Running a preschool center is about more than simply providing care and education to toddlers. To run a successful business, you must balance a budget to ensure your long-term success.
Knowing where and how to invest your spending is crucial. You should operate your preschool center on a set budget that includes recurring costs and unforeseen costs like building maintenance.
Here are 12 important and necessary items to ensure are in your annual budget.
- Staff – Your staff powers your preschool. This is not an area you want to cut corners on because this will greatly impact your student and parent experiences. Additionally, having the right student-teacher ratio is important to your safety and security of your center and the children you watch.
- Books, craft materials, and other classroom supplies – your clients are expecting their children to take part in activities while at your preschool. Make sure that you’re allowing budget for fun activities, including crafts, new books and other supplies necessary to operate a classroom.
- Cleaning supplies – keeping your facility tidy is crucial to keeping children healthy and comfortable. A parent isn’t going to feel good about having a child attend your preschool if it constantly looks dirty, so plan to pay for a cleaning service or supplies for your team to thoroughly clean each day.
- Play dough, sensory zones and toys – children learn through using their hands and senses. Be sure that you have the right tools and toys to make this possible by purchasing items such as playdough and other supplies that encourage children to learn through exploration.
- Food costs – if you provide snacks or meals at your facility, be sure that you calculate those into your budget. While the per-day cost of providing snacks and meals may not be huge, it does add up week after week and month after month. Plan for healthy snacks that fit your budget.
- Gas for vehicles to take field trips or do wraparound care – if your preschool or center provides wraparound care, plan for the gas that it takes for your center to drive the children to and from school each day. This is a great service to provide within your local schools, but don’t forget that it does have a small cost associated with it in transportation.
- Insurance – discuss your individual liability needs with an insurance agent. You certainly need a professional liability policy to protect your facility in case something goes wrong. But you’ll also need commercial auto insurance if you drive your students anywhere and there could be a variety of other needs depending on your business’s specifics.
- License fee – depending on your area, you may have to update your license at regular intervals. Be sure you know how your license works so that you can budget for the costs associated with upkeep because you don’t want to be taken by surprise when it comes time to renew.
- Marketing/advertising – you want to be ever present in your community so that you never stop growing. Allow space in your budget to participate in local events, advertise on social media, etc.
- Continuous improvements to your facility – if you own your building, you’ll want to ensure you budget for continuous improvements, such as roofing, landscaping and repairs. If you don’t own your facility, you’ll still want to plan for continuous improvement to things like desks, chairs and other furniture and furnishings within your facility.
- Website and ongoing maintenance – you hopefully already have a website, but even once it’s up and running, it does have ongoing costs. Hosting and management should be in your budget, but so should improvements. Search engines are constantly making updates to the algorithms for how you show up in results and having an SEO expert review your site every few years is beneficial. Additionally, if you’re looking to keep your online presence slick and up-to-date, you’ll want to redesign your website every few years to keep it looking modern and fresh.
- Preschool management software – your preschool’s administration and relationship with parents can be enhanced by adding preschool management software. Preschool management software can also help with your budgeting process. iCare Software is a premier childcare management software that’s affordable for centers of all sizes.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be a dreaded activity and can actually provide you peace of mind that you’ll be covered in case the unknown takes place. Use iCare Software Finance Management to assist with collecting your tuition regularly so that your budgets balance and you don’t have outstanding income that you can’t use to pay the bills.