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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-early-years-providers-to-run-sustainable-businesses/supporting-early-years-providers-to-run-sustainable-businesses-summary
In September 2017, the government introduced 30 hours of funded childcare for working parents with 3- and 4- year-olds. It is more important than ever that providers have good business skills and respond to the needs of parents.
Our review of childcare costs shows that there is scope for some providers to improve their business practices in order to develop and grow their businesses and respond to increasing demand.
We understand that offering accessible and high-quality childcare is what early years providers do. Improving business performance won’t distract from this. In fact, it will allow providers to invest more in the things that make the biggest difference to high-quality early years services for children and their parents.
We want to support early years providers of all sizes to build sustainable and successful businesses and help them access the business support they need.
Insights from successful early years providers
With the help of successful providers, we have developed a series of insights into business sustainability.
We’re also providing further useful resources, including:
- information on sources of income available to providers, including clarification on charging parents for additional items and services, and sources of additional funding
- a directory of childcare business support consultants and software tools to provide further support to those that need it
- a series of childcare provider case studies - we spoke to a range of providers about the challenges their businesses have faced, and the ideas and schemes they have put in place to be sustainable
In November 2016 the Department for Education appointed Childcare Works, a consortium made up of Mott MacDonald, Hempsall’s and Action for Children to help provide 30 hours childcare for working parents of 3- and 4-year-olds. Childcare Works will work closely with local authorities and providers to make sure they have the tools and knowledge to create and maintain sustainable business models.
The programme includes:
- collecting and sharing examples of good practice through group workshops, online resources and practitioner networks
- training providers in business remodelling, business planning and working flexibly and sustainably
- running progress reviews with local authorities to identify specific business support needs, examine developments and identify actions
The Department for Education has awarded grants to the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) and the Professional Association of Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) to develop new business sustainability resources for childcare providers.
The NDNA Early Years Business Zone is a web-based free resource for nurseries. It brings together good practice in business planning from across England alongside new tools and resources, to provide specialist support for nurseries.
The PACEY Early Years Education Childminding Project supports new and established childminders to assess their business sustainability, and look at whether they could expand their provision of funded childcare. This free online business toolkit has been developed by childminders, for childminders.