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News

Childminder grant scheme


For operators in England, there is a new government grant available to help set up your new childminding venture.

Maybe you’re a nanny looking to become a childminder or you have worked in childcare at a nursery or pre-school but now want to set up your own childcare business as a childminder at home. The good news is that if you are operating in England, there is a generous government grant available to help you that you can even claim if you set up within the last 12 months. But hurry up – the fund won’t last forever.

What is the childcare grant scheme?

The scheme was announced three years ago when £2 million was made available to help people set up new childcare businesses in England. It was anticipated the scheme would help up to 6,000 new childcare businesses get off the ground by helping with start-up costs such as training, insurance and security checks.

What about the scheme in 2015?

Since then ministers have extended the scheme, twice, and nearly 7,400 businesses have benefited. Government has also doubled the amount of money available to individuals. Now the sum of the awards has risen from £250 to £500 for prospective childminders; and up to £1000 for childminders looking after disabled children.

Am I eligible?

The grants were brought in to boost the provision of childcare in England and support the starting up of new childcare businesses. These are businesses looking after one or more children to whom they are not related, on domestic premises, for reward and for a total of more than two hours in any day. For those childminders that will provide care for disabled children, applicants need to demonstrate that they have incurred additional expenditure in setting up their business as a result of this to access the larger grant.

The scheme can accept registration certificates from either Ofsted or a childminder agency and if it is less than 12 months since you received your registration certificate, you can still apply.

Can I apply for grants from other bodies too?

There is no problem with this as far as the government’s Equalities Office and Department for Education are concerned, but the other bodies awarding grants may have restrictions.

How do I apply and can I apply before registering with Ofsted or a childminding agency?

Yes, you can apply for your grant before registering with Ofsted or an agency. However you will need to provide proof of your successful registration within six months of applying for this grant. You must also inform your local authority you are applying and book and complete any necessary training courses.

You can download an application form and guidance notes as well as find out all you need to know about applying by clicking here.

What costs are considered as eligible proof of my intention to start up my new business?

All costs incurred for the set up of your business will be considered as eligible. This includes: public liability insurance, courses attended, health check, disclosure and barring service check, house insurance cover, additional car insurance to cover the transportation of the children in your care, and any additional equipment that is purchased.

When is the deadline for a claim to be submitted?

The grant scheme will be open for new applications up until December 31, 2015.

Will the scheme be renewed or extended if the current grant allocation is exhausted?

There are no plans at present to increase the budget or renew the scheme beyond the end of 2015. So if the grant fund is fully spent when you apply, then your claim will be unsuccessful.