Prospects supports pre-school to become financially secure
The pre-school is now successfully offering a more flexible service meeting the needs of families in the local community with many families choosing to take up their funded hours over longer days
A community pre-school offering morning and afternoon sessions in a deprived area of the city needed support. The pre-school catered for 3 to 5 year olds and offered charged lunch sessions which could not be taken as part of the nursery education funding. The pre-school was struggling financially as numbers on role were low. Parents were choosing other providers as they were able to offer a more flexible service.
What Prospects did
Prospects working on behalf of Southampton Council, appointed a Quality Adviser to support the pre-school voluntary management committee in discussions about their future sustainability and the need for them to offer a more flexible service to meet the needs of local families and be competitive in the local market.
Once the management committee agreed for the need to develop their business the Quality Advisor supported them to undertake a number of initiatives. Firstly they surveyed their current parents and parents on the waiting list to find out what their needs were. From this they developed a business plan together to:
o develop a more flexible service to include the lunch session being part of the nursery education funded offer to enable parents to take a longer day at no cost to themselves
o introduce two year olds to the setting and register with the local authority to take funding for eligible 2 year olds.
This led to a restructuring of the staff team to accommodate the changes and identified training needs for staff. To make this happen the Quality Advisor worked with the pre-school team to source grant opportunities to support the development of the pre-school and develop a marketing plan. This enabled the pre-school to introduce a new system for allocation of places to meet the more flexible offer whist maintaining financial viability.
Outcomes and results
The pre-school is now successfully offering a more flexible service meeting the needs of families in the local community with many families choosing to take up their funded hours over longer days. Many families are also choosing to buy extra hours on top of their funded entitlement.
The pre-school is now taking 2-year-old funded children; this is proving very successful as there are a large percentage of qualifying children in the area.
The pre-school is on a more secure financial footing.