Childcare business support

running a childcare business

Find out more about managing a childcare business including marketing, paperwork and buying and choosing equipment.

There are many different childcare businesses including day nurseries, pre-school playgroups and wraparound out of school provision.

You may wish to start your own business but don't know where to begin.

Contact Sandwell Early Years for business and Ofsted registration support


Childcare business planning

Good business planning is essential for all childcare settings, whether you are a day nursery with staff or an individual childminder working from home. Set goals and develop strategies to achieve your business objectives for sustainability, profitability and growth. Contact Sandwell Early Years for business planning support.

Sandwell Childcare Sufficiency Report 2022-23

Detailed analysis of the childcare market in Sandwell. Research the area before setting up a new childcare business.

Think Sandwell

Think Sandwell provides business services to help companies thrive. They provide support that’s tailored to suit individual needs.

Early Years Business Zone

Interactive tools to help early years settings achieve long-tern sustainability, including business appraisal tool, financial management and staff cost calculator

Early Years business sustainability

GOV.UK advice, examples and resources to help early years providers run a sustainable childcare business. 

Ofsted Registration

Find out what you must do to register as a childcare provider with Ofsted, as well as how you must run certain parts of your service.

Sandwell Family Information Service

Details of all Ofsted registered childcare in Sandwell on the Family Services Directory.

The Professional Association of Childcare and Early Years (PACEY)

PACEY is the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years supporting everyone working in childcare and early years to provide high quality care and early learning for children and families. They provide training, practical help and expert advice to practitioners working throughout England and Wales.


Qualifications and staff ratios

All early years providers working with children from birth to 5 years old must follow the regulations on early years foundation stage (EYFS) staff:child ratios. This is the number of qualified staff, at different qualification levels, an early years setting needs to have in order to meet the needs of all children and ensure their safety.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Providers must make sure staff have the appropriate qualifications to count in the ratios, including the need to have at least one staff member trained in paediatric first aid.

The Department for Education (DfE) defines the qualifications that staff must hold to count in EYFS staff:child ratios

Early Years Practitioner Level 2 

Early Years Educator Level 3

Staff Ratios

EYFS Section 3.28  outlines staff:child ratios requirements for all childcare providers

EYFS Staff:Child Ratios

Lists of qualifications that meet DfE's criteria for counting in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework staff:child ratios

Early Years Qualifications and Ratios

The staff:child ratios regulations that providers working with children at early years foundation stage (EYFS) must follow.

Pathway into early years education

Career planning information and tools for those interested in working in the early years education sector.

Managing your childcare business

You may need to have planning permission to run your childcare business. There may be restrictions on the property so it is best to contact Sandwell Planning.

Sandwell Planning Portal

All premises must have an up-to-date Fire Risk Assessment.

All providers need to protect the safety and health of everyone in your workplace, including people with disabilities.

Health and Safety Executive provides guidance and tools to help small businesses comply with this

If you offer, handle or store food as part of your service, your business must be registered with Sandwell Environmental Health 

Business Planning  speak to someone about business planning and get support writing a business plan.

Insurance, policies and procedures.

Public Liability Insurance, safeguarding and child protection policies must be in place before the Ofsted Early Years Inspection takes place.

Early Years Inspection Handbook for Ofsted Registered Provision

HMRC, Employment and Self Employment

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) offers online training, webinars and videos to help with Tax, National Insurance (NI), record keeping and business expenses.

Tax advice for childminders

Help and support if you are self employed. Watch videos, sign up for email alerts and register for free webinars to get help if you're running your own business.

Getting started as an employer

Help and support for employing people. Watch videos, sign up for email alerts and register for free webinars to get help if you're an employer.

HMRC You tube channel

HMRC's You Tube channel has a series of 'bite sized' videos. These include a 10 minute video specifically for childminders, within the HMRC guides for customers section.

Self Assessment Ready Reckoner

The ready reckoner allows you to budget for your Self Assessment tax bill.

Record Keeping 

HMRC has worked with software suppliers that have produced simple record keeping applications. This list includes some cash basis and simplified expenses specifications. Most of these are free.

 Training and Development

Childcare training and development courses in Sandwell

Free childcare for 2,3 and 4 year olds

Information on 2, 3 and 4 year old funding for Ofsted registered providers

Tax Free Childcare

You will only be able to receive Tax-Free Childcare payments from your parents if you’ve signed up to Tax-Free Childcare. 

Contact Sandwell Early Years to find out more about offering free 2,3 and 4 year old childcare places to families.

Useful Resources

Foundation Years

The latest news, policy and resources for early years professionals.

Food Standards Agency

An independent government department, responsible for food safety and hygiene across the UK. The department works with businesses to help them produce safe food, and with local authorities to enforce food safety regulations.

Nursery Milk Scheme

Under this scheme, children under five can receive 189 ml (1/3 pint) of milk, free of charge. This is for each day they attend approved day care facilities for 2 hours or more.

Babies under 12 months old can receive dried baby milk made up to 189ml (1/3 pint) instead.

Day care providers, approved to supply milk under this scheme, can be reimbursed the cost of the milk they supply.

Early Years business sustainability

GOV.UK advice, examples and resources to help early years providers run a sustainable childcare business.

Marketing and promoting your childcare business

Sandwell Family Information Service Hub is a free website to advertise your childcare business locally. Keep your information up-to-date and make the most of the FIS to promote your setting to families.

Register your childcare business

Marketing your Early Years Business is a key element of any business plan and directly contributes towards improving your long-term sustainability.

Marketing your early years business

Marketing helps you better understand and anticipate your customer needs. It gives you expertise and the right tools to adapt quickly to a changing market and ensures your childcare business competes successfully.

Every provider wants to manage a childcare business where their childcare places are either full or occupancy high. In an increasingly competitive early years sector, actively marketing your service enables you to continually attract new enquiries from parents. It also retains the loyalty of those families already registered with you.

Business Smart Marketing

Marketing your business doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you don’t have to be a creative genius. Online technology has made it easier than ever to reach potential customers. PACEY has some ideas to help you advertise your services, as well as promote all the great things you do to existing parents

Promote your setting to parents

Nursery World 5 key tips to promote your setting to parents.

1) Know what local parents are looking for

2) Identify your unique selling points

3) Sell your setting to the outside world

4) Present your setting in the best light

5) Maintain a high profile


National Day Nursery Association (NDNA) advice on marketing your childcare business. Membership costs apply.

Social Media

HubSpot free online courses on Social Media including Facebook and Instagram marketing

Social Media

Social Media Basics

Getting on social media

Page last reviewed: 28/06/2023


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