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The iron triangle: A simple formula for financial policy in ECE programs


Early childhood program budgets, like all budgets, have two sides: the money coming in (income) and the money going out (expenses). Balancing these two sides is essential, and is particularly challenging in a recession economy. When seeking to balance their budgets, early childhood program directors typically focus on their rate—the price charged to parents or received as reimbursement from government. Rates are indeed important, however early care and education program income is also profoundly influenced by two other factors: enrollment and fee collection. These three factors form the "iron triangle" of ECE finance. Paying close attention to the three sides of the iron triangle is key to sound fiscal management. (author abstract)

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Fact Sheets & Briefs
United States

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