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Setting up a childcare business

The information in this section will help you if you are considering opening an early years and childcare provision in Rochdale. It is here to signpost you and develop your thinking - it is not an action plan or a definitive list.


How do I set up a nursery, pre-school group or out of school club?

You must follow the correct legislative process to register as an Early Years registered provider.

First things to think about

When starting up a childcare provision you should consider:

  • Whether you have experience of running an Early Years provision.
  • If you have strong financial and business plans prepared.
  • Where you are thinking of setting up your childcare business.
  • Reading the Rochdale Childcare Sufficiency report.
  • Whether you understand the legislation requirements in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
  • Whether you understand about the registration and inspection of childcare by Ofsted.

To find out if you need to register with Ofsted visit the GOV.UK website (external link).

Choosing a location

You should think about whether a building is suitable. You should contact the planning department to assess suitability of the building for childcare purposes. You should also consider where the building is located, if there is staff and parents parking, whether the building is located on a main road or a cul-de-sac and if it is near a pedestrian crossing, traffic lights. The space requirements are outlined in the EYFS and measurements of the space for childcare will help determine how many children you can care for in the building.

Getting started

Once you have considered our initial points and the suitability of your building, you should start thinking about the next steps below as you will need to:

  • Apply for planning permission.
  • Apply for Ofsted registration, the process is outlined on the website.
  • Thoroughly understand the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
  • Have documentation in place as outlined in the EYFS such as policy and procedures.
  • Recruit suitable qualified staff as outlined in the EYFS.
  • Consider marketing and advertising the business.

Planning permission

For help finding out if you need planning permission or building regulations approval please see the Rochdale Council website (external link).

You can also use our planning application online search to view previous applications and whether they were granted or refused, you can use this information to assist you when applying. Use search terms such as childcare/nursery/daycare to view relevant applications.

Planning Applications and Appeals (external link).

Registering with Ofsted

Before you register with Ofsted to become a childcare provider, you should make sure you are ready by:

  • Checking all documentation, policy and procedures and EYFS requirements are in place.
  • Checking you have adequate staffing levels and suitably qualified staff are in place.
  • Ensuring you are ready to receive children the day of your inspection.
  • Making sure adequate resources are available and your environment is suitable for the age range of children you are caring for.

After you have applied for registration

The council will be informed by Ofsted of your proposal to register as a childcare provision.

How do I become a childminder?

To become a childminder please see the Childminding - How to become a Childminder page (external link).


Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. We inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.

For more information, a guide to registration and further Ofsted support please visit the GOV.UK website (external link).

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework is available at:

On-going support is available from professional organisations such as:

Business support

Free business advice is available via Rochdale Council, you will have to register and once this is done you may then access live chat.

Please see the Start a new business page on the Rochdale Council website (external link).

Other business support and advice links

Business and Self-employed

Early Years business sustainability

Early Years Business Zone

Useful links

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