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PACEY launches new business resource for childminders

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 is 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 is an invaluable resource to support all childminders - at whatever stage of their career - to consider how to grow their much needed services.

Recent PACEY research revealed that around half (49%) of childminders said they knew they could do more to grow or make their business more sustainable or profitable. The majority (55%) agreed that they could make improvements as to how they run their businesses.

Liz Bayram, PACEY Chief Executive comments: “We are thrilled to be launching our Business Smart toolkit and hope it will prove invaluable to any childminding setting. It is designed to give childminders the chance to reflect on their businesses and plan for the future, whether or not that future involves delivering funded hours. We’ve been delighted that so many PACEY childminders have come forward to share their ideas and expertise – the toolkit is full of success stories that we hope will be a real inspiration to others as well as practical and accessible information and advice.”

Jo Harris, Managing Director of Retail Business Banking in Lloyds Bank comments: “We are delighted to provide our support to PACEY’s new business toolkit, Business Smart. We recognise that building up a business is never easy and having access to the right support, at the right time, can be a lifeline to small businesses. By working in collaboration with PACEY, we’ve been able to share some of our hints and tips to help UK childcare businesses thrive.”

The free online resource provides guidance on everything childminders need to run a successful business - from the initial stages of writing a business plan through to planning new services or expansion. It also provides a range of interactive tools for analysing childminding businesses, including a cost calculator. Business Smart includes information on:

  • Financial and business management including relevant training
  • Business expansion planning, including employing staff
  • Effective marketing and customer relations
  • Top tips on efficiency savings
  • Ideas for shared service delivery with other settings
  • Delivering funded places sustainably –for disadvantaged two year olds, the universal 15 hours or new 30 hours entitlement.   

The toolkit primarily targets self-employed childminders, and a broad range of childminders from across the country have been involved in its development, including sharing their ideas and expertise on every aspect of running a childminding businesses. The first phase of the toolkit was launched today – it is a growing resource with more content and features to be added over the coming months. 

The Business Smart toolkit can be accessed at

For interviews and more information about Business Smart, contact:

Victoria Flint, Director of Programme Communications
T: 020 8290 2454 / 07734 734 068