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A Smart Program Owner’s Guide to Navigating Inflation 


Running a child care business comes with its own unique set of challenges, and one of the most significant hurdles is dealing with inflation and the rising costs associated with providing quality care. Inflation affects every aspect of the economy, and child care businesses are no exception. In this blog, we will explore the impact of inflation on the cost of running a child care business and discuss practical strategies to navigate these evolving challenges. 

Understanding Inflation’s Impact 

Inflation refers to the general increase in prices of goods and services over time, resulting in a decrease in the purchasing power of money. This phenomenon affects various elements of a child care business, including staffing, supplies, rent, utilities, and insurance. The continuous rise in these costs poses a considerable burden on child care professionals who strive to offer high-quality care while maintaining affordability for parents. 

The Rising Costs of Staffing 

One of the most significant expenses for any child care business is staffing. Inflation impacts staff wages, benefits, and recruitment costs. As the overall cost of living increases, employees expect higher compensation to keep up with their expenses. Attracting and retaining qualified staff becomes more challenging as the gap widens between what child care professionals can afford to pay and what employees expect to earn. This puts pressure on the financial sustainability of the business. 

Escalating Supply and Operational Expenses 

Child care businesses heavily rely on supplies such as toys, educational materials, furniture, and consumables. These items are not immune to inflation either. As the cost of production, transportation, and raw materials rises, so do the prices of these essential supplies. Additionally, operational expenses like rent, utilities, insurance, and licensing fees are subject to inflationary pressures, further straining the budget of child care professionals. 

So, the big question is, “What can be done?” 

While the challenges posed by inflation may seem daunting, child care businesses can implement several strategies to navigate these evolving cost pressures and maintain sustainability. Here are some effective approaches to consider: 

  • Regular Financial Analysis: Conduct a comprehensive analysis of your business finances to identify areas where costs can be optimized. Look for potential savings in supplies, utilities, and administrative expenses. 

  • Diversify Revenue Streams: Explore additional sources of revenue, such as partnerships with community organizations, offering extended care services, or providing specialized programs. Diversifying your income can help offset rising costs. 

  • Enhance Efficiency: Implement processes and systems that streamline operations, reduce waste, and improve productivity. This can help mitigate the impact of inflation on labor and operational costs. 

  • Seek Financial Assistance and Grants: Research and apply for grants, subsidies, and financial assistance programs available to child care businesses. These resources can provide much-needed relief during challenging economic times. Through the BOSS at Action for Children, you can book an appointment with our partners at Columbus State Small Business Development Center for a personalized 45-minute session designed to cater to your specific program needs. Reach out today to schedule your unique session and receive tailored assistance!

  • Collaborate and Network: Engage with other child care professionals, industry associations, and local agencies to share insights, collaborate on cost-saving initiatives, and advocate for supportive policies that address the challenges of running a child care business. BOSS Networking and Training events 

Navigating the rising costs of running a child care business requires proactive financial planning, efficient operations, and a commitment to delivering high-quality care while keeping services accessible and affordable for families. By understanding the impact of inflation, actively managing expenses, and exploring innovative strategies, child care professionals can adapt and thrive in this evolving landscape. With careful consideration and adaptability, child care businesses can successfully weather the storm of inflation and continue providing vital services to children and their families.

Author: Heather Arra, The BOSS at Action for Children Program Coordinator  

The BOSS services are provided by Action for Children and funded by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and Action for Children’s generous donors. Explore The BOSS services. 

Action for Children is the local child care resource and referral agency for central Ohio, and is committed to assuring quality early learning experiences for all children. Our services focus on transforming the lives of children by supporting the everyday heroes who most influence our children’s early growth; care givers, educators, parents, and guardians. Learn More. 

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