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Registering as a childcare provider

Initial information and considerations


  • You will need to assess the feasibility of operating a childcare business in order to determine demand, within the proposed area and whether it can be met in a cost effective way
  • It would be useful for you to be aware of childcare sufficiency needs in the area where you wish to open as an Early Years Provider.
  • If the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment indicates that there is sufficient childcare in the area where you are intending to set up a new business, the Early Years Team are unable to provide support in opening.
  • You will need to consider the operational hours for your proposed business as it will need to meet the needs of parents and carers in order to be a sustainable business.
  • Carry out a local competitor analysis to see how the proposed business could offer a competitive option. This could inform the eventual business model that is chosen. 


  • The Office for Standards in Education, Childcare Services and Skills (Ofsted) is the government department that regulates and inspects childcare provision in England, to make sure that the quality of care and education meets the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Before registering with Ofsted, you will also need to be familiar with the Early Years and Childcare Registration Handbook

Legal status and structure

  • You will need to decide the legal status and structure of your organisation – Sole trader, partnership, Voluntary Management Committee, charity, limited company, company limited by guarantee, limited by shares, social enterprise, Cooperative or other
  • Read more about business legal structures

Essential reading

The following documents are essential reading for those wishing to become registered childcare providers. These documents will support you in understanding what is required and how to best support children in their early years journey.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and supporting documents

We recommend that you download and read the following:

Helpful reference links regarding starting a childcare business

Training for prospective childcare providers

The Coventry Early Years Team publishes a training directory which highlights a variety of training opportunities to support prospective childcare providers. 

Information about the most current directory can be obtained by contacting [email protected]

Business training

Courses can be sourced from a range of training providers and professional organisations.

The Chamber of Commerce provides business training and support to new businesses who are ‘starting up’.

For more details contact: 024 7 65 4321 or email [email protected]

Safer recruitment/recruitment and selection

  • The registered person must have comprehensive procedures in place to ensure the suitability of those working with or coming into contact with children or vulnerable people. This will be achieved by having robust safer recruitment practices in place, to ensure legal requirements are met when employing staff.
  • Training is available from a variety of sources.

Suitable people

In the case of childcare providers on domestic or non-domestic premises, you will need to have:

  • Ensured the registered person has completed a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prior to submitting the Ofsted online application The DBS application form can be found on the Capita website.
  • It is strongly recommended that providers subscribe to the made DBS update service within 19 days of the DBS certificate being issued.
  • Demonstrated that every person looking after children on the premises, where childcare is provided, is suitable to look after children in the early year’s age group.
  • Demonstrated that every person living or working on the premises, where you provide childcare, is suitable to be in regular contact with children in the early years age group

Planning permission

If you own the premises, you should check with the local planning department to find out whether you need planning permission to run a business from the premises.

Additional permissions may be required if the property is rented property, in accordance with the lease agreement.

Professional associations

There are a number of professional organisations that support childcare providers by offering, public liability insurance, documentation packs, publications, legal and forum support.  Please be aware Coventry City Council does not endorse any third party organisation.

Useful links

Local Authority advice and support

When Ofsted registration is achieved, the Early Years provider can then apply to the local authority to receive funding, to deliver early education places.

Early education funding is available for eligible 2 year old children and for all 3 and 4 year old children.

Want to get started?

Once you have read and considered all of the information provided, please complete an initial enquiry form if you wish to proceed

Once the completed enquiry form is submitted, it will be forwarded to the Local Authority Officer. An Officer will make contact with you and support you through the registration process.

It is important to note that direct support will only be offered to prospective providers where the proposed childcare provision is within the Coventry boundary.

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