Designing Your Childcare or School Space 

Utilizing every inch of your childcare center or school in the most effective way possible will provide a much better environment for the children, the parents, the teachers, and your profitability.

Efficiency is one of traits that promotes and inspires professionalism. Professional ownership, promotes professional management promotes better teachers and more attentive, happier and better educated children. A well-designed, professionally functional center will stand out next to most competitors. Separating your center or school from your competition earns you more word of mouth advertising and more clients. It’s key to know that most anyone can do something 90% right. It’s pushing for the last 10% that separates you from the pack. Designing your space correctly is one of the items commonly overlooked in the last 10%.

When you’re designing or re-designing your space, keep the following items in mind.

  1. Try to make 80% of your internal space licensed, classroom space. It’s very easy to think that wide hallways look good. They do, but too wide may mean losing licensed space and profits.
    a. For Example: If you have a center hallway structure and you make your 60-foot hallway four feet wider than required (very common) then you give up 240 square feet that could have been used for classroom space.
    b. 240 SF divided by 35 SF per child equals the loss of room for 6.86 more children.
    c. Assuming weekly tuition of $125 for 52 weeks a year, you give up $44,571 in annual revenue.
    d. Over ten years, that $445,710 in revenue.
    e. If you have an EBITDA (cash flow) of 20% of revenue, then you have given away $89,142 that could have been income to you and your family.
    f. That’s just for two feet on each side a one hallway.
  2. Avoid the big office giveaway. Unless you have a large management staff actually using the big office, then the best office is the one that contains your necessities (desk, computer, printer, space to talk with parents). Otherwise, your office can become very expensive real estate.
  3. When possible, place your center on the “morning” side of the street. This means that you want to be on the side that parents are most likely to travel on their way to work. Anything that saves a working parent time or effort is helpful.
  4. Place your center close enough to the road to seen but not so close that passing cars become a danger.
  5. Keep the mental picture in mind during the interior design phase. Nobody wants a bathroom next to the kitchen.
  6. If you can, provide drive-up coverage so rainy days don’t cause mom, dad or your teachers take a second shower in the mornings.
  7. Keep in mind that you don’t have to build a $3,000,000 center to make these things work. They can be done on a budget or modified to improve your center even if you center is smaller or less elaborate.

So, here are just a few of the ways to improve the design of your center or school and increase your profitability.

Best to you….Brad Barnett, President BFS®

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