Starting a day nursery

There is a growing demand for full day care from working parents. Day nurseries provide care and education for pre-school children aged from six weeks to five years of age. They must be registered and regularly inspected by Ofsted. Strict guidelines on staff/children ratios must be complied with. Hours tend to fit in with an average working day of 8am to 6pm and is usually provided all year round.

Starting a day nursery may be your lifelong ambition, or a recent interest. Either way you will need to be prepared for the business side as well as the care and education of the children.

You will need to:

  • Research your market
  • Cost the project
  • Raise finance
  • Decide on your business structure
  • Produce your business plan
  • Forecast your cash flow
  • Draw up a profit and loss account
  • Set up an opening balance sheet
  • Consider the geographical area you want to work in
  • Secure a premise and all necessary equipment
  • Ensure it meets regulation standards
  • Recruit staff
  • Comply with all employment legislation
  • Plan how you will develop your staff
  • Organise marketing/advertising
  • Investigate a quality assurance scheme

Support available to you

If you are looking to set up a day nursery in Southampton, then in the first instance, please contact the Family Information Service (FIS) on 023 8083 3014. They have a lot of information that will assist you in your research, and can ensure you have contact information for the many relevant organisations that you will need to make contact with over the next 12 months.