Free resources

Best practice

Below is a comprehensive collection of free resources to support childcare professionals in their work – including starting up their business, understanding funding and professional development.

COVID-19 childcare toolkit

PACEY has produced a COVID-19 childcare toolkit to support providers with running their business during the pandemic. COVID has been a challenging time for us all, and we’re here to offer support and advice about the day-to-day running of a childcare business during coronavirus.

The COVID-19 childcare toolkit includes the following sections:

COVID-19 paperwork is designed to help protect childcare providers and the families they work with during the pandemic. Includes sample policies and procedures, COVID-19 risk assessments and visitor agreement templates.

Managing your setting offers downloadable support and advice tackling key topics, such as symptoms and illness, social distancing, and drop offs and pickups.

Practitioner experience offers real life examples of how settings have adapted during coronavirus, including new and flexible ways of working.

For further support, you can also take a look at our Spotlight on Coronavirus pages.

Business smart

Business smart is a dedicated area of the PACEY website. The resources in this area were developed by childcare providers as a one-stop shop for all things related to starting up and running a successful childcare business.

Browse the sections below to learn more: 

Starting out
First steps to a job in childminding
Train to be a childminder
Starting your childminding business
Ratio exemptions in England
Policies and procedures – a beginner’s guide
Becoming a childminding assistant
Registering your group childcare setting



Business planning
Writing a business plan
Protecting your business
Diversifying your business model
Business plan template
SWOT analysis model
Risk assessment template












Marketing your business
The basics
Promotional materials
Existing clients





Childcare funding
About the early years entitlement for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds
30 hours in 30 seconds – videos to help explain the 30 hours funding
30 hours – What providers need to know
10 things all childcare providers need to know about 30 hours
Checking parent eligibility
Helping parents to understand 30 hours
Supporting 2-year-olds
Partnership working









Finance for childminders
Finance for group settings
All about pensions
Sources of funding
When money is a worry






Growing your business
Employing assistants
Childcare on domestic premises
Working in partnership
A helping hand – For childminders looking to create additional spaces
Making the leap, childminder to nursery manager blog







Saving time and money
Reducing paperwork
Using space efficiently
Days out for less
The curiosity approach
Getting to grips with loose parts play
Separating Ofsted fact from fiction








You can also take a look through some of our real-life childcare case studies for ideas and inspiration on subjects including marketing a childcare business and delivering the 30 hours sustainably.

CEY smart

CEY smart offers online CPD-certified training for everyone working in early years and childcare. Whether a childcare provider is new to the industry or has 30 years’ experience under their belt – CEY smart has something for everyone.

The innovative learning platform includes interactive, engaging courses that take just 10-15 minutes to complete. Courses can be done on any device, at any time.

This user-friendly approach to learning enables childcare providers to fit CPD around their busy schedules, supporting them to take steps towards professional development and quality improvement. The short courses are designed to build confidence and encourage reflective practice. There are also simple next steps and ideas, as well as an easy way for childcare providers to keep track of CPD, by earning CEY smart stars as they go!

The CEY smart Facebook group offers a sense of community for childcare providers, wherever they are located, and allows people to share their ideas and support for each other.


SearchChildcare is a directory that’s completely free for both childcare providers and parents to use, supporting childcare providers to advertise their settings quickly and easily, and supporting parents to find high quality childcare in their local area.

Creating a profile is easy and takes just a few minutes. Providers can link to their Ofsted report, and tailor their profiles with photos, descriptions and funding information.

PACEY has produced a step-by-step guide on how to create a profile – making it quick and easy for childcare providers to start advertising their business. 

Spotlight pages

PACEY’s Spotlight section is packed with ideas to support childcare professionals. Subjects include caring for 2-year-olds; 30 hours funding; supporting families; promoting positive diversity; safeguarding, GDPR; special educational needs; nutrition, and much more.

When childcare providers click on their chosen subject, they’ll be taken through to information, ideas and resources. An invaluable tool for childcare providers at any stage of their career.

Facebook groups

Play to Learn
PACEY created the Play to Learn Facebook group to provide an environment that promotes and shares simple activities and routines for children. These can be created and delivered at home or at a childcare setting for little or no cost, whilst supporting children’s learning and development. The perfect platform for encouraging partnership working between childcare providers and parents.

First steps to childminding
First steps to childminding is a supportive network for people wishing to become childminders. This Facebook group is the ideal place to direct anyone in your local area who’s thinking about making the move into childcare.

The First steps to childminding group is also useful for newly registered childminders, or those undertaking pre-registration training.

Ideas for creative childcare
At PACEY, we know that thousands of childcare providers have amazing creative ideas to share. That’s why we’ve created this fun Facebook group, where providers can upload photos and videos of creative activities at their settings.

Ideas for creative childcare is a fantastic group for childcare providers to join for tips and inspiration. 

Supporting children with SEND

Many childcare providers care for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). A child may be diagnosed with a condition before joining a childcare setting, or the provider may be involved in identifying a special educational need or disability.

We understand that high quality childcare is vital for supporting children with SEND. The information below forms part of our Spotlight on SEND page, created to help childcare providers to understand SEND, the SEND Code of Practice and what it means for them. There’s also a case study about the rewarding benefits of caring for children with SEND.  

Video – meet PACEY childminders caring for disabled children

What is SEND?

What is the SEND Code of Practice?

What does the SEND Code of Practice mean for me?  

Case study: Caring for a child with SEND and claiming the 2-year-old funding – read Cathy’s story


Below is a collection of leaflets for you to have at your fingertips and share with the childcare providers you work with.

Childminding - A rewarding and flexible career choice

Ideal for those considering becoming a registered childminder, this leaflet has all the information they need when deciding if childminding is the right career choice for them.

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Nanny membership - A rewarding and worthwhile career choice

Ideal for those considering becoming a Home Childcarer (Nanny), this leaflet has all the information they need when deciding if being a Nanny is the right career choice for them.

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We have worked with the experts at Childcare Insurance Specialists (CIS) Ltd. who understand that your home is also your place of work and your needs and requirements are different. Together, we have developed a policy that provides you with the cover you need. 

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The perfect policy designed specifically for those transporting children. We understand that your vehicle is part of your service, and your needs and requirements are different.

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Building bright futures - Who is PACEY?

You can rely on our experience. PACEY supports childcarers across England and Wales. Find out more about the support we offer.

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Business Smart

Business Smart helps all childcare practitioners gain and build on the business skills, knowledge and confidence they need to run successful businesses.

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Childminding contracts - suitable for delivering 30 hours

Find out more about our childminding contracts that allow childminders to manage the 30 hours entitlement.

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