As we come to the end of the year and start getting our financial information together for tax purposes, it’s a good time to look at our expenditures for the year. While we don’t want to go cheap in our programs at the expense of quality, we also don’t want to waste our hard-earned money. Some areas to examine include:
- Staffing—we certainly don’t want to short-change our staff, but, with staffing being one of the greatest expenses in a program, we need to make sure we are watching our staffing expense closely. We want to pay our staff fairly, but we also want to control costs by ensuring that we are not overstaffed. The beginning of the day, the end of the day, and nap time are times in which programs tend to be overstaffed.
- Food—providing fruits and vegetables that are in season is a way of both controlling costs and teaching children about shopping locally. Properly storing and using leftovers can help to extend food budgets.
- Utilities—something as simple as turning off lights and water when not in use can not only save a lot of money, but again teach children about using resources carefully.
- Materials—hopefully our staff and children already treat program materials respectfully. We need to reuse items as appropriate and conserve where we can.
These cost-saving tips not only help our programs, but also help us to develop more conservation-minded citizens.