There’s cola and COLA, and the two are not the same. One is a sweet beverage while the other is a Cost of Living Adjustment. Social Security, for example, often provides a COLA to its general benefits (though it has not in 2016). In high-quality preschools like Kids Konnect, we have no automatic COLAs, but have to work very hard to strike a balance between absorbing rising costs and passing them on to parents.
Location, Location, Location
It’s a real estate bromide that location matters above all else, but it truly affects the costs of preschool programs. Kids Konnect, like any other business, has to compete for talent. When the strong draw of Silicon Valley pushes prevailing wages ever higher, and talented teachers are attracted to high-paying technology jobs, good preschools have to increase their wages to compete. With low unemployment nationwide, skilled teachers are at a premium. They can expect and get higher salaries than in previous years, especially in the Silicon Valley region.
The other aspect of location is the press of local rents. As rent rises, so rise the tuition rates. Many parents are thrilled with Kids Konnect’s locations, so moving to less expensive quarters is not a realistic option.
Would that all teachers simply worked out of the goodness of their hearts in answer to the strong calling of their profession, without regard to shelter, food, healthcare, insurance and all the other niceties your own job and life provide. But realistically, preschool teachers have to eat, sleep, drive, and enjoy all the other aspects of modern life.
They need and deserve health care, options for salting away retirement funds, and wages that allow for cars, gas, homes, and a little food on the table. These benefits are possible only by spreading the costs of quality teaching salaries among the many parents whose children benefit from exceptionally good preschool.
If children were widgets, we could pack them in a warehouse and hire a solitary, sleepy security guard to watch over them. Children are precious, though, and represent the future itself. They need and deserve protection, which comes from maintaining proper ratios of teachers to children in all preschool programs. Ensuring your child’s safety and comfort—our #1 priority—requires full staffing.
How do you feel about tuition increases for your child’s preschool program? At Kids Konnect, we want to hear from parents. Please comment below.