Setting up and developing a childcare business

Information about setting up and developing childcare provision in Suffolk.

As an Ofsted registered childminder, you will provide children with high quality care and play opportunities to help them learn, and offer grant funded early education places to children on behalf of Suffolk County Council.

You will be a self-employed professional who cares for children within your own home. You will deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework to children aged 0-5 years, providing a secure, playful learning environment for children to develop.

If you are interested in becoming a childminder, please read the following guidance from the Ofsted website: 'Pre-registration Childminder briefing', and then contact the Suffolk Family Information Service on 0345 60 800 33 to request a ‘Childminding Information Pack’ with details on how to register as a childminder in Suffolk.

Financial help

The government offer a Childcare Business Grants Scheme to help childcare professionals start up a new childcare business.

Useful websites:

After you have registered

You will want to attract new customers and set your childcare rates.

You can gain customers by:

  • word of mouth, informing people of your service
  • advertising in local shops, playgroups, schools and local publications
  • advertising through the Suffolk Families Information Service
  • joining a local childminding group

You can decide your own rates, but it's useful to talk to other local childminders to see how much they charge.

Generally it's between £3 and £4.50 per hour.

However, this can increase for unsociable hours (evenings and weekends).

Some childminders who care for siblings may offer special rates for those families.

If you are already an Ofsted registered childminder in Suffolk and you would like advice or support please phone the Suffolk Family Information Service on 0345 60 800 33 for help.

For all other ways that we support existing childcare providers, please go to ‘Guidance for Childcare providers’ page.

If you are considering starting up as a group childcare provider (nursery, pre-school, out-of-school-care) in your local area and would like some advice on what steps to take to become an Ofsted registered childcare provider in Suffolk, then contact the Suffolk Family Information Service.

As a new childcare provider you will provide children with high quality care and play opportunities to help them learn, and offer grant funded early education places to children aged 2 to 5 years on behalf of Suffolk County Council.

We can help you understand the different types of childcare provision that you could offer, for instance:

  • A Day nursery (offers full daycare provision for 0-5yr olds)
  • A Pre-school playgroup (offers sessional daycare for 2-5yr olds)
  • Out-of-School Care (Breakfast, Afterschool or Holiday club)

We can offer you advice with the following:

  • Business start-up support, including childcare business options.
  • Training in childcare and in childcare business management
  • Help with staff recruitment
  • Information on childcare regulations
  • Advice on sustaining and growing your business
  • Setting up school based childcare
  • Promoting your childcare provision to customers

For more information, please contact the Suffolk Family Information Service on 0345 60 800 33

Financial support

The Government is currently offering a start-up grant to individuals looking to start a nursery in England. A £500 grant is available to support start-up costs. For more information visit: www.gov.uk

Small businesses will find useful information on starting up your business from the following websites:

  • Inland Revenue: information on self-employment or call the helpline for the newly self-employed on 08459 154515 (open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week for advice on tax and National Insurance)
  • GOV.UK - Information on running an Early Years setting

If you are already an Ofsted registered childcare provider in Suffolk and you would like advice on how to expand your childcare provision please phone the Suffolk Family Information Service on 0345 60 800 33 for help.

For all other ways that we support existing childcare providers, please go to ‘Guidance for Childcare providers’ page.