Children’s early years provide the building blocks of their social, mental and physical development.
In the modern world, families can’t care for their youngsters at all times, so working parents need access to good quality, safe and enriching childcare facilities.
Childcare in crisis
Sadly, UK families are facing the crunch, as childcare costs are rising steeply. At the same time, many childcare providers, unable to weather increasing financial pressures, are having to close their doors.
The UK has the third most expensive childcare of the thirty-eight countries in the OECD, as costs equate to 22% of household income for a family with two average-earning parents.
There has been a decline in affordable childcare nationwide, as providers have been hit by the rising costs of energy and food.
All of these statistics mean childcare is a real concern for many families.
The importance of good quality childcare
Giving children a range of experiences in safe and supportive environments, and opportunities to socialise and develop softs skills are all crucial for their future health and happiness.
The Princess of Wales recently launched the new 'Shaping Us' campaign highlighting the importance of the first five years of children’s lives, saying:
"…it is essential to not only understand the unique importance of our earliest years, but to know what we can all do to help raise future generations of happy, healthy adults."
So, what can schools do to help alleviate the pressures on struggling households?
Is school wraparound care the solution?
With infrastructure and personnel already in place, schools are perfectly placed to provide high-quality, low-cost wraparound care.
School breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and holiday clubs are becoming increasingly popular. Parents can be confident in the knowledge and experience of school staff and the safety of the school environment. Meanwhile, they know their children will be supported in building social skills and relationships, and have opportunities for new learning experiences.
All these factors make school wraparound care the most attractive option for parents.
Extra income for schools
Schools should not be any worse off for offering affordable wraparound care sessions. In fact, breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and holiday clubs can significantly contribute to a school’s income – a welcome prospect in these tough times.
Sessions need to be well-organised; using the right system will help streamline the management of all wraparound care. Tucasi’s Extended Day module streamlines all aspects of wraparound care, from setting place limits and prices, to bookings, payments and communicating with parents, meaning staff resources can be dedicated to providing care, not endless administration.
Tackling the complexities of wraparound care management
Practical tools are needed to ensure breakfast club, after-school club and holiday club actually generate additional income.
The flexibility to offer multiple booking options and price-bands for the same session is essential, and welcoming non-pupils also helps to increase a school’s earning capacity.
Tracking and collecting income efficiently is crucial. Online payments make collecting from parents much easier, and a system with low transaction fees will maximise the income generated. Schools must also be able to record Pupil Premium, Childcare Vouchers and tax-free childcare payments. Plus, built-in debt reports, pupil statements and communication templates can make all the difference in helping schools to recoup any fees owed by parents.
Tucasi’s Extended Day module offers all this and more - contact us today to find out how we can help your school offer great, affordable wraparound care.