Business advice for voluntary management committees in Early Years settings

Contents

Introduction

There may be a number of reasons why you would consider becoming a committee member within a committee-run early years provision, for example, you have experience within education, business, or finance, you are a parent of a child who has attended the provision, or you live within the local area and are interested in supporting your community.

This document is designed to support committee members to understand their roles, responsibilities, and liabilities within a committee-run early years provision. It will include information around:

  • Roles, responsibilities, and liabilities.
  • Governance models, for example a registered charity, charitable incorporated organisation, or community interest company.
  • Ofsted requirements.
  • Recruitment of new committee members.

The guidance and information in this document are correct at the time of publication and will continue to be updated. However, it is your responsibility to keep information up to date and meet any legal requirements which may affect your setting. You can find the most up to date guidance from The Charity Commission (GOV.UK) and Daycare roles that must register with Ofsted (GOV.UK).

Any changes to your committee should be reported to both Ofsted and the Charity Commission within 14 days.
If you would like further advice about working as a committee, please contact the Early Years Commissioning Team eycommissioningteam@surreycc.gov.uk

What is the role of the committee?

When setting up a committee-run early years provision, the main role of the committee is to act as the governing body or 'registered person' with Ofsted. This means that it is the committee who holds the overall responsibility and liability for the provision, and not the manager or any staff member.

  • You will need to appoint a nominated individual who will be able to complete the registration with Ofsted and notify them of any changes to people who make up the registered body, or to the premises or the provision. Only the nominated individual will be able to make changes. This is often tasked to the chairperson but can be any member of the committee.

The committee should also consider the following to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the early years provision in line with its registration and constitution. This should include:

  • Meeting the legal requirements to operate as a childcare setting and registered charity
  • Sound financial systems are established and maintained, and the setting is sustainable to run
  • Confidentiality is upheld at all times.

Further guidance on these responsibilities is given within this document.

Constitution or governing document

  • This should include a clear description of the purpose of the charity and makeup of the committee, for example numbers of committee members and officers required and whether this can or should include staff members and parents.
  • Remember to bear in mind that there will be some issues that staff and parents cannot vote on due to conflict of interest, for example matters around staff pay or childcare fees and whether this allows for robust decision making.
  • The makeup of your committee quorum should be outlined within your constitution. Committee meetings will need to be quorate in order to allow for decisions to be made. An example of this is 'A quorum for Committee meetings is not less than half the Committee, including any two of the Officers'. If the quorum cannot be met the meeting will need to be cancelled or rearranged.
  • You are able to change your charity constitution at any time if you feel it is not working and it should be regularly reviewed and updated.

You can find a list of further required legal documents in Appendix 1.

Registration requirements

To ensure your committee-run early years provision is correctly registered you should complete the following:

  • Ensure the correct details for all committee members are held by the Charity Commission. You can check the details of your organisation at The Charity Commission (GOV.UK)
  • Register your provision with Ofsted Daycare roles that must register with Ofsted (GOV.UK)
  • All committee members must complete an EY2 form to establish their suitability to become a committee member. You do not need a DBS to complete the EY2 form, however a DBS check will be required in addition before you will be issued with a letter of suitability – therefore it is advisable to apply for both at the same time so as not to cause additional delay.
  • All committee members must have an up to date DBS check. The DBS should be completed via Ofsted, other routes may not be accepted and will further delay your application to become a committee member – please check the information in relation to DBS checks.
  • Please note Ofsted will not confirm your suitability if your details are not recorded with the Charity Commission.
  • Please note that you are not a confirmed committee member until all checks have been completed and you have been issued with a letter of suitability – this means that the person who previously held the role within the committee still remains responsible and liable for the early years provision until you have been confirmed, even if they have resigned.
  • You must update the Charity Commission and Ofsted within 14 days of there being any change to the committee members, their name, or contact details. An additional 14 days will then be given to complete the EY2 form for new members.
  • An EY3 form should be completed to remove any former committee members, or make changes to the name or contact details of any committee members listed with Ofsted Early years and childcare services:

Please see Appendix 2 to ensure you complete all the required actions to maintain your registration.

Governance

Your committee's governance model is the legal structure within which your organisation operates.

There are a number of legal structures for your early years provision to choose from, it is very important that you take the time to consider which one is suitable for you and the liabilities associated with each.

The three governance models which are most commonly used for committee-run early years provision are:

Registered Charity

Many voluntary sector businesses become registered charities as this enables them to apply for funds and grants from charitable trusts and foundations. Run and managed by a voluntary management committee, the organisation is accountable to the Charity Commission and has to comply with charity legislation.

A registered charity is an unincorporated organisation – this means that committee members are personally liable for any shortfall in finances, redundancy pay, and debts and can be pursued for payment. A registered charity can change governance model to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) which limits personal liability, please see Appendix 3 for further information.

Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

A CIO is an incorporated structure designed for charities. You create a CIO by registering with the Charity Commission. You don't need to register with Companies House. Trustees have limited or no liability for CIO debts or liabilities.

Community Interest Company (CIC)

The CIC is a not a charity but a limited company which exists for the benefit of the community rather than private shareholders and has special additional features. The CIC Regulator has to approve the registration of a company as a CIC and ensures that it is established for community purposes and that its assets and profits are dedicated to these purposes. CICs should be registered with Companies House and not the Charity Commission.

A CIC has limited or no liability for company debts or liabilities.

Key points

  • As a Registered Charity, committee members are personally liable for any shortfall in finances, redundancy pay, and debts and can be pursued for payment.
  • As a CIO Trustees have limited or no liability for CIO debts or liabilities.
  • A CIC is not a charity but a limited company for community benefit. It has limited or no liability for company debts or liabilities.

Roles and responsibilities within the committee

Points for consideration when putting together an early year's committee:

  • Committee members should have an interest in the early years provision and have skills or knowledge which would be beneficial – this might include early years' experience, financial knowledge, business management, community work, or being a parent or grandparent.
  • Committee members should understand the role of the committee and the specific responsibilities of the designated roles.
  • Committee members should be supportive of each other's roles and work towards shared goals.
  • The committee should be in regular contact with the early years provision and support the manager in their role, this will include visits to the provision
  • The committee should be involved in all aspects of decision making around the running of the provision and should take an active role.
  • The committee should be familiar with the aims and objectives, policies and procedures and legal frameworks the early years provision works within.

Roles of the Officers within the committee:

Chairperson

With the manager of the setting, the Committee Chair develops aims and objectives for the year. They plan agendas for committee meetings to accomplish the committee's aims and objectives and ensure that actions are carried out between meetings

  • Could be the 'Nominated Individual' for the group with Ofsted
  • Oversee the recruitment, induction, training and appraisal systems for all new staff and volunteers
  • Line manages the manager and any paid office staff e.g., administrator, financial support
  • Carry out regular supervision with the manager and any paid office staff to allow them to ask questions, raise concerns and discuss training needs and continued professional development
  • Conduct the annual appraisals of the manager and any paid office staff
  • Chair committee meetings, conduct voting if required, and hold the casting vote
  • Delegate tasks to other committee members
  • Act as spokesperson for the setting where necessary
  • Conduct an Annual General Meeting (AGM) as stated in the setting's constitution, and give the Chairperson's Annual Report
  • Act as the first point of contact for management issues
  • Work with the Treasurer and committee to ensure that financial sustainability is maintained
  • Evaluates the committee's efforts and communicates accomplishments yearly to the committee, staff, parents of children attending the setting and other interested parties as required.
  • In conjunction with the Treasurer presents yearly accounts to the committee and has overall responsibility for these funds and the use of these funds to ensure that financial management of the setting is robust and sustainable.
  • The Chair and Manager/Lead are responsible for keeping committee members fully informed, with timely reports of all committee meetings and committee work.

Secretary

  • Organise correspondence on behalf of the committee
  • Prepare and circulate meeting agendas in advance
  • Arrange venues or virtual invites for meetings
  • Take minutes and keep written records of committee meetings and AGMs.
  • Ensure minutes are circulated to committee members and staff, and that a copy is kept on file (ensuring any confidentiality issues are recorded and circulated appropriately)
  • Ensure adequate notice is given to all parents/members of the Annual General Meeting (AGM)
  • Assist the Chairperson to maintain staff and committee/volunteer records, including Ofsted EY2/EY3 forms and DBS checks and ensure the nominated individual advises all appropriate bodies of any changes e.g., Ofsted, Charities Commission.
  • Maintain an up to date list of committee members and contact details.
  • Keep diary dates for renewals such as insurance, Ofsted registration, Safeguarding Training, gas certificates and fire regulation checks.
  • Update staff contracts, terms and conditions and job descriptions, following review by the Committee
  • Organise advertising and marketing activities, including updating the setting's prospectus, website, leaflets, posters, and social media.
  • Ensure quorum is met for meetings

Treasurer

  • Follow the Roles and responsibilities within the committee Points for consideration when putting together an early year's committee:
  • Committee members should have an interest in the early years provision and have skills or knowledge which would be beneficial – this might include early years' experience, financial knowledge, business management, community work, or being a parent or grandparent.
  • Committee members should understand the role of the committee and the specific responsibilities of the designated roles.
  • Committee members should be supportive of each other's roles and work towards shared goals.
  • The committee should be in regular contact with the early years provision and support the manager in their role, this will include visits to the provision
  • The committee should be involved in all aspects of decision making around the running of the provision and should take an active role.
  • The committee should be familiar with the aims and objectives, policies and procedures and legal frameworks the early years provision works within. Roles of the Officers within the committee: Chairperson
  • With the manager of the setting, the Committee Chair develops aims and objectives for the year. They plan agendas for committee meetings to accomplish the committee's aims and objectives and ensure that actions are carried out between meetings
  • Could be the 'Nominated Individual' for the group with Ofsted
  • Oversee the recruitment, induction, training and appraisal systems for all new staff and volunteers
  • Line manages the manager and any paid office staff for example administrator, financial support
  • Carry out regular supervision with the manager and any paid office staff to allow them to ask questions, raise concerns and discuss training needs and continued professional development
  • Conduct the annual appraisals of the manager and any paid office staff
  • Chair committee meetings, conduct voting if required, and hold the casting vote
  • Delegate tasks to other committee members
  • Act as spokesperson for the setting where necessary
  • Conduct an Annual General Meeting (AGM) as stated in the setting's constitution, and give the Chairperson's Annual Report * Act as the first point of contact for management issues
  • Work with the Treasurer and committee to ensure that financial sustainability is maintained
  • Evaluates the committee's efforts and communicates accomplishments yearly to the committee, staff, parents of children attending the setting and other interested parties as required.
  • In conjunction with the Treasurer presents yearly accounts to the committee and has overall responsibility for these funds and the use of these funds to ensure that financial management of the setting is robust and sustainable.
  • The Chair and Manager/Lead are responsible for keeping committee members fully informed, with timely reports of all committee meetings and committee work. Secretary
  • Organise correspondence on behalf of the committee
  • Prepare and circulate meeting agendas in advance
  • Arrange venues or virtual invites for meetings
  • Take minutes and keep written records of committee meetings and AGMs.
  • Ensure minutes are circulated to committee members and staff, and that a copy is kept on file (ensuring any confidentiality issues are recorded and circulated appropriately)
  • Ensure adequate notice is given to all parents/members of the Annual General Meeting (AGM)
  • Assist the Chairperson to maintain staff and committee/volunteer records, including Ofsted EY2/EY3 forms and DBS checks and ensure the nominated individual advises all appropriate bodies of any changes for example Ofsted, Charities Commission.
  • Maintain an up to date list of committee members and contact details.
  • Keep diary dates for renewals such as insurance, Ofsted registration, Safeguarding Training, gas certificates and fire regulation checks.
  • Update staff contracts, terms and conditions and job descriptions, following review by the Committee
  • Organise advertising and marketing activities, including updating the setting's prospectus, website, leaflets, posters, and social media.
  • Ensure quorum is met for meetings Treasurer
  • Follow the Charity Commission guidance on how to safely account for money within a charity organisation Managing charity finances - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • Work with the committee to ensure the financial stability of the setting is maintained. The Early Years Commissioning Team can support you with predicting income and expenditure, calculating the breakeven point and offering funded entitlements, please contact eycommissioningteam@surreycc.gov.uk
  • Ensure safe accounting systems are in place at all times
  • Ensure accurate records are kept of all financial transactions
  • Support the Committee in making financial decisions by providing cash flow forecasts and information for AGM/budgeting meetings
  • Ensure that the committee remains aware of its financial liabilities and that the early years provision's budget allows for contingency/reserve funds to deal with unexpected repairs (recommended 3 to 4 months running costs) and staff redundancy commitments. For further information on reserves please see Charity reserves: building resilience - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) * Review all costs annually with the Committee, to include fees and staff salaries, considering minimum wage rises, employment legislation and staff qualifications, and redundancy commitments
  • Ensure all bills, invoices and wages are paid on time
  • Arrange collection of fees and issue invoices and receipts
  • Make sure all funded early education claims are completed and submitted on time via the Early Years Portal. For support with this please contact fundedearlyeducation@surreycc.gov.uk
  • Provide a written financial report at each Committee meeting and Annual General meeting (AGM)
  • Ensure end of year accounts are independently examined (in line with Charity Commission requirements)
  • Submit an annual return to the Charity Commission Prepare a charity annual return - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • Ensure bank mandates are updated for new signatories
  • Ensure committee members are aware that they can be reimbursed for expenses incurred while carrying out their roles as committee members/officers

Staff member

  • Support with the induction of new committee members
  • Work with the Chair to develop a plan of work which will allow the committee to meet its responsibilities and objectives for the year.
  • Report to the committee the impact of goals and objectives set for the year.
  • Staff members are a valuable resource to the committee in acting as a link between the committee objectives and the day to day operation of the provision.
  • Answer questions offer suggestions and raise questions. It is a good idea to consider electing vice roles which will help with future succession planning.
  • Work with the committee to ensure the financial stability of the setting is maintained. The Early Years Commissioning Team can support you with predicting income and expenditure, calculating the breakeven point and offering funded entitlements, please contact eycommissioningteam@surreycc.gov.uk
  • Ensure safe accounting systems are in place at all times
  • Ensure accurate records are kept of all financial transactions
  • Support the Committee in making financial decisions by providing cash flow forecasts and information for AGM/budgeting meetings
  • Ensure that the committee remains aware of its financial liabilities and that the early years provision's budget allows for contingency/reserve funds to deal with unexpected repairs (recommended 3 to 4 months running costs) and staff redundancy commitments. For further information on reserves please see Charity reserves: building resilience (GOV.UK)
  • Review all costs annually with the Committee, to include fees and staff salaries, considering minimum wage rises, employment legislation and staff qualifications, and redundancy commitments
  • Ensure all bills, invoices and wages are paid on time
  • Arrange collection of fees and issue invoices and receipts
  • Make sure all funded early education claims are completed and submitted on time via the Early Years Portal. For support with this please contact fundedearlyeducation@surreycc.gov.uk
  • Provide a written financial report at each Committee meeting and Annual General meeting (AGM)
  • Ensure end of year accounts are independently examined (in line with Charity Commission requirements)
  • Submit an annual return to the Charity Commission
  • Ensure bank mandates are updated for new signatories
  • Ensure committee members are aware that they can be reimbursed for expenses incurred while carrying out their roles as committee members/officers

Staff member

  • Support with the induction of new committee members
  • Work with the Chair to develop a plan of work which will allow the committee to meet its responsibilities and objectives for the year.
  • Report to the committee the impact of goals and objectives set for the year.
  • Staff members are a valuable resource to the committee in acting as a link between the committee objectives and the day to day operation of the provision.
  • Answer questions offer suggestions and raise questions.

It is a good idea to consider electing vice roles which will help with future succession planning.

Recruiting committee members

Finding new committee members can take time, especially for new committees. You might consider the following when looking for new members:

  • Are there any staff members, parents, grandparents, or carers already known to the early years provision who would be interested to join the committee?
  • Could there be any interested parties within the community e.g., a local business representative, a church group member, or the local school?

Remember to regularly consult with families and keep them up to date on the committees plans. As new children join the setting there will be the potential for new family members to show an interest in the committee and new community links.
Be positive about your committee, but also realistic when discussing the time implications, responsibilities, and liabilities, as well as any objectives or concerns for the coming year. Committee members should be fully aware of any implications of the role before they agree to join, this will include discussing your governance model and any liabilities which come with this.
Potential committee members can sometimes be worried about the time involved and whether they would have useful skills and experience to contribute. You might consider using a skills audit to help candidates identify relevant skills and experience they already hold – please see Appendix 4.

Some of the benefits of being a committee member you may wish to share with potential candidates include:

  • Personal and professional development
  • Bringing new skills or valuable skills to the committee
  • Input into children's education; the first five important years
  • Development in the role i.e., training will be given

Co-opting committee members

Depending on the content of your governing document or constitution you may be permitted to co-opt committee members for a particular purpose, for example if they hold a specific skill which is useful to inform a discussion, project, or work towards an objective. This is usually done on a short term basis and co-opted members are not permitted to vote on any matters.

Advertising vacancies and Recruiting Volunteers

You can advertise vacant roles within the committee in the same way you would typically advertise for staff at the early years provision. Outlining that it is a voluntary role and the desired skills and experience, as well as a brief overview of the roles and responsibilities. You can advertise through recruitment websites, in newspapers, newsletters, and community notice boards, as well as virtual community groups on social media. You can also advertise vacancies directly through Surrey County Council.

You might also consider contacting your local volunteer centre which you can find using the NCVO Volunteer Centre Finder. Volunteer Centres are local organisations that provide support and expertise within the local community, to potential volunteers, existing volunteers and organisations that involve volunteers.

Safeguarding

  • All committee and staff members need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse and know the Surrey reporting procedures to follow if they have any safeguarding concerns. All committee and staff members should complete the Surrey Safeguarding Children training – please contact earlyyearsadvisors@surreycc.gov.uk for further information and guidance.
  • If at any point the committee receive a safeguarding allegation about the manager of the early years provision, they should follow the staff allegations process from the Surrey Children's Safeguarding board. If a safeguarding allegation is received against any other member of staff, the manager or designated safeguarding officer should be advised and should carry out the same process. The manager must notify the chair or the committee officer responsible for safeguarding of any allegation.

Health and safety

The committee holds the overall responsibility and liability for ensuring the setting is a safe place for children and adults, including:

  • Toys and equipment in good repair
  • Building and ground checks
  • Risk assessments
  • Ensuring fire drill records, visitor's book and first aid box are maintained
  • Maintaining staff awareness of health and safety issues and any relevant training
  • Food hygiene and cleaning standards

Processes for the above should be included within the early years provision's written policies, agreed, and signed by the committee. These processes should then be followed daily by all staff members and any problems of amendments to policies required should be reported to the committee as soon as possible.

For further information on health and safety please contact earlyyearsadvisors@surreycc.gov.uk

Financial sustainability

Breaking even and financial forecasting

When setting up a committee-run early years provision, it is essential to keep track of the money coming in and going out and to understand whether you will remain financially sustainable.

You should be mindful of changes to your expected income and outgoings, for example if the funded entitlement hourly rate changes, annual reviews of insurance premiums, increased cleaning, or marketing costs. We would suggest you regularly review your income and expenditure forecast.

These are some basic calculations that you can do in order to monitor the finances and to plan for the future.

Calculating breakeven occupancy in an early years provision

This calculation provides a rough estimate of the number of children needed to meet expenditure. In order to calculate a more precise figure you would need to factor in variables such as staff ratios for different ages and different fee or funding rates.
Total expenditure for the year ÷ total weeks open = Weekly expenditure

Weekly expenditure ÷ hours open per week = hourly expenditure

Hourly expenditure ÷ grant rate = number of children needed to meet hourly cost

Example One

£75,000 ÷ 38 weeks = £1,973.68 (weekly expenditure)
£1,973.68 ÷ 20 hours = £98.68 (hourly expenditure)
£98.68 ÷ £4.72 hourly rate = 20.96 (children)

Breakeven occupancy is 21 children. You need this many children to meet all your costs if you are open for 20 hours per week. You would need to adjust the calculation to allow for different fee or funding rates.

Calculating how much you need to charge or receive as income to breakeven

This calculation provides a rough estimate of the minimum you need to achieve as income in order to meet your costs. You need to calculate the figures at 100% occupancy initially and then repeat with reducing numbers to give you realistic and achievable estimates.

Total expenditure for the year ÷ total weeks open = Weekly expenditure

Weekly expenditure ÷ hours open per week = Hourly expenditure

Hourly expenditure ÷ 100% children = breakeven hourly income

Example Two

£75,000 ÷ 38 weeks = £1,973.68 (weekly expenditure)
£1,973.68 ÷ 20 = £98.68 (hourly expenditure)
£98.68 ÷ 26 = £3.79

This shows that you need to receive £3.79 per hour per child if you have 26 children for every hour you are open (assuming total capacity is 26)

Example Three

£75,000 ÷ 38 weeks = £1,973.68 (weekly expenditure)
£1,973.68 ÷ 20 = £98.68 (hourly expenditure)
£98.68 ÷ 21 = £4.69

This shows that you need to receive £4.69 per hour per child if you have 21 children for every hour you are open (assuming 80% occupancy is 21).

Please contact eycommissioningteam@surreycc.gov.uk for an Income and Expenditure forecast template.

This can be used to calculate your breakeven point and to predict any future income at different occupancy levels and staffing models. This is a key piece of work to complete in order to understand whether a committee run early years provision would be financially viable and sustainable for the future.

Please be aware that the governance model of your committee-run early years provision will dictate any personal liability, more information can be found in the 'Governance' section of this document.

Redundancy commitments and contingency reserve

Ensure that the committee remains aware of its financial liabilities and that the early years provision's budget allows for contingency/reserve funds to deal with unexpected repairs (recommended 3 to 4 months running costs) and staff redundancy commitments. For further information on reserves please see Charity reserves: building resilience (GOV.UK)

The committee should ensure that it is able to meet its redundancy commitments and that this is reviewed in line with staff member's age and length of service annually. You can calculate your employee's statutory redundancy pay by visiting Calculate your employee's statutory redundancy pay (GOV.UK) or contact eycommissioningteam@surreycc.gov.uk for further support.

Trading in the knowledge of insolvency

The committee must have a plan in place to outline how it will meet any outstanding amounts owed to creditors, to ensure you are not trading in the knowledge of insolvency. This would be an offence defined by section 123 of The Insolvency Act 1986 which defines insolvency as follows:

''a company is deemed insolvent if it can no longer meet its day-to-day obligations, or if on the balance sheet, its liabilities outweigh its assets. While some companies may find themselves 'balance sheet insolvent' depending on their incomings and outgoings affecting cash flow, the companies can still function and trade efficiently; able to repay their liabilities when they fall due.''

A creditor would be anyone that you currently owe money to or anyone you will owe money to in the future. If you have no plan or way of paying back your creditors or enter into a contract that you would not be able to fulfil, then you would be trading in the knowledge of insolvency. Please consult your constitution or governing document to ensure you are fully aware of any liabilities attributed to individuals or the organisation.

Sources of funding

Please contact eycommissioningteam@surreycc.gov.uk for a list of grants and funds which may be available to charitable early years provision.

Closing a committee-run early years provision

Charities can close for a number of reasons, such as:

  • a merger with another charity
  • losing funds or funding
  • a lack of members
  • becoming a company or charitable incorporated organisation (CIO), which means creating a separate charity

It is a legal requirement to tell the Charity Commission if your charity ceases to exist and it must be removed from the register.

Depending on your governance model and the content of your governing document or constitution, there may be different requirements for transfer of assets and different liabilities for clearing debts. Please read the advice from the Charity Commission .

The committee must arrange for its accounting books and records (including cash books, invoices, and receipts) to be kept for either:

  • at least three years after the year they were made (for a charitable company or CIO)
  • at least six years after the year they were made (for unincorporated associations and trusts)

The former charity trustees remain responsible for the decisions they made while they were in office.

For further advice and guidance on closing a childcare business please contact eycommissioningteam@surreycc.gov.uk for a list of additional actions to complete.

Useful contacts

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
Companies House

CIC Regulator

Charity Commission

Business Link

Government Website

The Early Years Alliance

Early Years Commissioning Team

The Early Years Commissioning Team work to support the Early Years sector with advice connected to business, funded entitlements, sustainability and sufficiency. The Early Years Commissioning Team has a responsibility to ensure sufficient, good quality provision, achieving excellence and value for money for Surrey residents.

Email: eycommissioningteam@surreycc.gov.uk

Early Years Educational Effectiveness Team

The team will provide advice and guidance on quality of provision and the implementation of the Early Years Foundation Stage as well as supporting the setting to meet the requirements set out by Ofsted and other relevant legislation.
Early Years Education Effectiveness Advisors act as mentors and role models to settings in Surrey; providing training, advice, support and challenge to early years managers, practitioners and childminders.

Email: earlyyearsadvisors@surreycc.gov.uk

Funded Entitlement Team

The FEE Team make payments for, and support the sector in the claiming of Funded Early Education for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

Email: fundedearlyeducation@surreycc.gov.uk

Appendix 1 : Required legal documents

  • Constitution
  • Articles of Association or Memorandum (if applicable)
  • Charities Commission details and Charity Number/governance
  • Companies house details (if applicable)
  • Insurance details (copy of Insurance Certificate)
  • List of DBS Disclosure numbers for Committee members
  • Lease or Licence agreement
  • List of Suppliers
  • List of all Contracts
  • Health and Safety Risk Assessment and Fire Risk Assessment
  • Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Assessment
  • Data Protection information
  • Storage of information (how long documentation should be kept for)

Appendix 2: Committee handover and new member checklist

It is important to ensure that you follow all of the below actions when recruiting new committee members to ensure you remain correctly registered with Ofsted and the Charity Commission.

ActionTimeframe By whom
Notify Ofsted of Committee changes –via email at enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk and keep a copy of correspondence. Within first week Nominated individual
Notify Charities Commission and/or Companies House of Committee changes Within first week Chairperson
Complete an Ofsted EY2 form for any new committee members Within 14 days of notifying Ofsted of the change Nominated individual
Complete an Ofsted EY3 form to remove any previous committee members or update any change of name of contact details of existing committee members Within 14 days of notifying Ofsted of the change Nominated individual
Complete a DBS check for any new committee member, this should be completed via Ofsted Ofsted DBS Application - Security Watchdog - Welcome DBS checks completed through alternative routes may not be accepted and may delay your application. Within 14 days of notifying Ofsted of the change All new Committee members – Chairperson to co-ordinate
Once a new committee member has satisfactorily completed an EY2 and a DBS check they will be issued with a letter of suitability. Committee members are not confirmed until this has been received and previous committee members will remain responsible and liable until this is confirmed. Not applicable All committee members
Notify Bank of changes to Officers (and if appropriate arrange for changes to signatories) Within first week Treasurer
Prepare a new contact list of Committee Officers and Members Information preferably gathered at AGM, then typed up and distributed to all Committee members

Secretary

Set a date for the first meeting of the new committee Date preferably set at AGM, and Agenda circulated in due course. A suitable date for all members should be agreed within a month of the AGM. Secretary
Ensure that all Committee Officers and Members are reminded of confidentiality procedures, and sign a Confidentiality Statement At first meeting of new Committee Chair
Ensure all new Officers and Members are reminded of the Committee roles and responsibilities At first meeting of new Committee Chair
Organise a handover of any relevant documents At first meeting of new Committee Chair, Secretary, Treasurer

Appendix 3 : Setting up or Changing governance model

Setting up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

The CIO provides charities with many of the advantages of incorporation as a company limited by guarantee, but without the need to register with both the Charity Commission and Companies House. The Charity Commission is now accepting applications for CIO registration from existing charities.

A CIO is a corporate body which is regarded as having its own a legal identity, meaning that the CIO can directly enter into contracts, employ staff, incur debts, own property, sue and be sued. The trustees do not have to do this on the charity's behalf, as they do with an unincorporated charity. This provides greater protection from personal liability for the trustees. Trustees who seek to protect their personal liability through incorporation must always be aware that they cannot completely avoid responsibility for the actions taken in respect of their charity. If they are ever proved to have been reckless, negligent, have acted illegally or outside their powers, then they may be found personally responsible.

Application

You can find free examples of model constitutions online through the Charities Commission or by using a search engine to look for model governing documents. The Early Years Alliance have also developed a Model CIO Constitution for Childcare Providers, which has been approved by the Charity Commission and can be accessed at a cost. You might also consider working together with another provider who has been through the process and can share their expertise. Using an existing model will help you to ensure that you include all the provisions that your childcare CIO needs to:

  • meet legal requirements and comply with good practice; and
  • be practical and workable for a childcare provider with a parent committee

Once you have chosen and prepared your model governing document you will need to apply online to register.

Converting to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

Depending on your current governance model the following will apply:

Currently an unincorporated registered charity or organisation

  1. Draft a new constitution. In order for an Unincorporated Organisation to convert to a CIO a new Constitution must be adopted. This must be in a format specified by Charity Commission regulations, the Charity Commission has a template available at Setting up a charity: model governing documents (GOV.UK)
  2. Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) and Registration. The constitution is formally adopted by all members at an EGM and then registered with the Charity Commission by visiting Change your charity structure (GOV.UK). Your organisation will then be given a new charity number. Applications are online and if a pre-approved Constitution is used this process should take up to 40 working days.
  3. Transfer of assets. Please consult your governing document and constitution to understand what is permitted and read the guidance. We advise that you seek professional advice for example from the Charity Commission.
  4. Closure of original charity. Once the transfer has completed you should close your original charity in line with its governing document and notify the Charity Commission that it has closed. You will also need to amend any insurance policies and contact HMRC to ensure your new organisation is registered for P.A.Y.E.
  5. Inform Ofsted. You should then inform Ofsted of this change of structure and will require a new Ofsted Registration -£220 registration fee; however existing members of staff and trustees will not have to complete new EY2 forms. You will be required to be re-inspected under the new Ofsted registration and your original Ofsted rating will not carry forward to your new registration.

Currently a Charitable Company

Charitable Companies can now directly convert to a CIO and will remain the same legal entity, with the organisation's charity name and number unchanged. As such, you do not need to re-register with Ofsted and existing bank accounts and contracts should not need changing. You can convert it through an online application form.

Appendix 4 : Example skills audit

So that the committee can choose the best roles for its members, it is helpful to know about individual skills and knowledge. These may be from experience on this or other committees, paid or unpaid work, training or qualifications undertaken or from other social activities that have provided valuable experience.

It might be useful to send the following questionnaire to any potential or existing members to ensure you are able to make best use of everyone's skills and experience.

An example Committee Members Skills Questionnaire is available for you to download.


Files available to download