The Ladue Early Childhood Center
Board of Education Reviews Finances and Opportunities.
The Board of Education took the opportunity at one of its recent Work Sessions to review the financial status of the Ladue Early Childhood Center (LECC) in detail. Like nearly all preschool centers, construction of the LECC building was funded with district-level resources. Specifically, the new building on the Ladue Schools West Campus which opened in the fall of 2011 was funded through Proposition O, a bond levy passed by district voters in 2010.
At the November 12, 2012 meeting, the Board reviewed the revenue and expenditures over the past several years and found the center to be self-sustaining from an operational standpoint. Revenue for the center is derived from tuition paid for early childhood preschool programming, the Parent and Child Together (PACT) program, the LECC’s summer camp and the district’s after school programming (BASK/TAS.) In addition, the district currently receives approximately $308,000 annually from the Missouri Early Childhood Capital Cost Program due to Special School District’s use of portions of the facility. Operating costs for the facility include salaries, contracted services, utilities, repairs and maintenance, and averaged approximately $1.89 million a year over the last three years.
At the December 10, 2012 Business Meeting, the Board of Education approved a 1% increase in overall tuition for the 2013-14 school year. In addition, the Board approved minimal additional tuition increases for specific programs due to increases in the days these programs are being provided, as the center continues to work toward mirroring the remainder of the school district in attendance days.
Tuition costs at the LECC are currently comparable to other districts, but reaching the top end of the scale.
The Board has expressed concern regarding the inability of many district residents to afford the cost of sending their children to the district’s preschool. The administration is continuing to research opportunities for obtaining additional financial support for the center in order to increase scholarship opportunities within the Ladue Schools community.