Supporting detail:

Childcare business grant scheme

We want to encourage more good quality, affordable and reliable childcare to give working families more childcare provision choices. This scheme will also help entrepreneurs to start up and run their own businesses.

The Childcare Business Grants Scheme has been created to boost the provision of childcare in England. You can apply to the scheme if you are intending to set up a new childcare business and from 1 April 2015 you can apply if you either intending to set up a new childcare business or have already set one up and have been trading for less than 12 months, following award of your Ofsted/CMA (Childminder Agency) certificate. You can apply to the scheme to:

  • get a small grant to help you with the costs of getting trained and registered
  • access a business mentor, to support and advise you as you start and/or grow your business
  • access business advice tailored to the childcare sector


There are 3 types of grant you can apply for which depend on the type of childcare business you are setting up or have already established. From 1 April 2015 the amounts you can apply for are up to:

  1. £500 for new childminding businesses (a childminder is someone who looks after children in their own home, either alone or with help from one or two other adults)

  2. £1000 for new childminding businesses (as above) that intend to provide care for disabled children

  3. £1000 for larger childcare businesses, including nurseries and out-of-school clubs (which are usually run in a specialist building), and childcare businesses on domestic premises (in someone’s home, but with 4 or more adults working there)


You will be ineligible for a grant if you set up your childcare business and have been trading for more than one year following award of your Ofsted/CMA certificate. Grants are for England only and are not available for people intending to work as nannies or au pairs.

Visit the childcare business grants scheme website to find out how to apply

Access a business mentor

If you are thinking about starting a new business, you should get yourself a business mentor. This is free, and can make a big difference to your chances of setting up a successful business.

Business mentors have the practical experience, contacts and expertise to help you start a business. A mentor acts as an independent sounding board and can provide guidance and support, helping you to explore how your business will work, and develop important business skills.

How to find a free mentor

  • Visit the “Find a Mentor” section of the mentors me website
  • Select ‘start-up’ from the ‘Business life stage’ menu, enter your region and select ‘show mentors’
  • In the results page select ‘free’ from ‘Types of service’

In some cases, you will need to provide some details about yourself and your business. All these organisations offer a free service and you should not have to pay for anything.

Specialist business advice

Lots of organisations provide advice specifically to help you through the process of starting a business. The advice on the websites listed below is free, but in some cases the organisations will want you to join before they give you more tailored advice. You may find it useful to join such an organisation – which can provide on-going support and advice, and may give you free insurance or other advantages for your business – but you should be clear what you are getting in return before you join any organisation.

Steps to starting a childminding business:

  1. Speak to your local authority to discuss the need for childcare in your area, and to find suitable approved training courses

  2. Consider applying for a childcare business grant

  3. Get yourself a business mentor through the mentors me website and follow the instructions set out above

  4. Complete a local authority approved childcare training course, and child protection training

  5. Complete a first aid course (you’ll need to complete a paediatric first aid course if you intend to work with children under 5)

  6. Get an enhanced criminal record check 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 used to be known as a CRB check). The cost of these checks will be subsidised in full for applications received no later than 28 June 2013

  7. Get public liability insurance for your home. This is mandatory and will protect you if one of the children or a member of staff has an accident on your premises

  8. Get a health certificate from your doctor. Ofsted will provide you with a health form to fill in. You will need to fill in parts A and B, and get your doctor to fill in part C

  9. Register with Ofsted to get your home inspected