Bromley have 200 providers and 500 childminders. Like other authorities there is no business support for providers in the area and many face challenges ahead of the introduction of 30 hours to ensure their setting remains sustainable. There has also been a drop in birth rate in the area meaning that settings need to be smarter at filling places.
Liz Hodgman – Strategy Manager, Early Years Department within the authority attended a recent NDNA workshop and immediately saw how the Early Years Business Zone could help them help their providers.
With a number of easy to access business tools including a business appraisal, staff cost calculator and financial management, plus additional resources Liz sees the Early Years Business Zone as an invaluable tool to help their providers with their business planning and to help them maintain sustainable business.
The financial tool will give setting managers their cost per hour while the staff occupancy calculator will assist in capacity planning.
The website also has a dedicated helpline facility; Liz envisages that this could fill the gap in support that is not provided by Bromley Local Authority.
“Many of our providers are in real need of business support ahead of the introduction of 30 hours. They want help and advice in understand their costs, to get smarter at filling places and finding ways to increase capacity. I will be recommending that all our early years providers use the Early Years Business Zone to help them do this. It’s a great new resource providing everything they need in one place.”
NDNA plan to work with Bromley Local Authority to host workshops and seminars for their providers, and see this as a working model for other authorities throughout England.