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Managing your business

It is important that every childcare or early education provider is able to offer high quality care for children, delivered by a business that is financially sustainable. We offer a range of templates and toolkits which are intended to help you with planning and building a long term vision for your business.

We recommend that every setting has the following plans:

  • A robust business plan - you can use this business plan template - Word, 217KB to create yours
  • A cash flow forecast which clearly identifies the income and outgoings of the setting, whatever size it is. This cash flow forecast template - Excel, 164KB will help you do that
  • You may also find it useful to consider developing a fundraising plan if your setting has charitable status. A marketing plan - Word, 72KB can also help you think about who your customers will be in the longer term and how you plan to attract new business.

Free early education entitlement

If you don't currently offer the Free Early Education Entitlement, you may wish to consider it. The Free Entitlement provides up to 15 hours funded childcare per week for all three and four- year-olds, and for eligible two-year-olds. Payment for each child's funded hours goes directly to the setting from Essex County Council. The funding section explains this in detail.


Early Years and Childcare offers a range of business related training - find out what's currently on offer by going to our training and qualifications section.

Business management

If you have any business concerns contact our Business Management Consultants at