
In the next five years, the music education industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of almost 18%. In 2020, largely due to the pandemic, the online music education industry held a market size of $130 million. It seems that U.S. parents may be taking notes from many European schools where children are encouraged to learn an instrument as early as three years old. By 2027, the online music education industry is expected to hit $421 million.
In the U.S., childcare is a service that consistently sees an increasing demand. The market size of the industry has grown 1.4% every year since 2017, and it’s expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.9% for the next five years.
The youth athletics business industry rivals that of the NFL. In 2019, this industry represented a $24.9 billion market, while the NFL was a $15 billion industry. Youth sports markets on a global scale are expected to reach over $77 billion by 2026.
In 2019, almost 60% of youth ages six through 17 participated in sports or took some type of athletic lessons. On average, U.S. families spend at least $700 per child per year on sports equipment, lessons, dues, and fees. This industry expanded by a whopping 55% in the years between 2010 and 2017.
Family photography, children’s photography, newborn pics, senior photos, and graduation portraits are needed by millions of families every single year. As long as there are children, parents will be willing to pay good money to have those children photographed at every significant milestone. The photography industry is expected to grow from $105 billion (in 2020) to $149 billion by 2028.
The child-related event planning industry is a $48 billion-a-year industry and includes everything from party rentals to venue usage and more. In and of itself, children’s birthday planning has grown into a $38 billion industry.
Many people are now seeking care for their kids that take place in private settings instead of in daycare centers for two big reasons: COVID-19 concerns and the high cost of daycare services. In 2020, the average family paid babysitters $17.73 per hour to watch one child, which is more than double the federal minimum wage. Almost 30% of infants and toddlers in the U.S. get home-based care, and that number continues to rise.
Swimming isn’t a trend; it’s a life skill, and eight out of every ten parents agree that teaching their children how to swim is important. It’s so important that the number of online consumer searches for swimming lessons between 2006 and 2013 rose from 60 million to over 100 million.
There will always be children who need to learn how to swim, and lessons are a consumer service that can’t be purchased and packaged online. The swim school market is estimated to be worth $18 billion, with 50 million children under the age of 12 taking lessons each year.
A summer camp is a fun, profitable small business opportunity that has the potential to grow exponentially every single summer. On average, a well-managed summer camp can enjoy a profit margin of 25% to 40%!
The summer camp market is huge: It reached $3.91 billion in 2019 and surpassed $4 billion in 2022. Around 80% of overnight camps didn’t operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. But currently, demand continues to outstrip supply; 26 million children enrolled for camp in 2022. Now is the perfect time to get in on this opportunity.
The after-school enrichment program industry reached a market size of $23.5 billion in 2022, up from $23 billion just one year prior. Enrichment programs saw huge gains throughout the COVID-19 pandemic because many of them can be and were offered online. From virtual programs to in-person after-school programs and more, there are endless possibilities for you to join the 147,000 other enrichment program offerings throughout the U.S.
Explore the Possibilities Today
We hope this guide has helped you imagine all the ways that you can break into the industry. Remember, childcare, babysitting, photography, and birthday planning are only the beginning. Take the time to explore all your options, and take a closer look at your community, too. What service is missing for families in your community, and how can you help fill that gap?
While you’ll always have the “opportunity” to start a kid-centered business, sometimes, it makes more sense to invest in an opportunity that offers the recognition of a well-established brand with a proven track record of success. These are called “Franchise Opportunities,” and our team has handpicked a few kid-centered franchise options for you to explore, below. If anything catches your interest, remember to download the free Small Business Startup app to keep all these options at your fingertips—available for both Apple and Android!