Speaking with early childhood providers across the country, we hear a common theme: it’s challenging to get the right materials for the classroom quickly so they can focus on high-quality care and education. They're passionate about unleashing the individual potential of every child and believe that streamlining back-office functions enables them to focus more time and energy on their education mission, providing a better experience for children.
In order to understand how much time and money is spent stocking childcare centers, Amazon Business worked with Agile Education Marketing to survey 780 center directors and in-home providers from across the U.S. about their purchasing habits: where they shop, how often they buy, and how much they spend filling their centers with supplies.
With Amazon Business, I managed to cut my monthly expense budget by at least 40% a month with bulk ordering – 95% of all equipment and supplies I have been looking for I have been able to find for a reasonable price and with good quality.
— Tessie Ragan, owner of Perfect Start Preschool
The results indicate a considerable amount of time is spent on manual processes for purchasing. Ninety-four percent of providers said they spend 2-10 hours a week making shopping trips to get the supplies they need for their classrooms. Of those, 30% visit between three and six different retailers, spending on average $1,000 per month on everything from books and cleaning supplies, to snacks. That’s a lot of time shopping around.
These hours spent gathering teacher requests, driving, loading shopping carts, managing receipts, and transporting supplies back to schools are significant, resulting in less time focused on students and longer work hours. Fortunately, there are a number of ways schools and childcare centers can transform their purchasing processes and bring the shopping experience they know at home to work.
The use of an online B2B store, such as Amazon Business, can optimize processes to help early childhood education providers save time and money. “Getting my supplies within 1 to 2 days is a big deal when running a family childcare business,” Tessie Ragan, owner of Perfect Start Preschool, a school located 3 hours away from educational supply stores. “With Amazon Business, I managed to cut my monthly expense budget by at least 40% a month with bulk ordering – 95% of all equipment and supplies I have been looking for I have been able to find for a reasonable price and with good quality.”
By purchasing through Amazon Business, childcare providers can take advantage of convenient shipping options, such as next day deliveries, to get the supplies they need as fast as possible from hundreds of thousands of business sellers worldwide.
Educators often seek unique items to help create an engaging learning environment for students. Providers do not always have time or staff to source niche suppliers for special education toys, Montessori sensory materials, or inspiring classroom décor and organizers. Amazon Business offers a wide selection in one place – helping educators save time.
Unsurprisingly, the survey also found over a third of respondents wished they could devote more time to educational programming development, as opposed to managing purchases. While bringing these processes online might be a challenging upfront as managers shift current familiar shopping habits, it can give early childcare professionals the time and savings to focus on what really matters: the students.
To learn more about Amazon Business and how we can help with education purchasing needs, visit our website.
Becky Erickson leads Early Childhood Education for Amazon Business. In her role, she helps Early Childhood customers reinvent their procurement processes using Amazon Business, saving time and money so they can focus on their educational mission.
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