Church facilities have long been a vastly underused ministry tool, with most spaces left vacant during the week besides an occasional bible study or evening meeting. What would happen to our ministries if we used our buildings seven days a week and reduced overhead expenses by two-thirds or more?
By stewarding these unused spaces more effectively, ministries can create a sustainable income stream and an open door for introducing the Christian faith to the surrounding community.
One of the best ways to use these vacant spaces in the church is through professionally managed child care centers.
Because of the incredible potential of this business model for ministries, Building God’s Way (BGW) recently partnered with Learning Care Group, the second largest for-profit early childhood educator in North America, to provide management services to ministry clients that are incorporating child care centers into their facility expansion or remodel projects.
Through this partnership, every aspect of the child care center is managed by Learning Care Group with the exception of the faith-based curriculum, which is spearheaded by ministry staff and volunteers. Many churches also offer parenting and marriage classes to their child care center families, furthering their ministry to the surrounding community.
Here are 3 of the most frequently asked questions from ministries regarding whether a child care center is right for their facility:
#1: How do we know whether a child care center will work in our church? Start with a preliminary market feasibility study that will provide a report analyzing the demographics, state licensing requirements, local child care competition, and other factors to determine whether a child care center is feasible from a business standpoint.
#2: How does having a child care center at my facility affect my non-profit status? It doesn’t! The only way a non-profit entity can jeopardize their public benefit status is when they act in contradiction to the tax code. Since the ministry would receive their share of the profit as passive income, it is unlikely that any tax will be due. If it were determined that taxes should be paid on the income the ministry receives, you would pay these taxes for the child care center as a separate entity, while maintaining your 501(c)3 status as a church. (For state-specific regulations, be sure to consult with your tax adviser on this and any other tax-related questions.)
#3: What size does my child care center need to be? Minimally, the child care space needs to be 5,000 square feet, with 35 square feet allocated per child (sometimes higher) based on enrollment capacity.
Together with BGW, ministries from coast to coast are opening their doors to a new model of child care. With churches from San Diego to Indianapolis pursuing in-depth feasibility studies and facility designs being finalized from Colorado Springs to Charlotte, BGW is poised to walk with you from the very beginning stages of due diligence through the opening of this new or expanded venture.
Interested in more information about launching a child care center in your church — or learning more about the management services available for your existing child care center? Complete this form to have a representative contact you regarding a low-cost preliminary feasibility study.
BGW has a network of partner contractors across the U.S. and provides a complete, turn-key solution for ministries that also includes expert support in the areas of funding, financially sustainable building solutions, manufacturer-direct building supplies & furnishings and more.