Prior to COVID-19, the financial positions of childcare operators were often precarious, and the public health crisis has only magnified the need for more robust and effective support to the sector. To successfully provide quality early learning, providers must know how to make the best financial decisions for their business to remain sustainable.
Many early learning providers start out with little or no support on starting a new business and as a result don’t have systems in place to analyze their income and expenses so they can maximize their profits. This practice hinders their income potential and can also affect the quality of care. ECE providers also face particular challenges related to the nuances of blending and reporting on multiple funding sources, which can affect a provider’s financial management
Train the Trainer (TTT) is a robust cohort-based training program that is open to financial professionals and ECE providers in Philadelphia. The two-phase program begins with a free eight-week training for financial professionals to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nuances of the ECE sector. In the second phase, the financial professionals are paired with ECE providers for a year-long coaching engagement.
During this time, financial coaches work with providers to develop more efficient and profitable operations. Together, they work to set goals, assess financial health, develop financial reporting and reviews, establish budgeting and forecasting practices, explore automation and tax planning and more.
The goal of the program is twofold:
TTT is supported with funding from the William Penn Foundation. TTT partners with Better Futures to develop and deliver training modules on a variety of topics. Coaches will also work with providers to develop business plans under the guidance of Better Futures. Better Futures also offers a library of on-demand classes accessible on its online platform called CRAFT.
In 2021, the first cohort of 15 financial professionals graduated from the Train the Trainer (TTT) program.