New childcare businesses are being encouraged to apply for grants before the Childcare Business Grants Scheme closes in March 2014.
Grants of up to £500 can be used to help with the cost of legal and insurance costs, training, equipment and adaptations to premises. Government hope to support 6,000 new businesses with the £2 million fund.
The scheme also offers free mentoring support. Becky Padley, a new childminder who has benefited from the scheme, says:
[quote] Without the help of the grant, setting up my business wouldn’t have been possible. I used the cash to join the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, join the national childcare register, pay for my Disclosure and Barring Service checks and also do some advertising. Without this money I wouldn’t have been able to afford to do any of that.
The Childcare Business Grants Scheme provides a flat rate start-up grant of:
• £250 for new childminding businesses setting up in England;
• £500 for new childminding businesses that provide care for disabled children;
• £500 for new nursery, out of school club, or childcare on domestic premises.
What the scheme can help with
The scheme aims to reimburse some of the costs of qualifying as a childminder or nursery provider and getting registered with Ofsted. Costs are likely to include:
- Attending a local authority approved childcare training course and paediatric first aid course (costs vary, and some local authorities may not charge for these if your business will help meet a distinct local need for childcare – you should ask about this. If you are unemployed your jobcentre may help with the cost of these courses)
- To get clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for you and anyone else over 16 who is either involved in the business or living in your house. This costs £44 per person.
- To get a health check and certificate from your doctor (costs vary, but your doctor could charge around £80 for this service)
- To get public liability insurance for your business (costs vary)
- To apply for Ofsted registration (costs vary, depending on what sort of business you are going to start – the costs are shown on the Ofsted website)
A special site has been set-up for the scheme and you’ll find full application details there.