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What Licence do I need to Operate a Nursery?

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 24 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
Childcare Caregiver Nursery Children

Q.Do I need a Requisite Licence from the DFE to operate a nursery?

(L.M, 23 September 2008)


The Government recognises the importance of taking steps to set standards that help to assure the safety and quality of care for children in nurseries. Specific requirements vary, depending on a number of factors, including the size of the centre and the ages of the children to be enrolled.

Most childcare providers in the UK need to register with Ofsted (The Office for Standards in Education) or in Wales the CSSIW (care and social services inspector for Wales) - if they plan to care for children up to eight years of age. There are exceptions, including carers who look after children who: attend for no more than two hours at a time, are related to the caregiver, are the caregiver’s foster children, are cared for in a domestic environment (either the child’s or the caregiver’s home), are being schooled or tutored, or are being tended in a care home, children’s home, hospital, or resident family centre. Additionally, care that is offered as part of another business, such as those that offer care for children whose parents are shopping or working out at an attached sports or shopping centre are exempt from registration.

Ofsted offers two different registers, the first being The Early Years Register, which applies to centres that offer care for children from birth through 31 August after their fifth birthdays. These centres must also deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which specifies the requirements for the welfare, education, and development of young children.

The second register is The Childcare Register, which is comprised of two parts. The first part is compulsory for caregivers who will be tending children aged from 1 September after their fifth birthday up to the age of eight, unless they are included in the exclusions mentioned above. This part covers all six and seven year olds, as well as some five year olds. The second part is voluntary, and covers caregivers who choose to register, but are not required to do so, including nannies, coaches, and carers who look after older children. If you’d like to get individualised advice regarding registration for the specific type of care that you plan to provide at your nursery, you can reach the Ofsted Helpline at 08456 404040.

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I am interested in starting s pre-school, I have a level 3 diploma in CYPW andam I presently working part-time in a children centre. prior to this I was self-employed as a childminder for 3 years.I would like to know if I require any other qualification to run a pre-school and how to start planning the setting up of my pre-school.For example,what would be my first step towards this goal. Sonny
SUNNY - 24-Jul-17 @ 11:58 PM
Hi I am hoping to take over a running childrens day nursery.It has already got a manager, deputy manager and staff in place. I will not be changing the name of the nursery as well. I am a FE teacher by profession, my intention to take over this venture is as an entrepreneur, I will not be working with little children. Hence just wanted to clarify do I still need to be qualified in early years or can I take over the venture without early years qualification? kindly advice
daisy - 27-Apr-17 @ 12:06 PM
Hi, I was thinking to open a centre for babies (accompanied by a caregiver), at a residential location. The centre will provide activities for babies and tots that would last for 30 min. What permits do I need to set that up? Thank you.
kristaivan - 18-Jun-16 @ 3:20 AM
myrna - Your Question:
Hi , I am holding a BA degree in Marketing and Advertising Management. I have completed CACHE level 2 certificate in Teaching Assistant and I am working as a TA in a primary school for 2 years. I would like to run my own nursery. Could you please give me some guidance. Many thanks.

Our Response:
We have other articles in the series which should help answer your question, see link here. I hope this helps.
RunADayNursery - 22-Sep-15 @ 2:53 PM
Hi , I am holdinga BA degree in Marketing and Advertising Management . I have completed CACHE level 2 certificate in Teaching Assistant and I am working as a TA in a primary school for 2 years. I would like to run my own nursery. Could you please give me some guidance. Many thanks.
myrna - 21-Sep-15 @ 10:15 PM
Hi I have my nneb which I achieved in 2000. Since then I have been working with adults with learning disabilities.I have nvq 3 in health and social care for adults though. I have seen a nursery for sale and would love to run my own. What qualifications do I need to do this. Thanks.
cybil - 3-Jun-15 @ 12:54 PM
@Han - The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has provided a free downloadable factsheet which may help you on your way. link here.
RunADayNursery - 15-Dec-14 @ 10:29 AM
I am a qualified primary teacher ( 5-11 years). It has always been a dream of mine to set up my own nursery and want to now take the plunge and attempt this dream. I am so overwhelmed by the complexity of it all and need some guidance about where I should start? What I need to do first? How do I set this all into action?
Han - 12-Dec-14 @ 6:57 PM
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