Child care centers are often run by people with a passion for educating children who look to provide quality care as a way to contribute to their local community. However, starting a child care center is a challenging task as the market is competitive and profit margins are tight. It’s important to function efficiently in order to be profitable and to be able to continue operating. Here are four ways that you can optimize operations at your center.
Good employees are the foundation of any successful business, and child care businesses are no exception. Generally centers experience high turnover rates for early childhood educators and it’s important not to give in to the temptation to rush your hiring decisions. Follow proper procedure to ensure that you hire the right staff for your center. Hiring the right people can make or break your business, and poor hiring decisions will prove to be costly. Once you’ve hired good employees, make an extra effort to keep your employees happy so that you minimize the turnover rate for your business as much as possible. Here’s a great article with tips for how to keep good childcare employees.
Keeping large groups of children happy for an entire day is no small task and filling each day with fun activities while keeping your classrooms full of toys and educational supplies comes at a cost. Take a look at our Five Fun Activities For Summer Camp post for some great inexpensive activities. Be sure to also stay active in your hunt for toys on websites like Kijiji (Canadian), Craigslist and local Facebook Sell groups to find unbeatable prices on all kinds of great toys. Plan ahead, and you can often save money by purchasing through these websites at a fraction of the cost of purchasing brand new toys. The same method can be applied when you look to outfit your center with furniture, cupboards, etc. Buy smart and cut out any unnecessary spending.
When running a business, one of the biggest area of weakness is often a lack of organization. Being unorganized can cost your business money in many different ways. Misplacing documents, losing files, and missing payments will not only keep you up at night but can also increase your expenses significantly. Late payments will result in interest charges and late fees. Lost files and documents result in lost time and potentially replacement costs. Our Six Tips to Get Organized in 2017 post has some great tips on how you can get your business back on track.
Many factors contribute to the efficiency of a business and child care centers need to have systems for operation that are set in place. Create straight-forward pricing structures, pre-set schedule options, and detailed processes for how tasks are completed and paperwork is to be filed. Regular reviews should be completed, and small tweaks and changes should be made as needed to continue optimizing your operations. Try to limit how much information you track on paper as this manual process is tedious and time consuming. Programs like Microsoft Excel and Word can help speed up the process for simple tasks but to be more efficient and make sharing information easier, you may want to turn to child care management software. Sandbox Software is specifically built to help you with managing all of the important tasks at your child care center. Billing your clients is made easy with automated invoicing, payment processing and tracking functionality. Many other features will make your life easier such as online registration, various reports and the Sandbox Timeclock which simplifies the sign in/out process for children and staff.
Sandbox is an easy all in one solution for your childcare business. Get started today - it's free!