Helen Priestman, commercial director at payment provider First Capital Cashflow discusses how nurseries can considerably reduce administration costs and increase resources.

July 28, 2017

Nurseries across the country are dedicated to providing the best possible care for young children.

However, any nursery manager will admit, that staff spend a significant amount of time and money on day-to-day administration, which is a source of huge frustration.

Increased pressures to meet the requirements of national frameworks and statutory managerial responsibilities, including training provisions, are only part of the problem.

One of the main concerns for nursery management staff is reducing time and money spent on routine administrative tasks such as, chasing payments, allocating funding and organising staff ratios. There are a number of simple strategies that nurseries can use to achieve this.

Easier payments

By far the biggest amount of administration time is spent on processing payments and chasing late payments. This takes time and money away from the most important task of a nursery, to care for and develop children.

Nurseries can significantly reduce time spent on payment processing and chasing payments by using technology.

Setting up direct debit agreements with parents is quick and easy, and whether charges are fixed or vary month by month, the correct amount will automatically be taken from parent’s bank accounts.

Direct Debit systems like ours integrate seamlessly into nurseries existing management software, saving time each month by avoiding time spent on account reconciliation or processing cheque or card payments.

Direct Debit is reliable, secure and increases trust. So, nurseries can ensure they never spend time chasing payments again.

Direct Debit also improves cash flow, meaning nursery managers have a clear picture of finances and the financial information needed to make big decisions on things like expansion, hiring extra staff and ability to accommodate more children.

Resource management

Another time-consuming task is managing resources and staffing levels.

As the government introduces more and more grant allocations for childcare, calculating funding allowances and invoice amounts is increasingly time consuming.  

Meeting requirements for staff ratios, managing incoming enquiries for places and juggling different attendance schedules for current children can also be complex and take hours of planning.

Nurseries can harness the power of technology, using nursery management software, such as Connect Childcare, to automate much of the planning and provide access to necessary information at the click of a button.

The software can allocate grant funding and produce detailed reports on enquiries, debtors and staff ratios, all in a matter of seconds.

It also allows practioners to access and create registers and child information at the click of a button.  

The most important time saving benefit of management software is it's all linked. So, if a parent books an extra session for their child, registers, ratios and invoices will update automatically.

Smart technologyhelen

Communication with parents is vital to the successful running of a nursery – in an ideal world, practitioners would have the time to have a chat to every parent each day at pick up time, but this is not always possible.

However, most parents have a smartphone and are familiar with instantly accessing information at the touch of a button. It works for banking, booking tickets and emails – so why not for nurseries.

Nurseries can utilise apps such as Parent Zone, from Connect Childcare, to allow parents to access information about their child’s progress at a time that suits them. Parents can view information on their child’s daily activities in real time, as well as posting their own observations. They can also view payment information and Direct Debit invoice schedules, ensuring they’re always up to date.

Sharing digital observations means nurseries no longer have to spend time and money printing photos and observations for learning journeys. Using an app also reduces time spend updating parents on day to day activities and ensures nurseries have the most up to date contact information for a parent, saving time chasing up out of date information.

Focus on what matters

By using technology to streamline administration through automated payments, particularly Direct Debit, resource management tools and smart phone apps, nursery managers can ensure they, and their practioners spend the maximum time possible fully focused on helping children to learn and develop.

 

For more information on how to reduce administration and improve cash flow with our simple, easy Direct Debit solution, contact:

Helen Priestman

Helen.Priestman@firstcapitalcashflow.com

0344 826 6700

www.firstcapitalcashflow.com

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