Financial Planning, Financial Systems and Sustainability
All Childcare Provisions, while aiming to be community focused and offer affordable, quality services within local communities, should also be run in a ‘business like’ way. Having effective financial management systems and planning in place is critical to the effective running of a Childcare business, and to ensuring long term success.
Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs has developed some useful resources and guides to support Out of School Childcare Clubs to utilise financial systems and planning to support their sustainability. These templates are available to Members Only, and can be found by clicking here.
As part of your Financial Systems, accounts should be kept on a monthly basis, detailing all income and expenditure that has occurred. Information about preparing and keeping accounts can be found here. There is also information about ensuring accounts are independently verified (or audited if this is required) here.
Through using Business Performance Indicators (BPIs) from your accounts and financial record keeping, an insight can be provided into the ‘health’ of your business. These BPIs include:
- Capacity Profile – an audit of the number of places you have available against the number of places taken and paid for each session.
- Income Generation – from fees, grants, fundraising and tax credits
- Expenditure – staffing, premises, consumables and any other expenditure
The balance should always be tipped in favour of generating a profit or surplus, which will leave funds which can then be used for any ‘rainy day’ needs. For member Clubs, our Childcare Business Development Officers are able to support you to complete a ‘Business Health Check’ to review and reflect on this (contact your Regional Office for further information).
As a business, you should also be forecasting future anticipated income and expenditure. A cashflow forecast is an essential business tool to enable you to review how your business is going to progress if a specific situation remains static, or within certain given scenarios. It can also be useful to demonstrate to funders that you have comprehensive financial planning in place, and to demonstrate your long term sustainability (and/or short term need for financial support whilst new strategies to support sustainability are put into place).
Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs has a tried and tested Cashflow Forecast template available for use by Member Out of School Childcare Clubs (members, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of this). We have also developed a new webinar focused on financial planning, which covers how the cashflow forecast can be utilised. A pre-recorded copy of this webinar will be available shortly to members and non-members, by contacting email@example.com.
As part of your financial planning processes, it can be useful to undertake a SWOT analysis of your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This reflection, along, with your cashflow forecast, can help identify actions needed to take advantage of strengths and opportunities, and minimise weaknesses/threats, and will support you to review your business plan and future direction. Information about how to undertake a SWOT analysis can be found here.
Through effectively recording, reviewing and planning your finances, you increase your ability to notice trends, and react in a timely manner to issues that may arise, seeking out additional help and support if needed (e.g. through applying for funding). Potential sources of funding that you may wish to apply for can be found here. We have also written some top tipsto consider when writing funding applications, and a more comprehensive step by step guide to writing funding applications available for members here.
For details about how to become a Member of Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs, visit www.clybiauplantcymru.org or contact your Regional Office.