The end of the year is approaching, and for childcare centres, it’s time to start planning for a smooth and stress-free year end. Whether you’re closing your doors for a short break or preparing for the holiday season, taking proactive steps can make a significant difference. Here’s a comprehensive guide to best practices for winding down your childcare centre at the end of the year. 


1. Notify CCS of Temporary Closure

Ensure you notify the Department of Education of your temporary closure. This can be done in your third-party software system and helps in managing subsidies accurately and avoiding discrepancies. 

2. Room Closures and Booking Updates

Close down rooms that won’t be in use in your third-party software and update any bookings accordingly. Make sure children’s bookings are updated to reflect the new room and fee for 2024. This ensures accurate records and accounts, and helps with planning for the new year.  

3. Communicate Changes to Parents

Inform parents about any changes in the last day, such as early finish times or special events like a year-end party. Clear communication fosters transparency and understanding. 

4. Set Up Out-of-Office Email and Update Phone Answering Service

Configure your email system with an out-of-office response to let enquirers know about the closure and when to expect a response. This manages expectations and avoids frustration. 

Also be sure to change the phone answering service message to reflect the closure, provide emergency contact information, and communicate when regular operations will resume. 

5. Finalise Enrolments and Waitlists

Process enrolments and updates to waitlists. This ensures you start the new year with accurate records and a clear view of your centre’s capacity. 

6. Suspend Deliveries and Clear Out Perishables

Temporarily suspend any scheduled deliveries, particularly food-related ones. Additionally, clear out perishables from the fridge to avoid spoilage during the closure. 

7. Care for Living Things

Attend to the needs of living things in your centre. Ensure pot plants are watered, and if you have pets like fish or chickens, make arrangements for their care. Don’t forget about tending to any veggie patches. 

8. Security Checks

Conduct security checks to ensure all doors and windows are secure. Inform your security provider of the closure period. 

9. Review Emergency Procedures

Brief staff on emergency procedures, especially if there’s a skeleton staff during the closure. Ensure everyone is aware of evacuation routes and emergency contacts. 

10. Year-End Reflection and Planning

Take the opportunity to reflect on the year, acknowledge accomplishments, and identify areas for improvement. Begin planning for the upcoming year, setting goals and objectives. 

 

Closing down your childcare centre for the year doesn’t just mean locking the doors. It’s a strategic process that, when done right, sets the stage for a successful new year. By following these best practices, you ensure a smooth transition into the break and a confident start to the year ahead. 

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