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Coping with the Fiscal Cliff: Diversifying Revenue Funds
May 25, 2023
It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.
-Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895, Abolitionist and Statesman

In response to our May 19 message about the fiscal cliff as American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds come to an end, Jason Nitschkeof Zero to Five Montana, wrote:

In Montana, we have been working to support the agenda of increased public support of families and providers. However, it is critical for providers and childcare support organizations nationwide to start talking about how providers themselves can diversify revenue by modeling how K-12 public schools generate revenue to support operations. Revenue diversification strategies (aka: selling other stuff) is the fastest way for providers to offramp from stimulus funds. Raising rates is one thing. Diversifying to make money other ways is another. Our role as support organizations must include messaging that bringing non-public, non-grant, non-foundation-based revenue into programs is critical to their own viability. While we support increased public subsidy, that message is conditioning providers to believe that public funds are the solution and are imminent. They aren't until they become more than talk. Empowering childcare providers to be fully self-sufficient through achieving scale and/or generating revenue beyond tuition is a message our organizations must start to send. I look forward to the discussion!

We would love to continue hearing from you about your strategies and perspectives regarding current funding challenges. Please share your thoughts in the comments.


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Comments (3)

Displaying All 3 Comments
Kirsten Haugen · May 26, 2023
Eugene, OR, United States

May I again recommend the CAYL Institute's free panel discussion on the topic at 4 pm ET on June 1: Leveraging Funding: Addressing the Fiscal Cliff (https://www.cayl.org/webinars/)

Kirsten Haugen · May 26, 2023
Eugene, OR, United States

Well said, Kelly J. Thank you for extending the conversation. Having helped to both build and bail boats, I can relate to your metaphor. ;-) Workforce issues are absolutely at the pinnacle of our challenges.

Kelly J · May 25, 2023
State College, Pennsylvania, United States

While I appreciate Jason Nitschke, of Zero to Five Montana's advocacy efforts and recognition of the need for non-restricted funds, I have to wonder how he imagines that we could offer additional services in light of the hiring/staffing crisis that we are currently experiencing. Without being able to hire and train sufficient staff to provide the level of quality of childcare we want to, it is unimaginable to me how we could even begin to consider offering other services. I totally agree that government funding is not coming fast enough, but until our country/states/cities/counties/townships/parishes/etc. decide to value childcare as an essential service for the workforce, we can and must advocate for and seek other non-restricted-use funds without expecting our already overwhelmed providers to do more. It's kind of hard to build a boat while you are bailing out a sinking ship.

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