Setting up a new day care provision in Sheffield

You may want to consider the following:

Do you have an interest in and enjoy working with children?
Have you any qualifications in childcare? Will you need any?
Do you have skills or life experience that could help you run a quality childcare service?
Is there a lack of childcare in your area?
Is there any demand for this? How do you know?
Will you need any funding to develop your ideas and plans?
Have you identified possible suitable premises?
Could parents afford to pay?
Could you provide a broad range of challenging, rewarding play experiences for children to meet their individual play, care and learning needs?
Could you work in partnership with parents, carers and other professionals?
Are you highly motivated and determined?
Would you be committed to ongoing learning as a professional childcarer?

Registration and Checks

Ofsted Definitions

Childcare provider on domestic premises: Where care is provided on domestic premises with at least three other people. They can provide the care directly or employ people to work with them. The difference between childminding and childcare on domestic premises is the number of people involved. If four or more people look after children at any time they are providing childcare on domestic premises, not childminding.

Non-domestic premises: Caring for individual children in premises that are not someone’s home. These premises can range from converted houses to purpose built nurseries.
All the above must register to care for children under the age of eight, unless they are not required to do so and can choose to register to care for older children.


Ofsted has the statutory role of ensuring that providers of childcare are suitable and that they comply with meeting the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and/or other registers.

Ofsted register the care provided for children on two registers: The Early Years Register (EYR) and The Childcare Register (CR). People can apply to join one or both registers at the same time. The Childcare Register has two parts – a compulsory part and a voluntary part. If providers are on more than one register they must meet the requirements for the different registers.

The Early Years and Childcare Registration Handbook; is also a useful tool.

Do I need to register?

Depending on the type of service you want to set up, there may not be any need to register. Information is available on the Government website. You can also contact Ofsted if you are unsure. However you may still register on the voluntary part of the register and being registered in this way is encouraged and is beneficial to both parents and providers. Parents are reassured that minimum standards have been met and those who are eligible can claim help towards childcare costs through schemes such as Working Tax Credit and the Universal Credit.

Settings can broaden their business options by accessing advice, support and training (which is the responsibility of the local authority to signpost registered providers to) and this includes those on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks

• All Ofsted’s DBS checks are now processed by Capita.
• All DBS applications and payments must be made online through Capita.

You can make your application and payment through the Capita website.

Setting Up

First steps

You will need a copy of the Early Years Foundation Stage (September 2017). This is the framework for learning, development and care of children from birth to five years you will have to meet as a registered early years childcare provider.

You can get a copy from the Department for Education (see useful information at the end) or download it here.

Pre-registration Checklist

This checklist has been developed to ensure you have considered everything that you need before applying for Ofsted registration. 

The checklist can be downloaded here.

Help and Support

Ofsted and local authorities are working closely together to improve the quality of all settings to improve outcomes for children and their families. In Sheffield our available resources are being targeted towards those settings who are newly registered, had an Ofsted Inadequate or Requires Improvement inspection outcome and / or where there may have been complaints or safeguarding issues.

Working together – Our Best Start Strategy

Sheffield City Council and the NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (SCCG) have developed a joint plan for the delivery of joined up, accessible and good quality services for children under 5 and their families from pregnancy onwards. It has been developed together with key partners, and builds on the existing relationships with Schools, Health, Private, Voluntary sector, Communities and parents and carers. This strategy is integral to the delivery of Public Health objectives and improving health and wellbeing outcomes.

One of the objectives of the Best Start Strategy is to support organisations and child-minders across the sector to work together so that the early year’s workforce has the knowledge, skills and support needed to help children to reach their full potential. Best Start EYFS Quality Improvement Officers will be able to offer support to registered Childminders along with provider advice and support sessions and workshops held at Family Centres.

All Early Years Providers who are registered on the Sheffield Directory receive a regular E-Newsletter with news and information about training and events.

There are three Early Years Best Start Teams in the North, East and West of the City.

First Start Family Centre – Tel 0114 203 9307 

Primrose Family Centre – Tel 0114 205 2723 

Darnall Family Centre - Tel 0114 273 5008 

Where is the best place to set up my childcare business?

If you are considering offering childcare you may find the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment a useful starting place. As well as identifying areas where there may not be enough Free Early Learning places the CSA contains maps showing the type of registered provider and their location in every ward in Sheffield. However you should not make your decision based on the CSA as this information can change. You should carry out your own market research to establish if there is a need for your services.

Visit the CSA page on the website to find out more information.

How long does it take to set up a new childcare service?

It can take as long as 6 months from application to registration. You should not apply for registration unless you are able to demonstrate that you will be able to meet all the requirements. Ofsted will expect that the premises are in a ready state to take children the same day as the inspector visits.

Quality Improvement

Ofsted and local authorities are working closely together to improve the quality of all settings to improve outcomes for children and their families. In Sheffield our available resources are being targeted towards those settings who are newly registered, had an Ofsted Inadequate or Requires Improvement inspection outcome and / or where there may have been complaints or safeguarding issues.

As soon as Ofsted notify us that a provider has been registered, a Quality Improvement Officer will contact them to discuss a pre-inspection support package

Sheffield Directory

It is important that you list and regularly update your childcare business details on the Sheffield Directory

This is an online facility and the only directory in Sheffield where you will find the full picture of Ofsted registered childcare in the city.

When parents, carers or professionals are looking for Ofsted registered childcare information, leisure activities or family support information in Sheffield they are signposted to the Sheffield Directory. First Point also search this directory for information to pass on to people who do not.

Registering on the Sheffield Directory will also ensure you receive regular information, updates and training opportunities.

To add or update a listing go to Directory, at the top of the page, and click on the "add new Directory listing" button.

Sheffield's Early Help Strategy

Sheffield has a multi-agency strategy for all organisations working with children and families.

Early help is about intervening early and as soon as a problem emerges for a child, young person or family. We know that early Intervention and managing problems at the lowest level achieves better outcomes for children.

Early Help is everyone’s business and success depends upon a full commitment to multi-agency working from all partner agencies. All partners in Sheffield have worked together to develop an Early Help framework and guidance for practitioners. Working together we will be able to ensure a consistent approach, application of levels of needs and agreed response frameworks. This will help us as we all strive to put children and young people at the heart of our work together and make a real difference to their lives.

Find out more and learn how to request help for families in your setting here.


Essential Training

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets out the requirements for training if you are planning to join the Early Years register.

Paediatric First Aid

You must complete a Pediatric First Aid training course which is relevant for workers caring for young children and babies. You can choose which organisation you want to provide the training, but the training must cover the course content as set out by St John Ambulance or British Red Cross Pediatric First Aid Training and renewed every 3 years. This is specified in the EYFS September (2017).


It is an EYFS requirement that childcare providers must attend child protection training that enables them to identify, understand and respond appropriately to signs of possible neglect. It is the childcare provider’s responsibility to make sure that they access suitable training from an appropriate training provider.
The local authority currently provides free training for registered childcare providers that enable them to meet this requirement:

Online Safeguarding training

The following E-learning courses can be completed prior to registration:
• Child Abuse and Neglect (Core Introduction)
• Safe sleeping for babies

Face to Face Safeguarding training
You are eligible to apply for these courses once your registration has been approved
• Early Years Introduction to Safeguarding and Child Protection Training
• Early Years Advanced Safeguarding and Child Protection Training
• Early Years Advanced Refresher Safeguarding and Child Protection Training

Further information about this safeguarding training is available on the Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board website.

Childcare qualifications

A qualification called the ‘Early Years Educator’ was introduced in September 2014 which is relevant to everyone working in the early year’s sector with children from 0-5 years. The course will also prepare you to gain knowledge of children aged from 5-7 years and will be the most relevant qualification for those working with Early Years Children. You will be able to find more information regarding this online.

Fees and Costs

Ofsted Fees
Check Ofsted’s website for current prices

Health Declaration Fee
From £10.00 - £100.00, each GP sets their own fees if payable

DBS Checks (for everyone over 16 years)
Approximately £52.50 including Capita handling fee. It is recommended that you register for the Update Service.

Training Courses
Paediatric First Aid - Various prices
Safeguarding training - No Charge (Local Authority Training)
Professional Training - Various prices

Public Liability / Employer’s Liability Insurance
Morton Michel and PACEY are two examples of organisations which provide insurance packages, please check their websites for details.

Business documentation
You can buy documentation from a range of organisations.

Business Costs – Building Insurance
Buildings and contents Insurance

Business Costs – Data
Register with Information Commissioner's Office and register as a data controller if you:
• Keep extensive or sensitive information about the children you care for on your computer or take digital photographs of the children in your care.
• Use a computer and are processing any personal information or data via computer. By "processing", any use of a computer is included, including typing up records on a word processor, developmental observation records and the usage of CCTV in childcare settings.

Equipment Costs
• Toys / craft items
• High chair (where required)
• Pram / double buggy (where required)
• Play equipment for outdoors e.g. bikes, balls etc.,
• Cutlery / beakers / plates / toilet seat / step up stool etc.,
• Mobile Phone (please ensure you are aware of the safeguarding requirements)
• Camera

Food Safety Agency Information
If you are planning to start up a childcare business that provides food as part of your service, you do not need to register separately as a food business with your local authority. This will happen automatically when you register with Ofsted. This is part of the Government’s commitment to reduce the burden on business. Follow this link to the Food Standard Agency page for childminders.

Children under five are entitled to a third of a pint of free milk per child per day. Contact the Nursery Milk Reimbursement Unit (NMRU) for more information on how to apply (see useful contacts at the end).

Funded Early Learning (FEL)

Funded Early Learning (FEL) for 2, 3 and 4 year olds

Funded Early Learning (FEL) is funding paid to eligible early years providers by the Local Authority for delivering FEL sessions for some 2 year olds, as well as all 3 and 4 year olds. There are 3 different FEL entitlements:

  • Up to 15 hours per week for eligible 2 year olds
  • Up to 15 hours per week for all 3 and 4 year olds
  • An additional 15 hours per week for eligible 3 and 4 year olds

You must be registered with Ofsted before you are eligible to offer FEL and you will need to agree to the Terms and Conditions set out in the Sheffield Code of Practice for FEL providers.

If you are interested in becoming a Funded Early Learning (FEL) Provider, contact the Childcare Planning team - 

Useful Contact Information

Tel: 0300 123 1231
Address: Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD

Department for Education
Tel: 0370 000 2288
Address: Department for Education. Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD

First Point
Tel: 0114 273 4567
Address: Howden House, Union Street, Sheffield S1 2SH

Childcare Planning Team, Sheffield City Council
Tel: 0114 281 3785
Address: Floor 7, North Wing, Moorfoot Building, S1 4PL

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
Tel: 0300 020 2190
Address: DBS Customer Services, PO Box 3961, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 4HF

Ofsted - Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Application
Tel: 0114 2413284 (opt 1)
Address: eBulkPlus at Security Watchdog - Ofsted Team, PO Box 4324, Sheffield, S1 9EW

HM Revenue and Customs

Nursery Milk Reimbursement Unit (NMRU)
Tel: 0844 991 4444
Address: PO Box 504, Leicester, LE94 0AE


Organisations offering Insurance and Membership

PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years)
Tel: 0300 003 0005
Address: Northside House, Third Floor, 69 Tweedy Road, Bromley, Kent, BR1 3WA

NDNA (National Day Nursery Association)
Tel: 0148 440 7070
Address: National Early Years Enterprise Centre, Longbow Close, Huddersfield, HD2 1GQ

Morton Michel
Tel: 08452 570 900
Address: Alhambra House, 9, St Michael’s Road, Croydon, CR9 3DD


Business Information

Sheffield Enterprise Agency (SENTA)
Tel: 08000 435 522
Address: Albion House, Savile Street, Sheffield, S4 7UD

Skills Funding Agency
Tel: 0845 388 5000

South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau (SYFAB)
General enquiries: 0114 249 4343

Voluntary Action Sheffield:
Tel: 0114 253 6649
Address: The Circle, 33 Rockingham Lane, Sheffield, S1 4FW

Childcare Business Grants:

Early Years Business Sustainability: