14th March 2024 Nursery Management Software All Posts

5 Ways Nursery Managers Can Support Parents to Access Funding

Smiling family informed by nursery manager about accessing funding, showcasing support and joy.

In 2024, the prospect of 30 hours of free childcare might sound like a relief for parents. However, understanding the ins and outs of this “free” offering can be tricky for both parents and childcare providers. Here, we’ll explore five ways nursery managers can assist parents in navigating the complexities of accessing childcare funding in 2024, ensuring clarity and support for everyone involved.

Please note that this information applies to parents and providers in England.

1. Provide clear information on free childcare funding:

Nursery managers are essential in informing parents about the various free childcare funding options available in 2024. By staying updated on government childcare assistance, managers can effectively educate parents. One useful resource to direct parents to is Childcare Choices, a comprehensive website covering all available support to families such as:

  • 15 hours of free childcare
  • 30 hours of free childcare
  • Tax-free childcare
  • Tax credits for childcare
  • Universal credit for childcare
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Care to Learn support for studying parents

2. Offer guidance on application procedures:

Navigating the application procedures for childcare funding can be overwhelming for many parents. Nursery managers can offer guidance and support throughout the application process, including advising on the application itself. For example, the online process for 30 hours of free childcare and tax-free childcare share the same application, simplifying the process for parents. By understanding the application process, managers can empower parents to access funding more efficiently helping them to gain financial relief for childcare costs.

Encouraging parents to use tools like the Department of Education’s childcare calculator can also help determine the best type of support for their situation. Additionally, organising workshops with translators available can be beneficial for families needing technical assistance or help with literacy demands. 

3. Organise information sessions and workshops:

Hosting information sessions and workshops focused on childcare funding can greatly benefit parents. These sessions provide an opportunity to discuss available options in a social and welcoming setting. Nursery managers can outline the upcoming expansions in childcare support, such as the phased expansion starting from April 2024. By September 2025, most working families with children under 5 will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare support. These sessions will also allow parents to connect and share personal experiences.

Hosting sessions and workshops not only assists parents in overcoming childcare funding challenges but also contributes to building strong partnerships between parents and your nursery. When parents feel supported, they are more likely to feel at ease engaging with the nursery during drop-offs and pick-ups. This support can foster a positive environment where parents feel valued, ultimately leading to potential referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations as satisfied parents share their positive experiences with friends and family.

Going the extra mile to support parents speaks volumes about you as a nursery manager and the level of care provided not only to children but also to their families. By offering guidance and organising informative sessions, nursery managers demonstrate a commitment to ensuring that parents feel empowered and informed, which strengthens the bond between the nursery and its community. This collaborative approach emphasises the importance of parental involvement and highlights the nursery’s dedication to providing comprehensive support beyond just childcare services. Ultimately, these efforts contribute to creating a nurturing and inclusive environment where both children and their families thrive.

4. Collaborate with local authorities and agencies:

Building partnerships with local authorities, councils, and childcare support agencies can enhance nursery managers’ ability to support parents in accessing funding. By staying informed about new funding opportunities, referral programs, and community initiatives, managers can provide comprehensive assistance to families with childcare costs. Collaboration with local agencies creates a network of support that ensures parents receive the help they need.

5. Communication with parents often and easily

Using nursery management software or parent communication tools like Connect Childcare’s ParentZone can facilitate communication with parents. Our nursery management software allows managers to provide regular updates, highlight children eligible for additional funding, easily invoice, reconcile bills, and streamline processes with features like comprehensive grants. By simplifying the funding allocation process, managers can save time and invest more in staff and children’s well-being and development.

In conclusion, nursery managers play a vital role in supporting parents to access childcare funding in England. By providing clear information, and guidance, organising workshops, collaborating with local authorities, and utilising communication tools, managers can empower parents to navigate the complexities of childcare funding effectively.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Connect Childcare can streamline your financial responsibilities, we invite you to book a demo and chat with a member of our friendly team. The demo comes with no obligation, but it’s an excellent opportunity for you to discover how technology can enhance support for the early years sector. Our team is here to answer any questions you may have and provide insights into how our solutions can benefit your nursery or childcare setting. Don’t hesitate to schedule your demo today and take the first step towards optimising your financial management processes.

What are you waiting for? Find out more!

To learn more about how our nursery management software can support your setting throughout the cost-of-living crisis, contact our team for an informal chat, or book a free demo below.
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About the Author

Content Marketing Executive at Connect Childcare