Business Support for Early Years Providers

Business Toolkit to support Early Years Providers

The Early Years Business Zone is an initiative that provides free online resources that has been tailored to the needs of early years businesses:

  • Business appraisal tool - A series of in-depth questions that analyse your business’s strengths and weaknesses and makes recommendations.
  • Staff Cost Calculator - This determines the most effective methods of using staff based on staff and occupancy levels. Achieve optimum capacity, value for money and stretched offers for working parents.
  • Financial Management - To help businesses control costs, review business modelling and help determine where future savings can be made.

Early Years Providers will need to register to access the information.

Visit the Early Years Business Zone

How to run a sustainable business for early years providers

The Department for Education (DfE) has produced some publications to support early years providers to run sustainable businesses. They have spoken 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. For more information visit Gov.UK

Here are some further useful sources of information 

  • Understand the local market - marketing is about being aware of what you want your business to achieve, how you want it to be viewed by others and how you communicate your message. Read how to carry out marketing, some techniques for how to promote your business and ideas on how to respond to changing needs
  • Understand and manage your occupancy rate - this means recording and tracking expected and actual occupancy to identify variations across the weeks, months and year. Read providers' experiences in: successfully managing occupancy
  • Understand your costs - If you look at your business’ performance in terms of budget and cashflow, and track actual income and expenditure against monthly projections, you are more likely to be able to invest in your business to improve its quality and provide more childcare. Read more about managing monthly finances.
  • Be clear about your charging policy - being transparent allows you to build trust with parents. If you maintain a clear, fair and consistent policy on what you charge parents for – for example, for late pick-ups or late payments.
  • Be aware and the funding you can access - this could include the early years pupil premium (EYP), disability access fund (DAF), special educational needs (SEN) inclusion fund. Having this knowledge will enable you to be more confident in providing quality for all children without affecting the sustainability of your business. Read guidance on extra sources of income and Funding Sources for EY businesses [PDF379KB] 
  • Be aware of the funding that parents can access to pay for childcare - this could include tax-free childcare , childcare elements of tax credits , childcare elements of Universal Credit , employer support, such as childcare vouchers

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