Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Child Care Program Budgeting

How is your program's financial health?  When was the last time you analyzed your budget to see where your money is really going?  Are you using your money in the most effective way?

A well-written budget can help you carefully assess your program.  It can help you determine if:
  • your parent fees are where they need to be
  • your staff is paid well enough to keep them from jumping to a better-paying job
  • your food expenses are appropriate
  • you are paying yourself fairly
  • you are spending the right amount on program supplies
If you don't already have a solid budget or if you want to assess your current budget and compare it to industry norms for budget expenditures, our "Budget Worksheet" can help.  We have one for Child Care Centers and one for Family Child Care Programs.  Each worksheet includes:
  • budget line item for revenue from parent fees (including a simple revenue calculator)
  • budget line item for revenue from a food program (including a simple revenue calculator)
  • budget line items for care and services expenditures such as food, field trips, and subscriptions
  • budget line items for staffing expenditures, including unemployment and Worker's Comp
  • budget line items for facility expenditures such as rent/mortgage, repair, janitorial, etc.
  • a simple calculator for food program expenses
  • a simple time-space calculator for Family Child Care provider tax purposes
  • industry norms for budget percentages to help you compare your expenditures to other programs
Especially when money is tight, making sure that your budget is correct is critical.  It can be the "make it" or "break it" for your program.  Be sure that you are giving it the time it needs, and deserves.