In the United States there are approximately 11 million children under the age of 5 who require child care every week in some way, shape or form. Most of these children spend an average of 36 hours per week in daycare, which is a significant chunk of time – almost as many hours as a part time job! With approximately 768,021 daycare centers across the nation, utilities like electricity become a critical factor to the success of these facilities.
Number of Daycare Centers in U.S.: 768,021
Average Daycare Cost Per Week: $179
Average Energy Monthly Cost: $125 – $160
Average Childcare Worker Salary: $21,490
Number of Children Who Attend Daycare or Preschool: 4.8 million
Annual Revenue in U.S.: $53 Billion
Daycares – Small Business Electricity
Most daycares within the United States are considered small business. This means that the process for setting up utilities like electricity is a common one that follows the same guidelines as any other small business within the United States. In addition however, there are many rules and regulations surrounding how daycares operate. Options concerning electricity depend on the state that the daycare facility is located in, and can also include additional flexibility based on whether or not that facility is within in a state that is energy deregulated.
Energy deregulation gives consumers the option to choose who supplies their electricity. While electric utilities continue to provide the delivery of energy, retail energy providers have opened up the energy supply industry to competition. Competition in the market ensures that retail energy providers remain competitive and offer the best possible rates and plans to try and gain and maintain a large customer base. Energy deregulation practices allows consumers to switch retailers at any time, without any disruption in service.
Many energy providers offer special pricing and plans for small businesses like daycares. For daycares in energy deregulated areas, it is a good idea to explore options to determine whether or not the facility is paying too much for their energy supply services. Doing so really helps to maintain annual utility budgets.
On average, a daycare facility should expect to spend $160/month towards a space that is over 2000 square feet, and $125/month for a space that is around 2000 square feet. A single phone line (without long distance) should average around $30/month, while water sits at an average of $35/month.
Daycare Energy Facility Funding
Many energy deregulated states have programs that help consumers to determine the best way to approach their energy savings. Initiatives like, Apples to Apples for residents of Ohio, often have detailed information available for small businesses. Energy choice companies like, Electric Choice also typically offer the opportunity to participate in cost comparisons online. Most states also have general government funded opportunities for people who are looking to start businesses in particular areas.
Energy efficiency is another way in which daycare facilities can run their daily operations. Many daycares run all year round, are required to provide lunches and snacks, as well as sufficient light, heating and cooling. Upgrading windows, lights and appliances to models that are Energy Star rates is a great way to start reducing future energy costs.
Daycare Funding Initiatives
The Office of Child Care is a branch of the Office of Administration for Children and Families. Their primary mandate is to support low-income families through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) to help prepare children for school. The organization has many other additional programs and initiatives including,
- Strengthening Family Child Care (FCC) – families who come from different backgrounds, seeking non-standard hour care, or live in rural communities can lack access to quality child care. This initiative focuses on providing support to FCC providers through professional development, licensing, and more.
- Early Learning Initiative – President Obama created this initiative to help provide high quality care to children across the United States. Several projects and grants were created to help child care and early learning at local, state and federal levels including, Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge, and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships.
- Let’s Move! – This initiative, created by Michelle Obama supports healthier eating and physical activity in early childhood care. The program primarily focuses on: physical activity, less screen time, eating well, and drinking more water.
Most states also have government funded grants and programs to help subsidize the cost of daycare, while President Obama has also made tax rebates available.