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Even though the birth rate in the UK is declining, there are still over 3 million children aged 0 to 4, creating high demand for nursery care. According to a report by Savills in September 2023, the Children’s Day Nursery sector is estimated to contribute £6.7 billion to the UK economy. However, despite the expanding market, the number of providers has been steadily decreasing since 2015, mainly due to a significant decline in childminders. This trend reflects a higher barrier to market entry, and those who remain are facing strong competition, recruitment and retention issues, which are leading to increased financial pressures for service providers.

Fully funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the GM Business Growth Hub has launched a series of strategic workshops dedicated to helping early years businesses to thrive and move forward. With the launch of a pilot scheme in Rochdale and the participation of 8 service providers, valuable advice and expertise have been shared with attendees, helping them to scale new heights through strategic business planning, leadership development, productivity enhancements, and integration of innovative technologies.

The workshop is intended for early years sector owners and managers, providing an opportunity to delve into business model innovation and market insights. Participants will acquire tools to analyse their business model and gain an understanding of the competitive landscape. Experienced business advisors will offer guidance on effective marketing campaigns and utilising AI tools like ChatGPT for educational curriculum and marketing initiatives. Additionally, participants will be introduced to the range of services offered by the GM Business Growth Hub, which include leadership, workforce development, health, and wellbeing.



“The Early Years businesses in Rochdale have been facing significant challenges, especially with the increased demand for our services and the impact of COVID-19 on our operations,” said Priyanka Batra, Director of The Ark Littleborough at Rochdale. “The pandemic has necessitated a shift in how we manage and promote our services, making adapting and innovating more important than ever. After the pandemic, we have seen an increased number of children with delayed speech and language. At our nurseries, our new curriculum is designed to help children achieve these important milestones.”

“Joining the Early Years Workshop has been incredibly beneficial as it provided a much-needed opportunity for us to step back from our daily routines and focus on reassessing our business model. The insights we gained from the workshop have been invaluable. With the guidance and advice from the workshop, we revamped our social media strategy to better target younger parents. Additionally, we developed a comprehensive annual marketing plan, updated our online presence across platforms, and conducted a detailed SWOT analysis. This highlighted our weaknesses in building stronger community ties and has informed our action plans going forward. I highly recommend these courses as they offer profound insights and practical strategies that are crucial for growth and adaptation in these challenging times.” 

“Nursery and childcare are not only a big issue at the time of the general election but also a big issue for the continued development of the UK economy, as they help to provide essential support for parents, free them up from their family position, and allow them to rejoin the workforce,” said Yvonne Sampson, Head of Enterprise at Business Growth Hub. 

“After the success of our pilot program in Rochdale and receiving positive feedback from our participants, we have gained valuable insight into the business needs of this sector and intend to extend the model to early years providers throughout Greater Manchester. We are committed to working closely with those service providers by giving them the necessary support to recover from the aftermath of COVID and move towards greater success in their business journey.”   

Interested parties in the early years sector, please contact us to learn about the support we can offer.



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