The 5 Best Childcare Business Grants
For You
Get money. Make a difference.

Grants are…tricky. Finding the right one for your project is never easy, and that’s before you’ve even gone through the battle of writing a seven-page application.

That’s why we’ve tried to make it that bit easier. We’ve put the legwork in and found the best grant for five different categories, and given you a rundown of what you need to apply and how to do it.

Want to check out some more options? You’re in luck. Scroll on down and you can download our full guide, with details for almost 20 of the best grants in the UK, along with advice from leading childcare experts on how to make sure your grant applications are a success.

For Nurseries…

It’s Called… Small Grants, Big Difference from The Pre-School Learning Alliance

They give… Up to £2000

They’re looking for… Any nursery settings who ‘enhance the learning of the children and families in their care’. They’ll give priority to applications from disadvantaged areas, those offering support for disabled children, or innovative ways to extend learning.

You can apply… By filling in this short form and sending it to smallgrantsbigdifference@pre-school.org.uk

Our advice? Reading about how others have succeeded in getting funding is a great starting point to your application. Luckily, The Pre-School Learning Alliance provide case studies from successful nurseries.

For Childminders..

It’s Called… Childcare Business Grant Scheme from The Department for Education

They give… £500-£1000

They’re looking for… New childminders or childcare providers on domestic premises who have been registered with Ofsted within the last three months. If you will be looking after children with special educational needs and disabilities, or you’re setting up a childminding agency, you can apply for the larger amount. You must also plan to offer the 30 hours funded childcare entitlement.

You can apply… Online over at the government website or by post.

Our advice? Keep your application online, and the application process will be much speedier. And watch out for that three month deadline!

For Charities…

It’s Called… The Big Lottery Fund from the National Lottery

They give… £300-£10,000

They’re looking for… School-based settings or not-for-profits who can demonstrate that they are building strong relationships in the community, improving those communities, and helping people fulfil their potential. You can use the money on everything from equipment and training to one-off events and running costs.

You can apply… By downloading and reading their guidance document and filling in the pdf application form before emailing or posting it to them.

Our advice? The national lottery has a strong focus on community. Make sure that you can include this as a key part of your plans and your application.

For Specific Projects…

It’s Called… Grants from The Ernest Cook Trust

They give… Up to £4000 and above for larger grants.

They’re looking for… Nurseries looking to encourage young people’s interest in the countryside and the environment specifically, and more broadly in the arts, science, literacy and numeracy. All applications need to link in with recognised qualifications (including EYFS).

You can apply… By taking a look at previously awarded grants, and then submitting a covering letter.

Our advice? If you’re a forest school or have nature as central to your curriculum, this is the grant for you. The trust has a particular interest in rural skills and crafts.

For Your Setting as a Small Business…

It’s Called… Small Business Grants

They give… A wide variety of amounts

They’re looking for… All sorts. One of the most reliable ways of finding funding is getting in touch with your local authority and seeing what they specifically offer in your area. It could be anything from grants targeted directly to childcare providers, right up to standard small business grants.

You can apply… By heading over here to search for grants in your area.

Our advice? Can’t find what you’re looking for? Head over to your local authority website and look for the business section. Alternatively just give them a ring and you’re much more likely to get through to someone who can give you useful advice.

And that’s not all. We’ve created a complete guide to grants and funding, with even more grants, information on how to apply, and expert advice on how to write killer applications. Just fill in your details below to receive your free guide.

Interested in more?

Download our full guide for more grants and more advice, completely free.