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Starting a Day Nursery

Day nurseries can be a godsend for working parents and there's a high demand for places. However, setting up a nursery is more than just a business opportunity – you need to be dedicated to the care and protection of children, and their wellbeing should be your motivation rather than just making money. Starting a Day Nursery

Running a day nursery might not make you fabulously rich but it can provide a good living. And while you might want to set up a nursery mainly for the non-financial rewards, it still needs to make money in order for you to provide a valuable service to parents and look after their kids properly. So you’ll need to use your entrepreneurial talents as well as your childcare skills.

As you would expect, there are strict rules involved in running a nursery. You need to register with the relevant regulatory body and comply with the legal requirements. There are different authorities for England, Scotland and Wales.

  • In England, you’ll need to register with Ofsted and comply with the rules set out in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), covering standards for the care, learning and development of children aged 0 to 5 years.

For more information, visit: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk.

You can view the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/299391/DFE-00337-2014.pdf

  • In Scotland, you’ll need to register with the Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (SCSWIS) Care Inspectorate and comply with the National Care Standards, covering early years education and childcare up to the age of 16.

For more information, visit: http://www.careinspectorate.com.

You can view the National Care Standards here: http://www.nationalcarestandards.org/files/early-education.pdf

  • In Wales, you’ll need to register with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) and comply with the 24 standards set out in the National Minimum Standards for Regulated Child Care. For more information, visit: http://cssiw.org.uk.

You can view the National Minimum Standards for Regulated Child Care here: http://wales.gov.uk/docs/dhss/publications/120309regchildcareen.pdf

Here are some key areas of regulation:

Premises. You need to ensure your nursery premises are suitable. There are rules regarding the amount of space required per child according to their age. You need at least 3.5 square metres per child under the age of two, at least 2.5 square metres per child aged two to three, and at least 2.3 square metres per child aged three to seven.

Staff. There are also rules regarding staff ratios per child. You need one member of staff per three children aged up to two years, one member of staff per four children aged two to three years and one member of staff per eight children aged three to seven years. You’ll also need to carry out Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) checks on staff.

Qualifications. You won’t need formal qualifications as a proprietor of a nursery but if you’re directly involved in the care of children it’s a different matter. To manage a nursery you need the appropriate NVQ level 3 and at least two years’ day care experience. Also, at least half your staff will need an appropriate NVQ level 2.

There are also health and safety regulations you’ll have to comply with, which will involve carrying out a risk assessment.

Before you decide on your premises, however, you need to make sure there’s sufficient demand in your location of choice. Carry out market research and find out about the other services offered in the local area. You also need to know how much similar nurseries charge so you can price your services competitively. Read more like this

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