TORONTO, Sept. 4, 2018 /CNW/ - HiMama, a global provider of software for child care and preschool programs, released their 2018 Child Care Benchmark Report today. The Benchmark Report, now in its third year, was formulated using self-reported data from privately-held, publicly-traded and not-for-profit child care and early learning organizations across the U.S. and Canada.
The Child Care Benchmark Report presents survey results from decision makers at child care organizations on their operations, performance and financials, such as average center capacity, occupancy rates, age group segmentation, price points, employee salaries and education levels, as well as reported priorities and risks for the year ahead. The Child Care Report provides leaders in early childhood education with data and insights on the sector and serves as a tool to measure performance relative to their peer group.
"We are excited to release the Benchmark Report for the third year running after very positive feedback on our previous releases. Child care organizations are doing incredibly important work on behalf of children and society, but often do not receive the support needed to do their best work. We hope that the report will be utilized by child care leaders to inform decision making for the year ahead," said HiMama CEO, Ron Spreeuwenberg.
Survey participants reported a very positive outlook for 2018, with 88% of respondents describing their outlook as positive or strongly positive, up from 64% in 2017. The demand for child care across North America is allowing centers to maintain high occupancy rates, with the average center occupancy reported at 87%, and a majority of centers maintaining a waitlist. Optimism about sector performance was also echoed in plans for growth for the coming year, with 35% of respondents focusing on adding new products of services, 21% adding new spaces, and 17% planning to add a new center.
Labor, as well as talent and recruitment, continued to be top challenges for child care organizations, with 19% of respondents reporting labor as their top issue. As a follow up to the Benchmark Report, HiMama further investigated the operational challenges of running an individual child care center to better understand how duties are prioritized within the center. The analysis, which used data collected from a separate survey of child care owners and directors, found that managing staff is where respondents are spending most of their time, with 38% reporting staff management as their most time-intensive duty.
"As seen in previous editions of the Benchmark Report, attracting and retaining top talent in child care continues to be a major challenge due to low wages, and stressful working conditions. Many owners and directors struggle to manage a high-turnover workforce with all other aspects of operating a center." stated Spreeuwenberg.
While there hasn't been significant investment into the early education sector despite frequent discussions around accessibility and affordability in the media, there have been gains in the professionalization of the sector over the past two years. Power to the Profession, a two-year national U.S. initiative spearheaded by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), was launched in 2017 to define the professional field of practice for early childhood educators, and draw awareness of the work of early educators and its importance to childrens' future success.
The Benchmark Report is free for download at the following URL: https://www.himama.com/blog/benchmark-2018
HiMama is a software company with a social purpose that enables child care, preschool, and early learning programs to realize educational and business leadership. HiMama is also an advocate for early childhood professionals, with campaigns such as the Early Childhood Educator of the Year and weekly episodes of The Preschool Podcast. HiMama operates out of Toronto, Canada.
SOURCE Hi Mama Inc.
For further information: Amanda Munday, [email protected]