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Company: AskAskew Early Years and Childcare Business Consultancy Name: Maureen Askew Email: maureen@askaskew.co.uk Web Address: www.askaskew.co.uk Twitter: @askewmaureen Address: 3 Chapel Close Trawden Lancashire BB88QZ Telephone: 01282 864208 Mob: 07791552767

Best Childcare Business Consultancy Firm - UK

AskAskew Early Years and Childcare Business Consultancy AskAskew was established in August 2011, with the aim of providing pre-start, newly opened and established single site and small chains of early years and childcare providers with business support.

Our service is designed to meet the individual needs of each client and could be a one off support visit, a series of visits or an ongoing contract. I am able to provide help and support with all aspects of operating a childcare business, be it writing or updating a business plan, developing and implementing a marketing strategy, monitoring cash flow, managing fees and bad debt, implementing government policies or updating nursery policies and procedures. Having worked extensively throughout the childcare industry I am able to draw on my vast wealth knowledge and experience to fully understand the needs of my customers. In my opinion excellent Customer service is essential in any business, I always aim to provide a high quality service, delivering projects on time and on budget, I provide a guarantee that if I do not meet the agreed terms and conditions I will complete the project at no additional costs. Although price is important to my clients, it is not necessarily the main concern, I aim to offer a transparent service which provides value and quality. I provide a ‘at no cost to the client’ 30 minute initial telephone consultation. Anyone signing up to my database, receives a free guide to choosing and working with a consultant; for many people hiring an external consultant is not an everyday occurrence and a little guidance on choosing and agreeing terms has proved to be very useful. In addition to my paid work in consultancy; I firmly believe in the importance of giving something back to the business community; for the past few years I

have been a mentor for the new enterprise allowance scheme, providing eight hours of free support to people starting their own business, these have included a glass engraver, a number of people setting up as registered childminders, a graphic designer, a care company, quite a variety of different fields, I enjoy helping people just starting out in business, a bonus is I always learn something new. I am also a mentor on RDF projects for Community and Business Partners in Blackburn. Within the childcare industry there have recently been a number of new developments which continue to provide fresh challenges to both myself and my clients, such as changes to Ofsted regulations and Inspection resulting in Ofsted are now the sole arbitrator of quality. in addition, there’s the introduction of the revised EYFS standards and changes to qualification requirements for level 2 and 3, the increase from 20% to 40% of 2 years olds eligible for free entitlement, the increase to 30 hours free childcare for eligible working parents, the introduction of Tax free childcare and workplace pensions all alongside the reduction of the universal support by the local authorities, more and more are now only providing the minimum level of support to childcare business, additional LA support now becoming a paid for service. These new developments are vastly important to the work I do, therefore being able to keep up to date with constantly changing policy, challenges and advances is essential, in ensuring I am able to continue to provide my clients with the best possible support and advice.

Consultancy Awards 2015 Corporate Vision 11

As such I work hard to ensure I am always ahead of emerging developments, by reading appropriate periodicals, attending conferences, talks and networking opportunities in addition to being active on a number of online forums. Twitter notifications provide instant access to sector specific and government policy announcements. One of the issues I find with childcare providers is they often miss announcements relating to developments that could/will have an impact on SME’s in general. Childcare providers, particularly standalone childcare providers are so busy trying to manage the day to day business they don’t have time to see what is going on in the wider business world that may have an impact on their early years and childcare business. Moving forward, the childcare industry faces a number of challenges which I will be supporting my clients through, for example the continued under funding of the free entitlement for three and four year olds, and concerns providers are expressing about the increase to 30 free hours for parents working 16 hours or more will have on their longer term sustainability. Alongside this many of my clients struggle to balance keeping childcare fees affordable with continued viability of the setting. Over the next 6 to 12 months’ settings will have to introduce a workplace pension and the living wage, all childcare providers would agree that highly qualified childcare staff deserve to be paid a living wage and more, the problem they face is keeping the level of fees affordable and the continued viability of their business.

Consultancy Awards 2015  
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