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Setting up & running a childcare business

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Setting up & running a childcare business

If you're thinking of setting up a childcare business it is likely that you will need to register with Ofsted, except in a small number of circumstances. Details of these circumstances can be found on the Ofsted website. 

To find out more about the support and advice available in Buckinghamshire,please contact our team of experts on 01296 387111 or you can e-mail them on earlyyears@buckscc.gov.uk  

Please look up on related files in the block opposite for further tools to support you in completing EY2 and EY0 Ofsted applications or go direct to Register with Ofsted

There is a form on our Guidance tools and template page to help those applying for registration on the Early Years Register to prepare for their registration visit. Click here for details

Information and support for childcare providers

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills. Ofsted inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.

The Department of Education (DfE) is responsible for education and children's services in England. The DfE work to achieve a highly educated society in which opportunity is equal for children and young people, no matter what their background or family circumstances are.  

The Foundation Years are also an organisation who also offer useful information for all childcare providers. 

Find out information on running an Early Years Setting, including "Guidance on Employing Staff"

Find out more about the DfE (Department of Education)

Find out more about The Foundation Years

Starting up

Nursery education services may operate in a number of ways eg as a private business, a partnership or a voluntary organisation. Nursery education is also often provided in schools.

To set up as a provider you will need to:

  • Find out about the requirements of childcare and nursery education. We can provide you with this information and ongoing support. Call us on 01296 383065 to discuss.
  • Research existing provision in the area to see whether there is a need or demand for further services. Details of existing provision can be obtained from Buckinghamshire Family Information Service (BFIS) on 01296 383065.
  • Check out premises and find out what planning permissions may be required.
  • Register with Ofsted - contact  us on 01296 383065 for information and application packs.
  • Create a business/project plan including financial projections for at least three years and apply for funding if appropriate. See the related files below for a template business plan.

Do you have a business plan?

Anyone who owns or manages a childcare business should have a business plan in order to:

  • Clarify your aims and objectives
  • Have a clear plan of action for the management and staff of the provision
  • Provide a working document for the development of the project
  • To convince potential funders/investors of the viability of the project

The Business Planning Guidance is an easy to read, jargon free resource that will help you to write your own business plan which will assist you to manage your business effectively and plan for the future.

ACAS step-by-step guides for employers

ACAS have produced step-by-step guides for small businesses on how to hire, manage and get the best from staff. The guides are practical, concise, easy to understand and designed so they can be picked up and put down as you need them.

For further information please see the website http://www.acas.org.uk/employerguidesonline

Changing management structure

Charities and other community groups are taking on significant responsibility for the delivery of services and recent public policy developments mean that smaller organisations, run from within local communities, are likely to play an even bigger role over the coming years.

We have developed a Management Structure Toolkit to support those who are either considering setting up a community organisation or existing organisations who are considering alternative management structures. Establishing the right legal structure for your organisation is the foundation and framework of an organisation's success. The toolkit provides practical guidance on the legal status and structures available to a community organisation. The toolkit has been updated to include information about the new status of Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

The purpose of the toolkit is to help individuals to understand the options available to them, highlight the main areas to be considered and to support organisations when making tough decisions about the correct legal structure for their organisation.

We can provide ongoing advice and guidance to providers of nursery education and childcare relating to business and financial management, marketing and publicity, meeting legislative requirements e.g. Health & Safety, employment law, and providing quality provision.


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