Creating Your Program Budget

  • Budget Considerations

    Preparing a budget gives you an idea of whether your projected income will cover your expected expenses. You will need to think about how many children you plan to serve, as well as: 

    • tuition fees
    • staffing costs 
    • start-up costs such as application/licensing fees, equipment, materials, marketing, food, cleaning products and insurance 
    • other items or services you may need to purchase before your child care opens  

    One of your major expenses will be payroll and employee benefits, if you plan to hire staff. You should plan to budget for a competitive hourly rate for your employees in order to recruit and retain staff with education and experience in the child care field. For more information on competitive pay rates for your area, reach out to your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency (CCR&R)

    The following budget worksheet can help you think through how much cash you expect to come into your business (revenue and support) compared to how much cash you expect to spend (expenses). You may be eligible for loans or grants to get you started. Ask your local CCR&R if there are opportunities available for start-up funds.   

  • Explore Funding and Financing Opportunities

    Use the resources below to learn about funding sources and financing that may be available for child care: 

    • The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a food reimbursement program that allows qualified child care providers to be reimbursed for a portion of their child care food costs. Learn more about the CACFP.   
    • The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is a federally funded grant to states that supports child care subsidies. State subsidy programs vary by name, application process and eligibility. There are health and safety requirements that participating child care programs must meet. Ask your local CCR&R how you can apply to receive subsidy payments for eligible families. 
    • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers information on loans, grants and other financing opportunities for small businesses. 

    Most banks and some credit unions offer loans that can be used to purchase property and/or cover business start-up costs, equipment, and supplies. To apply for a loan, you must have a written business plan prepared. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers business plan templates and information.

    You can also ask your local CCR&R for assistance in developing a business plan for your child care program, as well as other possible funding and financing opportunities to open or sustain your business.


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