Business Support Childcare and Playwork providers
We want all childcare and playwork providers in Wales to be able to access the support they need to establish, develop and grow their business sustainably.
We recognise that providers across Wales will have different needs, according to the type of service they offer, where they are based and the expertise those establishing and running them have. Support required could entail, for example:
- Information about regulatory requirements
- Business skills such as financial planning and record keeping
- How to market and promote your business
- Strategic planning
- Staff management
- Training professional development and qualifications
This section sets out the support that is available on a national level and where to find further information and signposts to who to contact/support available at a local level.
All Wales Support - Click on the links to see the support available at a national level:
Childcare offer for Wales
The Childcare Offer for Wales provides working parents with a mixture of childcare and early education for children aged 3 or 4.
Non-Domestic rates relief
The registered childcare sector in Wales is exempt from paying business rates for three years April 2019-April 2022. This is to help providers become more established, to support the sector to operate and grow, create new jobs and maximise the benefit of the Childcare Offer.
Flying Start is the flagship early years programme for families with children who are under 4 years of age. Read the guidance for professionals.
Business Wales provides free independent advice to people starting, running and growing business in Wales. This support is for all stages of a childcare business whether; Pre-Start, Start Up or Growth.
Support covers topics such as:
- Starting a Business
- Digital Learning
- Business Advice & Training
- Finance/Start Up Loans
- Employment, Skills & Training
- Property & Resources Advice
- Tendering & Procurement
Social Business Wales provides free independent advice to people starting, running and growing social businesses in Wales. Social Businesses include Social Enterprises, Co-operatives, Mutuals and Employee Owned Businesses
Prime Cymru provides support for mature individuals in Wales to set up in business.
CWLWM is a consortium made up of the five leading childcare and playwork organisations in Wales:
- Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs
- Early Years Wales
- Mudiad Meithrin
- National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA Cymru)
- Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY Cymru)
Cwlwm partners provide opportunities and information for childcare businesses to access qualifications, workshops and courses as well as networking events that will build upon and update knowledge.
- Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs is the voice of Out of School Childcare Clubs in Wales, supporting children’s right to play and quality childcare that is sustainable, affordable and meets the needs of children, their families and communities. They offer a range of business support and advice in relation to setting up, developing, sustaining and supporting out of school childcare clubs. For further information, visit About Us Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs
- Early Years Wales is a specialist umbrella organisation dedicated to the development of children aged 0-5, supporting the provision of quality assured, structured creative-learning and play opportunities for children within Wales. Early Years Wales can provide you with a range of business support such as support and guidance on regulatory requirements, sustaining and developing existing provision and establishing new settings. Further information is available on the Early Years Wales website.
- Mudiad Meithrin is the main provider of Welsh medium early years childcare and education in Wales. They have dedicated support officers in all 22 local authority areas, providing guidance and support to ensure high quality services, Welsh language and business support from developing new Cylchoedd Meithrin to sustaining and developing existing settings. They also offer specific support to Voluntary Management committees including inductions, regulatory requirements legal structures, employment and finance advice. More information is available on the Mudiad Meithrin website.
- National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is the membership association and national charity representing day nurseries across the UK and internationally. They are able to provide you with a wealth of business support and training as well as advice and guidance on regulatory requirements, developing quality of care, running a healthy sustainable business and embedding the use of the Welsh Language within your setting. You can find further information and support on the NDNA Cymru website.
- Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY Cymru)
PACEY Cymru supports those working in childcare and early years to provide high quality care and early learning for children and families. This includes business support, training, webinars and events, information, expert advice, guidance, help and peer support for practitioners. Support is available for embedding the use of the Welsh language within a setting, and support to provide quality childcare practice is available including a toolkit at Inspiring environments. PACEY Cymru also provide specific support, guidance and training for those looking to develop a home-based childcare service, find out more about becoming a childminder or nanny in Wales. More information is available on the PACEY website.
Play Wales is the National Organisation for children’s play. They provide support to all those who have an interest in or responsibility for providing for children's play, including playwork providers. More information is available on the Play Wales website.
Social Care Wales
Social Care Wales is a Welsh Government Sponsored Body (WGSB) set up under the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 in April 2017 They offer support, advice, guidance and resources for early years and childcare settings.
Recruitment support is also available- advertise jobs in your childcare and playwork setting for free. Visit the WeCare Wales jobs portal and submit your job vacancy.
The Development Bank of Wales provide a range of loans and funding mechanisms that the childcare sector may apply for subject to relevant eligibility and criteria.
Robert Owen Community Banking offers development loans for small business
Purple Shoots offer small business loan opportunities
Princes Trust can provide funding to young people looking to start their own business
Care Inspectorate Wales is responsible for the registration and inspection of relevant childcare settings and undertake the role of Independent Regulator on behalf of Welsh Ministers.
CIW regulates and inspects:
- Children’s Day Care:
- Full Day Care
- Sessional Day Care
- Out of School Provision
- Open Access Play Provision
All registered providers must comply with the requirements of National Minimum Standards (NMS) for regulated childcare settings.
Social Care Wales outlines the required or recommended qualifications for different job roles within regulated childcare in Wales.
Play Wales provides secretariat to the Playwork Education and Training Council for Wales (PETC), who approve the required playwork qualifications for the sector. Membership includes: Play Wales; Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs; Addysg Oedolion Cymru, Adult Learning Wales; Qualifications Wales; Welsh Government; Social Care Wales and Playwork employers.
WCVA is the national membership organisation for voluntary organisations in Wales. Find out more about funding, training, advice and support to charities, voluntary and community groups and social enterprises.
The Start Up Loans Company
The Start Up Loans Company is a UK wide, government-backed scheme. You could be eligible for a loan if you are over the age of 18 and have a viable business idea but no access to finance. More information is available on the Start Up Loans website.
HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs)
There is a significant amount of business-focused help and support for childcare providers from HMRC – this includes specific schemes to support parents and carers with childcare costs.
HMRC also provide information for childcare settings about their responsibilities and the processes to be followed with regard to Tax, NI, Payee, VAT, Filing Dates and Auto-enrol pensions information and requirements.
Schemes for parents to offset childcare costs
Tax Free Schemes
As an employer providing childcare to your employees, you have certain tax, National Insurance and reporting obligations. Most workplace nurseries and childcare voucher schemes are exempt.
Expenses and benefits: childcare: What's exempt - GOV.UK
Working Tax Credits – Offset costs of Childcare with DWP - Help paying for childcare: Tax credits and childcare - GOV.UK
Universal Credit – Offset of costs of Childcare – Understanding Universal Credit - Children and childcare
Further information about childcare funding schemes such as the Childcare Offer for Wales and Flying Start is available in the Welsh Government section above.
Find out how childcare and playwork providers across Wales have benefitted from business support and see who has provided that support.
- Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids' Clubs: Business support for an out of school club
- Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids' Clubs: Business support to help a Caerphilly Club re-open following Covid-19
- Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids' Clubs: Business support to set up a new Welsh language After School Childcare Club in Newport
- Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids' Clubs: Benefits of registration with Care Inspectorate Wales (After School and Holiday Club)
- Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs: Developing holiday care for children with complex needs as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation
- Mudiad Meithrin: Support for Cylchoedd Meithrin
- Funky Footsteps Day Nursery
- Y Dyfodol Cyf Day Nursery
- National Day Nurseries Association Cymru: Support on Applying for Funding & Developing Mother Goose Nursery
- National Day Nurseries Association Cymru: Support on developing Welsh Language provision in a nursery setting
- Early Years Wales: Help for a setting to resolve employment and contractual issues and to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation
Early Years Wales: Support for a school to enable their full day care setting to become a Community Interest Company
Early Years Wales: Support for a full day care setting operating on a school site
PACEY Cymru: Helping people to take their first steps to becoming a childminder
More case studies to follow.
Local Authorities have an important role to play in supporting childcare and playwork businesses across Wales. This is highlighted in Welsh Government’s Childcare Statutory Guidance (2016) which “enable local authorities to assist or make arrangements with childcare providers, including those from the private and voluntary sectors, to meet the needs of parents and fill gaps they have identified in provision. Assistance that is currently given includes, for example, business and market advice, the use of facilities, network co-ordination, and grants and financial support”.
However, there can be differences in the business support that is available to the Childcare and Playwork Sector in Wales at a Local Authority level, reflecting local issues and priorities/opportunities.
For Example, Coalfields Regeneration Trust operates in the former Coalfields areas of Wales only, so some local authority areas are excluded from support; also some of CWLWM’s services are directly commissioned to deliver business support in some of the Local Authority areas but not in others.
Each Local Authority area has or shares a County Voluntary Council – there are currently 19 in Wales. The CVC services and support can vary reflecting the local needs/ funding available and so is included in the Local Authority area lists.
Some Local Authority areas employ a play development officer (or team) or play sufficiency lead that provide support to community based playwork providers in terms of governance and funding.
Click on the link here to take you to your Local Authority area Family Information Service who will be able to provide information on the business support available in your area.