About Business Smart
Business Smart is a free online resource from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) to support the sustainability of new and established childminding settings in England.
It has been developed by childminders for childminders and in association with Lloyds Bank. Funding for the toolkit has been provided by a grant from the Department for Education and covers childminders in England*.
Childminders have been involved throughout the project by sharing their views about the skills they need to run their businesses. A survey of almost 500 childminders 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. We also conducted in-depth interviews and focus groups with new and established childminders to develop the toolkit.
We are very grateful to all the childminders who have helped us put together this resource – to all those who completed our online surveys; spoke to us in detail about their work; were involved in the scoping and testing of the toolkit; and who allowed us to visit and photograph them in their settings.
We are also grateful for the support from Lloyds Bank who have shared their toolkits and small business expertise to help PACEY develop this valuable tool. PACEY is not promoting the use of Lloyds Bank services and recognises that childminders have many different options for banking and financial services that they can choose from.
Business Smart aims to 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.
The first phase of the toolkit was launched on Monday 24 July. It is a growing resource with more content and features to be added over the coming months.
Childminders are able to suggest additions to Business Smart using this form.
*While the information in Business Smart is written for childminders in England, much of the information will also apply to providers in Wales.