If you are thinking about setting up a new playwork, early education or childcare business or organisation then Surrey Early Years and Childcare Service can help.
Surrey Early Years and Childcare Service is made up of different teams who are here to help and support you to run a financially sustainable and high quality childcare business or organisation that meets the needs of the local community.
To help you when you are first looking into opening a new childcare business, such as a pre-school or day nursery, we have put together the information below. It gives guidance on many things that existing private, voluntary and community childcare businesses have told us would be useful. When you feel that you are ready to go ahead with your plans call us on 01372 833833 and ask for the Early Years quality improvement officer, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our key teams who can help you when you are starting out are (click on the links to find out more about the services they offer):
Before you start, you need to think about the following (click on the links below to move down the page):
Market research allows you to see how much demand there is in your area for a new business. You can download guidance on market research and read the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (2010) Childcare Sufficiency Assessment Update (2011) which is research with parents to see if there is enough childcare in Surrey. Your local childcare business adviser can offer you advice and resources for market research such as sample questionnaires, to find out who this is call 01372 833833 and ask for the childcare business advisor or email email@example.com
You'll need to decide on the type of childcare you want to offer and how many hours and days a week you want to be open for. Ofsted recognises three types of childcare, these are:
If you're interested in childcare on non-domestic premises contact 01372 833833 and ask for the Early Years quality improvement officer or email firstname.lastname@example.org If you're interested in becoming a childminder the process is slightly different and the Childminding Team can help, call 01372 833869 or email email@example.com
You'll need to decide on the age range of the children you are going to look after. Ofsted has different requirements for different age groups of children.
If you are planning on looking after children between the ages of birth and five years old you'll need to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The EYFS sets out the requirements for the welfare, education and learning for this age group. Get your free copy of the EYFS pack online or call the Department for Education's publications helpline on 08456 022260.
If you will be caring for children aged three and four years old you may also want to think about whether you want to offer Early Years Free Entitlement (EYFE). The EYFE entitles every three and four year old to free part-time early education, so it is a great advantage to parents because they will pay less or nothing at all in many cases. If so, you will need to register and then Surrey County Council will pay you directly for any children claiming EYFE.
Childcare businesses must normally register with Ofsted and there are two registers. One is the Early Years Register and the other is the Childcare Register. The Childcare register is made up of two parts, the Compulsory Childcare Register and the Voluntary Childcare Register. Sometimes you do not need to register.
For advice and a set of the correct application forms for Ofsted, call 01372 833833 and ask for the Early Years quality improvement officer or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The size of the premises you'll need will depend on the number of children you want to look after. It is a requirement that you give children access to outside space as well as plenty of space inside. You may need to find a specific type of premises depending on the type of childcare you want to offer.
For a playgroup or pre-school nursery you may want to hire a hall. Your local district/borough councilwill have lists of halls and venues that are available to hire along with their costs and conditions.
If you're thinking about buying a property to use then try a local estate agent who deals with commercial properties. People who want to sell their childcare business often advertise in Nursery World magazine.
If you're thinking about extending or changing your own home to offer childcare services contact the Planning Office at your local district/borough council. You will need planning permission to change residential premises into business use.
The number of staff you'll need to employ depends on how many children you look after and how old the children are (staff ratio). You will also need to make sure staff and volunteers have the appropriate DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service, previously known as Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks). Your local Early Years workforce development outreach officer can help you with recruiting staff and the recruitment process, to find out who this is call 01372 833900 or email email@example.com
You'll need to think about how to market your business effectively. You can download guidance on marketing.
You may need a large amount of money to set up a new business to cover things like staff costs, equipment, premises costs and marketing. Your local childcare business advisor can tell you about the grants we offer if you meet certain criteria and can signpost you to other possible sources of funding. Call 01372 833833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You'll need to do a business plan and include things like budgets and cashflow forecasts. Your local childcare business adviser can offer you advice, to find out who this is call 01372 833833 and ask for the Early Years childcare business advisor or email email@example.com You can also download guidance on business planning and financial management.
Once per term we hold an evening meeting where we give a brief presentation about starting your own childcare business. We have lots of information we can give you to take away and there is the opportunity to meet with members from our business team and development managers to chat through your ideas and answer any queries you may have. If appropriate we can also make follow up appointments with you. To find out when and where the next meeting is and to book a place please contact us on 01372 833833 and ask for the quality improvement officer or a member of the childcare business team.
You can find out more about the other support and services we will offer you, your staff and your business when you have set up.
Click on the links below to go to their website.