Become a childcare provider

It takes 3 to 6 months to become fully registered as a childcare provider. This will apply if you are thinking of:

  • becoming a childminder
  • becoming a nanny
  • becoming a home childcarer
  • running a day nursery
  • running a holiday playscheme
  • running a breakfast or after school club

Becoming a childminder

If you want to become a registered childminder and care for children under 5 in Kent, you  must have completed training which helps you understand and implement the early years foundation stage (EYFS) before you can register.

If you wish to only care for children over the age of 5 by registering on the compulsory and voluntary part of the Childcare Register there are other training requirements. For further details about the requirements of registering on both the Early Years and the Childcare Register visit the Ofsted website.

There are additional training requirements for both the Early Years and the Childcare Registers such as safeguarding and first aid.  For the paediatric first aid course required for the Early Years register you can choose which organisation you would like to provide your first aid training but you must ensure that it covers the content outlined in Annex A of the EYFS.

You can research your own providers of all necessary training. Part of this research includes any related costs. You should also consider additional start-up costs, such as:

  • first aid equipment
  • safety equipment
  • public liability insurance
  • play resources.

Information about applying to Ofsted, the health declarations and the DBS checks can be found on the Ofsted website. You can view their pre-registration briefing which provides further information about becoming a childminder with them.

If registering via a childminding agency, you will need to discuss the application process directly with them.

Childminding services in Kent are currently delivered by The Education People. To find out more information about the face to face briefing sessions and childminding pre-registration courses they run for those registering in Kent you can email

Becoming a home childcarer

Home childcarers (nannies) do not have to be registered or inspected but can choose to become approved through the voluntary part of the childcare register by Ofsted.  This is a voluntary scheme for approving childcare providers, such as home childcarers who meet certain criteria.

To register with Ofsted you must have successfully completed a qualification at a minimum level 2 in an area of work relevant to childcare (available through local colleges and adult education) or have received training in the core skills as set out in the document ‘common core skills and knowledge for the children’s workforce’ and have an appropriate first aid qualification.

Setting up a day care provisions

If you are thinking of starting work in the childcare sector, such as setting up a day nursery, holiday playscheme, breakfast or after school club then you will need to think about the following:

  • Have you located a property suitable for your new childcare setting?
  • Will the property require planning permission? To find out if you do require planning permissions please contact your district council for further information
  • Have you undertaken any market research to see if your proposed services are required? (e.g. parent questionnaires, leaflet drops, Childcare Sufficient Assessment)
  • Have you thought about which legal structure you will follow? (e.g. sole trader, charity, company, partnership)
  • What type of childcare service are you considering offering? (e.g. full day care, sessional care, term time only, after school clubs, breakfast club, holiday play schemes)
  • Have you completed a business plan for the project?
  • Have you considered staffing?  – qualifications needed, recruitment, retention, training needs.

For further advice and support please email us at A member of our Early Years team will get back to you regarding any business, quality, equalities and inclusion matters, as well as supporting you with Ofsted registrations and how to comply with the statutory requirements.

Working in a day nursery or pre-school

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets out the requirements for staff to child ratios in settings delivering the EYFS and the qualification levels that practitioners must hold.

In group settings, the manager must hold at least full and relevant level 3 qualifications and at least half of all other staff must hold at least full and relevant level 2 qualifications. The manager should have at least 2 years’ experience of working in an early years setting, or have at least 2 years’ other suitable experience. The provider must ensure there is a named deputy who, in their judgement, is capable and qualified to take charge in the manager’s absence.

For further information about qualifications and requirements for full and relevant qualifications please read the early years qualification list.

Job vacancies in childcare

Look for opportunities for work as a childcare provider.