We explore what’s changed for the childcare sector in the latest Federal Budget and how to prepare for what may lay ahead.
Earlier this month the 2021 Federal Budget was announced, with a heavy focus on delivering economic security and safety for women. The budget has sparked conversations across the childcare sector on what businesses can expect from July 2022 onwards.
The new budget offers reduced childcare costs
There’s good news for Australia’s young families. The Government will be increasing the Child Care Subsidy and removing the annual subsidy cap. Here’s what’s changed:
- The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) will be increased, an initiative expected to benefit over around 250,000 families and;
- The current $10,560 subsidy cap for families with a combined income above $189,390 will be removed, which is estimated to benefit around 18,000 families
While these changes are welcomed by many, Australia’s childcare sector grapples with its own set of complexities. With subsidy changes, workforce challenges and the unpredictability of COVID-19, it’s now more important than ever to set your childcare workforce up for success.
Preparing for the future
The good news for centre owners and operators is that the road to adapting to a surge in enrolments doesn’t have to be a rocky one. Ento’s software has been built to handle the complex legislative environment for pay & care unique to the Australian childcare industry. Here are a few ways Ento can create efficiencies for your childcare business:
- Ensuring compliance – forecast demand, calculate headcount needs, create shift patterns and room preferences to ensure your centre is filled with the right people at the right times
- Reduced time spent on rostering – utilise rostering automation, budget benchmarking, real-time notifications and fill & backfill shifts in two clicks
- Increasing HR efficiencies – onboard employees seamlessly (and digitally!), with easy integration with LMS and ATS systems, qualification management, and automated processes for things like role changes and casual rehiring
- Enabling employee engagement – keep your staff up-to-date, whether it’s through live communication, shift change updates, leave management, employee enablement functionality, and more
- Set up customisable insights – access live custom or pre-built dashboards, incorporate third party data and configure reports to your centre’s unique needs, as well as regulatory requirements
- Easy integration – we’ll integrate with your existing CCMS, recruitment, POS, payroll, footfall, and analytics software to give you a holistic view of your business.
How have others done it?
Perth-based Atlantis Group opened in 2015 as the only facility in Western Australia to offer child care, outside school hours care, an indoor play centre and an early education training centre from a single purpose-built location. Their vision is to provide high-quality care helping families achieve a work-life balance while ensuring children develop active, healthy lifestyles.
Ento was identified as Atlantis Group’s preferred solution based on the system’s ability to solve their key requirements. The result? Since implementing Ento, Atlantis’ General Manager, Ian Harvey shares that the centre has seen significant improvement across all of the key criteria set during the vendor selection process.
Proactive insights, alerts and rostering blockers allows Atlantis Group to effectively manage compliant staffing levels for educator to child ratios, Diploma, first aid and Working With Children checks. This means a higher quality of care for their families and a reduction in compliance risk.
Qualifications are managed using Ento’s workflow, CoreHR and Rostering modules which automate the process of capturing, storing and referencing staff qualifications while making changes to rosters in real-time. With the added benefit of Ento’s qualification reporting, Atlantis has a day of operations and a future view of compliance.
Reduced labour costs
Before rolling out Ento, and like many others in the sector, Atlantis’ process of clocking in and out of shifts was manual and used paper timesheets. Calculating pay was error-prone and led to time loss – resulting in significant time and labour costs for the business.
Once Ento’s digital Time & Attendance tool was introduced, manual calculation errors, time to process and accurate employee clocking in and out resulted in significant improvements.
Set up to scale
Ento has reduced the time it takes Altantis Group to approve timesheets and process payroll by over 80%. Previously it would take the company 3 1/2 days per week to process payroll, an almost full-time job, the same process now only takes 1 1/2 day per fortnight and with double the amount of staff. This sets Atlantis up to effectively scale their locations and staff without the need to hire more people to process timesheets and payroll.
Keen to know more?
Whether you’re looking to prepare ahead of childcare subsidy changes in July 2022, find efficiencies with rostering and compliance, or even just look for a system that helps your centre go paperless, Ento is here to help you achieve your goal goals.