Wage increases put even more stress on childcare provisions.
We all want to reward our staff, but statutory wage rises are putting a lot of childcare provisions under even more financial strain.
With the increase in National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage coming into effect from April, the sustainability of and quality of childcare provisions is under threat. A study by the NDNA found that 58% of providers are planning to recruit younger, less experienced staff and tightening their ratios to allow them to cope with mandatory wage rises. This approach could have adverse effects on the quality of childcare provided.
So how can you ensure that your setting will thrive in the face of adversity and continue to provide the highest care for your children?
- Cut out third parties.
Can you manage your invoicing and finances in house? Bringing financial tasks such as grant calculations, invoicing and bank reconciliation, in house, not only gives you more control but will save you time and money.
Taking on these tasks yourself needn’t be an additional burden on staff if you have the right tools in place. A comprehensive software system can allow you to manage and control these processes in house in a more cost effective and efficient manner. Having a hands on approach will also provide a better service to your parents as you can deal with parent queries immediately.
We saw immediately how much easier our jobs could become by using Connect Childcare’s software, it meant that we could move our invoicing in-house which has improved our efficiency and ensures that we are communicating accurately with parents
– Karen Alford, Milton Keynes College
- Manage Staff.
Do you know if you are overstaffed today? Overstaffing can lead to unnecessary increases in payroll so it is imperative that you are able to accurately view your recommended ratios at all times. Software systems, like Connect Childcare, can monitor your occupancy and let you know exactly how many staff members will be required each day, taking into account the different levels of qualification that your staff members may hold.
Once you are comfortable that you aren’t overstaffed, it is time to ensure that each employee’s time is optimised without over burdening your staff.
- Increase efficiency.
Your practitioners thrive when spending time educating and developing the children in your care. But are they spending hours on tasks that can be streamlined?
Providing quality childcare should be your staff’s number one priority, but there are many daily tasks that take up a practitioner’s time that can be significantly reduced. Have a look at your processes and procedures to identify where your staff are spending the most time when they are not with the children.
Our staff have saved countless hours, since we started using iConnect, by not cutting and sticking evidence into learning journals and we have estimated that we are saving up to £85 a month on printing daily sheets and colour photos.
-Amy Sethi, Little Blossoms of Barrowford
Having technology, like iConnect, in your rooms enables practitioners to save hours each week and reduces the need to spend time away from their key children. Observations can be done instantly and all of the information is stored safely, ready to access again when needed for assessments and checks.
With a comprehensive software system, managers can put their calculators and their time consuming spreadsheets away as grant calculations and invoicing are automatic and accurate.
With the Connect Childcare software we managed to cut down the time we spent working on invoices to around 10 minutes a month and with the click of a button we know that we are accessing accurate figures on the grant entitlement of the children in our care.
-Jasmine, Bright Futures Clitheroe
Integration is key to time saving in your nursery. Having products that work together means that staff members only have to input data once and everything will be automatically updated.
To find out how a fully integrated software package can help save costs in your setting, contact Connect Childcare today on 01282 507 945
For more information about the national living wage and the national minimum wage, visit the government’s website