There are many different resources and support to be had for new and existing childcare providers.
How to register as a provider
The CIW is the Care Inspectorate Wales who are the regulatory
body for registering a person to become a childminder.
Further information can be found on the CIW website (external website) about how to register as a childcare provider and supporting documents that will provide up-to-date information on policies and changes to childcare regulations.
There are National Minimum Standards and Regulations that need to be met before becoming a childcare provider and these can also be found on the CIW website.
Buying or setting up a day nursery
Before taking the first step towards starting or buying a day nursery business, it is crucial to check with your local Family Information Service (FIS) to learn as much as you can about what other group daycare and home-based care provided by registered childminders there is in the area you are considering opening or purchasing a childcare business. Obtain a copy of the latest Childcare Sufficiency Assessment from your local FIS. Consider too who your prospective clientele will be and where they live or work, and the number, location and proximity of any other group daycare providers in the area to your prospective business
As for the property itself, you must consider its age and configuration, how the accommodation is arranged, and whether it is a converted building such as a house or is purpose-built. Also consider how many rooms the building has and their size, and whether the building is open-plan. Keep in mind that the premises must be appropriate for use by young children and be a home-from-home environment with a suitable outside play area, a quiet area and sleep area for babies and toddlers, a kitchen, and suitable changing and toileting facilities. Should you are thinking of purchasing an existing day nursery business you should study its inspection reports, produced by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate.
In order to calculate potential income you must take in account all the day-to-day running costs of the business. For example, it is estimated that staff salaries are around 80 per cent of a day nursery’s costs and are by far the biggest single expense, compared to lighting and heating, food, repairs and renewals, and toys and books. Consider too the number of children the day nursery will be registered to accommodate – how many babies and infants aged nought to two you may have and the number of three and four year olds whose places are part-funded by the free early years entitlement should they attend for more than 10 hours a week. Other financial considerations are business rates and not being zero rated for VAT.
Ensure too that you have a well-constructed and thought-out business plan in which you take into account how much you are able to invest in your business from your own savings or equity funding, and/or obtaining a bank loan to cover costs and expenses incurred in starting and running the business.
While you do not need to have any experience or a background in early years and childcare to set up your own day nursery business, you must be aware that childcare has changed considerably. There is much more legislation and regulation that all registered providers must adhere to, from staff qualifications and the number and age of children per member of staff to the amount of permitted floor space per child, as well as issues around child safety, child protection and the quality of care provided.
Supporting links and documents
Below are a list of links to different organisations that will give you more of an understanding of providing childcare: