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Cash grants worth up to £500 are still being offered to people across England who want to start their own childcare business, Women and Equalities Minister Maria Miller has announced.

The scheme aims to support over 6,000 new childcare businesses in England by helping people cover some of the set up and training costs, equipment, insurance and adaptations to premises that can otherwise be tough when you’re setting up a new business.

The scheme intends to have a double effect by making sure there is more childcare available for women who want to go back to work whilst enabling others to set up their own business. Thousands of people have already applied for the grants but there are still more available.

Minister for Women and Equalities, Maria Miller said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for people who are, or maybe thinking of, starting up their own child minding or nursery business this year.

“We are offering a cash boost of up to £500 to help budding entrepreneurs with some of their start-up costs. Extra childcare options will help more women return to work as well as supporting people achieve their own business dreams.

“Thousands of people have already applied for a grant, but I want even more people to benefit. The Government is determined to help people who want to get on and realise their ambitions so I would urge anyone who is interested to apply as soon as possible to ensure they don’t miss out.”

New businesses are also being encouraged to team up with a free mentor so they can access specially-tailored business start-up advice.

Becky Padley received a cash grant in October 2013 and is now running her own child minding business, TippeToes childcare, in Sheffield. She said:

“Without the help of the grant, setting up my business wouldn’t have been possible.  I used the cash to join the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, join the national childcare register, pay for my Disclosure and Barring Service checks and also do some advertising. Without this money I wouldn’t have been able to afford to do any of that.”

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