During our work with the early years sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it quickly became apparent that there would be far-reaching effects on the sector. We have recognised that the childcare market is unstable, and we have started to see the demands for childcare changing as the working patterns of families change. What is uncertain is whether the decrease in demand for places, putting many settings significantly below numbers typically expected, will be a short-term change or whether it will lead to a more permanent change in the way families choose to access childcare provision.
As a local authority we want to be able to support our early years sector; to ensure that you have the tools available to support you when you are reviewing your business model, reviewing the service that you are offering to families, and reviewing the future outlook of your provision to ensure that you are sustainable and remain financially viable in the long term.
Business support for early years providers
The purpose of the business support for early years providers document is to help you to self-assess your business, identify those areas which are working well and to help identify any areas which may need to adapt and change to meet new demands. Many of the tools and prompts within the document will be familiar to you already but we have brought them together into one easily accessible document which starts with a simple business health check.
Once you have used the business health check to identify the areas of your business you would like to focus on, the document contains an easy to read contents page with links to further information to support the development of each area. This includes business plan templates, action plans, and marketing advice as well as links to up to date government guidance, financial and business support.
We would like to encourage all providers to engage with this document to support a detailed review of your business sustainability.
The Early Years Commissioning Team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any further support and guidance in working through the document.