All childcare service providers (for children under 8 years old) must meet the statutory requirements by law. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework sets out the welfare requirements for all childcare settings that care for children from birth to the 31 August following their fifth birthday. Anyone caring for children in this age range must be registered on the Early Years Register and be inspected by Ofsted unless otherwise exempt from registration.
Settings that care for children from 1 September following their fifth birthday up to age eight must be registered with Ofsted on the Childcare Register, and anyone caring for children after their eighth birthday can be registered if they want to be.
The Early Years Outcomes document is a non-statutory guide to help with the understanding of child development through the early years. It can be used by childminders and nurseries to help decide whether a child is showing typical development for their age.
There are many areas of a childcare business that must operate according to the law. These include the below:
Ofsted is the regulator and you must meet the requirements of the relevant register to ensure that you remain compliant and registered.
Responsibilities regarding Income Tax, Corporation Tax, Business Rates, VAT and Payroll Taxes.
Public liability cover is essential and required through the EYFS. Employers Liability is also needed if you employ anyone, and if you are a commissioning service (you receive funding from the local authority to provide 2, 3 and 4 year old education) you also need professional indemnity insurance.
Health and Safety
The Health and Safety Executive provides information on the regulations you must meet to make sure you don't put yourself, children, visitors or staff at risk.
If you employ staff you need to be aware of the legislation around employing people.
Equality (including SEND)
The Equality Act protects people from discrimination. The EYFS states that all settings must have support in place for children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). All settings that receive funding from local authorities to deliver early education places must follow the SEND Code of Practice, and group provisions are expected to have a SEND Coordinator.
You need to comply with General Data Protection Regulation.
Regulations that apply to businesses when playing recorded music are set out in the Licensing Act 2003.
Building and fire regulations
Building Control has the responsibility of regulating the health and safety of the occupants of the buildings in the borough. Building Regulations apply to new buildings, extensions and alterations to existing buildings and also any change of use of any buildings. Fire regulations are covered within building regulations.
Anyone setting up a new food business, including day care and childminders, must register with us at least 28 days before they intend to start trading. Registration is free and it can't be refused, but it is an offence not to register your food business.