When starting up a childcare business, as with any business, there are many different things to consider.
As well as the more generic considerations most businesses will have to factor in, with childcare there are also more specific factors to take into account (source: Keren’s Nursery). Careful consideration of both the more generic and more specified factors is vital in ensuring that a childcare business is both qualified and legal.
Setting up a business involving children can often be tricky, however with a well-established to-do list, and good knowledge of the key considerations to be taken, you could make the process of opening up a childcare business significantly more straight-forward. Some of the main factors to consider when starting up a childcare business include:
- Demand for childminding in the area.
- Being qualified to legally childmind children.
- Décor and outward appearance of the business.
- Being allowed to childmind within the chosen location.
Demand for childminding in the area
Understanding the demand for your business’ services in your chosen area is absolutely key; if there is no demand, there is simply no need for supply. With this understanding, those setting up a childminding centre can then properly assess how viable their business plan is, and therefore whether it is worth going ahead with these plans in this exact location.
Part of evaluating the demand for this type of service is to see how many other childminding services there are in the area. Assessing how successful your competition is and how close they are to your desired location can go a long way in evaluating how viable it would be to set up your business there at all.
Being qualified to legally childmind
Working with children in any capacity will always require some form of assessment. This is to help ensure that your business is not putting some of the most vulnerable members of society in any potential danger, by checking that all members of the business do not have a history of anything concerning when it comes to children.
The type of checks you will need to work with children will depend upon the nature of your business and where it is established. In the UK, anyone who is working with both children and/ or other extremely vulnerable members of society will have to undergo a DBS Check. A DBS Check will flag up whether the individual has a criminal record, and therefore whether they are safe and legally allowed to work with children or not.
Childminding businesses and organisations will legally have to go through is getting on the childcare register. There are two main registers involved in this process:
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) – Needed for all childminding businesses that take care of children up until when they start primary school (Year 1).
Childcare Register – This register covers all children from Year 1 and over.
Décor and outward appearance of the childcare business
A vital part for setting up a childcare business is the décor of the place, as this will not only be the ‘face’ representing the business, but also an environment children will spend much of their time in. The Décor will therefore have to be aesthetically pleasing to attract parents in whilst also being functional and entertaining for the children who are cared for within it (source: Bobblehat).
Having a calming colour scheme and ensuring that all parts of the interior design are child-friendly and will not pose a risk to their wellbeing (e.g. removing any tables with sharp corners), can go a long way into improving the environment for the children in your care within the business.
Permission to childmind in your chosen location
It is crucial to check that you can legally operate your business within your chosen business location. Those setting up a childminding business should check that they can legally operate from the desired space, e.g. checking with the landlord of a rented house. Getting permission to set up a business in its specified space as early as possible can help to prevent delays, and make the whole process of setting up both quicker and straighter forward.