Becoming an early years and childcare provider

Setting up early years and childcare provision in Slough

Setting up early years and childcare provision is complex with many requirements that must be met. The purpose of this article is to outline the basic requirements and to enable you to undertake initial research and produce a business plan.

If you are considering setting up early years and childcare provision you will need to consider and decide:

  • the type of setting you want to provide
  • the area in which you wish to set up your provision
  • the premises that you will use
  • your relevant qualifications and experience
  • the financial viability of your project.

When you have completed this initial research contact the Early Years Service on 01753 476554 or cambridgeearlyyears@slough.gov.uk to discuss the next steps.

Market research

It is essential that you carry out market research before you commit yourself financially. The aim of the market research is to enable you to make right choices at the beginning of your new venture. These questions will help you to begin your research:

Your customers

  • Who are your customers?
  • What age group of children will you cater for?
  • How much are your customers willing to pay?
  • How many children would be attending?
  • What will your service offer that is different/better, why would a parent pay for their child to attend your setting?

Your competitors:

  • Who are your competitors?
  • What services are your competitors offering?
  • How much do they charge?
  • What hours do they open?
  • What activities do they offer?
  • Are they full? Do they have a waiting list?
  • Can you identify any gaps in provision in the area that you can fill?

Use a simple questionnaire to carry out market research; visit parent and toddler groups or local schools or supermarkets (ensure you ask for permission before you do so).

Deciding what type of early years and childcare you want to develop

To help decide what type of setting you would like to provide see the Find Childcare Providers in Slough section on this website. This will give you information about the different types of childcare and the registration requirements involved.

Identifying the area where you want to set up childcare

You should determine whether there is a demand for the service you intend to offer. This should be specific and cover all aspects of your proposal. This will help to indicate the size, type and location of the premises you will be looking. Your market research should give you an indication about the possible demand for your service. The Childcare Sufficiency Assessment for Slough gives information about the supply of and demand for childcare in Slough by area.