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 then became 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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Category – Management

20 May 2019

Business skills

Over the last 12 months, I have delivered training sessions on how to effectively implement the 30 hours to maintain the sustainability of childcare settings across all sectors.

During the training sessions, almost all nursery owners and managers stated that the level of funding for the universal 15 hours and the additional 15 hours is not enough to cover the cost of childcare they are providing.  I’m not going to dispute this, although in my experience roughly 85% of nursery owners and managers had no idea what their unit cost for delivering one hour of childcare was,  or how to work ...

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 ...

30 Jan 2018


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 ...

17 Feb 2013

PAYE Real Time Information

The new changes to the Real Time Information (RTI) could have costly implications for small businesses, including childcare providers in the PVI and independent sector....

5 Jan 2012

Motivating Your Team

People who are unhappy at work do their jobs badly, are often absent and are likely to leave. Your business will suffer unless you understand what motivates your team and take positive steps to meet their needs...

20 Oct 2010

Changes to first aid regulations

All employers are required to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to protect the health and safety of their employees. Aside for the moral or legal requirements, it is good business; the right first aid can help reduce sickness absence by dealing with an illness or injury correctly.