Minding your own business

As the cost-of-living crisis builds momentum businesses, as well as individual families are feeling the pinch.  It is more important than ever that business owners remain tuned in to the needs of their business and respond quickly to ensure on-going financial health. The Business, Sufficiency, Funding and Safeguarding team offer a range of support both in person and through the provision of resources and tools via our website. For example: Budget forecasting sheet, breakeven calculator, and business plan template.  Our handbooks for Providers and Schools: Coventry Childcare Provider/Schools Funding Handbook for Early Education Entitlement provides examples of operational models to support on-going financial viability  For more information please visit our web page or call one of our Early Years Advisors for more information on 024 7697 5451.

Business Health Check visits 

The termly vacancy calculator helps us to identify which providers may be at risk due to low occupancy and helps us to meet our duty in managing places across Coventry’s childcare market. Where the vacancy return identifies that a Provider is operating at significantly reduced occupancy levels, Advisors from the Business, Sufficiency, Funding and Safeguarding Team will contact providers to arrange a ‘Business Health Check’ visit. Priority for these visits will be given to those providers most at risk due to low occupancy. The aim of the business health check visit will be to look at strategies to build and strengthen existing practice and ensure longer term sustainability.

Coventry Childcare Provider Funding Handbook for Early Education Entitlement and Coventry Schools Funding Handbook for Early Education Entitlement 

Theses handbooks were developed to support providers to deliver the funding entitlements in line with Department for Education and Coventry City Council Funding Agreement requirements. The handbooks were created following contact from parents who, following the take up of funded hours for children, were scrutinising childcare bills and invoices to identify where financial savings might be made.  Some parental concerns were valid and where this was the case the local authority worked with individual providers to address issues. For example, the implementation of a registration fee for children accessing funded hours only.

Providers and Schools should use the handbook to ensure compliance against the funding requirements. The handbook will also support providers in developing sound business practices. For example; many providers did not realise that they are able to request a refundable deposit from parents whose children access a 3 or 4-year-old funded place. This deposit does not need to be refunded if the child leaves the provision before headcount to attend another setting. We hope you find the handbook useful.

Copies of this handbook can be found on