European Regional Development Funding

Tarka’s ERDF project provides specialist tailored business support activity to the community enterprise/SMEs of the childcare/school age childcare sector across County Durham.

Emblem of the European UnionWe provide the bespoke assistance to the community businesses and their directors (many of whom operate on a part time basis at total individual risk) required to meet individual needs, but with the uniform aim of ensuring their sustainability and growth and developing this key sector across the County.
Childcare in County Durham has expanded beyond recognition over the last 12 years.  The sector has various disciplines including childminding (self employed); school aged childcare, parent and toddler groups and full day care (usually known as Day Nurseries). This project will concentrate its support on the nursery and school aged childcare sectors (referred to as childcare).

The project works with existing businesses and help to create new childcare businesses where gaps in provision have been identified that would not detract from that already in operation.

Our provision ties in with that of the County Durham Sub-Regional Partnership with whom (through our links with  Surestart, Local Authority etc.) we work closely on a continuous basis to ensure that all our provision is appropriate, complementary and adds value to other interventions in the County.

The project was approved by One NorthEast for ERDF support in January 2009.

Aims and Objectives

The Tarka ERDF project allows us to work closely with all of the voluntary directors for a two to three year period, by which time we would expect that they are more confident in what they need to do, to run these businesses. This model allows more reinvestment than any other would do and therefore is the most likely to achieve breakeven and sustainability.  Once these businesses are sustainable they will achieve the following:

Beneficiaries of the EDRF Project

The primary beneficiaries are the voluntary and private businesses themselves, their employees, directors and their users. This project will concentrate on the provision of support to meet the start up needs of childcare community enterprises and will help meet the fast increasing local demand for such provision.