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Thinking of setting up your own childcare business?

Prior to starting your business you should consider the type of childcare already operating in the area you have chosen. You should also investigate the demand for the type of childcare you want to provide.

Assessing parental demand may help you to determine if your business will be sustainable now and in the future.

The Family Information Service (FIS) can provide you with a copy of the Childcare Sufficiency Audit (CSA). The audit has consulted with parents / carers and childcare providers in Swansea to identify the gaps in childcare provision. The CSA could be a useful tool when carrying out your market research as it may enable you to identify a specific demand.

The role of Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)

The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) (opens new window) regulate and inspect day care services for children under 12 years, these include:

  • childminders
  • full day care
  • sessional day care
  • out of school childcare
  • creches
  • open access play

All childcare settings looking after children under the age of 12 and operating for more than 1 hour and 59 minutes must be registered with the CIW.

The main aims of registration is to promote quality and to protect children, ensuring that they are cared for in safe and suitable surroundings.

A childcare setting must meet the CIW national minimum standards before registration can be granted.

If your business is going to care for children under the age of 12 for more than the time specified and you are not registered with the CIW you will be breaking the law.

The CIW will continue to inspect the setting(s) to ensure the registered person is continuing to meet the national minimum standards and regulations when operating.

The national minimum standards are published on the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) (opens new window) website. You can also obtain a hard copy by contacting your regional CIW office.

Development officers - partner organisations

Swansea Council supports a number of development officers who are employed by partner organisations. These development officers can provide support and guidance to prospective and existing childcare settings; this includes starting or developing a childcare business.

Please be aware the information you receive from a development officer is only a guide, the CIW reserve the right to enforce changes where they feel the childcare setting is not meeting the standards.

Types of childcare services

Prior to starting your business you should consider the type of childcare you wish to provide.

Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS)

An executive agency of the Home Office set up to help organisations make safer recruitment decisions.

Qualifications and career options

Social Care Wales and SkillsActive provides information on the National Qualifications Framework.

Funding and grants for registered / prospective childcare providers

Advice on funding and grants available to registered childcare providers or prospective childcare providers.