Profit Or Non-Profit Child Care
When parents begin the all encompassing task of looking for child care, their thoughts are focused on locating safe, quality child care where the center or home is warm and inviting and the caregiver is friendly and loving. Few parents are concerned about how a center operates, where their fee go, or just who is responsible for planning the center's program. Fewer yet even know about the difference in profit and non-profit centers.
From the outside, much like a book, they all look the same. It is only upon further inspection that these differences become apparent. Non-profit centers, in many states, provinces and territories, are eligible for a majority of the funding allocated to child care services. This funding might include, capital funding, startup funding, a per child fee grant and parent subsidies.
Private, or profit centers, on the other hand, rely on parent fees to operate. While this in no way determines the care the private operator provides, it does severely limit the program in that in order to remain competitive it must rely on the cost reducing measures to maintain even the basics like art supplies, learning materials and repair bills. The time spent worrying about how to stay 'in the black' would be better served in thinking about enhancing a program or receive accreditation.
What difference does funding make? It allows directors and their staff an opportunity to attend courses and seminars. It purchases better equipment, keeps facilities upgraded. It benefits the little people for whom is intended, the children.
Non-profit centers, in order to receive funding, must be run by a board of directors, composed of at least 51% parents. Who better to determine the services and programs best for their children than parents. Further, this board is accountable for ensuring the money
it receives is being invested in the families it serves.
The Canadian Day Care Advocacy Association, in their paper
"Value For Child Care Dollars: Avoiding False Solutions to Child Care Funding" states, "Clearly, to ensure the beat use of tax
dollars, direct public investments in a comprehensive, high quality system serving all Canadians families must be under non-profit auspices." Studies prove that when given the opportunity parents would choose a non-profit center. Given the difference in how a center is operated and funded, it will continue to be a growing trend in child care.