Sample Operating Budget for a Daycare

Now that you have opened your daycare, enrolled some children, and all your teachers and aides have been properly trained to teach and care for them, what should you do next?

It’s time to create a monthly operating budget so that you know how much is expected of you financially for every expense item your daycare needs to successfully operate daily.

 Today, you will learn:

  • Read and understand a sample operating budget template for a daycare business.
  • Fill in an operating budget chart for your own daycare business.
  • How to calculate your monthly income to satisfy your monthly expense items.
  • To find ways to cut expenses to spend less when operating your business.

 Making a monthly operating budget is important so that you know what to expect for your business expenses before you accrue them. You can also make plans for additional income or find ways to cut expenses so that you will not go in the red at the end of the month.

Background Information on the Sample Operating Budget

Sample Operating Budget for a DaycareThese calculations will be based on roundabout average monthly costs for each expense item. Figure that your one-time expenses have already been paid for since your daycare is already in operation.

For this example, we will say that you have enrolled about 50 children in your daycare (you have a full capacity of 80 children) and operate 254 days out of the year. You will be open Mondays through Fridays and closed on weekends and for select public and national holidays such as Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr Day, and President’s Day.


Sample Operating Budget Template

Expense Item Total Center Expenses (50 children)
Marketing Costs
Business Cards $300
Flyers $200
Website $150
Social Media Ads $100
Building Maintenance
Landscaping (lawn mowing, snow removal, leaf removal, etc.) $2,000 per month ($24,000 per year)
Building repairs (as needed such as electrical repair, plumbing leaks, etc) $1,000 per month
($12,000 per year)
Labor Costs
Owner/Director $3,000 per month
($36,000 per year)
5 Full-Time Teachers ($15 per hour; 40 hours per week; 600 per week; $2,400 per month per teacher) $12,000 per month
($144,000 per year)
5 Full-Time Aides ($12 per hour; 40 hours per week; $480 per week; $1,920 per month per teacher) $9,600 per month
($115,200 per year)
5 Part-Time/On-Call Substitute Teachers/Aides (say about 10 hours per week per substitute at $11 per hour; 50 hours amongst all 5 PT employees; $550 per week; $2,200 per month for all 5 PT employees) $2,200 per month
($26,400 per year)
Administrative Expenses
Insurance $500 per month
($6,000 per year)
Business Phone $65 per month
($780 per year)
Legal/accounting $500 per month
($6,000 per year)
Professional development training (CPR, child care training, etc.) $50 per month
($200 per quarter; $800 per year)
Subscriptions (educational magazines such as National Geographic) $21 per month
($252 per year)
Consumable Supplies
Food ($4 [$2 cost for breakfast and $2 cost for lunch] x 50 children=$200 per day; $200 x 254 operating days per year=$50,800 x 85% utilization) $4,200 per month
($43,180 for the year)
Classroom: Paper, paint, crayons, pencils, other arts & crafts supplies, etc. $333 per month
($4,000 per year)
For Building: Cleaning supplies, first aid kit, office supplies such as highlighters, pens, folders, etc. $167 per month
($2,000 per year)
Total Monthly Costs $36,386
15% Contingency $5,458
Monthly Costs After Contingency $41,844

How to Make Your Operating Budget

What we have shown above for you is a sample operating budget. You may have all or some of these expenses that your daycare already pays.If we did include an expense in this sample operating budget in which your daycare pays, just add a category or subcategory to the template as you fill out your operating budget.You can copy and paste our sample operating budget into your own Word document or Google Docs file for you to fill in. You can create your own Microsoft Excel (Google Sheets) document if you prefer to keep expenses and income organized that way as well.

Check out this free budget template for daycares!

Calculating Your Daycare’s Monthly Income

Sample Operating Budget for a DaycareNow that you know your expenses will cost about $45,000 per month give or take (some extra unexpected costs could accrue or you could find ways to cut expenses), let’s calculate an average monthly income so your daycare business stays profitable.As a daycare business, you will solely be making money from the weekly child care costs that parents (or state programs) pay you for caring for the children.

Average Cost of Toddler Care

According to, the average weekly daycare rate for one toddler child is $340.

Let’s say that you will charge only $300 per week for toddlers attending your daycare. For sake of calculation, let’s say you have 35 toddlers.

Average Cost of Infant Care

Sample Operating Budget for a DaycareA 2018 article from the Center for American Progress Action Fund stated that infant care in an American child care center is about $1,230 per month or about $308 per week. With it now being 2021, the cost of inflation may have risen this amount to about $1,500 per month or $375 per week.

Since infant care costs more than toddler care because infants require more assistance with diapering and feeding than toddlers, let’s say that you will charge $360 per week for infant care (babies aged 12 months and under). For sake of calculation, let’s say that you have 15 infants.

Monthly Income Template

Let’s say that you have already collected the registration fees for enrolling the 50 children.

If you charge a $60 registration fee per child, this means you have already collected $3,000 in income at the start of your business when enrolling all 50 children before your grand opening day.

When calculating your yearly income, you can include this $3,000 on that income template. As each child renews their term at your daycare yearly, you can charge another registration fee for additional income.

This income template is based on if you continue to have the 50 children enrolled in your facility without enrolling anymore for a few months. Of course, this would be additional income if you have another family interested in enrolling their child at your daycare. Since you have a full capacity of 80 children, this means that you can enroll up to 30 more children before you have to start a waiting list.

Income Item Quantity per Income Item Monthly Income for Each Item
Toddler Child Care ($300 per week) 35 toddlers

($10,500 per week)

Infant Child Care ($360 per week) 15 infants

($5,400 per month)

Late Tuition Payment Fees ($25 per instance) About 10 per month $250
Late Pick-Up Fees ($5 per minute) About 30 minutes per month $150
Monthly Fundraiser (Goal of $2,000 per month) 1 fundraiser every month $2,000
Total Income $66,000

Static versus Irregular Income

Sample Operating Budget for a DaycareYour static income will be the child care tuition payments that you receive every month whether paid directly out of pocket from parents or state programs. You are always going to receive this income because each family has a contracted weekly amount that they must pay for their child to stay enrolled at your daycare center.

The irregular income includes late pick-up fees, late tuition payment fees, and monthly fundraiser amounts because they will all depend on the behavior of the parents.

Do the parents regularly pick up their children on time at the end of the day? If so, this means you will not have as many late pick-up fees.

Do the parents regularly pay their tuition fees on time? If so, you may not have many late tuition payment fees to charge to them.

Do parents regularly participate in fundraisers to further support your daycare? If so, then you may reach your monthly fundraiser goal.

Related Questions

1.How can I cut my monthly expenses?
You can cut your monthly expenses by:

  • Find deals at your local wholesale companies when purchasing cleaning supplies, art supplies, and more.
  • Check your inventory before reordering more supplies, so that you do not have an overflow of a specific item.
  • Signing up for a state program to fund your food expenses; partner with a local school district to have breakfast and lunch sent to your daycare.

2. How can I increase my monthly income?

You can increase your monthly income by:

  • Doing different fundraiser ideas every month.
  • Asking parents what types of fundraisers they would support to help out your daycare, so more involvement in them.
  • Ask families to sell items from your monthly fundraisers; as an incentive, take a percentage discount off their weekly tuition owed depending on how much they fundraise.

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.

To learn more on how to start your own daycare checkout my startup course and documents here.