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How to set up a childcare business

Type of business

There are four main types of childcare businesses that Ofsted recognises, and each provider type must meet the relevant requirements for the specific childcare registers: 

  1. Childcare on non-domestic premises; This is where childcare is provided on premises which are not somebody’s home, for example in purpose-built premises, village halls, school premises. Such childcare normally includes nurseries, pre-schools, before/after school clubs and holiday clubs. 

  2. Childcare on domestic premises; Childcare on domestic premises is where there are four or more people working together, for example four childminders, or two childminders and two assistants or one childminder and three assistants. These providers can spend up to 50% of their time working on approved non-domestic premises. 

  3. Childminding; Childminding is provided on domestic premises where up to a maximum of three people work together at any one time. They look after one or more children to whom they are not related, for reward. ‘Domestic premises’ means premises which are wholly or mainly a private dwelling. It does not count as childminding if it is the home of one of the children being cared for, unless the care is for more than two different families at the same time. A childminder can spend up to 50% of their time working on approved non-domestic premises under their childminding registration. 

  4. Home Childcarer (sometimes known as a nanny or au pair); Home Childcarers care for children from birth upwards in the child’s own home. Home Childcarers may care for children from two different families at the home of one of the families. If more than two families use the care at the same time, then it is classed as Childminding.

Further information on the types of childcare businesses