Opening an Early Years Setting

This information is designed for people who are considering opening a group based setting in Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES).

It will provide you with an overview of the requirements for becoming a group based setting and of the registration process. You can also access support and advice from B&NES Early Years Team.

What is a group based setting?   

It is childcare on non-domestic premises – i.e. on premises that are not being used as a home (for example, a playgroup, day nursery, pre-school, crèche at a gym or shopping centre, after school club or breakfast club).

See the Ofsted information below:

Do you need to register with Ofsted?

If you care for children under the age of eight for more than two hours a day you must register. You can check here whether you need to register:

Ofsted manages two registers, the Early Years Register and the Childcare Register. The Childcare Register is made up of two parts: the Compulsory Childcare Register and the Voluntary Childcare Register. You may be required to register on both of these registers.

Is there a need in your area?

We recommend you carry out market research in your locality. Check what other childcare is in your area. Do they have spaces? You can research other providers in your area on our local database

You can find out more about setting up a new childcare business by following this link:

How long is the registration process?

Ofsted state that the registration process can take up to 25 weeks from when they receive your application.

Information can be found on the Ofsted website:

N.B. You CANNOT start work until you have your registration certificate.

Ofsted have also produced a handbook about registration as an early years or other childcare provider:

What do I need to know?

Early Years settings must provide high quality childcare and education within a safe and stimulating environment. You will need to plan a variety of play based activities to meet the needs of each individual child’s stage of development. They must meet all the requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage:

The Early Years Team offers a package of support to newly registering settings.  There are some useful documents on the right hand side of this web page for you look at - if you would like further information please contact: or 01225 394042

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