As a family child care provider, making sure your business is financially sustainable has to be a priority.
Taking the time to input your expenditures and income into a spreadsheet like this one will help to tell you when you’re on the right track or when you need to make changes to your business practices.
Keep these budget sheets as historical records; compare how you’re doing now to last month, six months ago, last year, and longer. Set a goal and work backwards: how much do you need to earn, and how can you get there?
Look ahead: what do you want to save for? More materials? Landscaping? A remodel? Retirement? Envision your five- and ten-year plans, and break that down into steps. How much would you need to put aside each month to make your dream a reality in five years?
Looking at finances can be intimidating, especially in a field that operates on such a small margin. But as the saying goes, “knowledge is power!” and the more you know about the financial health of your business, the better prepared you are for your future and for the children in your care.
Like the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act, this proposal will benefit family child care providers who participate in the CACFP.
- Provide an additional 10 cent reimbursement for each meal and snack served in the CACFP
- Eliminate the tiering of family child care homes
- Allow family child care home providers to claim their own children’s meals for reimbursement
- Shift the calculation of family child care homes’ reimbursement from “food at home” to “food away from home” to align with centers
On October 26, the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act (H.R.6067) was re-introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Congressman Marc Molinaro (R-NY). This bipartisan legislation would:
- Allow providers who are open for more than 8 hours in a day to be reimbursed for an additional meal (up to 3 meals and 1 snack).
- Align the calculation of reimbursement rates for family child care homes with that of centers by shifting to “food away from home.”
- Allow annual eligibility for for-profit child care centers to streamline program operations.
This would make a huge difference in children’s nutrition and providers’ bottom lines.
For more opportunities to advocate for yourself and your fellow providers, read about the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act here!
Laverne Head explains an essential part of any small business is the budget. In order to better get an understanding of tuition and fees, cost of operation, as well as profitability and sustainability, a budget is a must.
To get started on your own monthly budget, first choose either the Excel template to work digitally or the PDF template for a printable copy. The Excel version has been formatted to include formulas, thus all you do is input the number for each sheet, and it will calculate for you.
Next, calculate gross income. This is the money that comes into the business. You can figure this by listing the children in your program, the cost per day of tuition, and multiplying this by the number of days in the amount they attend the program. After tuition, add other income such as grants or food assistance.
Second, calculate your expenses. This is all the cost associated with running your program. We have listed a few options within the templates but add anything you have purchased in that set month. Please make sure to include your salary here.
Lastly, calculate the net income. This is the amount that your business made in a month, and we drive this by subtracting expenses from gross income. From this you can see if you are profitable or if you need to reduce expenses or raise tuition to have a sustainable business.
Searching for good secondhand supplies and toys?
Finding and reusing safe, quality toys, and equipment can be easy if you know where to look. When I started my Family Childcare business 22 years ago, I used some of the toys I had purchased over the years for my sons. The toys were not on a recall list; I checked, and they were in perfect condition. I don’t remember what drew me to my first resale shop, but once I went, I fell in love. I was able to find good quality toys and equipment that others could no longer use. The resale shop locations came from the phone book, newspapers, word-of-mouth, and later, the Internet. My search for toys and equipment started with local resale shops. As I got more comfortable with the process, I ventured out to locations miles and miles away from home. The more you visit these sites, you will begin to learn what days toys and equipment come in, is sorted, marked, displayed, and further discounted. While searching the newspapers for resale shops, I saw an ad for a neighborhood garage sale, and that ad specifically mentioned “toys.” I couldn’t believe how many good; quality toys were available for purchase. You have to plan and be at locations early to get the best selection.