Self-help and others: private kindergartens in an epidemic situation

  This spring, they have only one goal, which is to survive.

  "There are already private kindergartens that cannot support it."

  With the improvement of the epidemic situation, starting from March, the third grade of early high school in some areas will be started first, followed by other grades and colleges in elementary and middle schools, but the kindergartens in most areas have been delayed.

  If the school does not start one day, the sponsor of the private kindergarten will be anxious. The garden has been closed and the revenue is zero, but private kindergartens still have to pay the rent and teachers' salaries, which is a huge test of cash flow. The less optimistic situation is that the core asset of private kindergartens, teachers, has also been lost, and many kindergarten teachers have left their jobs and changed jobs.

  Private kindergartens have launched self-help, seeking investment, seeking loans, and selling courses online, but the results have not been satisfactory; the policy has also noted the plight of this group. A number of regions have introduced policies to provide support to private kindergartens in terms of subsidies and tax reductions. On April 16, the Ministry of Education also issued a voice, urging all regions to introduce support policies. However, the implementation of the policy still takes time.

  At present, a few areas have clarified the start date of kindergarten, and some kindergartens have already started, but most kindergartens are still waiting. This spring, they have only one goal, which is to survive.

"Loss of tens of thousands of dollars every day when you open your eyes"

  "My five gardens opened their eyes every day and lost tens of thousands of dollars." Song Hanyun (a pseudonym), the organizer of a private kindergarten in Shanghai, was very anxious.

  During the extended start of the kindergarten, there is no income from tuition fees, but the running costs of the kindergarten will continue to be spent. The reporter learned from many practitioners that the basic salary, social security, rent, basic energy consumption and other expenses of teaching staff still need to be paid as usual.

  Song Hanyun currently has five gardens in Shanghai. She told reporters that the monthly rent + labor cost during the epidemic was more than 1 million. The founder of another private kindergarten brand with more than 100 gardens in China revealed that during the epidemic period, "there will also be a monthly expenditure of 10 to 20 million yuan".

  The largest proportions are rent and personnel expenses. According to Song Hanyun, according to normal operation, the staff cost in his garden is the largest expenditure, and the rent is 30% -40% of the entire operating cost. However, during the epidemic, the labor will be "discounted", so the rent becomes a proportion The highest part.

  Among the parks run by Chen Lan (a pseudonym), a private kindergarten organizer in Beijing, there are two high-end parks in addition to ordinary parks. She told reporters that the high-end park ’s staff costs will be higher. ; In addition to the monthly rent of 2 million yuan in each garden, Chen Lan said that if there is no investment, this month will not be able to sustain.

  When does the kindergarten start? At present, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Hunan, Henan, Anhui and other places have clarified the opening time of kindergartens (dispersed in April and May), and the trend in other regions is still uncertain. It can be seen from the school schedules released by many provinces that kindergartens have the latest school start time compared to elementary schools and colleges.

  "Even if it is possible to start school, there are parents who are reluctant to take risks to let their children concentrate and prefer to stay at home. The kindergarten must be prepared for school in September." Some practitioners said.

  In this case, many practitioners told reporters that there were already large classes of children who started to leave the park. Chen Lan said that many parents in Beijing feel that kindergarten will not open until September, and the big class children will directly go to primary school when they start school, and simply leave the park directly, and leaving the park means refunding the fee. "This is worse for some kindergartens."

  Facing the opening of school, private parks are also facing more investment. According to the requirements of some regions, private kindergartens need to order epidemic prevention materials, including safety prevention and control testing equipment. Song Hanyun told reporters that in accordance with the requirements of the superior management department, each school must install infrared thermometers, "the six currently announced bidding companies, the prices range from thousands to tens of thousands."

  One afternoon in mid-April, Chen Lan received 4 calls. The callers are all kindergarten peers, asking if they know investors who are interested in kindergarten. "It's been three months, and there have been serious difficulties in the operation. Guanyuan can also reduce losses, but if it is sustained, the rent and the wages of the staff will be under great pressure."

  Xu Xiaohui (pseudonym), a organizer of a private kindergarten in Tianjin, said that the reserve fund of a small enterprise is basically enough to support the circulation of three months, and many kindergartens can not be carried in September. "Most of the private kindergarten's park space is leased, and the landlord of the rent for the past six months cannot be waived, and the rent pressure will drag most of the kindergartens."

Save cash flow

  "Anxiety is useless, you have to find a way to save yourself." In this difficult spring, "self-help" has become a problem that organizers of private parks have to face.

  All walks of life need anti-risk capabilities. Bian Yue, the founder of Zhuohua Education Group, knew this well, so she made preparations a few years ago and worked with the bank to make the kindergarten's tutoring fees into a "bill installment" model.

  One-time payment of one year's tuition fee will be stressful for some families, but Bian Yue thinks: buying a house or car can be mortgaged, and credit card bills can also be paid in installments. Can tuition learn from this idea? Bian Yue, who was born in finance, found a bank to discuss cooperation. The final plan is that parents only pay the nursery fees for the first three months to the kindergarten. The bank will pay the remaining 9 months of the year to the kindergarten in advance. From the fourth month onwards, the parents only need to repay the nursery fees monthly To the bank. "This is a tripartite mutually beneficial plan." In this way, Bianyue's kindergarten's anti-risk ability has been greatly enhanced, and the current cash flow is sufficient to support the operation.

  However, it is only an example of early layout like Bianyue leaving cash for kindergarten. After the outbreak, how to save cash flow?

  One path is to find investors. Bian Yue told reporters that the capital market is now relatively active, and some education groups or investors currently have the will to accept kindergarten assets. "As for how much equity and revenue it holds, whether the brand has changed, and whether the internal organizational structure, operations, and courses have to change, these can be discussed." Compared with waiting for closure, the introduction of investment at this time, although the price is passive, has also become a private park. One of the self-rescue path of the person.

  Chen Lan turned his attention to bank loans. However, this is not an easy way. She told reporters that due to the uncertain start time, she could feel that the bank was more cautious than before and started various credit investigations, the amount of which was reduced a lot. "My loan had been approved before, and I said no later until the end."

  "The venue is rented, and the assets of the kindergarten cannot be secured." Under great pressure, she chose to use her private property as a mortgage and loaned 5 million yuan to solve the urgent need.

  Some organizers try to monetize online services. A kindergarten organizer who did not want to be named said that during this period, some live online classes will be done to digest the prepaid tuition. The content of the course is carefully prepared, from 10 o'clock in the morning to 4 o'clock in the afternoon, there are breaks, lunch, entertainment in the middle, parents can voluntarily decide whether to participate. He reported that in his garden, the participation in live broadcast classes is relatively high. "Parents also hope that their children can be actively guided and at the same time liberate their parents."

  In fact, the reporter was informed that, unlike the "suspended and non-stopped school" in the k12 stage, the education administration once stated that it is strictly forbidden to carry out online teaching activities in kindergartens. Therefore, many private parks cannot adopt the self-help plan of online course cancellation.

  There are also private kindergartens trying to recruit students online. But this will not save the cash flow. On April 10th, the Ministry of Education issued an early warning, clearly stating that schools and kindergartens in various places should not charge tuition fees (teaching fees) in advance without school or classes.

  There is also room for savings in rent costs. Bian Yue told reporters that some of the company's parks are not leased state-owned enterprise sites, but they will maintain good liaison with the landlord for a long time. As soon as the epidemic began, the head of the garden and the logistics staff properly kept in touch with the prevention and control. The actions were relatively early, and many issues were taken into consideration. "We have a garden, because the relationship with the landlord has been good in the early stage. After the outbreak, the landlord has leniently waived the rent for February, March, and April and a half months."

  The reporter noted that there are still some kindergarten practitioners who discussed and mobilized their colleagues to write a "SOS letter". In addition to describing the plight of private parks, they plan to make recommendations to the administrative department, such as suggesting that the government increase the amount of grant funds, and that private kindergartens be treated according to small and micro enterprises.

Core asset teachers face loss

  Recently, the most discussed topic in the private park circle is how to pay.

  How wages are paid is related to whether people can be retained. If you send more, the cash flow of the garden is difficult to support; if you send less, the teacher cannot support herself and will find other jobs.

  The loss of outstanding teachers in kindergartens is another risk faced by this plight in private parks. An organizer of a private kindergarten who did not wish to be named told reporters that since the epidemic was suspended, a large number of teachers in the park submitted their resignations and went to work elsewhere. "How do you start school?"

  The problem of the loss of private garden teachers is not unique. The reporter learned that due to the suspension of classes, the salaries of kindergarten teachers are all issued at a discount. Some pay only basic wages, or according to the minimum living standard set by the local government. There are also extremely difficult gardens, which can only give some living allowances to teachers, and others owe it first.

  An obvious result is that if a large number of private kindergartens cannot continue to operate due to difficulties, some teachers may also switch to other early-recovery industries or high-income industries, resulting in brain drain.

  "Keep the teacher, the preschool education has a future." Xu Xiaohui said. During the epidemic, he did his best to ensure the treatment of teachers. Even during the epidemic, he was still training his teachers, and every nurse would get a new internal certificate of conformity.

  Why should I protect my teacher? Xu Xiaohui told reporters that he did not want to lose his teacher. "Management costs are high. The teachers in our kindergarten are fully trained and have invested huge costs. If the teachers are gone, the children will have to face strange teachers after the school starts." At present, there are no teachers in his garden The phenomenon of loss.

  "But this situation may not last until September." Xu Xiaohui had no idea, after a while, he could not pay his teacher. After another six months, how many teachers do not change jobs? When the epidemic is resolved, where can I find a kindergarten teacher? Preschool teachers are novices, how to ensure the quality of teaching?

  Under the same circumstances, Song Hanyun will allow teachers to find some part-time jobs such as tutoring while they are not in school, and allow nurses to find some part-time jobs such as housekeeping and nursing. They can come back when the kindergarten opens.

Waiting for help

  In some areas, rescue is coming.

  The reporter learned that at present, Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Xiamen, Shaanxi and other places have introduced policies to support private kindergartens, and specific measures include subsidies, subsidies, rent reductions, tax deferral, etc. However, policies vary greatly from region to region, and even different districts in the same city have different implementation policies.

  Take Beijing as an example. For inclusive kindergartens, a full subsidy for students from January to June 2020 will be allocated at one time before the end of March; for private non-inclusive kindergartens that play an important role in solving the regional "access difficulty" and have difficulty in operation, The aid funds will also be used to distribute faculty and staff salaries. The organizers of the Beijing Private Park, which enjoys subsidies, said that this has indeed relieved the cash flow pressure to a certain extent.

  Take the Shanghai area as an example. On March 19th, the Shanghai Education Commission and other eight departments jointly issued the "Notice on Full Support for the Prevention and Control of Epidemic Situation to Support the Steady and Healthy Development of Private Child Care Institutions." , The rent will be reduced or exempted during the epidemic prevention and control period. The lease of collective assets for the operation of houses can be implemented by reference.

  But many gardens are not within the scope of policy support. Song Hanyun from Shanghai told reporters that as far as he knows about the situation in the Songjiang District of Shanghai, most of the houses rented by private kindergartens are not owned by state-owned enterprises, so they cannot enjoy the rent-free discount. As for the subsidy of "coordinating the payment for the purchase of degree", Song Hanyun said that this item is limited to "lots of students." Kindergartens with lots of students can get subsidies, which can reduce some of the losses. "And we don't have a lot of births, and the subsidy is zero."

  In another example, Beijing has set limits on non-inclusive parks that can enjoy subsidies: private parks with a tuition fee of more than 4,000 yuan per student per month are not included. Chen Lan told reporters that the two high-end parks under his control could not enjoy the assistance. "The operating costs of high-end kindergartens are higher. These kind of gardens meet the needs of different groups for education, and I hope that they will not be excluded from the scope of assistance."

  The reporter learned that during the epidemic, most regions have issued support policies for small and micro enterprises. The embarrassment lies in the fact that many private kindergartens belong to "private non-enterprise units", and the support treatment of ordinary enterprises is still "unable to implement" for private non-enterprise units.

  "All localities should make relief for private kindergartens an urgent task ..." On April 16, the Ministry of Education noted the plight of this group and issued a document requesting local governments to formulate support policies for private kindergartens.

  Subsequently, many regions began to introduce support rules. For example, on April 21, the Wuhan Municipal Bureau of Education and other 9 departments jointly issued “Wuhan City ’s Policy Measures for Supporting the Healthy Development of Private Education in Response to the New Coronary Pneumonia Epidemic”, which proposed to fully allocate financial subsidies in advance for inclusive private kindergartens (received (The subsidy funds during the period when the epidemic affects the unopened park are not deducted), and encourage all types of property service entities to reduce or exempt the property service fees of supporting kindergartens in residential areas.

  At the same time, the signal of kindergarten opening is gradually being released. On April 16, Fuyang, Anhui issued a notice clarifying that kindergartens and special education schools should make preparations for returning to school before May 11; on April 22, Hunan Changde delayed the start of kindergarten until May 6; April 24, Huai'an, Jiangsu requires that the kindergartens that meet the conditions for opening the school should be batch-staggered and flexible on demand from May 6; in addition, Jinhua, Liuzhou, Hezhou, Yulin and other cities have also clarified the opening time of the kindergarten, and Hainan Province said that the kindergarten will open The time is determined by the cities, counties and counties depending on the situation.

  The organizers of private kindergartens who are unable to enjoy the support are still waiting, and the rescue or school may come on a spring day.

  Beijing News reporter Feng Qi