Childcare Business Grants

The Childcare Business Grants Scheme will close on Friday 31st May 2019.


No applications received after this date will be assessed.


There are no plans from the Department for Education to start another Childcare Grants Scheme in the next few months.








About the scheme

The Department for Education has taken the decision to end the Childcare Business Grant Scheme (CBGS) from 31 March 2019.  This is based largely on a decrease in the number of applications received for the CBGS.  We have decided that it would be sensible therefore that the Scheme is not renewed after March 2019.


This scheme is intended to reimburse you for the costs of setting up your childcare business.  The scheme is only open to newly registered businesses. From 1 May 2017 a newly registered business is one that has been registered with Ofsted or a CMA within the last 3 months.

Details of revised Scheme from 4th April 2018

We are retaining the higher level of award (£1,000) for childminders who care for children with SEN/D and for new Childminder Agencies (CMAs), and introducing two tiers of general award:

  • A universal award of £300 for new childminders across England;
  • Introducing a locality supplement of £200 to the universal award, providing a total grant of £500. This will be paid to new childminders within certain local authorities (LA) where there are low numbers of childminders, and the LA has been highlighted as facing challenges around rurality and disadvantage.

Please note that from 1st May 2017, if you have been registered with Ofsted for longer than 3 months you are not eligible for a grant. This rule will be strictly upheld.

The Childcare Business Grants Scheme is funded by the Department for Education. There is a fixed amount of funding available and is demand-led and operates on a first come / first served basis. Our advice is to not delay your application.

From 4th April 2018 the scheme is subject to updated terms and conditions. See Frequently Asked Questions for further information.



Eligibility requirements

If you have been registered with Ofsted for longer than 3 months you are not eligible for a grant

In order to be eligible for this grant you must:

  • Be a childminder or childcare provider on domestic premises or a Childminder Agency operating in England
  • Be registered with Ofsted or a CMA on the Early Years Register and be able to provide a copy of your registration certificate
  • Be a NEW business. This means:

               i)      You must have been registered with Ofsted/CMA for less than 3 months [1]


               ii)     Have already started your business (this cannot be before your Ofsted/CMA registration date)


               iii)   If you have not yet started your business you must plan to do so within 6 months of your application date

  • Plan to offer the 30 hours funded childcare entitlement for 3- and 4-year-olds yourself or in partnership and are registered with your Local Authority to do so if you are a childminder or childcare provider on domestic premises
  • Directly encourage and support your registered childminders or providers to offer the 30 hours funded childcare entitlement, either themselves or in partnership with other providers if you are a Childminder Agency
  • Spend the grant on costs directly related to setting up your childminding business and retain proof of how you have spent the grant
  • Not have received a grant under the Childcare Business Grants scheme before unless you are now applying as a CMA
  • Not be a private nursery, after school club or other type of provider.


[1] Up to 30th April 2017 this was 12 months


You can apply for the grant online.

In order to apply for the grant online you must first register to create an account. This is quick and easy to do. In your account you can then complete and submit your application and keep up to date on the progress of your application.

In order to apply for the grant you should have an electronic version of your Ofsted/CMA certificate to hand.  You cannot submit your application without it.

Before applying we recommend you have a look at our Help section to double check you are eligible for the scheme and you have all the right information before you start.



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We also offer a hard copy of the application form if you wish to apply by post, but bear in mind this will delay your application. If applying by post you do not need to register online first. In order to apply for the grant by post you should have a photocopy of your Ofsted/CMA certificate to hand.  Your application cannot be processed unless it is complete and you have sent your certificate with it.

Please contact us through the helpline to request a paper copy of the form and we will send it to you in the post for you to complete and return.


To help you complete the application form we have created guidance to take you through the form step by step. You can download the guidance below.

A map showing the 30 local authorities presently eligible for the locality supplement can be found here.

The definition of how the local authorities are selected can be found here.

Have questions? Please find below our latest Frequently Asked Questions.


If you receive a standard (£300 or £500) grant your claim may be selected for a post-payment audit.

If you receive a grant for working with children with SEN/D or setting up a CMA (£1,000) then you will be audited.

You will be notified of your audit within 6 months of your grant payment. We will require copies of your receipts and records which demonstrate the expenditure you incurred in getting registered with Ofsted or a CMA. You should keep all of this evidence for at least 12 months of your grant being paid to you.

The grant must be spent within 3 months of receipt.

Examples of eligible expenditure for a childminder and childcare provider on domestic premises may include:

  • Training costs
  • Health check costs
  • Disclosure and Barring Service costs
  • Ofsted/CMA registration costs
  • Insurance costs
  • Equipment costs
  • Other associated costs

Examples of eligible expenditure for a CMA may include:

  • Registration
  • Training
  • The process of establishing the business
  • Marketing / recruitment of childminders
  • Advertising to parents


If selected for audit, further details will be sent at the time via email requesting evidence of your expenditure. Failure to provide sufficient evidence may result in the Department for Education requiring you to repay your grant.