Moving to Vietnam, HaNoi, to open a Daycare... Help!!

Hello all!! My name is Laura and I am 29 years old. My boyfriend and I are moving to be closer to his family in Vietnam next year. My plan is to open up an all day child daycare. I plan to teach some English and do my best to stand out from the rest. I have my Child Daycare Management Diploma as well. Please help me get this rolling. All ideas are welcome!! ~Laura

I am from the US, born in Vietnam and just spent 6 months in Vietnam. 
Before you settle in a country, visit for a year before you make any long term commitments.  It is not only the business, but the way of living.
Vietnam is a beautiful country but unfortunately does not have the infrastructure to support it.  There is little or no environmental regulation.  Basic hygiene is lacking and pollution in the big cities can be harmful.  Although the food is excellent, MSG is everywhere.  The rivers are polluted and one might think where the irrigation of the produce comes from.   Lately dead pigs are being dumped into the rivers and the government just announced the implementation of more antibiotics into pigs.  I have seen  how organic vegetables are fertilized, with planktons from a very polluted stagnant water.  Anyhow, you should research the areas where chemicals leftover from the wars are still in the soil.  When I was there Monsanto chemical was leaking in the central area.  Environmental cleaning is not the government priority.   I am vegetarian in the US and was not able to eat liberally.  The country uses short cuts for a quick buck like China.  I was very disappointed to see the country prospering in the wrong direction.
I was picked up by a driver in Hanoi and he told me that the produce is being sprayed everywhere and his friends family would leave portion of a plot unsprayed for their consumption.  But the heavy rain gets the chemicals everywhere.  The soil is contaminated everywhere.  If you come from Vancouver where the environment is healthy, you might want to investigate the area first.  Once in your system, you will have to remove it and it is going to take time.
Sorry you might want to hear on positive notes.  But this is the reality.


Your assessment of Vietnam is very accurate, and you are eloquent.  You should put them out there more, especially in Vietnam, so one day they can stop doing these self-destructive things and put some meanings into their lives.


Vietnam is a very different country, from Canada.  Vietnamese cultures are very different, even to the Vietnamese who are living in Canada.  To be able to live in Vietnam, it will take a lot of work, let alone make money and friends.  You should talk more with your boyfriend and his families and friends, in Vietnam.  You must identify and engage those who can help you realize this little dream of yours (those who know what they are doing in Vietnam).  Even the bests seek them out.  Without them, you and your little dream will go no where.  But, with the right people behind you, your dream will come true to you in no time.  So, start looking around now.

I don't work for Julien, but reading this blog also helps.  There are a lot of useful information and wonderful people on here.



You might like to google and contact Michio Koyama who has tiredlessly worked in helping the disadvantaged children in Vietnam for more than 15 years.   Crazy-1 is wise in suggesting the connections to be made and thank you Crazy-1 for your kind words.  Sometimes you mean well to support a community but sometimes it is not seen that way as the culture and values in Vietnam are very different.

Best wishes in your research and take one day at a time.  It also helps when you understand the language.

If u want to help , pls call me , I will help u .

I'm sorry I have not replied to all your posts earlier. I am still in Canada and my husband, son and I are leaving for Vietnam in August. I have a lot to look into before then..

You should first get professional advice and check to see if you're even allowed to open a daycare centre as a foreigner.  There will be a number of conditions to get the license, as well as a minimum financial requirement.

Her bf is VN so his name will go on the license and she can be employed by him.

I was curious why people were responding to this thread until I read that the OP had bumped it herself.  I always find it perplexing that people inquire about starting labor intensive businesses in Vietnam.  There is a reason that this is where Nike and Adidas make sneakers. 

In the suburban district of HCMC where I lived there were nursery/daycare centers on nearly every block, some with signs implying English instruction.  How much do you think even a couple working two white collar jobs has to spend on day care and how much do you think these providers make?  Perhaps there could be a niche serving the children of expatriates and wealthy Vietnamese but it certainly would be tough to break into that.

I am also curious why, as you posted elsewhere, you have chosen to move to Hanoi to be close to your husband's relatives.   How many overseas Vietnamese were from Hanoi as opposed to the South?  Perhaps they are double refugees, as many Catholics fled south in 1954 and again after 1975.  But in that case wouldn't he be likely to have closer relatives in HCMC?

Actually there is a huge demand for good day care services, they are being built in many places due to the lack of good centres. My VN friends pay 5 million a month, they are not wealthy people but do earn a reasonable income, so it's not cheap. The demand is bigger than you think, and it was also highlighted in an article here a few years ago.

My neighbor who was an electrical engineer working for a major construction concern told me that he made 17 million.  I don't know what his wife made, but she had an office job.  They certainly were better off than most.  Are people giving up 30% of their income for day care?  If day care is more than the lower paid spouse's wage how  can it make sense?

Here in Vung Tau which is only a small city, they just built four massive modern day care centres. So the demand is there and people are willing to pay for their little angels.

Oh wow! You seem to know a lot! I appreciate your comments and advice!

There are a number of day care places in Hanoi and I'm sure there is room for more. Many already offer staff who will speak English to the kids, though mostly this is because it is cheaper to pay for 'day care' than to employ an English teacher, so they see this as getting something extra for nothing.
As someone already mentioned, getting a business license and sorting out the never ending paperwork can be next to impossible for a foreigner without 'greasing the wheels' so it is fairly typical to have everything in the Vietnamese partners name and the 'foreigner' being an employee - assuming you are eligible for a business visa/work permit.
One thing I don't think was touched on was that Vietnamese have a preference for white skin. If you don't fit that 'ideal' you'll find it extremely difficult to get customers.

Laura, make sure you have money in the bank to live on while you get your business off to a good start. There are lots of skyscrapers being built througghout Hanoi and each has or will need a child care in the building. These high rise buildings house people and businesses. I lived in such and i did shopping, eating and they had child care all in the building. Many many like this going up everywhere. You have another option...teaching English. You mention uou have a diploma. Demand is great for Native Speakers. Also. Pollution is an issue. But people aren't dropping like flies. U.S. has genetically modified foods and farmers market's aren't always non pesticide. Since profits are a businesses loyal best friend. I liked Than Xuan or West Lake area. Old Quater is...Old. Royal City has the most modern Mall in all Outh East'll love it. You mentioned Boyfriend. Good luck with that. But his family will be an asset for you all as you make your transition. Good luck.    Wow. I just noticed your first blog was 2013...ypu must know all this by now...hehehee.

Oh thank you so much for your reply. I will have hubby make sure his name is on everything! As far a being 'popular' or 'what the people want' in Hanoi, I don't think that is an issue. I've been twice already and people want to take pictures of me when I walk down the street. Lol. Not always of course, but I seem to be well liked. But I see what you are saying there too!

I will look into those areas. My then boyfriend is now my husband. We have been thinking about moving since I first posted, but are now doing the move come August. We also have an 11month old son, and I want to run a daycare so that he can be there as well. I have a diploma for child daycare management, not English. I am just finishing up a Montessori Course now which I plan to advertise in the daycare. I also appreciate your reply. And we are saving every penny right now also!

Hi Laura,

We plan to open a day care / preschool in  Hanoi - now in the preparation process. If you could give your email address / Skype, we may talk further and see if there is any chance to cooperate some way...


Thanks for your reply. I did sent you an email, please check. I would like to talk further to see if we can set something up.
Thank you. Hear from you soon!

I will be in Vietnam on September. When do u plan on opening your center?

Still have things to plan. Like exactly where to open, we will need some help also. We will be there in August, so hoping for a few months after that.

Send me a message if you need a teacher. I'll be there on August!

Vietnamese likes to copy.. And they copy business ideas too, we have kindergarten with over 200 students and now there are maybe 7 or 8 kindergardens in this area. Radius of maybe 600m. They also are not licensed so they will have to pribe somebody to give the paper so child can advance to primary.. . Ps. Get cameras.. Parents love to watch their kids from cameras... 🙈

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