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Childcare business support

Childcare business support

The Early Years and Childcare Service can signpost to support and expertise relevant to childcare providers on a range of business support, including:

  • looking at the financial sustainability of the setting
  • budgeting
  • cash flow forecasting
  • marketing
  • writing a business plan
  • setting up a childcare business
  • choosing a legal structure
  • fundraising
  • finance
  • applying for grants

Tools and resources to support settings and individual childcare providers

Find tools and resources:

NDNA, supported by the Department for Education, have created the Early Years Business Zone.

Day nurseries can register online to access tools including:

  • Business Appraisal Tool - a series of in-depth questions that analyse a settings’ business strengths and weaknesses and makes recommendations
  • Financial Management - understand your setting costs, find savings, make accurate forecasts and plan for the future
  • Staff Cost Calculator - determine the most effective methods of deploying staff based on staff numbers and occupancy levels. Achieve optimum capacity, value for money and a stretched offer for working parents

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For voluntary organisations (charities and committee run settings) there is also an opportunity to access professional skills via the York Cares Enterprise Hub Skills Share programme.

The Enterprise Hub enables employers to share their businesses' expertise with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, to help them become more sustainable.

The Skills Share is a chance for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to benefit from short-term business support, to help shape their organisational planning, test ideas and get a business perspective on their challenges. The types of issues that could be tackled or project work that could be undertaken, include developing business plans, marketing strategies, financial planning, preparing an organisation for tendering opportunities or developing products and services.

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The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) has launched a new business toolkit to support the sustainability of new and established childminding settings.

The free online resource, Business Smart, has been developed by childminders for childminders. It has been produced in association with Lloyds Bank, who have shared their toolkits and small business expertise to help PACEY develop this valuable tool. Funding for the toolkit has been provided by a grant from the Department for Education.

Business Smart will help new childminders gain the business skills, knowledge and confidence they need to build up their childcare and Early Years businesses. It's also full of advice and support for established childminding settings, to help them review their business sustainability. As part of this, Childminders will be able to consider whether offering the Early Years entitlement is viable for them - all in one easy-to-use website. It's an invaluable resource to support all childminders, at whatever stage of their career, to consider how to grow their much-needed services.

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