Just like the rest of the country those of us in early years are left in a state of uncertainty as to the future of the current or indeed any of the proposed policies that have been presented by various parties during the recent election campaign! One thing seems sure though, 30 hours isn’t going away and it may be more of out of the frying pan into the fire looking at some of the ideas that have been muted.
But here we are, left holding the 30 hour baby, and so we must all push forward, with our Local Authorities, to get the best deals in place for September. By now I hope you have undertaken or at least got a plan for communicating and consulting with your parents over what you will be offering to them from September. If you haven’t quite got there yet then here is my 5 point plan to getting this done as soon as possible:
- Place plan: work out how many places you will be offering ‘completely free’ and then how many places will form part of your enhanced offer if you have one (aside from your usual places). Instruct all the relevant members of your team on how the places will work for parents in future
- Paperwork: Construct your price lists to ensure losses are minimised and write your Admissions Policy, to include a Complaints Procedure
- Provider Agreement & Parental Declarations Make sure you have included any relevant terms and conditions of your own either in a separate agreement or as an adaptation of your LA one. Check over your LA agreement to make sure you have met their terms – amend your offer if it needs it. (They’ve not all been issued yet but this can be done at any point once it is, and it may require you to tweak some parts of your offer)
- Present to Parents what your offer is. They could be invited to a meeting so you can explain to them about how the process works, everything from getting their eligibility codes through to how everything will look on their invoice. It provides them the opportunity to ask questions and to understand the ‘funding gaps’ that exist.
- Prepare your systems to allow for 30 hours funding, including speaking to your software company if needed and ensuring you pre-empt any disruption in your cashflow if your LA is moving over to monthly payments in arrears
With all this done, it will hopefully be a smooth transition to 30 hours in September. If any of you are still uncertain as to what you need to do then please do seek out help and support from others as we’re now less than 12 weeks from the start.
If you need any extra help and support with developing any of this for 15 or for 30 hours then we have developed a package of relevant documents, based on my awesome Funding the Gap Workshop. The package provides an overview of the process and explains the critical essentials within the legislation. It can be amended according to your own requirements and you even get to join our Facebook Support Group. If you are interested to find out more then click here.