Knowing Where Your Dollars Go
A Financial Deep Dive at Community Connections for Children, Inc.
Written By: Christy S. Renjilian
As a careful spender, you likely want to know exactly where your money is going and exactly what it is doing. When you support organizations like Community Connections for Children, Inc. (CCC), you want to know that your contributions are being used for good.
Transparency is very important to us at CCC. We want you to know how we manage and spend our budget, what programs we fund, and how their dollars are making an impact.
And that goes for money received through grants and government programs as well.
We are committed to ensuring every dollar that comes into CCC is used wisely. And we take that responsibility very seriously.
Let’s dive into exactly what’s happening in the CCC Finance Department.
The Numbers At A Glance
Helping parents afford quality childcare is at the heart of our mission. And to do so, each month CCC processes around 3,000 payments to childcare providers for the Child Care Works program.
If that sounds like a lot of payments, a lot of families served, it is. But did you know our revenue for the 2021-22 fiscal year is $172 million? That’s over twice our revenue from two years ago, pre-pandemic, and goes to show the growth of our organization.
Even more telling, our current budget is almost eight times that of ten years ago—when our annual budget was $22 million.
And CCC operational costs are less than 1% of the overall budget.
While our growth has been exponential over the last few years, our team has not grown in size until last month. CCC wants every dollar possible to be spent on the children, families, and programs that we serve. And we want operational, management, and administrative costs to be as low as possible.
And the CCC team continued to operate at a high level of excellence, with perfect monitoring reviews from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), Department of Education (PDE), and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). With clean audits conducted by Boyer and Ritter.
How the Pandemic Impacted the CCC Budget
COVID-19 forced CCC to shift, just as it did for everyone else. The Finance Department, led by Victor Ha, transitioned from always on-site prior to the pandemic, to only in the office to process payments, to now a hybrid model.
Back in March 2020, we knew that despite most businesses and nonprofits shutting down, at least temporarily, we could not. What we do is essential and we have to ensure that funds continued to flow, accurately and on time to the child care programs, so that they could keep their doors open and continue to serve children and families, particularly those of essential workers.
The pandemic brought in new funding streams through the COVID-19 relief laws: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Approximately $30 million were added very quickly to the budget and new systems had to be created to manage this increase.
And while rapid change impacted the finance team, they adapted quickly and I’m proud of how they leaned in and handled it like the professionals they are.
They excelled in a changing work environment, as ever-shifting regulations dictated when people could work in the office and when they couldn’t. Our ten-person finance team took on the extra funding and the challenges that came with it and utilized it in the best way possible for our community, all while remaining committed to the highest level of excellence.
And we will continue to monitor and revise our internal processes to ensure that we are providing exceptional service and oversight of funds.
We know that our programs can only be successful with a high-skilled team running them. And each person is an invaluable asset to our team. CCC will remain committed to having a great staff culture and work-life balance.
A Breakdown of our Funding Streams
CCC supports many programs to address the various needs of the childcare industry. Let’s break down which programs each grant and funding supports.
Child Care Works helps families have access to quality childcare by walking with parents through the application process and helping them pick a quality facility. It also helps families apply for financial assistance and then makes payments to the childcare facilities in a timely fashion. These programs, along with Keystone STARS, are supported by Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) funding.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program that helps participating child care providers offer and pay for nutritious meals for children in their care.
The Parents as Teachers program is a home visiting program for York County families and is funded by the Children’s Trust Fund and Private Foundations.
United Way Funding supports individuals looking to become small business owners who operate home-based family child care programs through help with licensing and setup.
Private Foundations also supports First 10 and the recruitment and retention of child care educators. ARPA Funds provides grants to child care programs. Individual Donations support the whole array of CCC programs.
It’s easy to look at our budget—the millions of dollars we receive and payout—and think that your contribution might not make much of a difference.
But please know, it does. Each dollar has an impact. And less than one cent per dollar goes toward administrative costs.
At Community Connections for Children, Inc., your donation impacts children here in our community. And we could not do what we do without each and every one of the donors and grants that support us.
You make a difference. And your donation matters.
Why We Do What We Do
While CCC manages a large volume of funding, at the end of the day, we are all about people. And each of our programs exists to make the lives of people better.
CCC supports the economies of the seven counties we serve. We do this by ensuring that the child care programs we serve remain funded, supported, and operational.
Without adequate, affordable child care, many families would be unable to return to or remain in the workforce. And the economy would grind to a halt with a shortage of workers if child care wasn’t available.
We also know that many families only have so much money to go around. Child Care Works helps families pay for child care so that they can pay for other items such as housing, food, and transportation.
Child care programs themselves have been suffering recently from a teacher shortage. Recent research shows that the staffing crisis facing the child care industry is negatively impacting all other local industries.
All of these issues have a ripple effect if not addressed. CCC recognizes this and has programs in place to help facilities find teachers and train them and programs that help individuals open their own in-home daycares.
Access to quality childcare programs is important. And here in central Pennsylvania, our team works diligently to get closer to that reality every day.
Join us in our efforts by giving on Friday, May 6, 2022, for Give Local York.
About Community Connections for Children, Inc.
Community Connections for Children, Inc. (CCC) is a nonprofit centered in the heart of Pennsylvania. They serve childcare providers and low-income families ‒ the ones that have been impacted the most by the pandemic.
For you and your business, CCC helps keep childcare options open for your employees ‒ saving missed work hours and lowering on-the-job stress levels. They work with early childhood education programs and home-based providers to improve the quality of care, ensuring that all children enter school ready to be successful.
Christy Renjilian serves as its Executive Director. Victor Ha serves as its Finance Director.
To learn more, visit childcareconsultants.org.