When to Call in the Cavalry: Deciding When to Hire a Cleaning Crew for Your Early Education Program

Glitter, slime, & oh, the diapers! Conquer the Early Ed mess with cleaning hacks for a healthy, happy classroom.

When to Call in the Cavalry: Deciding When to Hire a Cleaning Crew for Your Early Education Program

Running an early education program is a whirlwind of joy, mess, and constant cleaning. Between the endless spills, art projects gone wild, and inevitable diaper duty, your cleaning routine might feel like trying to hold back the tide with a teaspoon. So, when does the daily clean transform into a desperate plea for professional help? Here are some telltale signs it's time to consider hiring a cleaning crew for your early education program:

Overwhelmed Staff and Volunteers:

  • Are your educators spending more time scrubbing toilets than singing songs? Is cleaning fatigue sapping their energy and impacting their interactions with children? If your staff is drowning in grime, a fresh wave of professional cleaning help can keep them afloat.
  • Are volunteers groaning at the mention of "cleaning day"? Consider whether their time could be better spent on enriching activities for the children by outsourcing the cleaning duties.

Hygiene Concerns and Frequent Illness:

  • Is your program experiencing a concerning spike in colds, flu, or other illnesses? While not always directly related to hygiene, a professional deep clean can significantly reduce the presence of germs and allergens, contributing to a healthier environment.
  • Are parents expressing concerns about cleanliness or sanitation standards? Addressing their worries promptly shows you take their concerns seriously, and bringing in a cleaning crew can be a proactive step in regaining their trust.

Time Management and Efficiency:

  • Is cleaning eating into valuable curriculum time, leaving less room for learning and play? Hiring a cleaning crew can free up staff and volunteers to focus on what they do best – nurturing and educating young minds.
  • Do you lack the equipment or manpower to tackle deep cleaning tasks like carpet shampooing or window washing? Professional crews have the tools and expertise to handle these tougher jobs efficiently.

Budget Considerations and Cost-Benefit Analysis:

  • While hiring a cleaning crew adds to your program's expenses, consider the potential return on investment. Reduced staff burnout, improved hygiene, and happier parents can all contribute to a program's long-term success.
  • Carefully compare the cost of hiring a cleaning crew against the cost of additional cleaning supplies, equipment upgrades, and staff overtime. Sometimes, outsourcing can be a more cost-effective solution.

Keeping it In-House:


  • Lower Cost: This can be a more budget-friendly option, especially for smaller programs.
  • Complete Control: You have full control over cleaning schedules and procedures.
  • Familiarity: Staff or volunteers already familiar with the program can ensure continuity in cleaning methods.


  • Time Commitment: Cleaning can take away valuable time from educators and volunteers, impacting program quality and staff morale.
  • Hygiene Concerns: Lack of professional expertise or equipment might lead to inadequate cleaning and potential hygiene issues.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Expecting staff to maintain professional cleaning standards alongside their regular duties consistently can lead to burnout and resentment.

Hiring a cleaning Company:


  • Freed-up Staff: Educators can focus on teaching and nurturing children, leading to better engagement and learning outcomes.
  • Reduced Illness: Professional cleaning practices and deep daily sanitation can significantly reduce the spread of germs and allergens, potentially lowering illnesses amongst children and staff.
  • Increased Efficiency: Cleaning crews have the expertise and equipment for quicker and more thorough cleaning, saving you valuable time and resources.
  • Improved Appearance: A professionally cleaned program looks polished and welcoming, potentially attracting new families and boosting your reputation.
  • Peace of Mind: You can rest assured that cleaning protocols are being followed consistently and thoroughly.


  • Cost: Hiring a crew adds to your operational expenses.
  • Loss of Control: You relinquish some control over cleaning quality and scheduling.
  • Finding the Right Crew: It might take some time and effort to find a reliable and reputable cleaning company that understands the specific needs of early education settings.

Average California Cleaning Costs:

  • Basic Janitorial Services: $0.25-$0.50 per square foot, per cleaning (typically weekly).
  • Deep Cleaning/Disinfection: $0.50-$1.00 per square foot, per cleaning (recommended quarterly).
  • Window Washing: $5-$10 per window, depending on size and accessibility.
  • Carpet Cleaning: $0.25-$0.50 per square foot.

Ultimately, the decision to hire a cleaning crew depends on your program's specific needs and budget. By weighing the factors above, you can make an informed choice that prioritizes the well-being of your children, staff, and program as a whole. Remember, a clean and healthy environment is an essential foundation for learning and growth, and sometimes, bringing in expert help can be the key to creating a thriving early education haven.

Additional Resources:

By thoughtfully considering your program's needs and taking action when necessary, you can ensure that your early education environment sparkles with cleanliness, fostering joy, health, and a love of learning for all.

Disclaimer: This blog post provides general information and should not be substituted for professional legal or financial advice. Always consult with qualified professionals to ensure you comply with all applicable California childcare regulations and financial requirements.

Subscribe to CQEL

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.