Today, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) released their latest report 'Handle with Care: Challenges facing small childcare providers'. FSB spoke to nine individuals that own and run small childcare businesses in England and currently offer the 30 hours funding to parents, exploring the nature of their businesses and issues they faced.
From these interviews, FSB made a number of key recommendations:
- The Government should urgently commit to reviewing local authorities’ funding rates for 30 hours free, and to carrying out subsequent annual reviews to reflect ongoing changes in the cost of doing business.
- The Government should create a new 100 per cent business rates relief for childcare providers in England.
- The Government should provide clearer information for parents on the Childcare Choices website on 30 hours free and different charging models that providers may use, in order to uphold the reputation of the sector and improve transparency of the policy.
- The Government should consult with childcare providers and sector representatives on the current rules around entitlement to explore where greater flexibility that benefits both parents and providers might be possible.
- The Government should reduce the cost of mandatory training required by childcare professionals and ensure it is flexible to limit the impact on the business and its provision.
- HMRC should improve the usability of the childcare service website and the customer service support available to parents to register for childcare entitlements.
Find support from PACEY regarding 30 hours in our spotlight.