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 – Sustainability

12 Sep 2019

Business areas that support sustainability

Sustainability of childcare settings is high on the agenda of Childcare organisations, childcare providers and professionals, it doesnt, however,  appear to be high on the political agenda.

NDNA has pubished its latest report on the number of nursery closures; it makes interesting reading. Read the full  report here  

For many the underfunding of the funded hours appears to be the primary reason for the closure of their nursery.

With ever-increasing operational costs, including the national minimum and living wage, pension contribution increases to 3%, and increases in business rates, it's not surprising, so many ...

12 Sep 2019

Nursery Closures

NDNA have published their report on Nursey Closures, since the 30 hours funded chidcare was introduced closures of nurseries have inceased by 153%. The highest numbere being in the North West. 

click on the link below to view the fulll report

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 ...

5 Jun 2012

The rising cost of childcare

Much has been done over the last few years to find ways of supporting parents with childcare costs including employers’ childcare vouchers, childcare tax credits and subsidised childcare through the CAP pilots.

We would all agree that quality childcare is key to achieving good early years outcomes and is the building block for educational achievement in later years, but providing quality does come at a price...