An Analysis of Child Care Center Budgets

Back • Publication Date: July 1st, 2003

Authors: Peg Oliveira, PhD

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How does an industry that provides a service that costs more to produce than a majority of its high demand consumers can afford to pay survive? This study explores the elements that contribute to the cost of doing business in the early care and education (ECE) industry in Connecticut. The primary focus of this analysis is to cover the expense and revenue sides of a child care center program budget. The secondary focus is to investigate the act of program budgeting, such as methods used for fee setting and wage enhancement. The data collected suggests that the ECE industry does not function, in many ways, like a typical small business market does. Regulated by mandated staff to child ratios, the education level of their employees, and a highly mobile consumer base, child care center administrators find it difficult to run a business governed by the typical laws of supply and demand.