How to start a children’s day care nursery?

With today’s work culture more and more women are choosing to go back to work soon after they have had their babies. This in turn has increased the demand for quality day care centres throughout the UK.

day care nursery

So if you’re considering a career in child care and like the idea of starting your own children’s day care nursery how would you go about doing it?

Training, work experience and more training!
There are no shortcuts to be able to open your own nursery, but it is well within the capabilities of almost anyone who has the determination and isn’t put off by a bit of hard work!

There is a logical process that can get you to the right qualifications to open your own nursery. Firstly let’s tell you what your target qualification will be a CACHE NVQ Level 4 in early year’s education; this is what the government has set out as the minimum qualification to open your own child care nursery.

How to get to the NVQ Level 4?

day care nursery

Firstly you should check out your local college courses and see if they run a child care training courses (most do as it is very popular) depending on if you have any experience you start on a child care foundation course or if you are working in a child care position you could start on the Level 1 course.

The key to getting your first Level 1 NVQ is to be working in a day care nursery, that way you can learn the practical real life skills when at work whist also learning the current best practices in the class room.

The qualification levels are:

  • Foundation Level
  • Level 2
  • Level 3
  • Level 4 (your target)
  • Level 5 & Level 6

This is how you will move forwards until you get to your level 4 NVQ Children’s Care, Learning and Development, work part time at a day care nursery and take classes at your local college to get you the theory you need to pass the NVQ assessments. Every step of the way you’ll be gaining valuable experience that will put you in good stead once you are ready to open up on your own.

If you are starting from the beginning then it may take you a few years to get up to this level depending on what courses you take and if you study part or full time.

However long it takes you to achieve your goal every step along the way you’ll be gaining valuable skills that will put you on a great career path in the child care sector.

Registering a Nursery with the Authorities

Finally before you can operate a nursery you must register with your local regulatory authorities:

  • Ofsted (England)
  • The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)
  • The Care Commission (Scotland)
  • The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Northern Ireland)

You must satisfy the regulator that:

  • You and your staff are suitable to take care of children and at least half the staff have at least a NVQ Level 2 or above.
  • Your premises and equipment are suitable

I hope this article helps you with understanding how to go about getting the right qualifications to start your very own children’s day care nursery, I wish you the very best of luck in your future career!


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