Government set to offer grants up to £500 to nursery and childminding start-ups

£2m scheme hopes to create 6,000 new childcare businesses

A £2m government scheme aimed at boosting new nursery and childminding businesses is due to be announced today by Maria Miller,  the minister for women and equalities.

Launching next April, the scheme is set to offer grants of up to £500 to people setting up a nursery or childminding business.

The money will contribute towards Ofsted fees, mandatory health and safety training courses and equipment for childcare providers.

There are currently 95,980 childcare businesses registered with Ofsted in the UK, of which 57,149 are childminders, however government research suggests that six out of 10 parents feel that there is insufficient local childcare.

Consequently, the government hopes to create 6,000 new childcare businesses under the new scheme in an effort to allow mothers to return to work.

Women and equalities minister Maria Miller hopes that the new scheme will also encourage women to set up their own businesses.

She said: “There are more women in work than ever before and they are playing a vital role in our economic recovery but good quality, affordable and reliable childcare is the key to even more women being able to work.

“The childcare industry is already a major employer of women and this scheme will provide huge opportunities for female entrepreneurs to start up and run their own businesses.”

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