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Set up an early years or childcare business

Find out what you need to do to start your own early years or childcare business.

Steps to starting your early years or childcare business

  1. Step 1

    Read our Childcare Sufficiency report and develop a business plan after carrying out some research in the following areas:

    • The demand for the type of provision you're planning to offer
    • The age range you want to cater to
    • Will you provide part or full day care?
    • Fees you're going to charge, and how they compare to other businesses in your area
    • Who is going to make up the registered body (for example, sole owner, limited company or management committee)?

      If you're opening a registered charity you need to register with the Charity Commission.

  2. Step 2

    1. When choosing premises for your early years or childcare business, ask yourself the following questions:


      • Are they suitable for the age range and number of children?
      • Are they accessible?
      • Are there adequate sinks and toilets for the number of children aged over two years old, and is there also a separate toilet for adults?
      • Is there a secure outdoor space and how easy is it to access?
      • What resources and equipment will you need?

      We also recommend that you carry out the following activities:

  3. Step 3


  4. Step 4

    You will need to:

    • Nominate an individual who will be responsible for the registration process with Ofsted (someone who has a good understanding of the early years foundation stage, childcare register or legal framework)
    • Provide evidence to show that you have followed safe recruitment processes, including how you ensure all staff are suitable to work with children.
    • Agree who is going to manage the childcare provision on a day to day basis.
    • Carry out appropriate checks to ensure that the proposed manager(s) have the required qualification, skills, knowledge or experience.
    • Ensure staff meet the required qualification requirements or ratios (provide evidence to show that practitioners with the Early Years Educator qualification have GCSE maths and English at grade C or above). Check staff qualifications on the qualification checker website.
    • Carry out DBS checks on all staff, students and volunteers and ensure staff are signed up to the update service.
    • Ensure all job descriptions clearly outline roles and responsibilities, as well as rigorous induction processes for new staff, students and volunteers.
    • Support the professional development of staff, volunteers and students via planned training opportunities and formal appraisal and supervision systems (identify specific or required staff training that may need to be undertaken prior to the provision opening, for example, safeguarding).
    • Consider employer liability insurance to have in place from the date of opening.
  5. Step 5

    You need to understand about safeguarding requirements and the Local Safeguarding Children Board’s child protection procedures. You also need to be aware of the process to follow in the event of an allegation against a member of staff.

    Our safeguarding website will cover the following areas, which you also need to be aware of when you work with children:

    • Recognising abuse
    • Early help
    • Child protection procedures
    • Information sharing
  6. Step 6

    You need to know what services and support we offer within Bath and North East Somerset for children or young people with additional needs. This is known as SEND and what we offer is called a local offer.

  7. Step 7

    Think about how and what information will you gather about the children, young people and their families, and also what information will you share with parents and carers (for example, in a welcome pack or on your website). You will need to register with the Information Commissioner's Office.

    Consider how you plan to document the following:

    • Accidents
    • Incidents
    • Pre-existing injuries
    • Attendance
    • Visitors
    • Staff checks (Single Central Record)
    • Medical needs including allergies
    • Dietary requirements
    • Concerns/complaints and how you’ve responded
    • Allegations against staff
    • Use of mobile phones, cameras and social networking
    • Ensuring staff are, and remain, suitable and are not disqualified
    • Policy and procedures for administrating Medicines
    • Accident and emergency procedures
    • No Smoking
    • Identifying visitors
    • What to do in the event of having to close the setting esp. during a session? E.g. because of staff illness, extreme weather
    • Safeguarding policy must include allegations against staff
    • Encouraging positive behaviour
    • Inclusion policy – procedures for children with SEND and children with English as an additional language, equality and diversity
    • Complaints procedure
    • Lost child
    • Late collection
  8. Step 8

    Book on to training courses about safeguarding and first aid. Think about what training staff and volunteers will need to undertake, and your designated safeguarding lead, who must book onto our Advanced Safeguarding Training, if not already done so.

  9. Step 9

    1. You need to register with Environmental Health if you are planning on providing meals, snacks or drinks for children. You also need to read through the safer food, better business for caterers document.
  10. Step 10

    It costs £220 to join the Early Years Register and free to join the Childcare Register at the same time. You then pay the same fee each year. More information about fees can be found on GOV.UK.

  11. Step 11

    You must read the early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS) before you register, and:

    Register online via GOV.UK

    The steps on this page are about starting your own early years or childcare business. We also have a step-by-step guide on becoming a childminder.