Is your early childhood centre or home-based service doing more than okay financially or is it struggling?
A new Ministry of Education data report suggests that most services are still earning more money than they spend.
It is interesting that while fees have not increased that much services are still making a surplus. This seems to be at odds with what service owners and managers say in general,
According to the latest results of a Ministry of Education survey of service income and expenditure the costs of caring for children in early childhood services have been rising faster than the level of income received, but most service are still making a surplus.
The survey is likely to be used by the Government to justify not increasing the funding that goes to services.
1. A surplus is not the same as profit going into an individual’s or group’s pocket. To purchase major pieces of new equipment and carry out big projects such as painting a centre building, it can be necessary to save up overtime by putting money into reserve. The ChildForum early childhood network has published a very good article concerning this – click here to view the article online.
2. The data released this month by the Ministry was obtained from services way back in 2013. We know that since then costs have continued to rise with no comparable increase in government funding. The growth in revenue has probably slowed even further because most services are mindful of the danger of losing children if parent fees are increased to match rising costs.
PS: The report is titled "2013 Survey of Income, Expenditure and Fees of Early Childhood Education Providers" and available on the Ministry's education counts website. Services are not required to provide their financial data for the survey. Those who did were 24% of all childcare centres, 82% of all kindergartens, 37% of all home-based ECE agencies, 51% of all Playcentres, and 97% of all Kohanga Reo. We can't find mention of the percentages of private and community-based services that responded. But the report does state: "Services owned by private organisations completed at a much lower rate than services owned by community-based organisations ... this biases the results [toward community-based ECE], with results indicating the private services had lower costs and higher incomes and fees than community-based services".