Childcare Business Grants Scheme (CBGS)

Ecorys managed the Childcare Business Grant Scheme on behalf of the UK Department for Education. From January 2017 to July 2019, we processed over 5,500 small grant applications and paid out more than £2.7 million.

The scheme made payments of between £300 and £1,000 to new OFSTED registered childcare businesses to support them to enter the childcare market, as part of the UK government’s commitment to offering 30 hours per week of free childcare to all parents. As well as checking eligibility for the grant and approving applications, Ecorys were responsible for audits on a selection of grants. We conducted an annual survey, assessing the business impact of the grant. The grants application process was highly automated and supported by a helpline.

The October 2018 impact survey analysed responses from more than 300 childcare businesses and grant recipients across England.

Key findings included:

  • businesses used the grant chiefly to pay for training or equipment
  • 66% reported they would have struggled to set up their business without the grant
  • more than 40% of recipient businesses could now offer places to children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities as a result of the grant

The initial Childcare Business Grants Scheme closed in 2019.

Ecorys have recently been selected to deliver a new Childcare Business Grants Scheme, on behalf of the Department for Education, starting in November 2023.

11 February 2019

1 minute read

Key Experts

Russell Peacock

Technical Director