Benchmark Survey of Childcare Center Owners – Business Aspects

As a Childcare Center owner, do you need data to see how well your business stacks up? How much do other childcare centers spend on certain expenses? Is your labor expense higher (or lower) than other childcare centers? . . . By entering your center’s data into this survey, you will get the results from other childcare centers & Montessori schools that are like yours. Our childcare center owners survey yield valuable data to help you evaluate how well your childcare business is doing compared to peers. . . . All information that you provide is completely confidential and will not be made available to other survey participants.

You will likely need to refer to last year’s income statement (P&L statement), Payroll Information by employees, and select other financial information for last year to answer the questions.

PRIVACY STATEMENT: Childcare Brokers respects your privacy. All of your survey responses are completely confidential and will not be shared with anyone outside your organization without your permission. Results are prepared on an aggregate basis and your information will not be individually identifiable. We will not sell, rent, or lease your contact information to third parties for unrelated sales calls or unsolicited emails.

Our goal is help childcare centers to successful evolve and be successful no matter the changing market conditions. Comparing your center to benchmarks will help.

Please provide in case we can we have any questions about your completed survey.


The below questions deal with Revenue, Capacity, and Enrollment. Is your revenue per child in line with other centers? Is there a correlation between the types of enrollment practices and how well a childcare center does?
Enter the revenue for last year.
Enter Capacity of your center
Enter the TOTAL enrollment of your center. (Since enrollment varies during the year, enter average enrollment during the school year for last year.)
Enter the estimated FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT enrollment of your center. (Since enrollment varies during the year, enter average enrollment during the school year for last year.)
Do not include the after-school enrollment. Only include the enrollment before 2:30pm.
Measures Customer Loyalty! Some childcare centers tend to have more turnover in children, while other childcare center tends to have kids stay several years.


Is your labor expense is line with other childcare centers?
Enter the TOTAL number of employees in your center. (Since number of employees varies during the year, enter average number of employees during the school year for last year.) . . . If there are 2 or more owners, include in the count of total employees all owners working in the business except one of the owners.
Enter the estimated FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT number of employees in your center. (Since number of employees varies during the year, enter average number of full-time equivalent employees during the school year for last year.)
The relationship between the total employees employed during a year, and the total employees at any one time is an indication of employee turnover. When there is employee turnover in the classroom, parents are more likely to transfer their kids to a new school. This will also effect labor costs because of the additional time required for training. How does your center compare to other centers?
Include W-2 payroll & Payroll taxes (The company portion). If you do employee leasing, include total amount paid to employee leasing company. Do not include owner's compensation.
(If an employee does more than one job, just indicate the position that the employee spends the majority of her time.)


Many childcare centers have one owner working in the business full-time. While in other centers, some owners work far longer than full-time, and other owners work far less than full-time. . . . Is there a correlation between how much time the owner works on or in the business, and how well the center does?
It is expected that mostly privately held childcare center owners will participate in this survey. If your center is not privately held, please check all boxes that apply, and do not answer the remaining "OWNERSHIP" questions.
If the owner's spouse, for example, works part-time doing maintenance and bookkeeping, include these hours.
If basically (or mostly) an absentee owner, enter no.
If your childcare center has an employee as the director, enter no.

REAL ESTATE Used By The Childcare Center:

Is the real estate used in by your childcare in line with other childcare centers? Are you using too much real estate for your center's revenue & enrollment? Is your rent as a percent of revenue too high? Conversely, is your revenue & enrollment too low for the amount of real estate assets you are using?
Enter the estimated sq. ft inside your childcare center.
Benchmark on revenue / real estate value
This is the total payment, and not just the interest expense.
Include only the rent. Don't include other costs that are included in the monthly rental payments (Property tax, insurance, maintenance, ...) Compare your rental overhead to model childcare centers.
To see how this is calculated, see: . If you are not sure about exactly how to calculate the SDE, we can review your Income Statement and calculate it for you.


Check all boxes that apply. Traditionally, the childcare centers are low-tech businesses, and still many centers use little, if any, technology. Is your use of technology in line with other centers?
If your required monthly loan payments are high in relationship to your total Outstanding Loan Balance, it is an indication that your center's REQUIRED overhead may be higher than ideal if there is recession (or less prosperous times). . . . This is because in a recession, it can be difficult to refinance a loan from a loan with high monthly payments, into a loan with low monthly payments. Compare your required loan payment overhead to model centers.
Please indicate the ANNUAL estimated bookkeeping cost. (not including preparing the yearly income tax return)
Making decisions based on RECENT financial data is important to managing a center. Compare how timely your financial reports are to other centers. . . . Is there a correlation between how timely the financial reports are, and how well centers do financially?
If your accountant gives advice that saves you more money than what you annually spend on the accountant, the answer is likely Yes.
Enter the total Annual Food Expense. (See how your food expense compares to other centers.)
If you are a franchisee, do not include the money you give to the franchisor for national marketing. . . . Is there a correlation between the level of marketing expense, and how well centers do financially?
Examples: Website, Getting referrals on Google/Yelp, Facebook page / Facebook fan page, Pay-for-click advertising, formal process to follow-up on leads/phone scrips, sharing photos of child enjoying day at childcare center to parent that is then shared by parent to other potential customers, being part of local elementary school/PTA, networking with pediatricians/local real estate agents, Mail/postcards to local market area, marketing to local large employers, Zeno system, ...

MARKET AREA Questions:

Some childcare centers close earlier than competitive centers, and some later than competitors. . . . Is there a correlation between when centers closes, and how well centers do financially? Do childcare centers that close earlier than competitive centers do less well? Check all boxes that apply.
Examples: Yearly, Every two years, It has been a while since we raised prices, ...
If you could change one thing in your childcare center, what change would you make? . . . What are the biggest challenges you're currently facing now in making the profits you want, or making your center more valuable? . . . What have you tried to do to overcome your challenges? . . . Why do you think you're not getting the level of profits you desire? . . .

Benchmark Survey Result Report:

The benchmark childcare center owner's survey report will help childcare center owners to assess how well the BUSINESS ASPECTS of their centers compare to other centers.

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