6th June 2024 Nursery Management Software

Getting Ready for the New Academic Year: Financial Planning and Funding

As September approaches, nursery managers and childcare providers are busily preparing for this season of change and transition. It’s a time to say goodbye to children heading off to school, welcome new starters, and plan for the term ahead. Whether you run a term-time nursery with a busy schedule until the academic year’s end or a full-time nursery managing summer staff absences due to holidays, there is much to do.

This is the first article in our “Getting Ready for the New Academic Year” blog series. In this post, we will focus on financial planning and funding, outlining essential tasks to prepare for the upcoming term. We’ll also explore how nursery management software can simplify and streamline these tasks, helping you stay organised and ready for the new academic year.

Funding reference codes

Navigating the childcare funding applications can be daunting for many parents. As nursery managers, offering guidance and support throughout this process is invaluable. One key aspect is managing funding reference codes effectively. During this period, capturing and organising funding reference codes becomes paramount. These codes, provided by parents, need to be promptly uploaded to your nursery management software portal. This ensures accurate and timely allocation of funding for each eligible child, preventing any delays or disruptions in financial support.

Effective communication with parents is crucial here. Inform them about the necessity of funding reference codes and guide them on where to find them—such as on the Childcare Choices website. Ensuring parents understand this process helps smoothen the transition and secures the necessary funding without issues.

Understanding the application procedures for childcare funding is essential for nursery managers. Guiding the application process itself can significantly ease the burden on parents. By empowering parents with knowledge about the application process, nursery managers can help them access funding more efficiently, providing much-needed financial relief for childcare costs.

Encouraging parents to utilise tools like the Department of Education’s childcare calculator can also aid in determining 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.

For further insights on supporting parents in accessing funding, check out our blog on “5 Ways Nursery Managers Can Support Parents to Access Funding.”

Grant parameters

Setting up grant parameters for the upcoming term is an important task for nursery managers. It involves ensuring that all children are correctly allocated to the appropriate grant parameters within your system. This process requires updating your records to reflect the latest funding eligibility and entitlements, guaranteeing that each child receives the necessary funding.

Accuracy in setting up grant parameters is paramount to avoid complications later on, especially when it comes to invoicing parents. By ensuring that your grant parameters are configured correctly from the start, you can streamline your billing process and reduce the risk of errors.

With the Connect Childcare system in place, grant funding is automatically allocated to eligible children. This not only ensures accuracy but also saves you valuable time, allowing you to focus on providing quality care and education to the children in your nursery.

Term dates

Accurate term dates are essential for effective financial planning. Ensure that the term dates within your nursery management software system are up to date. This will help you align your financial schedules and planning activities with the actual academic calendar, facilitating smoother operations and financial tracking.

Outstanding balances

Managing outstanding balances is vital, especially for children leaving your nursery. If you use the Connect Childcare system it should accurately reflect the status of bill payers, keeping them active until all balances are cleared. This prevents any financial discrepancies and ensures that your nursery receives all due payments.

Price increases

Regularly reviewing and adjusting your nursery’s pricing is essential to keep up to date with funding changes and operational costs. It’s crucial to analyse your financial plans and make necessary adjustments to ensure that consumables and additional services are priced appropriately.

While increasing nursery fees might be uncomfortable, it’s often necessary for maintaining financial sustainability. This allows you to continue supporting your staff and providing high-quality care for children and their families. It’s important to recognise that the cost of childcare is a significant concern for many families. However, similar to price increases in other aspects of daily life such as food, fuel, and utilities, adjustments may be necessary to sustain the quality of service provided.

While striving to offer affordable childcare, it’s equally important to position your nursery for long-term viability. Communicating price increases effectively to parents is crucial in maintaining transparency and trust. Check out our blog on “Effectively Communicating Price Increases to Parents” for valuable insights on navigating this conversation.

Strategic adjustments

By understanding adjustments to funding hours and eligibility criteria, you can proactively address the impact on your nursery. Embrace strategic approaches such as:

Staffing adjustments: optimise staff schedules to meet the new demands and funding structures.

Effective communication: keep parents and staff informed about any changes in funding and how it affects them.

Collaborations: work with other nurseries or local authorities to share resources and best practices.

Financial planning: regularly review your financial strategies to ensure they align with your goals and the new funding landscape. 

Utilising nursery management software to forecast future occupancy can be highly beneficial. By analysing historical data, you can predict upcoming attendance and allocate rooms accordingly. This enables precise staffing plans and ensures compliance with staff-to-child ratios, contributing to a more safe and profitable future for the nursery.

Embracing technology

Nursery management software can be a valuable tool in simplifying and streamlining these financial tasks. From capturing funding codes to setting grant parameters and updating term dates, technology can help you stay organised and efficient. By using these tools, you can focus more on delivering high-quality care and education, rather than getting bogged down by administrative tasks.

By proactively managing your financial planning and funding adjustments, you can ensure a smooth transition into the new academic year. Stay tuned for our next article in the “Getting Ready for the New Academic Year” series, where we’ll dive deeper into strategies for communition and marketing for your early years setting.

Read 6 reasons why you should switch to Connect Childcare

Switch to Connect Childcare, offering secure, customisable solutions backed by over 20 years of experience and 98% customer satisfaction.
Share this article
About the Author

Content Marketing Executive at Connect Childcare