There is no shortage of 'general' business planning guidance available, from many sources, but very little of it is specifically aimed at childcare providers - this is.

Developing and Writing a Childcare Business Plan (An Introduction to Business Planning for Childcare Settings) covers all the fundamentals, beginning with what a business plan is and why the provider needs one (this is not just about 'new' projects!); what should it look like; and what should be in there. Essential reading for any proposed start-up or where there will be major changes in the way a setting will work, but also for any setting developing an action plan for recovering from financial problems.

Introducing Budgets and Cash Flow Forecasts

Covers the "what?" and "why?" of these important documents (for the "how" see 4 (F) Financial Management). Emphasises that while budgets are important to give an overall plan for the year ahead, they don't reflect the actual timing of receipts and payments, therefore a setting that's apparently profitable on paper can still run out of cash to pay the bills. A cash flow forecast will give advance warning, and is important for monitoring purposes.