With the arrival of summer, many Early Childhood Education professionals look forward to a season in which they can take some much needed time to rest, relax, and regroup. Whether you maintain the same childcare program structure throughout the year, or reduce your summer business hours to accommodate personal time off, vacation, traveling, and so on, summer is an advantageous time to look for ways to add value to your childcare center in time for the new school year. In the following guide, we suggest five actionable ways to add value to your childcare center this summer.
Childcare Center Beautification Projects
The warm summer months can be an ideal time to take on modest beautification projects around your childcare center building. First, decide on your budget for summer projects. Then, decide what most needs your attention at your facility. Here are some things to consider:
- How would you describe the curb appeal of your childcare center?
- Does your landscaping need to be revamped?
- How does your daycare signage look?
- What about lighting around the building? Could it be improved?
- Are your security cameras and alarms in good working order?
- Do you need to invest in equipment like trash cans, parking lot signs, benches, and so on?
- What areas of the building could use some extra TLC? Do you need to have your center windows washed, carpets professionally cleaned, or floors stripped and waxed?
- Are there any classrooms, common spaces, or hallways that need to be repainted or redecorated?
- Could you use some fresh décor or basic furnishings in your center entryway?
- Does your overall center give a welcoming, child-friendly vibe?
Try to see your center through a parent’s eyes, especially a parent who is visiting your building for the first time. Make a list of several items you could tackle within your budget this summer as reasonable beautification projects.
Inevitably, you will get to a point when you need to make a more significant investment in your childcare center in the form of capital improvements. Whether you need to purchase new playground equipment, put on a new roof, repave the parking lot, or take on another major improvement project, summer can be a great time to get it done for obvious reasons. For one, the warmer weather is generally more favorable to a variety of big outdoor projects. Second, it’s easier to get potentially disruptive work done on your building during reduced summer hours. And finally, making a significant change to your childcare center can be an ideal way to attract new families for the school year as well as appropriately raise your tuition costs.
Before you take on a capital improvement project, be sure to speak to your business accountant. The Honest Buck Accounting team always advises our clients to talk with us before you commit to any capital improvements so we can walk through potential tax implications and financial ramifications with you.
Repair, Replace, and Reorganize
Getting back to the basics, the summer months are also a great time to look around your center and find out what you need to repair, replace, and reorganize. Perhaps less noticeable than your beautification projects and capital improvements, these tasks are still important to maintain a well-run, fully-equipped childcare center throughout the year. Take an inventory of your building, classroom equipment, and supplies. Make it a priority to repair anything that is broken, replace old, outdated, or worn out items, and reorganize both your administrative and childcare spaces to maintain optimal order and function. Again, make a budget for these items and stick to it. Even little improvements can go a long way.
Evaluate Your Staffing Needs
Looking beyond the needs of your childcare facility itself, it’s also important to take some time during the summer to evaluate your staffing needs. How is your daycare team functioning as a whole? Do you need to fill in any gaps with another full-time or part-time staff member? How about your staffing connections in the local community? Do you need to be more intentional about reaching out to the Early Childhood Education programs at area colleges to let them know your staffing needs? Take advantage of the summer months to reassess your team and see how you can round out your staff with more employees, additional training opportunities, and so on.
Evaluate Your Tuition Costs
Finally, summer is an important time to evaluate your tuition costs. Maybe you already have a system in place for raising your childcare prices. Or maybe you need to initiate a price increase for the upcoming school year. Either way, spend some time doing market research, talking with your business accountant, and analyzing your financials to make an informed decision about your current and future tuition costs.
We hope this summer you have plenty of opportunities to rest, relax, and reconsider how you can add value to your childcare center for the upcoming school year with the five tips we’ve discussed.