Click here to learn how to become a smart parent and raise a happy child.

How To Start Your Own
Childcare At Home In The UK

Start Your Own Childcare Business...

start your own childcare

  • Looking to start your own child care business?
  • Want to work from home?
  • Looking for a rewarding career in childcare?
  • Passionate about caring for children?

If the answer is 'yes' to any of the above questions, then starting a childcare business is ideal for you.

This guide explains how to start your own childcare business in the UK.

Where Do You Start?

You must be registered as a childcarer in England and Wales meaning you must meet the standards set out by Ofsted. Ofsted is responsible for registering and inspecting your childcare business making sure it meet their standards.

Your home will be inspected by an Ofsted officer making sure it is safe for children and... you... are a suitable person to look after children. You must pass a First Aid course, complete an introduction course to childminding, hold a CRB (criminal record bureau) disclosure, have a health check and be insured.

How To Register To Start Your Own Childcare At Home?

  • You must register with Ofsted to become a child care provider. If you are not sure whether you need to register, you can ring Ofsted helpline on 0300 123 1231 for more information.
  • Apply to the Criminal Records Bureau for a disclosure for yourself and anyone else in your home aged over 16.
  • Have an Ofsted inspector inspect your home.
  • Complete childcare training and first aid course. Do this within six months of starting your childcare business.
  • Pay £18 registration fee to Ofsted. (Note: Fee may change)
  • Start work as a registered chilcarer after receiving your registration certificate.

What You Need To Know To Start Your Own Childcare At Home?

How long will it take to get registered as a childcarer?

Ofsted aims to complete all new registrations in three months.

Will setting up my own childcare business cost me a lot of money?

Most new childcarers receive a start-up grant to help with the cost of setting up their childcare business. This funding is distributed by your local authority. Visit SureStart for more information (opens in new window).

How many children will I be able to care for?

You are allowed to care for up to six children under 8 years old depending on space in your home and no more than three children may be under 5 years old.

How do I decide on fees and hours?

As a childcarer you will be self-employed and running your own business. This means you can set your own working hours and fees.

You will also need to organise your own tax and National Insurance contributions, but childcarers benefit from generous tax allowances and benefits. Visit HM Revenue and Customs website for more information (opens in new window).

Where To Get Help To Start Your Own Childcare Business At Home?


Ofsted is the national governing body in charge of registering and inspecting childcarers in England and Wales making sure they meet the national standards for childcaring. Visit Ofsted at or call 08456 404045.

Childminding Groups And Associations

There are hundreds of childcare groups and local associations that always welcome new members. As well as providing services such as equipment loan schemes. Childcare groups hold social events and drop-in sessions where you can meet up with other childcarers.

Do You Need To Join A Professional Association To Start Your Own Childcare Business At Home?

Yes. Join a recognised association that can offer you quality support in terms of fees, expenses, contracts, insurance, tax and national insurance, milk refunds and training.

Since starting our childcare business, we've joined the NCMA (National Childminding Association... For England and Wales) and we've been offered quality support.

How Can NCMA Help You To Start Your Own Childcare Business At Home?

Joining NCMA gives you all the following benefits:

Tailored Advice

NCMA provides its members with regularly updated information and advice on all aspects of being a registered childcarer from working out your tax allowances to negotiating a childcare contract.

Free Legal Representation

For peace of mind, as an NCMA member you will be entitled to free legal representation on childcare matters and to free advice on professional and legal matters.

Who Minds? Magazine

NCMA's colourful quarterly magazine will keep you up to date with news and issues affecting childcarers, features on child development and offers and giveaways.

Money Saving Offers

Members get up to 50 per cent off NCMA's range of publications and products, specially developed for childcarers, including childcare contracts, accounts book and child record forms. Plus exclusive products available only to members.

Specialist Services

You can benefit from many special offers and discounted services from companies including the Co-operative Bank and Britannia Rescue.

Low Cost Insurance

NCMA offers home and car insurance tailor-made to childcarers' needs.

Professional Respect

Belonging to professional association lets you easily show parents and other childcare professionals your commitment to your career.

Public Liability Insurance

As a registered childcarer you must hold public liability insurance. NCMA's insurance policy has been designed by people who understand childcare.

A Campaigning Voice

NCMA speaks on behalf of all registered and home-based childcarers in England and Wales and campaigns on issues its members feel strongly about.

Vacancy scheme

NCMA members can join an online vacancy scheme and advertise their vacancies to parents who use Care-4 childcare vouchers

Joining NCMA

Most new childcarers receive start-up grant from their early years team to help give their business the best beginning possible. Many early years teams offer NCMA's Quality Start package, created to support the grants. As part of your Quality Start package you will receive:

  • 12 months' NCMA public liability insurance
  • NCMA Accounts Book
  • NCMA Accident, Incident and Medication Record Folder
  • Pack of NCMA Childminding Contracts
  • Pack of NCMA Child Record Forms
  • Fire blanket
  • Plus, an attractive, lockable case to keep your contracts, registers, accounts and accident books and all your other important papers securely.

To receive all this you won't have to part with a penny as it is directly paid for by the start-up grant. To see if you are eligible for a start-up grant and the Quality Start package, call your early years team.

You can find its number by calling 0800 2346 346.

Call 0845 880 0044 to join NCMA today or visit NCMA's website -- uk -- is also full of useful information about registered childminding.

Postal Address
National Childminding Association
Royal Court
81 Tweedy Road

Tel: 0845 880 0044
Fax: 0845 880 0043

How Can You Develop Your Career?

Childcare offers lots of opportunities to develop your career. Childcarers must attend an introductory course in home-based childcare as part of their registration as a new childcarer.

Introduction to Childcare Practice (Home-based) (ICP) is the first unit of the nationally accredited Diploma in Home-based Childcare (DHC).

There are a further four units of DHC which go together to make the full level 3 qualification. This then provides the underpinning knowledge for the level 3 NVQ in Children's Care, Learning and Development.

You may also find that your local authority or childcare group offers training on topics ranging from child protection to messy play. Your local authority may give you the opportunity to complete NCMA Quality First - a quality assurance scheme that gives you a way to show parents you are offering quality care.

You may also get the chance to join an NCMA Children Come First quality-assured childminding network that offers you the support of a network coordinator (who can help you with training, filling vacancies and so on) and other childcarers on the network.

If you belong to a network, you may be able to train as a community childcarer offering care to children in need, or as an accredited childcarer who can claim funding for providing early years education to 3- and 4-year-olds.

There are also innovative projects that make the most of childcarers' unique skills. For example, childcarers in some areas are... offering childcare for families working shifts... working with fathers... and encouraging them to become registered childcarers... offering care for children whose parents are attending training or hospital.

Download a FREE Chapter of my new ebook "The Smart Parenting Guide" and discover an easy-to-follow guide for raising a happy, positive, responsible and caring child.

Plus get 2 other FREE gifts... "10 Tips To Prevent or Subdue Temper Tantrums" & "12 Safety Devices To Protect Your Children"

The Smart Parenting Guide
Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you "Your Child & You" Newsletter.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave us a comment in the box below.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Use this search feature to find it.

Return from How to Start Your Own Childcare in the UK to Childcare Home Page

Return from How to Start Your Own Childcare in the UK to Child Development Guide Home Page

Back to How to Start Your Own Childcare in the UK Top Page