Want Famly for £1? Book a demo now to claim your summer offer


3 ways early years software helps you stay on top of your finances

May 23, 2022

Top tech tips to make finances take up less space in your day

Top tech tips to make finances take up less space in your day
Managing Early Years finances with softwareEY Playbook Blog Badge LogoEY Playbook Mobile logo




Famly customer since

newsletter box iconJoin the community
Image of iPad on purple blackgroundWant to give Famly a try?
A smiling Famly SDR removing his headsetSee Famly for yourself
In a rush? Here’s the quick run-down.

• Finances are a never-ending challenge for early years settings. We know an early childhood platform can't solve every woe here, but it can help. Here's three key ways how.

• In a nutshell, the key areas where software can help you is by monitoring your occupancy, automatically creating a budget for you and automating tuition payments.

• But these tools aren’t just for you — simple billing saves parents time too, and makes them even happier with you as a nursery. Plus, it leaves more time for the children.

On paper, running a nursery might seem pretty straightforward from a financial standpoint.

Parents enrol their children at your setting, and pay you for the care you provide their children. Right? 

Well, as we all know, there is a little more to handling your nursery finances than that, and it can be hard to fully focus on the children or keep up with their parents, when all the moving pieces aren't in exactly the right places. Especially now, managing your money can be a big source of stress for your early years setting. It's a big-picture problem to be fixed, and it won't happen overnight. But in the here and now, digital tools like early childhood platforms can provide some useful resources to relieve some of the pressure.

In this story, we'll look at three key ways that software can help you:

  1. Helping you keep a closer eye on your occupancy levels
  2. Automatically creating an operating budget, and helping you track all your expenses
  3. Making it easier to send out bills and collect your fees

Let's look at how it all works.

Early Years Software helps keep your budget balanced

Keeping on top of your occupancy

Almost all the revenue you make at an early years setting comes from the children’s tuition and fee payments, so making sure your occupancy is as high as possible is critical.

As you well know, though, that's something that's much easier said than done.

You need to stay on top of attendance for each room every day, watch for children ageing out of the program or switching sessions, and make sure ratios are correct and correlate with changes in staff. It’s a lot to keep track of — but it’s a lot easier to reign it all in with an early years management software.

With a digital program (like Famly), you can have all the information necessary packaged into easy to read charts and graphs so you can:

  • See what rooms need fewer staff members due to lower attendance
  • Find what days are continuously slower, so you can provide ad hoc sessions for extra fees
  • Immediately see openings for new enrolments if you have a waitlist
  • Make sure your current enrolment numbers meet the requirements of your nursery finances, and identify areas for improvement

And all this information collects over time so you can use historical data to plan for the future. Early years software lets you zoom out, see the big picture, and fill in the gaps — all within an app. If you can stay up to date on your enrolment, it will be that much easier to stay within your budget. If you'd like to read a bit more about why it's important to get strategic with your occupancy tracking, you should read this piece by ECE finance expert Louise Stoney.

Use software to track your Early Years enrolment numbers

Finding a budget that works for you

Another important factor is knowing exactly how much revenue you need to budget your nursery. There are a lot of components that go into making a budget, such as:

  • How high does your enrolment really need to be? 
  • How much money do you need for required resources and materials? 
  • What staff benefits do you want to provide and how much do you need to afford them? 

A lot of time consuming paperwork and foresight goes into figuring it all out, but a comprehensive management software can help you answer all these questions. 

The right software can create a target budget for you based on your nursery’s data, and can calculate a necessary cost per child for you. That way you know exactly where you need to be with your nursery finances at all times. You can also be notified when enrolment drops below your desired amount so you can act quickly to address it.

In order to continue providing the best care possible, you need a sustainable business model and an accurate, up-to-date budget is at the heart of that.

Supplementary funding can also be a saving grace for many early education settings when the budget is tight or when some unexpected costs arise — but finding that additional funding can be a job all on its own. 

Some softwares can actually generate the documentation needed to reconcile further support from government and philanthropic sources on behalf of children eligible for financial assistance or funded hours. This can reinforce the budget with some extra wiggle room, alleviating a lot of potential stress through additional funding.

Software can simplify your billing and tuition in early education

Quick and easy payments

Budgeting and planning are great for nursery finances, but at the end of the day, the most important thing you can do for your Early Years setting is actually getting paid — regularly and on time. 

Keeping track of every individual payment from each parent, matching invoices to all of them, and staying on top of past due tuition is tedious and time consuming. It’s a lot to handle and many managers and directors have to do it along with a laundry list of other daily tasks, but an Early Years software can take care of it all.

Once parents enrol their children, if you’re working with management software, they can input their bank information and sign up for automated payments. The parents receive regular automatic invoices so everyone is on the same page, without worry or forgotten chequebooks. And if a parent doesn’t want to sign up for automated payments and misses a deadline, an app can send a polite reminder without you having to touch a thing.

With reports, invoices, balances and payment handling all compiled in one location, there’s also no more need to manually upload stacks of forms and paperwork, saving time and cutting costs.

Nothing is worse than getting to the end of a quarter and realising you need to cut financial corners somewhere. And of course it’s hard to plan for surprise extra costs, but if you’re always getting paid on time, your planned budget will always be reliable.

When you have everything set up and automated, Early Years software also makes it easier for the parents to add on additional services like ad hoc sessions and meal plans, without emails or back and forth phone calls.

With so many factors at play, and so many different systems for keeping track of revenue and costs, it’s never been harder to stay on top of finances in early education.

But by monitoring enrolment, creating a budget for you and automating tuition payments, new software can make your life as an Early Years provider easier, and help guide your nursery into a prosperous future.

The big ideas

Opengraph EY Playbook Logo

Free Business Playbook

Want to see the rest of the Playbook? Get dozens of free guides, webinars, and tools to boost your business’ potential.

Get free tools now
download pdf
graphical user interface, text, application
Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.

Picture of a Guidance document
UK Nursery Covid-19 Response Group Recommendations

The full recommendations from a working group of over 70 nursery chains in the UK.

Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.

You might also like

No items found.
No items found.

Learn more about Famly's nursery software

Find out below how Famly ensured the Alphabet House team felt well-supported in communicating with parents about finances and bookings, and see what we can do for you in a personal demo.

Big purple quotation icon

“We can pop parents messages and for staff to log for children, it used to be quite time consuming taking time away from the children to sit and write feedback or approach parents and give a lot of feedback." - Shanice Hollier, L&D Manager, Alphabet House

Show me Famly

Learn more about Famly

Find out below how Famly ensured the Alphabet House team felt well-supported in communicating with parents about finances and bookings, and see what we can do for you in a personal demo.

Sign up now

Learn more about Famly

Find out below how Famly ensured the Alphabet House team felt well-supported in communicating with parents about finances and bookings, and see what we can do for you in a personal demo.

Sign up now

Learn more about Famly

Find out below how Famly ensured the Alphabet House team felt well-supported in communicating with parents about finances and bookings, and see what we can do for you in a personal demo.

Get your free trial