The Childcare Business Grant Scheme (which is available only in England) has been extended to 31 December 2014. Under the scheme, grants of £250 or £500 are paid to people setting up a new childcare business (which can include childminding in the childminder’s own home). The grant can be used as a contribution towards costs such as training and registration, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance, health checks and certificates, and public liability insurance, as well as purchasing equipment and adapting premises.
The grant for a new childminding business (one looking after a child or children, not related to the childminder, in the childminder’s own home) is £250, doubled to £500 if either there are four or more childminders working on the premises (including the proprietor) or the childminder has incurred additional expenditure in order to provide care for disabled children.
The grant for childcare businesses operating in non-domestic premises, such as nurseries and out-of-school clubs, is £500. The scheme also includes access (free of charge) to a business mentor.
Two points to watch are that grants will not be paid to anyone already operating a childcare business of any kind, even if the money is needed to open a new nursery in new premises, and that schools may not claim a grant for breakfast clubs, after school clubs, and other childcare provided by the school on school premises.
Further information is posted at www.childcarebusinessgrants.dcms.gov.uk.