A new scheme to help childcare
businesses get off the ground has already supported over a
thousand new providers to get started.
The £2million childcare start-up grant scheme, which was
launched in April, will eventually generate up to 6000 new
childcare businesses. The grants are designed to help people pay
for the administrative costs necessary when starting a business,
including joining your
professional association, PACEY.
Those wanting to set up a new nursery or a childminding business
can apply for grants of up to £500 to help cover the cost of things
like training, equipment, insurance, and adaptations to
There are also free business mentors who can
support these fledgling businesses in their early days with
specially-tailored business start-up advice.
Rachel Patchett received a grant in May and is
now running her own childminding business at RAF Leeming. She said:
"I wanted a new career which had more flexible hours, meaning I
could spend more time with my children, and one which I could
'take with me' when we have to move with my husband’s job.
"I heard about the grant through my local
authority. It was super-easy to apply for and the money was in my
bank account before the confirmation letter had a chance to
arrive - the whole thing was done in a week.
"The grant helped cover the cost of things
including Ofsted fees, my CRB check, and basic training - 1st aid
and food hygiene, as well as professional membership and insurance.
This meant I could then invest my own money in other things like
equipment and toys. I would recommend the scheme to as many people
Minister for Women and Equalities, Maria
"I know how good childcare and the peace of
mind it brings can be such an important part of women returning to
work. This cash boost is helping people in tough times and
providing more childcare options so that women who want to can get
back to work. Equally, these grants are also providing a helping
hand for more entrepreneurs to start-up and run their own
businesses, adding to the country’s economic growth. It's a double
"It's fantastic that people are already
benefiting from the scheme, but there are still plenty of grants up
for grabs so, if you think a childcare business is right for you, I
would urge you to apply as soon as possible to get funding of your
Welcoming the scheme, PACEY's Chief Executive, Liz Bayram, said
"These grants will provide a welcome contribution to childminders
looking to establish and expand individual businesses. They may
also provide some support for nurseries, for whom the cost of
establishment is significantly higher.
"PACEY is keen to see that the grants are distributed
effectively and are not subject to misuse. This means channelling
funds to where vital support for increased childcare provision is
most needed and for whom this provision is crucial, especially for
families with disabled children."