THE Government has announced a £2 million scheme to boost childcare and help more women find a job.
Women and Equalities Minister Maria Miller said grants of up to £500 will be available from next April for people setting up a nursery or childminding business.
The money will help cover legal and insurance costs, health and safety training and equipment, while advice and mentoring will also be offered.
The minister said: "There are more women in work than ever before and they are playing a vital role in our economic recovery, but good quality, affordable and reliable childcare is the key to even more women being able to work.
"More childcare options mean more women can take up jobs, help support their families and realise their own career ambitions.
"The childcare industry is already a major employer of women, and this scheme will provide huge opportunities for female entrepreneurs to start up and run their own businesses.
"This is an injection of cash designed to stimulate the sector in tough times, the new scheme will provide more childcare places but will also help get up to 6,000 new childcare businesses off the ground."
© Press Association 2012