19th April 2024

Funding Boom! Will Childcare Be Ready for the Influx?

Great news for parents! Increased government funding for childcare is on the horizon and a much-needed lifeline for families struggling with the high cost of living, giving them the opportunity to increase their current childcare hours and, in some cases, return to work earlier following maternity or shared parental leave. But with more parents seeking childcare options or extended hours, we know that many nurseries are struggling to prepare for the surge in demand.

A Double-Edged Sword

There's no doubt that increased funding is positive. It can make childcare more affordable, allowing more parents, particularly mothers, to re-enter the workforce, not to mention the many benefits access to quality childcare brings to children's development.

However, the funding boost has already led to a surge in demand for childcare spots. Here's what we understand nurseries are facing:

  • Capacity Crunch: Some nurseries do not have the physical space to accommodate a sudden increase in children. This is leading to waiting lists and parents struggling to find placements.
  • Staff Scramble: Finding qualified staff is already an issue. An influx of children will necessitate more qualified practitioners. Nurseries will need to compete even more fiercely to attract and retain staff.
  • Quality Concerns: In the rush to fill spots, there's a risk of compromising quality. Maintaining a healthy child-to-staff ratio and ensuring practitioners are qualified is crucial.
How Zebedees can help

With the challenge of increased demand for places, nurseries are looking at how they can attract new staff. Demand is high and wages are being pushed up as competition for attracting the best people increases. A nursery chef is another full-time role to try and fill when qualified people are scarce. Plus, there are the associated salary and recruitment costs to consider. This is where outsourcing catering can be a game-changer. Ensuring healthy, delicious food is served on time can feel like a burden. Here's how partnering with Zebedees can benefit your nursery:

Free Up Your Time and Resources:
  • Focus on Core Strengths: Preparing meals takes time and resources. Outsourcing catering allows your staff to focus on what they do best – nurturing and educating children. No more worrying about menu planning, grocery shopping, or food preparation.
  • Streamlined Operations: Say goodbye to the stress of kitchen upkeep and equipment maintenance. By outsourcing to Zebedees you can also reduce your storage and kitchen space, freeing up room for other activities.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing qualified professionals are handling food safety and hygiene regulations offers peace of mind. You can focus on running your nursery with confidence.
Enhanced Food Quality and Variety:
  • Expertise and Innovation: Zebedees specialize in creating nutritious and appealing meals for children. We have the expertise and resources to offer a wider variety of healthy and delicious options than what a small nursery kitchen might manage.
  • Dietary Needs Met: We can accommodate various dietary restrictions and allergies, ensuring all children have access to safe and appropriate meals. This can be a challenge for in-house kitchens with limited resources.
Cost-Effectiveness and Predictability:
  • Transparent Pricing: You'll know exactly what you're paying for each meal, allowing for better budgeting and cost control.
  • Reduced Food Waste: Our online ordering system allows you to order exactly the number of meals you need, minimising food waste and reducing overall costs.
The Takeaway

Outsourcing catering can be a strategic decision for nurseries. By freeing up your time, resources, and staff, it allows you to focus on your core mission. Additionally, partnering with Zebedees ensures high-quality, healthy meals that meet the diverse needs of pre-schoolers. This can lead to happier children, more satisfied parents, and a smoother-running nursery overall.

As well as hot lunches, we also offer the following:

  • Breakfast boxes
  • Fruit and veg boxes
  • Afternoon teas
  • Hot teas
  • Kids Club teas
  • Baby purees

For more information about our meals or service, please contact us at or call 01323 811307.

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