Childcare business grants rise to £1,000 for nurseries

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Childcare business grants will be doubled and extended to settings that have been running less than a year.

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The childcare business grant scheme will double from April

From April, the funding for nurseries, out-of-school clubs, and childcare for disabled children will rise from £500 to £1,000. Childminders will be eligible for £500, up from £250.

The grant has been opened up to businesses that have been trading less than 12 months. Previously only those that were intending to start a business within the next six months were eligible to apply.

Since last September, the funding has also been available for those starting childminder agencies.

The anouncement follows confirmation from George Osborne in the Autumn Statement that the total funding for the scheme would double to £2m for the financial year 2015-16.

The new grants were confirmed by education secretary Nicky Morgan during parliamentary questions yesterday.

Speaking in her capacity as minister for women and equalities, Ms Morgan said, ‘Working families benefit from a thriving childcare sector, with the scheme supporting up to 3,000 new childcare businesses in the next financial year.

‘I am pleased to inform the House that, from this April, we are doubling the value of the grants available to childminders and nurseries.  

‘We will also extend the scheme to existing childcare businesses that have been trading for under one year.’

Providers can apply for childcare business grants at the start of their Ofsted or childminder agency application.

Previously there has been criticism from some in the sector that the grants were too low to encourage new childcare business start-ups, and that take-up had been slow.

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