Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cutting Daycare Staffing Costs

Since staffing costs comprise the largest part of most daycare programs' expenses, the most obvious place to look to cut costs would be in your staffing. Of course, we're not recommending cutting staff wages or benefits as many teachers are already underpaid. 

However, a little extra attention to detail on staff-child ratios could show areas in which you are paying for more staff members than you need. In our program, we use an hourly staff-child ratio tracking sheet to ensure that we are neither over ratio nor under ratio. Each classroom is required to make an hourly note of the number of children in attendance and the number of staff members in the classroom. 

By studying these sheets each day, you can see very clearly if you are staffing each room properly. If you are consistently overstaffed in one classroom at a particular time of the day, you can see that you need to change your staff schedule and either move staff members to another room or cut some hours. Along with this "after the fact" checking, you also need to have a policy in place for your late-day staff so that they understand which employee(s) should clock out and go home early if children have gone home early and they find themselves overstaffed.

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