You should have two lists in front of you. One list is the investment it will take to train with each program you are interested in. The other list is the return you will get for each investment you make.
How you evaluate these returns on investment will be unique to you. Only you know which aspects of the program will best fit your needs. However, there is one aspect that you cannot ignore, even if it is not your main focus in making a decision. That is the money.
Because you will complete the training before you can work in your chosen role, you will need to be sure you have access to the funds for the training and that you will be able to earn the money to repay those funds within a timely manner. To do this you need to estimate how much money you will make.
Estimating the Money
You should have started thinking about how much you can earn with each training yesterday. To estimate how long it will take you to repay your initial investment you need to be very honest about how much money you will make.
There are two basic equations you will use. Each will be based on the number of families you will work with each month.
How much you make (Income) = The Amount you Charge per Family x The number of families you serve a month
How much you earn each month (Profit) = Your Income – Your total monthly costs
Be honest about these numbers. It will do you no good to estimate working with 10 families a month if in reality you will only start by working with two per month. When figuring your costs be sure to add in parking, fuel, books, CDs or other materials you give to families, copies you make and your monthly marketing budget (even if it is just for a website).
Now divide the Initial Investment Costs from Part 1 and divide that by your Monthly Profit. This will tell you how many months it will take you to make back the money you invested in your training. Add this time to the time it took you to complete the program.
I determined it would cost me $2000 to travel to a training, purchase all the materials and pay all the fees to train with a program. It will take me 9 months to complete the training.
I also determined I could expect to charge each family $400 for my services and that I could realistically anticipate working with 2 families a month for a Income of $800.
I determined that each family would cost me a total of $50 in books, parking, fuel and photocopies, which means that each month I could expect my profit to be $700.
Earning $700 each month, it will take me 3 months to earn back the money I paid for the training program. This means that 12 months after my initial investment, I could finally begin to make money with this program. After that I can expect to earn $700 a month.
Why This Matters
Most women who choose to work as a labor paraprofessional expect their job to be a source of income. They spend family funds to complete the training thinking they could make a little extra money. You can make a little extra money, but you need to be prepared to spend the money first.
If your family has savings that allow you to spend the money now for a little extra money each month in a year or two then you should have no problems with the finances. If you do not have the savings, then you need to either find someone to sponsor you, get a small business loan or wait until you have saved the money to train.