Many childcare providers find the 'financial' side of running their business a challenge. These tools and guidance will go a long way to de-mystifying things.

Brief Guide to Accounts and Bookkeeping

Introduction to some of the basic concepts. Ideal for anyone who seems to be fearful of the very idea of getting involved with the business side of things!

Four Key Financial Documents for Childcare Settings

Explains in very simple terms the meaning and use of the four key documents; balance sheet, profit & loss (or income & expenditure) account, cash flow forecast and business plan.

Basic Income & Expenditure Monitoring for Out-of-School Clubs and Similar Organisations

Simple forms (based on Excel spreadsheets) which give the rudiments of a very basic system for absolute beginners.

Working Out Cashflow Forecasts and Budgets

Explains the differences between a cashflow forecast and budget (both are important), but showing an expected profit in the budget isn't the same as having cash in the bank to pay bills as and when they fall due! Explains in simple terms how to go about preparing both.

Cash Flow Forecast (Small Childcare Settings, Clubs etc)

Cash flow forecasts work out not just what money should be coming in and going out, but when. This is vital for planning the routine operation of a business, money known to be coming in next month is no use whatever to pay wages due at the end of this week! By estimating the timing of receipts and payments, problem points can be identified well before they arise, giving time to take action. These forms allow for projecting the business's income and expenditure and the resulting effect on their bank balance, in 12-month stages preferably coinciding with their financial year. This version is for manual paper-based completion for smaller settings whose affairs are fairly straightforward.

Cash Flow Forecast (Larger Nurseries)

As above, but in a much more detailed format to cater for the greater business sophistication and wider range of issues of medium and larger settings. Based on MS Excel spreadsheets with 'autosum' formulas – deliberately not available in 'paper-based' format, because a setting of this size should be using computer-based systems as a matter of routine – so if they don't know how to do spreadsheets, then this training need should also be addressed urgently!

Arrears Agreement

Specimen form, giving wording for provider's agreement with parent/carer who has fallen into arrears. Indicates how much, covering what period, and how they will be repaid. Warns parent that if agreement is not kept, provider may take further steps for recovery.
Note: The person using this should be the one who actually negotiates with the parent in this situation. No good giving it to (say) the treasurer if they never meet the Parents.

Bank Reconciliation

The purpose is to check the setting's financial records match the bank's records. This makes sure all the provider's money has been correctly accounted for and nothing has been overlooked or gone astray. An important exercise which should be done without fail every month as part of good financial management (errors will be much harder to locate if paperwork for several months has to be examined). Contains instructions, a reconciliation form and guidance on how to find errors.

Charities, Childcare and VAT

What is value added tax; how does it affect charities generally and childcare charities businesses in particular? Warns about the impact of VAT on the cost of premises alterations and refurbishments and explains where to get detailed guidance.

Financial Procedures and Controls

Specimen financial procedures and controls for a setting to modify and adopt as Policy. Provides guidance and rules to cover all aspects of their financial responsibilities including budgets, bank accounts, staffing and salaries, fee arrears, expenses and insurance etc.

Late payment and Non-Payment of Fees - Policies and Strategies for Childcare Settings

Allowing parents to build-up fee arrears can be absolutely devastating for any setting's sustainability. This handout explains how to stop it happening in the first place, and what to do if it does.

Petty Cash – what it is, and how to use it

Cash is not just a temptation to theft - if cash income is spent on buying things before passing through the books it can make keeping proper records a nightmare. This handout explains the basics of how to run a proper secure petty cash system, what is needed, how and when to balance and the workings of a 'float'.

Corporation Tax Issues for Childcare Providers

As a general rule companies, clubs, societies, associations and co-operatives when carrying-on some form of business – such as the provision of Childcare services would be - are liable for 'Corporation Tax' upon their profits, irrespective of how they are earned. This handout explains some of the basic issues and timescales.

Treasurer's Monthly Report

A specimen form for treasurers to use as the basis of the short monthly reports they should be providing to a well-run voluntary management committee's meetings. Covers; occupancy, bank balance, performance against budget this month, comments on year-to-date cumulative position, fee arrears and upcoming issues.