Plan today for tomorrow’s success
We know that the long-term sustainability of childcare businesses is causing concern for many providers across the country following the covid-19 pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, we have offered business training free of charge, have subsidised some course costs to encourage providers to participate and created a new business page which provides skills and tools to maintain a healthy business in these turbulent times.
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. This term colleagues from the Business, Sufficiency and Funding Team will make contact with 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
The newly developed handbook was disseminated to all providers in the autumn term. A version was also created for use by schools. The handbook was developed following contact from a number of parents who following the take up of funded hours for children, are scrutinising childcare bills and invoices in an attempt to make financial savings. 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.
Using the handbook to ensure compliance against the funding requirements should 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.