Setting up new provision for children is the same as setting up any business. It is essential to establish the viability of such a provision. You should carry out market research to check if there is a demand for the service you are contemplating. Is the service required by the public? Demand for your service will be a key factor in drawing up a business plan. Developing and implementing a business plan is good practice and will also enable you to access funding. Is the service you are planning required in that area? Are there other childcare services provided in that area?
What kind of day care provision?
There are different types of childcare but these are the providers which usually operate in non-domestic premises:
Full day care
This service covers the provision of Day Care on non-domestic premises for one or more children aged under eight years and for more than four hours a day.
Pre-schools or playgroups
This is a sessional service which cares for children aged between two and five years old. Sessions offered vary greatly between providers but will usually be between 2 ½ - 4 hours for a morning or afternoon session. Some providers can also offer wrap around care to extend the flexibility of the sessions, allowing children to attend for longer periods. Pre-schools and playgroups are usually open during term time.
Out of school care
This service provides care at the beginning and/or end of the school day for children aged three and over who are attending school. Some out of school clubs also provide care during school holidays.
A crèche is where the provider offers care on non-domestic premises which is open for more than two hours per day, normally for children under eight. A crèche is for occasional use. Crèche facilities in shopping centres or colleges which are open throughout the day are registerable, even though individual children are likely to attend for less than two hours.
As with many businesses there are regulations imposed. All the above types of care need to be registered with Ofsted.
The purpose of registration is to provide protection for the provider, for children and assurances for parents using the service that it is a safe and appropriate place to leave their children. It also provides a quality framework for providers of the service to work within and ensures that they are working within the requirements of the law.
Briefly you will need to:
- Demonstrate that you are a suitable person to care for children.
- Check that the premises you are proposing to use has the appropriate planning permission.
- Ensure that the premises are appropriate in line with Fire Safety and Environmental Health.
- Be sure that the building can accommodate the number of children that you are intending to care for in line with Ofsted regulations
- Adhere to the staffing ratios and other statutory requirements set by the Early Years Foundation Stage
Are you interested? For further advice contact the FIS Helpline on 01609 533483