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Childcare Business Support

The Early Years and Childcare Service can signpost to support and expertise relevant to childcare providers on a range of business support including looking at the financial sustainability of the setting, budgeting, cash flow forecasting, marketing, writing a business plan, setting up a childcare business, choosing a legal structure, fundraising, finance and applying for grants.

Tools and resources to support settings and individual childcare providers

Business toolkits

Free Business Appraisal Tool and Business Toolkits for Day Nurseries

NDNA, supported by the Department for Education have created the Early Years Business Zone 

Day Nurseries can register at to access tools including:

  • Business Appraisal Tool - A series of in-depth questions that analyse a settings’ business strengths and weaknesses and makes recommendations.
  • Financial Management - Understand your setting costs, find savings, make accurate forecasts and plan for the future.
  • Staff Cost Calculator - Determine the most effective methods of deploying staff based on staff numbers and occupancy levels. Achieve optimum capacity, value for money and a stretched offer for working parents.


York Cares Enterprise Hub Skills Share

For voluntary organisations (charities and committee run settings) there is also an opportunity to access professional skills via the York Cares Enterprise Hub Skills Share programme.

The Enterprise Hub enables employers to share their businesses expertise with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to help them become more sustainable. 

The Skills Share is a chance for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to benefit from short-term business support to help shape their organisational planning, test ideas and get a business perspective on their challenges. The types of issues that could be tackled or project work that could be undertaken include developing business plans, marketing strategies, financial planning, preparing an organisation for tendering opportunities or developing products and services. 


PACEY launches new business resource for childminders

The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) has launched a new business toolkit to support the sustainability of new and established childminding settings.

The free online resource, Business Smart, has been developed by childminders for childminders. It has been produced in association with Lloyds Bank, who have shared their toolkits and small business expertise to help PACEY develop this valuable tool. Funding for the toolkit has been provided by a grant from the Department for Education.

Business Smart will 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. As part of this, childminders will be able to consider whether offering the early years entitlement is viable for them - all in one easy-to-use website. It is an invaluable resource to support all childminders - at whatever stage of their career - to consider how to grow their much needed services.



Starting up a childcare business

Practical help, guides, resources, tips and ideas for all small businesses based in the UK:

Legal structure

You must choose a business structure that defines your legal responsibilities when you start a business. You can find more information here

The Charity Commission website Becoming a charitable company or CIO provides more information about the possible charity legal structures.

You can find more information about the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) here:Charity Commission - Setting up a CIO

Staff employment

The advice contained on the ACAS website is designed to give impartial advice on employment matters to employers, employees and their representatives. You can find templates for letters, forms and checklist, employment law updates and free online tools designed to help organisations check that they have the right people management policies in place.

Auto-enrolment pensions

 Every employer in the UK now needs to have a qualifying workplace pension scheme in place and start enrolling eligible workers into that scheme.

Grants, loans and fundraising

Grants, loans and fundraising are important forms of funding that enable many voluntary, community and private organisations to provide services.

For further information on grants, loans and fundraising please contact 01904 554400,


Other support

  • National Day Nurseries Association is the national charity and membership association for nurseries. NDNA provides nursery support, information and advice, childcare training and a quality improvement scheme, e-Quality Counts.
  • Early Years Alliance is the largest early years membership organisation and voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education in England.
  • PACEY is the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years. A standard-setting organization, they promote best practice and support childcare professionals to deliver high standards of care and learning.
  • York CVS (Centre for Voluntary Service) supports local charities, community groups and social enterprises by giving sound financial, legal and management advice.
  • Business Support York & North Yorkshire (BSYNY) has been delivering quality business advice & support to business owners in the Yorkshire area for over 25 years.
  • The Charity Commission is the independent Government department which registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Our role is to ensure that the public can support charities with confidence. 


For more information please contact tel: 01904 555300