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Told To Cut Costs


thumperrabbit
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Where do I start??

 

If you were told this how would you go about making cuts?

 

We have tried limiting snacks but to be honest, this only saves pennies

 

We don't run to ratio we are over by 2 now many have turned 3 (1 being me as the manager) this is where I know we could cut, but then come September as most of our children are 2 when they start we would need to take someone on (recruitment is a nightmare in this area)

 

Fundraising is not happening this year, you may have seen another post on this, I know we shouldn't rely on this but we always have had to, and in doing so have survived for 45 years!!

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always one of the hardest areas, as income and needs of children are so variable over the year.

 

we had all staff on a flexible contract, when we were overstaffed they all agreed to reduce by an equal amount of hours, me included, as there were only 5 of us it was easy for all to drop 1 day a week, not best way to work but it was either that or someone would have been made redundant, and as you know recruiting for short term can be a nightmare, so worked for us.. may not for others though, we were small staff and long term so all understood the need, and no one wanted to lose their job so worked together.

 

Snacks we had parents supply, and at one point when we were not managing had them also supply cleaning items, tissues, clothes, soap powder etc etc. we put a list of needs out they just crossed it off and gave it to us..no pressure, those who could not afford it (we had a lot ) often came to me and said they couldn't but would a small donation help and would give me the occasional 50p or bring in an apple. may not seem like much but at the time we really had no cash at all, and staff were lucky to get a wage ( bad management by a particular committee left us in real strife! Took us 2 years to even break even again.)

 

fees - are they at an appropriate level. if not that will be a big reason why costs are not being covered. they should be at a level to cover the wage, hall hire , insurance etc.. often we found they were not set appropriately..

 

 

we always did the fundraising but this was for the extras, tried to never let it be used for the day to day running.. but did find it was often used for resources that needed renewing like paint paper etc..

 

the only way we ever found of cutting the bill was to sit with the account book and look at what was being spent where and work out what we could manage without.. or reduce the amount we used...

 

we always were aware thought at at some point the books could not balance.. with our income set by government not keeping in touch with all the other things like holiday pay, increasing national insurance, minimum wages etc -never mind the hire and fuel costs increasing..

 

good luck in finding something..

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I've just given a detailed finance sheet to all our parents and asked them if they can see how cuts could be made or if they have ideas on how we can raise money.

So far they have helped us to decide to introduce an ink fund, stationery costs are around £230 per year and consumables are £160 so we are going to do the list that Inge suggested, tissues, washing up liquid, nappy sacks and other consumables. The total isnt one months rent but its a help.

I'm also going to apply for a gaming licence so we can send raffle tickets home for parents to sell at work, in the pub, to neighbours etc. Its £40.00 a year, hopefully we'll make that back buts a risk we'll have to take.

 

But basically, like you the only way we could make drastic cuts is through staff hours. I have got some leeway with their contracts, but this is a busy time so I cant do much about it yet.

 

To be honest everything has been cut so severely already that the only way to survive is through fundraising.

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Fantastic advice (as ever) from Inge :o

 

I have decided, this year, for the first time evr, to not renew our PSLA subscription or our NW subscription......

 

There is 'fundraising' and then there is 'fundraising'......do you have a photographer in? We use Tempest - they give a commission of 22% (I think!).......we usually have a very good 'uptake' for this.........are there any local businesses that might 'help you out' - often tax deductible for them and if they are made aware of your plight they may be willing to help...

 

Wishing you luck x

 

Oops crossed posts with rea - lots of great advice there too!

Edited by sunnyday
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I'm sorry I can't help on ways to cut costs but my brother's school used funmats to raise funds - lots of parents ordered quite a bit and it was apparently quite a success. You have to be organised and book a slot well in advance for printing etc but was worth it. A slot for Christmas orders next year has been secured already!!!

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Having staff on annualised hours contracts can help , basically you employ a staff member for X amount of hours per year - they get paid the same amount every month which helps the budgeting, and you and they keep a tally of thier hours worked - so in September when you need more pairs of hands they work more hours and in May- July when the children are less 'needy' they work less. It does involve honesty on everybodys part but it works quite well. :o

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If, and its a big 'if, you can get your parents to join in, easyfundraising.org.uk is potentially a good way to raise money.

I signed us up a while ago and to date we (and by that I mean 'I') have raised £10.09.

Its a very simple process but it does require those registered to remember to use it. I forgot to buy a PS3 through it and switch my energy supplier though it!

I've just added our address to our letter heads in the hope people remember to use it.

Maybe worth a try.

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thumperrabbit am i being dense here?....should you not be trying to fill the 2 spaces you have available...so in other words increase revenue rather than cut costs?? :o

 

 

I take it that it is not 2 spaces available, but that as the children have now turned 3 they are now 2 staff over ratio, same numbers but ages have changes so need less staff..

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I take it that it is not 2 spaces available, but that as the children have now turned 3 they are now 2 staff over ratio, same numbers but ages have changes so need less staff..

and are you up to your maximum numbers on your registration Thumperrabbit? (i am a bit slow tonight ...report writing and trying desperately to avoid doing them!)

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I take it that it is not 2 spaces available, but that as the children have now turned 3 they are now 2 staff over ratio, same numbers but ages have changes so need less staff..

 

Yes, that's right 2 staff over now that lots have turned 3.

 

and are you up to your maximum numbers on your registration Thumperrabbit? (i am a bit slow tonight ...report writing and trying desperately to avoid doing them!)

 

No not up to our max yet, but no more on the waiting list who turn 2 until April :o

We are desperately trying to encourage people to have more than 2 sessions per week but they won't until they are funded, (sign of the times?) we are the dearest playgroup in our area (but the fullest) and we only put the fees up in September.

 

Thanks for all your fundraising ideas, we had Tempest in a couple of weeks ago, photos have been delivered today - gave a smile to a some what gloomy day!

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I'm going through a 'proposed redundancy' process at the moment and staff seem to be agreeing to take a cut in contracted hours rather than face redundancy. If things pick up, they can gain extra income through overtime but it limits the minimum amounts I have to budget to pay them. Our problem is low numbers despite advertising etc - it seems to be an issue across all settings in our area.

 

I also have someone who is on long term sick and not showing any signs of coming back soon (details in a previous post) which makes things more difficult...

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A few years ago when we were really feeling the pinch all staff agreed to volunteer a couple of hours a week. This was recorded and when we were able to we paid them what was owing.

It might be asolution if you need to keep the amount of staff level.

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  • 2 months later...
always one of the hardest areas, as income and needs of children are so variable over the year.

 

we had all staff on a flexible contract, when we were overstaffed they all agreed to reduce by an equal amount of hours, me included, as there were only 5 of us it was easy for all to drop 1 day a week, not best way to work but it was either that or someone would have been made redundant, and as you know recruiting for short term can be a nightmare, so worked for us.. may not for others though, we were small staff and long term so all understood the need, and no one wanted to lose their job so worked together.

 

Snacks we had parents supply, and at one point when we were not managing had them also supply cleaning items, tissues, clothes, soap powder etc etc. we put a list of needs out they just crossed it off and gave it to us..no pressure, those who could not afford it (we had a lot ) often came to me and said they couldn't but would a small donation help and would give me the occasional 50p or bring in an apple. may not seem like much but at the time we really had no cash at all, and staff were lucky to get a wage ( bad management by a particular committee left us in real strife! Took us 2 years to even break even again.)

 

fees - are they at an appropriate level. if not that will be a big reason why costs are not being covered. they should be at a level to cover the wage, hall hire , insurance etc.. often we found they were not set appropriately..

 

 

we always did the fundraising but this was for the extras, tried to never let it be used for the day to day running.. but did find it was often used for resources that needed renewing like paint paper etc..

 

the only way we ever found of cutting the bill was to sit with the account book and look at what was being spent where and work out what we could manage without.. or reduce the amount we used...

 

we always were aware thought at at some point the books could not balance.. with our income set by government not keeping in touch with all the other things like holiday pay, increasing national insurance, minimum wages etc -never mind the hire and fuel costs increasing..

 

good luck in finding something..

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sorry don't have any copies now... but a paragraph within the contract said something along the lines of hours being agreed on a monthly basis and subject to change at a months notice, we gave everyone a minimum number of hours they would work each week .. think ours went as low as 6 hours.. we often had difficult times when we all needed to reduce hours.. never got as low as that though.. being small we did it by agreement between the staff.. better than losing a job altogether.

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