Maureen's Blog For Ask Askew

 My blogs aim to provide childcare business owners and managers with relevant business and childcare related information.

I am a Business Consultant specialising in the childcare sector. I am an active member of the Chartered Management Institute, Institute of Consulting, Federation of Small Businesses and the Chamber of Commerce.

I have been a Chartered Manager since 2007 I am also a 4Children Business Champion. I write feature articles for 2 childcare/family magazines, on issues that are of interest to families and childcare providers. I have been involved in childcare for over 35 years.

A life time ago starting with my NNEB training, I have been a registered Childminder, owned and managed pre-schools and full day care, worked as a paid employee and volunteer for the Pre-school Learning Alliance, delivered qualification and short childcare courses in FE colleges across Lancashire and North Yorkshire and worked as part of the early year’s teams at Blackburn with Darwen and Bolton LA for over 15 years. 

I started Ask Askew in 2011, although I mainly work for myself, I do work as an associate for the NDNA, CBIS and EYalliance (previously the Pre-school Learning Alliance. 

 

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15 Mar 2019

Applying for funding

People forget that there are lots of small pots locally, local supermarkets might offer small pots of money, £500 or £1000 and all local councillors have a pot of money that they can allocate to businesses or charities in their area.

It might be a little short of what you’re hoping for, but there’s no reason you can’t tie these pots together with other funding or a loan to reach your goal. It’s important to remember that you’re not just a childcare setting, but a business, a Small-Medium Enterprise (SME), a charity or CIO too.

You should look beyond just ...

6 Jan 2019

Staffing and sustainability

How does staffing contribute to your sustainability?

 

Staffing costs  can be between 75%  and 85% of a nurseries expenditure, so it is important to keep on top of it

Here are a just a few things that you can do to help minimise this expenditure:

1.       Monitor staff absence, if you are having to bring in agency staff or pay overtime due to staff absence, it could be costing you more than you need.  

v  Always do a return to work interview, even if its only been one day,  having to speak with the owner or manager ...

31 Dec 2018

On line Security

How secure is your online business security?

How do you protect your business, especially on the internet where the fraudsters always seem to be one step ahead?

Here are our top  tips for keeping your  business safe online:

  • Implement a combination of security protection solutions (anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall(s))
  • Carry out regular security updates on all software and devices
  • Implement a resilient password policy, with strong passwords (min eight characters,  use a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols. change regularly)
  • Secure your wireless network
  • Implement clear and concise procedures for email, internet and mobile devices
  • Train staff in good ...
31 Dec 2018

Putting your house in order

The sudden and tragic death of my 39-year-old nephew on December 28th has brought home the need to ensure our affairs are in order, whether this is in our personal or business life.

He was a fantastic tattooist; I'm not too fond of tattoos but can appreciate the skill and craft that goes into creating, what are often works of art. He was also a small business owner,  and like all of us, we don’t think our life will cut short and therefore probably don’t keep our business records as up to date as we should.  Over the past ...

9 Mar 2018

Compliance

20 STEPS TO HELP PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS FOR THE GDPR...
Use our handy checklist to help you assess where your business is now in terms of GDPR compliance (Tick when completed)
1. You have conducted an audit on what personal data you hold, where the data came from and who it is shared with.
2. You have identified the lawful bases for processing data and have documented it.
3. You have reviewed how you ask for and record consent for processing data.
4. You have a system to record and manage on-going consent.
5. Your business is currently registered with ...

30 Jan 2018

GDPR

The GDPR – general Data Protection Regulation comes into force on May 25th, 2018

Are you ready?

The new GDPR replaces the  current data protection act and introduces new provisions, including enhanced accountability and new procedures for handling data breaches, and data access requests.  The new regulations apply to all businesses from major corporates to sole traders.

All nurseries, preschools and registered childminders keep data, think staff, parents and children, yes this will impact on your nursery

The regulations cover ‘sensitive personal data’ and personal data. Personal data is any information relating to an identified person or someone who ...

29 Mar 2017

Tax Free Childcare

What is Tax-Free Childcare?

Tax-Free Childcare is a new UK-wide scheme to help working parents pay for childcare. For every £8 a parent pays, the government will pay an extra £2 towards their childcare costs – up to £2000 per child, per year (or £4000 for children who are disabled). Tax-Free Childcare will be available for children up to the age of 12 (or 17 for disabled children).

The introduction of the government’s Tax-Free Childcare scheme will begin on 28 April, for parents of the youngest children. It will be gradually rolled out over 2017 - by the end of 2017 ...

15 Jul 2016

Are you planning to deliver 30 Hours free entitlement?

Concerned about impact of delivering the Free 30 hours on the sustainability of your setting?

 
If you are in early years you can’t have failed to see and read all the hype about the 30 hours and the possible, negative impact on the sustainability of the nursery sector.